Final Week in Elementary

. My final week at my elementary school placement was incredibly bittersweet. The bitterness came from having to say so many goodbyes and the sweetness was the excitement of getting to see another district and grade level. I adored my time in elementary school. The creativity and compassion that each student showed was inspiring. My cooperating teacher was unbelievably supportive and an excellent mentor. I learned so much in just 7 weeks from all of the amazing experiences I encountered. The students saw me off with wonderful cards and many group hugs.

. Kindergarten finished their second unit making “shape monsters” using basic shapes and primary colors. This week they added all the parts that make a monster see, hear, smell, taste, grab, and run, as well as hair and other embellishments. First grade completed a one day activity with paper weaving. We first discussed the Native American Navajo tribe and their legend of a deity named Spider Woman. I read the students excerpts from the story The Magic of Spider Woman by Lois Duncan as motivation for the activity. The students were then tasked to create a patterned weaving using alternating colors.

. Second grade completed their collage still lifes by outlining their objects in sharpie to bring out the details. We discussed arrangement and composition by using three of Van Gogh’s still lifes as examples. The students worked to arrange their pieces to include overlap and depth and then glued them onto their patterned backgrounds. Third grade strung their clay pinch pots together to create their nature inspired wind chimes! This activity took a full class but went much smoother than I had anticipated (we only had one pot “casualty”). The early finishers who were skilled at knots volunteered to move around the room and help their classmates each class. I love how they turned out! The students had such creative concepts and excellent craftsmanship.

. Fourth grade completed their imaginary landscapes. This project was probably the one I was most excited about and my hopes were not let down. Each project was so clever and so unique that I had a very difficult time narrowing down the ones I would use in our student teacher art exhibition. The students pulled out all the stops and really created innovative works of art using excellent problem solving skills through each stage of the process. Fifth grade completed a two day unit inspired by Fan Kuan’s “makimono” landscape scrolls (circa 1000 b.c.). They wrote a 3–5 sentence narrative that had to include a character and a time of day and then illustrate it using black oil pastels. This week they completed the project by studying and implementing watercolor techniques inspired by Kirsten Bailey. The stories were thoughtful and well executed.

. I will deeply miss my elementary students and staff but I am excited about what the future holds in my upcoming high school placement!

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