Thursday, March 18, 2010

The 1st Grade Experience

Most of my first graders

The Geology Words poster didn't get filled out too much . . .

My Masterpiece

Monday, January 18, 2010

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The light at the end of the tunnel

It is finally here! The last class of the graduate program. We are ending the program with Art Instruction. So fun! We have started a few projects so far. I posted some pictures of my favorite. We made an accordian style book of our prints with awesome marbelized paper on the cover.

Some cuttings of the marbelized paper

We also made

This was printed with a strand of beads dipped in paint, fun!!
Name bugs, if you look at one side of it you can see the outline of my name.

We also made clay pinch pots and some different drawings. Can't wait to glaze the pot, then will post the pictures.

The focus has not been so much on technique as it has been ideas for art activities. So far so good, but I am looking forward to our group presentation where we will explore some ideas for integrating the arts in to other subject areas. Here is the book we are reading:

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Happiness Is . . . A Fall Poem

Below is my first poem to be recorded in my "Happiness" scrapbook" I haven't officially decided on a title yet. And, the book version is definitely altered to share with students. I will share the modified version below the long one. I would be interested to get your feedback. =)

Today, Happiness was alive in the suburbs
It permeated life giving October air

I breathed in and smelled it
It was intoxicating,
This smelll of the earth dying, purifying
It was Chimney Smoke, and cool, damp earth.
It was unnameable

Today, Happiness danced on a sea
Of burning red flames on branches

I wanted to capture it, covet it
I wanted to duplicate it
I wanted it to be everlasting
But I could only breathe

And as I stood and walked and gazed,
I prayed,
Not to forget the beauty of transition,
Not to forget the necessity of death.
I prayed to remember that happiness
must simply be,those special moments
in which heaven manifests itself on earth.

I tucked my sweet memory away
Into a place where hope lives
A place where there is always anticipation of spring.


Modified Version:

Today my eyes danced on a sea
Of burning red flames on branches.

I breathed in the cool, October air.
My boots crunched, crunched
On the autumn ground.

My heart felt the joy in natures death.
I soaked up the memory of a beautiful transition.
I tucked it away in a place where hope lives,
In a place where there is always anticipation of spring.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Happiness Is . . .

Fill in the Blank.

My new creative inspiration? The happiness book. An idea has discovered me in the last day or two as I am faced with another artistic compilation I must present to my classmates and possibly future students. I am forced to look at my life and sift it down to core concepts appropriate for children. The reality of my life is, its just pretty adult-like right now. How can I talk to students about what its like to have your dreams shattered? Or how to come to peace when you fear you have no strength left? Well, My future students may not yet understand what I am dealing with, but they each have their own struggles. Legitimate struggles, just different. But one thing that humans of all age understand, is happiness. And there is plenty to be grateful for at all stages of life. The Happiness book will be a compilation of mini-poems devoted to what makes me happy for that day. Happiness is . . . A Crisp fall day. Happiness is . . . Loving Myself. Happiness is . . . laughter. Happiness my husband. Happiness is . . . . my bounding boxer. Happiness is . . . a real hug. Happiness is . . . frienship. Happiness . . . a carmel apple spice. Happiness is . . . Hope in Jesus. Happiness is . . . taking the bad with the good.

I am not sure exactly what the end product is. But my hope is to articulate that happiness does not mean we don't have pain, or bad days. It means we live mindfully of all that we have to be grateful for and continually look for and nurture the good things in our life. When dreams are shattered, new dreams begin to form. It is in our lowest point of weakness that real strength can begin to form. In my darkest hour, Christ lead me through the dark tunnels of sorrow, His light alone has got me through. Sometimes, I think I may still be in those tunnels, but I see a light at the end. The journey isn't over, but he brought me out of utter darkness into a renewed hope for life. That is a reason to live, and a pretty good reason to be happy. And certainlly enough reason to devote an entire book to happiness.

Thank you God for healing, and the blessing of joy and hope amidst the journey.

Friday, April 10, 2009

April Already?

Well, Spring has officially come. A long with that has come the end of the hardest term in Graduate school! Yes! It was long, hard, and yes even sometimes painful, but I learned so much. To my teacher tool box I have now added reading curriculum and instruction, a foundation of children's literature, and a great deal of preparation and resources for teaching to the diverse student body that will one day become our future leaders. We talked about teaching studetns with special needs such as Autism, ADHD, ELL students, Emotional/Behavioral disabilities, learning disabilities and cultural barriers.

If you are interested in creating a classroom environment that encourages support for diversity and joy in multi-cultural expression, then check out the Multicultural Pavilion

With as much as we learned, I feel i am just touching the surface of what I will need to know and will discover upon the real teaching experience. Any reccomendations for student teaching locations?


Among my favorite topics of the last 3 months were our children author reports in which we each researched and presented well know children's authors. I chose Scott O'dell who wrote Island of the Blue Dolphins. He's interesting, but writes late elementary level novels, and some probably even for teens. Some other books and authors I fell in love with however are:

#1: Sing Down The Moon By Sharon Creech. I listened to this book on audio tape. Great dynamic characters. It does deal with a mother's death, but also healing and the awkwardness of being a teenager. Its beautiful, one of the best books I have read all year.

This is a super cute book about being yourself, and what happens when we try to please everyone else.

Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful. Once you get used to the english dialect. You will find yourself wanting to run across the moore with the wind in your face. You'll want to go outside, and dig yourself your own 'bit of land" I highly reccommend this book, but it is advanced. So if you recommend it to young people or students, be sure you are aware of their reading level.

This is a great book for boys and girls. It touches on divorce, gently but honeslty. It really shows the progression of a young boy finding his writing voice. The entire book is in letters he writes to his favorite other, and later, to his journal. Loved it.

Picture Books:
Written by Jamie Lee Curtis, this book teaches kids big words like patience, cooperate, privacy, considerate, and consequence. Great Illustrations! She has several books out now.

A classic, I actually bought this one for my own collection

ANY book by David Weisner has phenomenal illustrations, like no other really. Most of his books have little to no words, but they don't need them. Here's a link to his books.

If you have a little girl, or know one, get her this book. I love it. I want to be Nancy. And so do you. Its FABULOUS, that's a fancy word for really good.

A really fun and interactive book for kids.

Okay, So I really can't list every picture for all the children's books I read this year. But some other good ones were:

The Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Patterson
Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DeCamillo
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
These are probably all about 5th grade level. Maybe 4th. . .

Other Pressing Information, you decide:


This is how they learn what fluent reading sounds like. I encourage you to share your own favorite children's authors or books, that would be so fun, then I will do another post with all of your favorites.

Upcoming Events:

I was recently referred to an experience teacher in Lake Oswego who has a combined 3rd/4th grade classroom. We are working out the details of when I will go to her class. So far I know I will be assisting the 3rd graders with their first research project. They will be gathering and synthesizing information and recording facts to share in a presentation about the animal they have chosen. How Fun! Hopefully I will have more fun information to share on that soon.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Week Three: Cell Phones in Class, Cyberbullying, and Website building

My favorite part of this week's class was building the website. I really enjoyed the opportunity to begin implementing my goals and moving towards my visions of how my class will be. It made me think about what I really wanted my students to focus on, as that had to determine the focus and features of my website.

Of course, it still needs a lot of work! But, for a rookie website creator I was pretty happy with it. I am curious to know how many students do use the classroom website of their teachers? Maybe our goal is to get them to use it more. I looked at a few other classmates websites and got some great ideas from some of the things they included. I think it will be an ongoing process where I am taking things away and adding them to make it the best it can be.

The cyberbullying discussion was interesting. Overall, it just seems like another facet we as educators need to cover when we discuss acceptable behavior and how to treat others. If I use blogs, emails, pictures or any other type of technology that other students can view, I will be sure to view the material first, as well as have clear discussions with my students about netiquette and responsible communication with others in general. I'm excited to try and incorporate these things in to my teaching. Its a little vague to me still whether or not I will even have a computer available in my classroom. I wonder how teachers in lower budget schools incorporate technology in to their classes?

I also had fun browsing the teacher tube videos for the video reveiw. I am posting a playlist of my favorites for fun. This weeks video higlight: The Fractions Rap Video from Teacher Tube. This cracks me up! I think it is the last one on this playlist.