Saturday, October 24, 2009

Tomorrow our community is doing the Terry Fox Run for cancer research. This year we will walk with contemplation. It is one month now since our Katrina passed away from lung cancer. This is something I have yet to comprehend.

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:7

Paste Paper making

The workshop on paste paper making was fabulous. I just wish I'd taken photos throughout the process. But since I didn't, I will post links which I found which go through the steps exactly as we did. The only thing I'd change is the paper we used.

We used construction paper, and it worked well, but I'm not too sure of the archival quality there. As I plan to work with photos with some of the books for myself and my students, I need it to be acid free.

The paste we used was wall paper paste, that I have since found out is acid free. We added acrylic for colour.

The process is wonderfully messy in an easy to clean kind of way. I was excited about this cause I don't think my kids get dirty often enough in Art. They will definately enjoy this.

The pics are of the paper I made and then of books which the instructor had on display. All are hand made and all the designs you see are paste paper designs.

The green book is mine which I completed yesterday in class. I so enjoyed learning about traditional book-making techniques.

If anyone is interested in the process, I added the links to a blog roll at the bottom of the page.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Crayon Resist Leaf Rubbings

The last two days we worked on an art project using leaves. It was a beautiful day yesterday. My students were begging to go walking, so I took the oppurtunity to go and collect leaves for a project which I wanted to try.
It is featured on shared with me by Lisa at

They turned out wonderful.

I love the intensity of watercolour and you will see them used a lot in my class. I buy the Prang brand semi-moist set of the eight basic colours, never more. That way we get to bland colours not featured.

Tomorrow I should have gone to a water-colour all day workshop. I was too late in enrolling and missed it, so I get to go to my second choice one. I must say, I am more excited about this one. I had already been to a water-colour evening session with the teacher who does it and really enjoyed it. However the one I go to now is by an acclaimed artist, an all-day session on bookmaking at the art gallery. I think I shall have a good time.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Canadian Fall Leaf Exchange Project

This year I am again participating in a leaf exchange project with other Canadian schools. I tried it last year and each package was greatly anticipated and eagerly opened to see what tree the class picked and where in Canada it came from.

Each class picks a favourite fall poem, a tree picture, a leaf from the tree and a write-up about it, hopefully at a grade 1-2 level. Also a brochure from the area is included.

I plan to put up a Canada Map as a central display area and link each package to it's respective province. Ours are finally ready to be mailed out tomorrow and I am beginning to watch the mail table for others coming in. We should have mailed them in the middle of October. I'm a tad late, but that's okay seeing as we were first last year.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.

This is a little poem I used with my students last week to get them thinking about thankfulness.
Thanks to our singing teachers, Chris and Donna, they had a wonderful collection of songs for the adults after dinner. The kids love singing and performing and of course we all love listening, so we were each the happier for it.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away;
Lengthen night and shorten day;
Every leaf speaks bliss to me,
Fluttering from the autumn tree.

–Emily Brontë (1818–48)

Kindly borrowed from the Old Farmer's Almanac

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Teaching Math

Teaching math to kids is one of the highlights of my day. I love doing activities with them and seeing their growth in numeracy skills.

For my program, I use the Math recovery books to assess and teach in numeracy. The other strands are done with the curriculum as a basis and using activities I have gleaned over the years from workshops, friends, books and websites.

I try to start my year with assessments. Math Recovery assessments are video taped interviews with each child. The tasks are all done mentally, no paper and pencil tasks involved. Once the interviews are over, you make a profile for each student and hopefully for this group I will find common clusters of kids in the same developmental stages to teach together.

This is what I have been busy doing all morning. I took an admin day today -- no school for the kids -- except to come here and do the interview with me. I haven't been able to do assessments during school hours, and after school I am too tired to work with my students.

So now...two more students to go for this group, then I am done! (I didn't bother with my k students as I know they are in the emergent stage) Then I get to sit down and find out where they all fit in on 'the Learning Framework in Numbers.'

Oh...and I am two students short for the rest of October and most of November. Their dad is doing a student teaching stint in another colony and the whole family is staying for the while.