Tuesday April 8th:
I introduced the Gr.5/6's to their pencil crayon blending project and found it surprising that a lot of the students didn't really remember what the primary colours were. My TA commented afterwards that she was shocked as well, because it's something that they've learned since Kindergarten. It's one of the many concepts that must be reviewed over and over again, I suppose!
The Gr.3/4's continued working on their one-point perspective drawings. As usual, I started off with a review of some important characteristics of one-point perspective, and parallel lines. I had wanted them to finish colouring by the end of this class but over half of the students were still working on the colouring so I decided they will have one more class to finish up. I wanted to start another one-point perspective drawing with them, but I ran out of time! I'm learning that "running out of time" will be a common theme in teaching...especially with art!
Wednesday April 9th:
After lunch, I set up for the Gr.1/2's to start their watercolour & ink blown trees. Each table got 4 large sheets of paper to cover the table and reduce clean up. I made sure that there were blue and green watercolour cakes to be shared with each pair, and brushes were set at each spot. I left the water for later because I didn't want the students to come in and start painting. I showed them my example of a finished project and asked them what they thought I painted first and how I painted the trees, and leaves. Then we talked about what they had to accomplish for the day. All I wanted them to do was to finish painting the sky and ground. I also asked them to experiment with using kleenex to lift some of the colour off their still wet sky to create clouds. I was super impressed with their work! Because they finished with enough time to spare, we also practiced blowing ink to form trees. Again, I was very impressed with their trees. They were beautiful! I used watered down black tempera instead of ink to avoid any huge messes. I was pleased that there weren't as many messes as I had anticipated!
For the Junior High classes, I introduced scrolls and hand scrolls, showing them a short video of some history, and significance of the art form. I asked them what they thought some differences between Chinese hand scrolls and a western painting like the Mona Lisa was. Because the last class of the day had to end early due to my TA needing the time to have a meeting with the participants of "We Are Silent" the following day, I asked the junior high students to just brainstorm and do rough sketches of what they think may go on their scrolls instead of getting out the ink. Those who weren't finished their koi fish were the only ones with ink out. The Gr.7/8/9 split class started off a little rowdy again so I had to remind them about our talk on Monday. After that, they were a lot more manageable.
Thursday April 10th:
The students from Gr.6-9 had taken a vow of silence and couldn't talk for 30 hours as part of "We Are Silent," raising awareness for the children around the world who didn't have voices or the rights to voice their opinions. Some students came to school with duct tape (fancy patterned ones) because they thought it would help them not talk. It was interesting to see how seriously the junior high students took their vow....for the most part. It helped that there were consequences if they talked. Because they couldn't talk all day, and classes were still going on as usual, there was an eerie silence in the classrooms. I wish I was teaching the junior high art classes on this day!
The Gr.5/6's continued working on their Octopus's Garden-pencil crayon blending project. Only about half the Gr.6's were participating in We Are Silent so I asked the rest of the class to try and respect their vow and do not try to make them talk. I wanted them to finish colouring by the end of the class so we could add sea creatures in our last class, but of course they need more time. Some students were away previously and needed to catch up as well.
I love Kindergarten. They are just too darn adorable :) We finished our spring rain drawings/paintings by adding rain. Because there weren't too many of them, I decided to have a back station where I'd call up 3 students at a time to paint the rain while the rest work on colouring some pictures I had drawn earlier. It worked out well! I used a spray bottle to spray their paper with water and asked them to dab a watered down blue tempera paint onto their wet papers. They found it really interesting to see how the dots became bigger.
The Gr.3/4's had their last lesson with me today because next Tuesday during this time would be the school's airband performances. They all finished their one-point perspective drawings nicely and then could free draw if they were done. I told them it was our last class and they were really sad. I got a bunch of hugs and I told them I'd come find them next week to give them their presents.
I spent many hours from Friday-Sunday drawing individual and specialized bookmarks for each of my students. Their names were on the back of each with a quote that was different for each grade. At the beginning of practicum I had asked them what their favourite animal and cartoon characters were. I used this info to complete these bookmark drawings. I drew my Dino & Panda characters with one of their favourites. I wanted to add colour to them all as well, but I was pretty tired after drawing 139 bookmarks!
Monday April 14th:
The Gr.1/2s added their ink blown trees to their watercoloured background from last week and then instead of letting them start their q-tip leaves, I decided we better clean up and free draw. I had my summative assessment meeting with my TA and my UC right before the class so I didn't have as much time as I anticipated for set-up so I thought it would be best to not take out tempera paints and palettes halfway through an already short class. This was one of my favourite projects of my practicum. The trees look so beautiful!
The junior high students continued working on their scroll paintings. A few started their scrolls, and a couple were still finishing their koi fish paintings. The majority were working out their ideas and I circulated to see what they were thinking and to give additional guidance. I told them that I was going to ask their gym teacher if we can combine the two classes and watch a Japanese animation to round off my time with them. They were happy because they didn't want to do their bootcamp activities. The gym teacher was another PSII student and he was fine with it. :)
Tuesday April 15th:
I spent most of my morning laminating all the bookmarks and cutting them out to be given to students.
The Gr.5/6's continued working on their pencil crayon blending and towards the end of class I stopped them to give them their bookmarks and find out what they liked learning best from me. Most of them said "everything" but a few students were more specific and pointed out they loved anime, chibi animals, and so on.
This day was interesting because my TA and the Gr.9s were busy with preparations for the airband. One of the events of the airband performances was to duct tape the principal to the wall. It was a fundraiser for their exchange. Students from Quebec are coming to visit them after the Easter holidays. The airband performances were phenomenal and it's something I hope I get a chance to experience organizing one day. Us three PSII students also got presents at the end of the performances. It was great to hear all the kids cheering my name :) I'm very grateful that I got to teach the whole school and get to know everyone.
The last day of practicum was a little unreal. I wasn't processing that it was the last day until it was over! I went around and handed out all the bookmarks. I decided to give the Gr.1s and 2s their bookmarks before art class so it wouldn't take up class time.
The Gr.1/2s finished their q-tip trees with minimal mess. The finished trees look so great! I'm very grateful that there were two EA's for this grade because they made my clean-up so much easier. Those who finished early could free draw and they ended up giving me a lot of their drawings. For the last few minutes of class they wanted to see my Dino & Panda animation and then I asked them what they liked learning. I got lots of hugs again and a few of them wouldn't let me go even when the bell rang. I'm going to miss them!
The junior high students came in to watch the Japanese Animation but I wanted to talk a bit about the artist and the cultural differences in the movie first. I had a lot to say because Hayao Miyazaki is considered a Japanese animation master, but I kept it as short as possible. They really enjoyed the movie even though Totoro is considered a kid's movie. My TA told me earlier that I can show anything rated G but if it's PG then I'd have to send home a letter for parental approval. Totoro, Kiki's Delivery Service, and Ponyo are all Miyazaki works rated G. At the end of the day, I got a bunch of hugs from the junior high girls. Some of the students told me I need to be a teacher at their school, or at least a substitute teacher. If only they weren't so far away! I hope we'll all keep in touch though.
My TA drove me home because she had to drop off her son at guitar lessons in Lethbridge anyway. Her son and daughter were both my students as well :) Her son paid me the highest compliment an artist and art teacher could hope for. He was amazed that I drew each bookmark separately and each one was different. He said that it looked like something Leonardo da Vinci did, so I asked him if he meant that if da Vinci drew comics, my drawings would look like his. He said yes :)
I'm so excited for PSIII. I hope I'll be placed in Victoria where I want to end up teaching. I want to reconnect with the various community volunteering things I used to do, as well as teach piano and ukulele again! It would also be nice to return to my family and old friends....also the West Coast weather.