|Our welcome back to school...on a -20 degree morning.|
This winter has shaped up to be interesting, to say the least. As I write this, we have recently finished up our first full 5-day week back with NO interruptions this semester (featuring a blue moon and a lunar eclipse, no less)! Every week since we returned on January 3rd, there has been a two hour delay or snow/ice/it's REALLY REALLY too cold to go to school day. I know there was more than one day where the temp in one or both of my classrooms was hovering in the 50's....so glad for the existence of low-profile thermal hunting clothing, and you'd better believe I was wearing it under my "teacher clothes." One of my classrooms even fell victim to a flood, and my scrap box chock full of paper died. We had sub-zero temps for multiple days in a row, a pipe froze, and then it flooded. R.I.P. Scrappy. You will be missed!
In the midst of all this winter insanity, we have been working hard to actually accomplish something.
Kindergarten made adorable snowman ornaments before Christmas. This is a project that is well loved, yet no one gets to see it because they are wrapped up immediately upon completion and sent home for families to enjoy. This year our snowmen had some extra bling with a Mod Podge Sparkle clear coat!
Since several days had a high below zero, I took advantage of the situation and used it to make colored ice cubes! I took three trays and made one red, one blue, and one yellow with food coloring. I put a toothpick in each slot and froze them outside. Once I finally got to see my Special Needs class (their art day was cancelled twice), we painted away with the primary color cubes and did a lot of mixing. We used the art of Morris Louis as our inspiration.
1st grade and Special Needs worked on a new project featuring folk artist Mary Charles. She lives in Amish country in Pennsylvania, and her art is whimsical and shows the local Amish influence. Their favorite part of the project involved our "mystery tool" to paint with: FORKS! Video demo can be found here.
2nd grade read the book Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner, and we spent some time discussing the beautiful values in the book, as well as the atmosphere created through the colors. We used purplish paper to create our fun nighttime atmosphere, and added snowmen and their shadows with construction paper and sponge paint. Once dry, it was time to create some spheres with value, and then the snowman games began. The last objective was to make small snow friends in the distance and have them be as crazy as possible.
3rd grade used the Caldecott winner Owl Moon by Jane Yolen as inspiration for their tints and shades project. This is one of those projects that I have retooled SEVERAL times to minimize time and maximize awesome results. I finally found our winner, winner chicken dinner, and the kids were really proud of their results. Video demos are over on my YouTube page.
Lastly, 4th grade worked hard on Snowmen at Work, also by Caralyn Buehner. In this book, the snowmen all had jobs in their secret snowman world. Each student had to make a snowman using 3/4 view, decide on a job, and use tools of the trade to show that job. We also used analogous colors to create value on each and every object.
After all this snow and cold, it might be time for some tropical art soon!