In Art we watched a video that tells about the First Nations of the Northwest and their totem poles. We learned that totem poles are created to keep records of families as well as telling stories. We also dicussed totem animals also known as power animals. These animals are animals someone feels connected to in some spiritual way for a variety reasons. Students discussed what animals they felt connected to and designed their own totem animals. We will be using these in connection to our Spring Performance this year which has a “Pets” theme. Our totem animals will become totem poles to decorate our stage for the performance. Giles and Susan have working with our students to come up with the story and choreography for he Spring Performance. I can’t wait to see the program. Great creating students!
Students in Sean’s Music class understand rhythm and tempo visually as well as through listening. Sean does a great job of offering a visual aid to understand how music works with a sequencer. They also do listening activities and games in which a student has to locate an object with the aid of the rest of the class. As the students get closer to the object the rest of the class begins to hum louder and softer depending on how close the student gets. A great activity in understanding crescendos. Music concepts taught this way are fun and engaging.
In 3-5th grade art we created colorful string dot designs. In this lesson we talked about the element of line. Students discussed how line is directly connected to several other elements of art, like shape and space. We created a fairly large circle on the back of a piece of thick paper board. We then used texture combs to paint a background to add depth to the front of our pieces. After this we used thumbtacks to place sixteen equidistant holes around the circumference of the circle to thread colorful yarn through. We used big thick tapestry needles for the threading. It took some wiggling with the tapestry needles to get the holes big enough to thread the yarn throughout the circle. I showed the students the different types of lines you could create. This info came from another art teachers blog called Cassie Stephens: A String Stitched Dot for Dot Day. The types of designs she shares are radiating lines which start at one point and go to and from that start point to all the other holes in the circle. Then there is a spectrum line which is similar to the radiating line but goes to a limited number of holes in the circle as opposed to every hole like in radiating line. Finally there was rotating square which is a repeating square that rotates around the circle in every fourth whole. They are beautiful. I am grateful for other great art teachers who share creations and inspire others. I am also very proud of our Francine Delany artists who do everything I ask even when they’d rather do something else sometimes.
In K-2 Movement with Giles the students did the Bumpy Bus Ride game. In this game the students follow the movements of Giles to simulate how your body leans as the bus goes around curves and over bumps. The students love this game and it requires them to pay close attention to what the “driver” is doing. They also created statues with their bodies that needed to show low, medium, and high levels. They are so expressive with their frozen body shapes.
In K-2 Spanish with Chris we learned about “los colores.” I had the students repeat each color after me. Then I had them stand up and tell me one of the colors they are wearing. After this we went to our tables to work on a colors art project. Using different colored scraps of paper we created a mosaic in the outline of a bear. As the students worked I walked around asking them “de que color es” (what color is it) as I pointed to each tile, they were able to slowly learn and remember many of the colors through repetition and listening. Great job amigos.
In art with K-2 we learned about the art element of the line. We used the yarn to highlight the art element of line by sticking it to contact paper. Students use the yarn to create the different shapes and patterns which in turn created contrast and beautiful imagery. It was also a test in patience but they realize that the final product is worth the tediousness.
In Movement Special with Susan and Giles the students have been working on understanding the difference between abstract and literal forms of movement in dance. It is tricky to do a bird dance that doesn’t include a “flapping wings movement” which is very literal. Doing a series of hops and bobs could also be considered as literal bird type movements, but thinking about the interpretation of a bird soaring through the air and creating a sort of movement language that equates to bird concepts helps create a more abstract version of a bird dance. They have also been working on the idea of stillness in movement. This creates contrast between a movement conveying stillness and a movement showing fast, medium, or slow paced actions. These studies in movement have our students learning expression through dance on a whole new level.