Tuesday, September 22, 2015

aMAZEing Name Projects

Every year it is challenging to learn the 300+ names of the incoming 5th graders. For that reason I like to start with a project that focuses on drawing their names. I also like to have them work through the elements of art as a review. During one of the very first days I spotted a student creating their own maze and my first lesson idea was solidified.

 We used LINES to make a name maze.

Students started by writing out their name, following the lines on the grid paper.

Using a pencil they marked the start and finish of their maze.  They connected them with the "solution path"

They erased "openings" in the solution path and added the tricks and traps. The used the lines of the graph paper for all their work. 

They finished their images by tracing their pencil lines with mark. It made it very easy to see the lines when I ran them through the copier to make 2 copies for each student. 

It was so much fun to listen to them design ways to trick people as they fill out their maze.

Of course some students went their own way but everyone had a blast, used lines successfully and I learned their names (or at least got a good start on it!)

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Aftershock #1

I like to help out with our school's after school program called AFTERSHOCK. It is a great chance to know the kids a little better and tackle some art projects or ideas you just can't do with large classes or 300+ students. This year our sessions are broken into 4 week groups. For my first 4 weeks we did a beautify NMS group. We tackled the severely neglected flower bed from the front of the school. I didn't take any before or during pictures.

Here are the after pictures!  A HUGE improvement!
the hardworking crew!
2 of my 6th Grade ROCKSTARS!
Miss Haylee helping us add beautiful flowers to the inside of our building

We finished one day early a decided to fill our front windows with flowers! 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Seating Charts - the easy way

Creating seating charts for 24 classes with 600+ new students who you don't really know is VERY intimidating. I have spent a lot of years creating seating charts prior to the start of school only to figure out that students who shouldn't be together are, students have moved are missing and all my hard work needs tweeked.  I finally quit!

I changed how I make my seating charts at the start of the year and it is WONDERFUL.

This year I started by making a list of 32 famous artists. I then printed out two copies of this list and cut them out. I taped one set to the table and handed the other set to students as they entered the room. By matching their artist name with the name on the table they created their own seating chart.

There may be a few students who quickly showed they shouldn't be side by side but for the most part this has proved very successful. I give the students a task to accomplish and ask them to leave their planners out at their spot. As they are working, I walk around and copy down their names and fill out my seating charts.
** after 150 students (one day) the papers were showing some wear and tear so I switched it up and just wrote the names onto my tables with sharpies. (dry erase marker takes it off)**

It is easy to do and it frees up some of my precious pre-school starting time. Last year I used paint chips and wrote about it here.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Let Me (re)Introduce Myself

Wow - I stumbled upon this blog the other day and loved what it had to say. It hadn't been updated lately and I was sad.  Then I realized I was in charge of it.

So it is time for me to get moving!  I can't promise anything but know that I am going to try to do better this year.

I had a wonderful summer with these three crazies

and the school year it off to a great start so stay tuned for some new shares!