Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Special Garden

When I finally get four extra seconds I am going to write a post about how I did this garden project and some reflections on the end of my school year. (In addition to my school facing tragedy I actually had my last day in my district and am starting a new job very soon.)

But I thought I would share with you this article about the community garden I pioneered at my school from start to finish in 48 hours this week to celebrate the life of a very sweet first grader we tragically lost in a car accident last week and also to help my students have a therapeutic experience for understanding this loss.

Monday, June 13, 2011


Two recent positive things that happened to me:

1. I made my first trip to Cape Cod this weekend (much later than usual and rainy but still...)

2. I ran into one of my kindergarteners with his mom today at the ice cream shop after school. I introduced myself and told her I was her son's art teacher- she told me she was so impressed with the art work he has been bringing home! AND that she has been taking out the watercolors for him at home and has noticed how he has recently been painting ever so carefully and adding on careful details, mixing colors for highlights, and more- all on his own! 
Hooray! Success!

3.... I am in the middle of some interesting ongoings at school as I wrap up my year- more details to follow in the near future....

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Froggies do Giverny

If you were a frog living in a pond why not live in the pond at Monet's garden in Giverny?!
My little first graders watched the video of the book Linnea in Monet's Garden

 Linnea in Monet's Garden
(it is a great resource for first and second graders!)

The backgrounds feature crayon rubbings for the pond and also the japanese bridge and rowboat featured in Monet's paintings. It is a very simplified version of my older Monet's garden lesson which I love but didn't have time for this year.

The objective was for students to create a frog that showed MOVEMENT.
I think they definitely succeeded.

One class did the frogs as a separate project which also came out cute and fun. 
They actually turned out to be like a 'frog self portrait', too funny. 

Monday, June 6, 2011

Camouflaged Butterflies on Flowers (version 2)

(This is a simplified version of my butterfly/flower/leaf post from last night.)

 The first two parts of the project were for each second grader to trace the pedal shape at least 6 times and also to trace the butterfly wing twice. I wrote a "1" and "2" on the alternate sides so the students made sure to have two opposite wings. 

The other side of the traced paper:
 Each table of students had a set of analagous color watercolors. They painted the entire paper with them over either blue or red twistable swirls. 

After they cut them all out they glued them on to green square paper to make their flowers.

 I hot glued cardboard pieces on the art work before class:

 The students drew the body of the butterfly, cut it out, and added pen to the wings. I gave them each a piece of tape to attach the three parts together. 
Then the students glue-sticked the butterfly over the cardboard. 

and tad-dah... popped up butterflies! The kids love them!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

butterflies, leaves, & sticks

I did this project with a very small after-school class of 4th & 5th graders, however I am doing a different version with two classes of 25 second grade students. I will post the other version when we finish them up this week but I couldn't wait to post these beautiful pieces!

My girls have been working hard on practicing color mixing and learning about the color wheel, tertiary colors, analagous colors, etc. so I was so proud of them for jumping right into the acrylic leaf painting (their first try at acrylic paints!) and doing such a great job!

The girls could paint their watercolor paper with whatever colors they wished and we added a little salt. 
Then they designed stencils for the flowers petals and the butterfly wings. 
The butterfly wings were cut out of small square papers they painted with 
symmetrical designs in watercolor. 

I hot glued sticks around the edge of the leaf paintings:

Then I hot-glued the flowers and butterflies to the background using cardboard pieces 
to prop and pop them up.