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[teacherartexchange] Reflection and thanks

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staciemich_at_TeacherArtExchange
Date: Fri Mar 31 2006 - 05:08:15 PST


Hi guys, just checking in. My last term is going far better than the
past ones. I'm also looking forward to Spring Break and then summer, so
I'm feeling much more positive...knowing that the light is near. I am
tired though, really feeling exhausted, but I'm struggling through it.
So, here's how it's been:

My elementary students are finishing up their Frida Kahlo portraits.
Some of the kids really struggled with learning how to draw faces using
guides for correct proportions, but the results have been great! Some
of the drawings are really impressive. I will take lots of pictures and
fix up my lesson to submit as soon as school it out (I promise).

My middle school has had it pretty easy. They have made three pages for
their "Elements of Art book." They made a nice "line study" page, an
"Op Art" page for shape and just finished a color wheel. I did the
edible color wheel project yesterday, which they loved.

Today I started a new Matisse project with my elementary kids. I found
the lesson from Pam Stephens and used that as my inspiration. I bought
a goldfish this week and brought him into the class. He was about dead
yesterday after a student decided to throw in a bunch of food...but I
cleaned the bowl out twice and let him sleep in a smaller one over
night and he's doing much better now. I've named him "matisse," and
I've hidden the fish food.

The little ones were instructed to draw a fish bowl or tank, to include
at least two other objects from the still life and include at least two
patterns in the background. I let them use paints, crayons, pastels and
paper scraps. Some of the work is really interesting. I was so excited
that i decided to do the same project with the middle schoolers, but
added a twist to tie it into the color lesson from yesterday. THey have
to do their collage using a color scheme.

Next week I plan on introducing Van Gogh and taking them outside to
draw (even though we have like four trees and no flowers).

The kids are loud and rowdy, but I've been able to control them.
Writing their names on the board has really helped. I've been following
through with rules and essays, and surprisingly they've been turning
them in. I've been in a much better mood, and I've been keeping things
as light as I can in class...they respond to that. I did have to bring
out my "Evil D" once last week when a kid cursed at me. The entire room
was stunned in silence. I think they needed to see that I could get
angry, but then I let it go and acted like nothing had happened. I also
spoke to that student privately and he apologized.

So, things are going pretty well. I'm now about to embark on planning
an end-of-the year show. I'm getting a group of students together to
help me with it. It's going to be a night of art, music and poetry. I'm
tryign to think of the best way to do it...how to hang the work, how to
judge the work, where to get ribbons or certificates and prizes. I was
thinking of haning up some work on clotheslines and having the kids
decorate the clothes pins. I'd also like to include "artist statements"
with the work...so any additional ideas would be great. I don't have
anywhere to hang the work but on the walls of the halls and in the
cafeteria...though I've been thinking of clotheslines attatched to
trees if the weather permits. Crazy idea?

Anyway, I've just been reflecting on my year now that the end is in
sight. I can't thank you all enough for all of your support and advice.
It has been invaluable. I hope to be able to give back in the future.
Right now I have a student observing my class...talk about the blind
leading the blind. It's pretty funny to me.

Well, thanks again...and I hope to get to go to the conference one
year...if I can ever get the money!

Stacie D.
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Stacie D.

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