Friday, April 27, 2012

Making books and the adorable childrens book, "Marcel the Shell"

 These are a few pages out of a collaborative book one of the first grade classes made together. The books are the end to a series of classes that used several skills and began with our intense insect drawings. After four weeks of drawing, cutting and layering- I brought in the book "Marcel the Shell". I'm COMPLETELY obsessed with "Marcel the Shell"!! The illustrations (paintings) and concept are precious! Here is a glimpse at a few of the pages.....

They offer a super adorable  audio book download so I burned it and "read" along with it in class. Marcel is a tiny shell with one eye and over sized shoes. He makes his home in a human"s house and encounters every day objects with a quite different point of view than us humans. 

As a class we discussed what it would be like to be super small in our world. Then each student chose an insect and came up with a way to personify it. Each class had to agree on a setting, this class chose a tree house ;). Each child illustrated a page with their personified insect encountering life in a tree house in a humorous or frightening way. It was great to see how richly detailed the pages became. This class was hysterical- they spent quite a bit of time discussing what tree houses would be "girls only" or "boys only", I was pretty tickled by the conversations! 

Binding the books has been quite time consuming but I'm slowly getting them done. I'll post how those looks when I finish them!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Our 4th graders building canvases

I didn't learn how to build and stretch a canvas until my first year of college.....but I remember the experience exactly because I loved it so much! Building them is still one of my most favorite tasks.

I have been watching my 4th grade class to see if I felt they were "ready" to take a stab at building their own and the race car project that we did recently gave me the indication that indeed they are!

So this week, after I gave them a tutorial and explained wood warping, miter saws and angles (bringing in geometry) they began tackling their own. I have a few very small hammers that we used in jewelry class and those were quite helpful. Some of the kids used the drill and they handled it very well. I was really pleased with how much they helped each other! I told their teacher the other day that I was struck how in class they don't have conversations in small's one conversation for the entire room, everyone chiming in, everyone's a very special group of students!

Most of the kids got their stretcher bars put together so next week we will start stretching the canvas on and priming them ;).

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Animal Daycare fort!!

The detail in this fort is craaaaaazy! There is an old keyboard I brought in for them that they set up as a check in station, a place for the animal'l leashes and toys, yarn dispersed throughout the fort for the kitties to play with and enough signs to cover a Wal-Mart.....they threw everything their little imaginations had into this! This one was created by a team made up of a preschooler (yep!! a super helpful, creative preschooler!), 2 kindergartners and 2 first graders.

The Hippie House fort!!

Mmmmmm- my all girl team! Although even though they are girls they told me it was still a little "too pink" ;). This spectacular team is crazy creative 3 sisters (kindergarten, 2nd and 3rd grade) and two wonderful 3rd graders. You should have seen these girls use a hammer! I was hesitant to give it to them (I did most of the hammering in class) but they handled it better than I did most of the time!! I put their fort together last so they have a little more work to do but they were so patient with me while they waited...thanks girls!!!

The Fun House fort!

This fantastic Fun House was built and invented by the super team- 1 kindergartner, 1 first grader and 2 sweet second grade girls. The Fun House comes complete with a ball chute!

The Tiki Hut fort!

We are auctioning off the forts made in enrichment class tonight (for charity) so I'm posting pictures of each fort for the purchasing parents to view ;).

This Tiki hut was made by an unstoppable team comprised of 2 third graders, a second grader and 2 very cheerful kindergartners.