Tuesday, November 27, 2012

It's Getting Artsy in Here!

We have the most fabulous art teacher at our school!  She is creative and fun, and I am constantly amazed by the creativity she is able to pull from the most unlikely students.  She came to me at the beginning of the school year to talk about how to integrate technology into her art classes, and we decided to use iPod touches for an elements of art project.  The students worked in groups of 4 to explore the library and the side yard of the school to find objects that represent the elements of art.  They saved their pictures, added text to label the elements and created a collage of their photos.  It was like a scavenger hunt to the students, and they absolutely loved using the iPods.  Each group used one iPod so it did not require an entire class set of devices.  The outcome of the project was great, and the students' enthusiasm for this project increased their knowledge and understanding of the art elements to create the perfect foundation for the nine week course.  We used the free apps Aviary (for taking the photgraphs and labeling them) and Photo Collage Free (for putting the photos together).  I saved them all to my computer and put them into a Dropbox folder that I share with my art teacher.

Monday, November 26, 2012

It is Going to be a "Wonder"ful day!

On the eve of our next book club meeting, I just realized that I never posted about our previous meeting.  Our faculty and student book clubs read Wonder by RJ Palacio, and it was a hit!  We met for an hour and fifteen minutes after school, and we could have stayed to talk longer.  I was so proud of the wonderful connections the students made between their reading and real life!  We began our discussion using the questions on the Wonder website.  The students were able to take the questions and run with them.  My favorite connection was between Julian's character traits and the character education program that we use at school.  Our current trait was nobility, or the courage to do the right thing even when no one is watching.  A quiet little sixth grade girl slowly raised her hand and said, "you know how we have been talking about nobility? Well, I think Julian is the opposite of nobility because he always does mean things when no one is watching."  This sparked a conversation about how we have all been in situations where people act differently depending on their company and how much that can hurt our feelings. 

The last twenty minutes of our meeting, the students created mosaics out of tissue paper that represented what Wonder meant to them.  We had a short period of time to work, but the students enjoyed creating their symbols and scenes.  Here are a few examples...
Wonder has taken our school by storm!  Since participating in the faculty book club, many of our teachers have been reading Wonder aloud to their classes.  It is a hot commodity in the library, and the hold list is a mile long.  Thank you Ms. Palacio for a beautiful book that transcends all things to make us see that on the inside we all have the ability to be the same no matter what we are like on the outside. 

Tomorrow, we will be moving on to Divergent by Veronica Roth.  This is another must read, for what my opinion is worth.  I spent my weekend re-reading Divergent, and I have loved it every bit as much as I did the first time around!  We will be wearing the colors of the faction we believe we would belong in so stay tuned for pictures! 

Happy Reading!