Earth week and art. One of my favorite combos! Below are some works in progress- Recycled Art - Earth Day Mosaics. The project is simple- kids draw a nature scene, and then "color" it in with old magazine pieces. All you need is some glue, old magazines, and an imagination! Rip pieces of color from the magazine for the mosaic tiles. The product is always one of my favorites!
Happy Tax Day!
In my class, kids pay taxes. It is all part of the classroom economy system.
Year after year, the kids are super excited to do this. (?!?!?) Go figure.
Anyway, while I continue to be baffled by the excitement of paying taxes, below you can find the kid friendly tax form I created!
I tried to make it as realistic as possible. Just like its real life counterpart, it definitely can be confusing to some. However, this is modified for kids and most kids do figure it out independently. Depending on the class I have and their needs, I sometimes walk through the form step by step with them.
This form is definitely molded to fit my own classroom economy system. I still tweak it a bit every year depending on what my class needs.
One of my favorite projects of the year is teaching idioms. To start, I simply print out sheets with an idiom written on the bottom and randomly pass them out to students. I then tell them to draw exactly what it says. The outcome is always great and leads to great discussion when we dive into Figurative Language!
To print out the pages, click here!
For more student samples, click here!
This activity is loads of fun. I alternate this with book reports- one month will be a "Battle" month, the next month will be a book report month.
The Battle of the Books is a month long project. It ends with a student create Jeopardy style game. The questions are created on note cards throughout the month as students read selected books. Click the picture below to download full instructions and student hand outs.
I spent the summer of 2009 volunteering in an orphanage in Tamil Nadu, India. The experience is one I will always hold dear to my heart. The experiences I gain through travels like these add a richness to my teaching that no professional development can.
Creating Indian Kolam is a fun activity I share with students while introducing geometry. It is a great way to merge art, culture and math and the product is beautiful.
The complete lesson can be downloaded here.
To start, I briefly discuss symmetry. After reviewing simple examples of symmetry (in circles, squares, alphabet letters) I introduce kolam. We look at several pictures and discuss kolam's orgin.
Using graph paper, I model how to start a simple kolam explaining how to use the graph paper to guide my drawing. Find a center point to begin, all loops and lines must mirror each other starting from the origin. This works best with 1-inch grid paper but anything will work.
Check out student samples here!
Below you will find the story of kolam, complete with pictures from my stay in India!
The Story Behind Kolam
Early every morning, before dawn, the woman of Tamil Nadu draw kolams on the ground using rice or chalk powder. Throughout the day, the drawings get walked on, smeared, or blown away by wind. Every morning, before a new one is drawn, the floor outside of the home is carefully swept and wet with water, creating an even and slightly muddy surface.
"The best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don't tell you what to see." - Alexandra K. Trenfor