Sunday, October 22, 2017

Sweet, Artsy History Projects

These are from a project we did near the end of last year.  
Here are the directions.
1.  Choose a topic we've studied this semester in American history - post Civil War to the present.  (I gave them several ideas, and I even made a Google docs slide show presentation of all the ideas.  If you are interested email me and I will share it with you.)
2.  Present your topic on a poster board.
3.  The poster cannot be white (unless you use foam board.)
4.  The poster cannot be in the shape of a rectangle.
5.  The poster must have a three-dimensional object attached to it, or the poster itself must be three-dimensional.
6.  Your project must include the following items: topic title, dates, a map, a picture, and two summary paragraphs detailing the major events of your topic and what changed because of it.
Here are some of the results.  

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

A Diagramming Symphony

Today the seventh graders and I were having quite a bit of fun diagramming.  Seriously.  First of all, I explained to them that diagramming is art.  We draw triangles around our conjunctions and make all these lovely lines which make a big puzzle -- that is art.  

They usually have their colored pencils with them because we use them in our journals and for our maps in history class, and several of them had gel pens as well.  So, I told them that since we were doing art anyway, they might as well get out their different colored pens and pencils and use them.  

Next we had lots of fun making the dotty-dots -- those dotted lines in between the fork of the diagram where the conjunction goes.  Then, when I made my dotty-dots on the board, I banged the marker on the board making loud knocking noises.  I told them that was fun to do as well, and that they should try it.  
There were twenty-one of us making loud, colored dotty-dots all over our papers.  I told them that was a diagramming symphony.  We laughed some more, got out more colored pens, made more loud dotty-dots, and learned an awfully lot about diagramming.  And THAT makes me very happy.  

Since I had mentioned that we use our colored pencils for our maps, here is a picture of the map from our last four-page history test which included an essay question on the Mongols. 

Rip Up That Journal

When my English students come into my classroom, they know exactly what to do.  The journal assignment is already on the board (hopefully). While I do try to have my students write in their journals about three times a week, Thursdays or Fridays are creative art journaling days.  Recently we had the assignment: "tear the edge of the page and decorate it".  Here are two of my favorites.  

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Making Something Tedious, Fun Instead

We usually hear groans at the beginning of the year when we mention covering books; but the first week, we take about five minutes in each class to do just this.  We give them brown paper and tape and show them how to do it.  Then, we encourage them to get creative, and some of them really do.  :-)  

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Woodwind Art Thingy

During the concert, the winds and brass play a few pieces by themselves while the strings (violins, etc.) take a break; then the strings play a few selections while the winds and brass take a break.  
This is what some of the woodwind players decided to do on their break. 

Instruments left to right are as follows:  3 flutes, 2 clarinets, 1 bassoon, 2 oboes, an alto saxophone, and another flute.  

Friday, September 22, 2017

Photographer Caught on Camera

Today was school picture day, and we caught the quick-witted photographer, Dervin Witmer from Witmer Photography, on camera.  Smile!  

Sunday, September 17, 2017

The 1855 Alleghany Mennonite Meetinghouse

This afternoon our family had the pleasure of attending a hymn sing at the 1855 Alleghany Mennonite Meetinghouse.  (The usual Pennsylvania spelling of "Allegheny" was not used for this church for some reason.)  The singing was robust and lively; the setting was quaint and peaceful.   

The Mennonites first lived in this area when a Native American offered to show Jacob Bowman, a descendant of Swiss Mennonites, some good hunting lands back in 1745.  Bowman received a land grant and settled here, living at peace with the Native Americans all of his life.  The Mennonite group in this area met in homes and shared a meetinghouse with the Reformed and Lutheran congregations until this meetinghouse was built in 1855.  The cemetery directly across the street has gravestones that date back to the early 1700s.   One of those just happens to be an ancestor of one of my students.  

The preachers and song leaders sat at the center table.

These hooks are for the men's hats.  

This was the nursery, with a window opening to the main room.

Several of the gravestones were written in German.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Happy Hippos

Marilyn Gehman teaches elementary grades at Great Lakes Mennonite School in Clare, Michigan.  Her students created this sentence with all the "h"s in it while they were studying alliteration, then to make it more fun, they diagrammed it.  
I love it!  Thanks for sharing, Marilyn.  

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Artwork and the Clan MacLaren

While we were on a choir tour in Maine this summer, a local recommended a quaint little sandwich shop which we decided to patronize.  Not only was the food scrumptious, but the decor was amazing.  I just had to inquire, and sure enough, the owner's wife was a former art teacher.    

I knew it!  She let me take pictures of some of her amazing decorations, and then she brought out these fabric self-portraits done by first graders.  I thought this was a project worth sharing.

And, if you are ever blessed enough to be in Rockdale, Maine, do stop by the Clan MacLaren.  (That is a large hornet's nest hanging on the left side of the second picture.)  

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

A Duck at School

It isn't every day that an adolescent duck joins your students at recess.  This one really enjoyed all the attention it received from the girls.  

I put it through the fence, back on its farm, several times, but it preferred recess instead.  I guess I would have, too.  

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Startin' the Year Off with a Bang (Or a Toot Toot)

Miss Diana Wesselink, a former student of ours, is now teaching at Lott Mennonite School, and I asked her to share pictures of her classroom after she was telling me her plans at Faithbuilders' Teachers Week.   She choose a travel theme, and the centerpiece is a wooden train that the students can crawl inside to read books. This was made by her industrious brother Scott, also a former student of ours, with help from Kevin Mullet.  Bravo!