Saturday, September 26, 2009

Some student work from this week...

Below are some photos of student work from this week. These were made by 4th graders in Tiffany and Krisztina's class at Hamilton. Students are making portfolios to help organize their work they will produce this year. We discussed the concept of 'creativity' and how that helps one come up with solutions, ideas and what not, and how it's important to value what we create, hence the portfolios.

We then asked students to design their portfolios around the idea of 'discovery' and 'exploring', since that is what the creative process is about. We had them pick one image from a stack of magazine pages we had that to them represented one of these ideas. Narrowing down the process to picking an image and then designing the rest of the portfolio around that image helps on lots of levels: it teaches students about symbolism and representation, our topic next week, it helps them learn collage techniques (young students tend to want to just cut out a bunch of random photos, paste them and be done with it, this helps them learn more about the design process and the thought process behind it), and it helps them conceptually grasp the idea of a 'theme'. We asked them to try to draw the rest of their photo; if they cut out a picture of a forest, for example, we ask them to try to show what else was in that forest, to show how it was about discovery.

A few examples are below - I really love how some of these turned out!






Friday, September 18, 2009

Week one of a new year...

It’s always kinda amazing how fast summer seems to fly by, but I was excited and ready to be getting back to school this year.

Our first week back is usually about introductions and group projects; really focusing on orienting students around the idea of our class being a community and going about work collaboratively.

We have two sites this first quarter: Longfellow, and Hamilton. Both schools are going to be following the same curriculum, as we are hoping to find means for the students - most likely online - to exchange ideas and compare their approaches to the projects.

The first project we jumped into this week were group murals. We do this by having students work collaboratively, in big groups, on large sheets of paper - rolling paper that is used for packaging is typically what we will use. Thematically, we asked students to first think about all the types of things they knew how to do, asking them to make a list even, for fun. Then, collaboratively, we asked them to depict those things on their mural, ideally showing how they could put their talents together. Overall, it went over pretty well - especially for their first activity since coming back!

Next up was the flower pot project - symbolically us ‘growing things together’ - it’s always popular. The kids like drawing on the pots, it’s a fun collaborative effort. We asked them to depict images of ecosystems, one of two words we learned, or ways that they could help their community. Younger students focused on doing a drawing of any type together.

Overall, a great start to the year - we are very excited about jumping into the projects we have planned for the weeks ahead!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Back to school!

We are back in action!

Our students at Longfellow and Hamilton got back to work this week, and we couldn't be more excited! they are starting off their year with Living Histories by learning about our journaling practice, doing group murals, and decorating flower pots for their 'grow together' project. More details coming soon!