CristinaM.

Inquiry, Creativity and..Fun

In Uncategorized on February 2, 2011 at 9:01 pm

Some of you who read my previous blog entry (http://ateacherswonderings.posterous.com/help-rageous) know that my students and I inquire into the arts, music and writing as tools for self-expression. Some of you also gave me ideas and links to use – a warm thank you to you!

Reminder: My students are second language learners. They are second graders (7-8 year olds). 

 

I promised I would share our learning journey…So here is how I tried to accomplish my goals:

 

Change the classroom space – so it would look like and feel like an art room.

  1. Image2133Copy_of_image2094Copy_of_image2099Copy_of_image2116Copy_of_sam_0353Graffiti2

Mission accomplished!

         we painted the furniture

         we created a graffiti wall

         we painted the window glass

         we will hang painted fabric on the walls

 The focus was on the PROCESS & COLLABORATION rather than the final product.

 

     Create an Inspiration Board – so kids would share and get inspired in return.

Mission accomplished!

Kids brought books, pictures, photographs, quotes, toys, jewelry and whatnot J! They also offered an argument for their choice (How does this inspire you?)

Image2054Copy_of_image2057Copy_of_image2052

 Turn the kids from CONSUMERS into PRODUCERS of artwork

Mission accomplished!

As I am the English language teacher, I focused on Web applications that combine illustrations and writing. We created comics, posters, drawings, stories on Storybird.com. We will also create poetry and photo shows using the links in our class wiki (http://thebunnies.wikispaces.com/COMICS++creator

 

    Johny the Young Pirate on Storybird

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    Ioana-500x373
    Automotivator-2-1-500x369

    Take field trips to art galleries and museums – so students would get to see authentic artwork and meet artists in their workplace

Mission accomplished!

The kids went to 2 art galleries, to a museum, and (wohoo!) to the Institute of Belle Arte where they could actually see college students CREATING art pieces! Seeing artists at work was a powerful experience for them. They will also go a web designer studio and see how technology can impact our notion of art and beauty.

 

       Integrate TECHNOLOGY

Mission accomplished!

Out of our 3 hours of English daily 2 were spent using Web applications and the blog. Wallwisher, SpicyNodes, Wordle, Scribblar and others (aside from art-related web apps) were used to record student thinking, their creative process and encourage reflection and collaboration.

Wordle: Art *Wordle by Andrei

 

Bring in guest speakers

We invited the Arts teacher to answer to our questions!

Goal: I would love to Skype with an artist from another part of the world but none has offered so far…(Need to work on my social skills, maybe? So I can motivate people to collaborate…)

Dana

Create Reflection Journals – a new, more creative approach

Zoe Elder (@fullonlearning on Twitter), a terrific teacher AND my remote resource of inspiration, was kind enough to let me use her very own journal and I shared it with my students. The kids were all “wows”and “ahas” when seeing that our thinking is more powerful when we “translate” it graphically! Unfortunately, I need to take a new set of photos of their reflection journals because my US drive was in coma L. I also created my own journal which I share with students!

*Zelda’s journal – thinking visually 

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*My journal – I know, I still need to use more colors 🙂

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Promote INQUIRY

We have our Wonder Wall and student questions are recorded there. They have personal questions that are pursued until the end of the inquiry unit. I also challenge them with my own questions from time to time (see below).

Art_unit_-_questions

 

Encourage THINKING & CREATIVITY

Aside from the very process of creation (of a story, comic, poster etc) I would challenge students in other ways. I posted videos and photos in the class blog and gave students various tasks:

         make your own quote about art

         give us tips on what inspires you to create

         imagine a new scene for the video you watched etc.

Some of the videos and pictures can be viewed below. 

A SHORT LOVE STORY IN STOP MOTION from Carlos Lascano on Vimeo.

let yourself feel. from Esteban Diácono on Vimeo.

  1. SUPER COOL!!!and very inspiring!Tell the kids I’m impressed by their artfulness and their teacher’s dedication too :-)Too bad you couldn’t skype with an artist, if it’s of any help I’m a ‘reformed’ (just kidding) musician (no kdding). Don’t know what you’re looking for but I’m available.

  2. Wow, Willy!That would be great! We still have 3 more weeks of inquiry so I will contact you next week with details. My kids will be thrilled!THANK YOU!!! *huge huge smile on this face 🙂

  3. Wow, oh wow! This is incredible stuff – more than my little Android phone can handle. I am bookmarking this page so I can come back to look at each of these in more depth.

  4. Hi Justin, Thanks – the kids were (and still are) amazing :).

  5. Hi Cristina,I love your blog and would love the chance to connect our classes. I am a 3rd grade teacher in a rural community in Iowa, U.S.A. I am inspired by your students work here. Please let me know if there is a way we can connect and learn from each other.Thank you!

  6. Dear Mrs. Pearson, I would love the opportunity! I will DM on Twitter so we can see how to make this happen.Thank you as well!

  7. Great! ??Thank you!

  8. Cristina this is a great resource for teachers! Please advertize your ideas and this Blog. Your ideas are creative, clear and easy to follow. I’ve already learned a lot and I’ll be back for more!

  9. Hi Chris, Thank you for the positive feedback. :)I am not much of a blogger but I will try to blog more about my classroom activities – perhaps that helps more in terms of practical ideas.

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