So it has been an extremely long time since the last time I posted. Sorry about that. I also changed the name of my blog (I’ll explain that in a later post).
This week we made a lion mask, and because I just have to be different, I decided to incorporate a couple of other animals into my mask (and yes, I insist on doing all of the crafts my students do, and not just giving the directions. It’s more fun that way)…
I don’t think any of my students knew what I was doing, even after I explained it to them. That’s ok. They colored their lions blue and purple and tye-dye, so whatever. Let me have my lionzebragiraffe.
My students are working on counting in math, and even though I am so sick and tired of working on that goal I laugh every. single. time. I love hearing them count to ten.
Gets me every time.
So I’ve been in Tennessee for the past week because we got a week off for the holiday. One of the things I decided to do was take a bunch of the old newspaper articles my grandma cut out and put them on my wall.
As you can see they’re all from a column “Think on These Things.” I just used Modge Podge and a canvas. I don’t know if those are the best materials though, because they kind of started to wrinkle up. I don’t know how many articles I used for this, but I still of tons more to do something else with if I so choose.
Here are two of them for you to think on:
Welp, another day another craft. I am really not the crafty sort. I have plenty of ideas, but zero patience for actually executing them. But now that I’m teaching elementary school kids I really have no choice but to follow through with my ideas.
This means that my car’s a hot mess (and I mean this in the most literal sense. It’s been over 100 degrees everyday this week) full of rolls of tin foil and rainbow yarn left over from my Father’s Day prank (yes, I did actually have some left over), popsicle sticks, construction paper, glue, scissors, and finger paint. I could probably make a pretty decent profit selling craft supplies out of the back seat of my car to desperate stay-at-home moms that need to keep their kids busy.
Anywho, so far this week the kids have made two paper bag puppets – a monkey and a parrot. They seemed to really like both of the crafts, come to think of it, they like all crafts. It doesn’t matter what we do, they always love it. I could give them each one broken crayon and a dirty piece of paper and they would still have fun.
I don’t know if you can tell, but I used the same trick with some of the spots as I did with these flower/stars from the jungle collage. They’re just cut out circles from dried paper plates we used for painting a few days before. I noticed that today the kids were much more comfortable with the abstract-ness of the spots than they were before. With the exception of the little girl that made this red bird, they all were willing to use them on their birds. I’m all about helping these kids get outside of their teeny tiny comfort zones.
It wasn’t until after I sent them home with their dry monkeys that I realized I had missed a golden opportunity. How amazingly cool would it have been to have a monkey vs. parrot fight! King Kong vs. Pterodactyl right in my own classroom. I could have used the stop motion app on my phone and pulled out the creepy barbie doll in my school-issued laptop case. It would have been epic. But, as my grandma used to say, “If we would’ve had some ham we would’ve had some ham and eggs, if we would’ve had some eggs.” That’s just how it goes sometimes.
Today was the first day of the second week of summer school, and other than one of the little girls affectionately trying to choke me with my scarf, it went well (she was just admiring it and thought it was pretty. she didn’t realize it was tied around my airway). I might have to rethink my choice of accessories.
After everyone finished their breakfast we went back to the classroom to start our morning meeting. One of the things I ask the kids to do is to sign in on the smart board. Today one of the kids thought it would be appropriate to to make Chewbacca noises as he signed in. He wrote his own name, but he sounded just like Chewy. It was great. I wonder if he takes requests.
We also did a jungle collage. I cut up pieces of construction paper and aluminum foil, but then I got really crazy. You know those paper plates you use to put paint on for kids when they’re painting a picture? DO NOT THROW THOSE AWAY! Set aside and let them dry because they can be an awesome addition to another craft later on (I learned this trick from the Firehouse Art Center).
Here are some examples:
I thought my flower/stars looked pretty awesome, but only a couple of kids used them. Maybe they were too abstract and unrealistic. All well, I’ll try again some other time.
So Father’s Day is this weekend and I decided to give my dad the gift of the prank.
This is his office pre foiling and yarning.
His coworkers let me into his office and let me have my way with 300 feet of aluminum foil and some rainbow yarn.
It took me about 3 hours. He’s so OCD about everything. Everything has a place and every place has a thing. I had to take a picture of all of the desks and cabinets so that I could put everything back where it belongs.
This will probably be my last Father’s Day with him, because I’m pretty sure he’s going to disown me.
It’s probably worth it though.
I’ll post his reaction tomorrow.
I asked the kids to paint a jungle. This is what I got.
Those brownish/blackish spots on the top middle picture are monkeys and the red lines are snakes. The picture on the top left is of trees – there are no animals in his jungle. The one on the top right kind of looks like a rhino, but I don’t think that’s what he was going for, maybe an elephant? I don’t know. The middle right picture is also trees.
Watching the kids make these paintings was the highlight of my day so far. I honestly don’t see anything remotely resembling a jungle in any sense of the word, but they did have a lot of fun making them and that was the main purpose of the activity anyway.
Today was the first day of summer school and I accomplished my goal! I ended with the same number of kids I started with! Granted only four showed up and there are three adults in the room, but I still did it!
I got to work before all the kids got there and was setting up the crafts while the computer guy worked on getting one of my two laptops to work, when this mom walks in. She said “Hi, I’m so and so’s mom. I just wanted to tell you that she just had eye surgery and so if she gets upset and starts to cry she’ll have blood in her tears.”
EXCUUUUUUUUUUUUUSSSSEEE MEEEEEEE?!?!?!?!?! What did you just say???? YOUR DAUGHTER CRIES BLOOD??? I just tried to put on a smile and be like “Oh, okay. No problem.” Thus, my second goal for the day: DO NOT, under any circumstances, make her cry, because tears of blood are the stuff of nightmares.
That was really the only significant event in the day. Two of the kids that showed up are really calm and easy going and easy to have a conversation with, and the other two are …. not. But there weren’t any fights or tantrums or tears of blood today. A lot of that is probably due to the fact that I didn’t take any data on them or ask them to do any work. I just wanted to get to know them so we did crafts and games.
Here’s how the animal stick things turned out. I’ll have them put them in the jungle after I greet them. I still need to add more stuff to the jungle, but you get the idea. Notice how there’s only one gorilla. I was the only person to make one. Weird. I did get one kid to make an imaginary animal, except he really just copied what was in my imagination and added two extra eyes, and a banana. Still a victory in my book.
Oh, and I can’t get this song out of my head. Enjoy.