Making Homework OPTIONAL Is the Way to Go!
3 hours ago
|I went back and added captions to each picture by hand before copying the book. I was having too many problems typing the captions on the crowded pages.|
|Today the kids brought home their pre-K portfolios. Very exciting!|
|After painting, the artists ran around (of course:)|
|...and played Duck, Duck, Goose|
|The paintings were beautiful!|
|Our Portrait Studies with a line self-portrait of the whole body, a painted self-portrait and a portrait poem (in the hallway outside our classroom).|
|Our Still-Lifes that were inspired by Van Gogh. The Sunflowers we painted are on the table we used for our fruit and cheese (no wine but I am enjoying a well-earned glass now :)|
|Each child made a square of this quilt with paper we had painted with liquid watercolor s and salt. The patterns are to the right so that parents could figure out which one their child did by the pattern and color they chose.|
|Our Calder Stabile Sculptures (coming out of grass) and wire mobiles hanging from the ceiling.|
|Our Kandinsky inspired circles (still my favorite!) and our Purple Crayon inspired line drawings.|
|We listened to music and then drew what the music made us think of.|
|A collaborative mosaic made out of plastic bottle caps we collected.|
|We illustrated Pattern, Shape, and Color (elements of art) on our windows. I put out big sheets of contact paper and the kids covered them with appropriate examples (patterned paper, fun foam shapes and tissue paper colors).|
|Our Mouse Paint inspired palettes that show primary and secondary colors.|
|Our Jackson Pollack inspired splatter paintings (in the hallway leading to our classroom).|
|Our Monet inspired landscapes that we painted en plein air like Monet and our collaborative rolled paper collage.|
|Our families enjoying the show.|
Whew, I'm tired. Just one more week to get all the end of the year stuff I want to do finished!
Although I have always loved the moment of silence that we have before snack (and the gratitude that is routinely blurted out as soon as the children can stop “thinking inside their own heads”), I decided that next year I would like to add a weekly Meeting For Worship to our class schedule. Very briefly, a Quaker Meeting For Worship is a silent gathering during which participants have the time and space for reflection and focus on their own “inner light.” Our staff has traditionally been concerned about the time (including transition time) that such a meeting would take up in our very packed and short day, as well as the appropriateness for such small children. Our day is only 2 1/2 hours long (1 hour of that time is spent outside every day) and our kids come either 2, 3, or 5 days. I teach the only class where all of the kids come all five days and my kids are the oldest (they were all 5 by the end of March). At the conference, I learned that the Meeting for Worship can be very flexible and short and I decided that it was appropriate to try it in my class. Although we only had 3 weeks left of school, I decided to at least see how the children responded to extended silence while we were outside.
This week was our 2nd try at maintaining an extended period of silence. Last week we tried to be silent on a Worship Walk but were interrupted when one little girl tripped over a friend's foot. (they were noticing lots of things...just not where they were going :) This week we walked to the beautiful rose garden where we were going to paint landscape pictures. As soon as we got there, we sat together in a circle. We talked about being silent and I told the kids that during the time we were silent I wanted them to notice things either with their senses or they could notice what was "inside their brain...what they were thinking about." After 2 minutes, we went around and each shared one thing that we noticed. I was really pleased that everyone was able to remain quiet and they were all excited to share what they had noticed (including flowers, birds, planes, breeze, wet ground).
This is our last week of school so we went on a final walk. As soon as I mentioned the walk, several children asked if we could "do the silent thing again." It made my heart very happy that they were so eager to "do the silent thing." It went really well and I am looking forward to adding a weekly period of silent reflection to my classroom next year.