In true Academy style we were off and running this first week back from Winter Break. The two weeks off offered me some rejuvenation and I was thrilled to return to my classroom and tackle what I know best... creating with kids! In all aspects of our school this week there was much to talk about. The students enjoyed guest artist Chuck Keiper, a singer/songwriter who entertained them and informed them about various aspects of music.
In Mr. Lemmo's fourth grade class were we able to Skype with his friend Mandy, who is on a missions trip in El Salvador, and check in on the children there. Our fourth graders have had a memorable time skyping about the weather, Spanish language, customs and culture. Recently, during my integration time in Mr. Lemmo's room students created pencil pouches out of duct tape and material (with Mrs. Walker) and then through donations we were able to fill them with school supplies for the children down there. Today Mandy gave the children of El Salvador these gifts and they were very grateful. I am still fascinated that at 1:00 in the afternoon we can look at and talk to children in another country. Technology!
In Miss Beatty's class I offered some help with arts integration for their life sized totem poles that correlates with their Native American unit. Students learned about the various roles that animals play in the spiritual aspect of Indian life. Using paper mache, students created these amazing sculptural pieces! The large poles were a donation that are much appreciated!
And lastly, and possibly my most exciting bit of information from this past week is what my students were able to accomplish during our Exploratory Arts period. Currently I have the Shakespeare group and we are working on School Beautification. My vision for the appearance of our school has many goals in sight but my biggest hope is that one day people will enter our building and it will simply exude creativity. Starting small is never easy but we are gradually painting the ceiling tiles of our hallways. Students broke into groups of three to five and designed a concept with text in mind. Students had to include a word or phrase that describes our school. Here are some of our tiles in progress. The process that takes place as these children paint in my room each afternoon leaves me speechless...