Sunday, August 26, 2012

art for the classroom

This year I wanted to incorporate art more in my classroom ~ both visually and in the activities we do. When I was still deciding on the theme for my class, I was inspired by this photo on Pinterest.

I love the paintings these kids did. They are all the same, yet so individual. Don't they look happy about what they have created? I knew this would be the perfect painting for my class. 

By the way, this is a really popular picture. It has been repinned 65 from my boards alone. I wonder how many other people actually made an owl painting.

Here's my version. The main colors I used in my class this year are pink, orange, turquoise, and green, with the neutral of brown. I incorporated most of those colors into the painting.

It was fun creating this and thinking about the kids who will be in my class. I thought about the atmosphere I want to create for the kids and how I want them to feel at home. I put all of my positive teaching energies into this painting.

Heather made one of her own, but she's not quite finished yet. Hers looks wonderful so far ~ the same as mine, yet so very different.

The next piece of art I created was inspired by Farley. She did this project with her 4th graders last year. Check it out on her blog ~ here and here.

I looked at her students' projects a bunch and a bunch, but when it came time to do mine, I forgot to let the rays go off the side of the canvas. Hmm. Oh well. I still really like how it turned out. All along I was going to have the sun at the bottom until all the rays were done and it happened to be sitting on the table sideways. I decided I like it that way better. Good thing it was before I put the letters on.

She had her kids use a Sharpie for all the black. But, I'm really comfortable with the brush, so I just used black paint and varied the thicknesses a little.

Here they are hanging up in my class. I think they look lovely together. Hopefully they will inspire the students to embrace their creativity, remind them to shine & do their best, and make them feel our class is a homey place to be. The canvases are not huge (11" x 14") because I didn't want them to be the focus of the classroom. But they are just enough.

My art is certainly more "tight" and more controlled than the examples of kid art I was copying. At first that bothered me that I wasn't able to let go and let it be more loose. But then I realized I love what I created and that's all that really matters. I made the art the way I wanted.

Soon I will give you a tour of the whole class ~ including the bubbled paint from a leak from recent rain storms. See it above the bulletin board? Awesome, right?

School starts tomorrow.

I'm nervous.

I'm excited.

I'm ready to get back to work, but not ready for summer to be over all at the same time.

I won't sleep tonight.

I will stay up really late so I will be exhausted enough to sleep.

But I will have nightmares and won't sleep well.  Happens every year.

But tomorrow will be a great day! And this is going to be a great year! I can feel it in the air.


Saturday, August 11, 2012

back 2 school sale

Isn't Back to School such an exciting time?!

New beginnings.

To celebrate this exciting time of year, there is a big sale going on over at TpT. Join in the celebration with so many teachers and stock up for the year.

Everything in my shop is 20% off on August 12 & 13. You can get an additional 10% off by entering the code B2S12 at check out.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

august currently


Time for another Currently with Farley.

I love how my Silhouette makes my classroom decor so much easier. Big, smoochy kisses for my Silhouette.

Don't we always want summer break to linger just a little bit longer? I am excited for a new school year, but still.

Back to school must haves ~ well, a hair appointment and a pedicure are obvious necessities.

I l.o.v.e. office supplies. I have to have some new pens, markers, etc. at back to school time. Well, anytime is a good time, really.

And a cute classroom. It seems superficial, but think about how many hours we spend in our classroom. Think about how many hours the students spend in there with us. If it's a cute, fun place to be, then that makes the hours there more meaningful. Plus, a happy teacher is an effective teacher, right?

I'm staying away from school today, although I will be working on things here at my jammies.


Monday, August 6, 2012

monday made it

I'm liking up today with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics for Monday Made It.

Although I've been thinking, surfing the net, and pinning all summer long, I haven't really starting making anything for my classroom. Come on, actually making it might bring the summer to a close far too quickly.

I went to work in my classroom three mornings last week. Well, it can be counted as only one and a half mornings, because there was a lot of time catching up with the office ladies, my 2nd grade buddy, and my next door neighbor. I've hung fabric and border on my bulletin boards. My furniture is mostly in place. And there are books strewn out everywhere being sorted & checked for the class library.

I did finally get started on a few things at home and have several things in progress.

I finished the signs for my CAFE board for the Daily 5. I used a modified-to-my-taste version of the CAFE and Daily 5. Having the strategies on the board for the students to reference is a great tool. This year I am aiming to remember to post all the strategies we talk about.

I am doing an owl theme for my class this year. I bought some premade items, but I really like to give my class a custom look.

This little baby helps with the custom look. My Silhouette was whirring away the morning cutting out more things for me to glue together.

I'm not sure where this little darlin' is going yet, but I couldn't resist making her. So cute!

Here's a sneak peek at a project that's about half finished. I'm hoping to get it done this week to share with you next week. It's turning out great! I'm so excited!

What did you make this week?


Thursday, August 2, 2012

starting off with place value

I'll be starting my year off in math with place value.

Oh, place value.

Some students get it right away. No worries. Others need a little more time. And then there are still others who need a lot of time and reinforcement.

I've been working on some place value activities to add to our math time.

The first is a set of six centers that reinforce:

  • identify the value of a digit;
  • number forms;
  • comparing numbers;
  • number patterns (skip count by 5, 10, and 100); and
  • adding or subtracting 1 or 10 from any number.

Each center activity comes with directions, game cards, and a recording sheet. No other manipulatives are needed for these centers.

Next, is an around the room activity. My students always love doing the around the room activities. I don't think they realize they are just doing the same work we have been doing for the entire unit. They just know it's fun.

We typically do the around the room activity as a review for the assessment.

There is also an I Have... Who Has.... activity. This can be done whole group, small group, or students can order the cards individually. Also an excellent review.

All of these place value activities are available in my TpT store.  And just for fun, since everyone is getting ready for the new school year, these three products will be 15% off through Sunday.