Saturday, January 11, 2014

Assessments to the Left, Projects to the Right....

What a wacky week!!!  I've been trying to finish up mid-assessments with my SGO groups and my K-2 have been working on their giant class Hearts of Kindness for our school's Kindness and justice week for Martin Luther King's birthday.  I was inspired by this pin and this pin. More on what we did with these when we are done with it next week.  

On Deep Space Sparkle Patty recently offered a free download of a 2014 calendar she made up.  It's a great calendar for school or home to keep track of your daily happenings! I printed it up , stapled it together and attached it to a background. It's hanging behind my desk on my window at school. Sorry for the darkish picture... it was snowing again yesterday and it was dark outside. 
It was FREEZING out this week! Monday evening through Wednesday saw below zero temperatures and 15- 20 below zero F wind chills here in Northern NJ!  My school and many more had delayed openings on both days.  I was getting used to school starting at 10:00 a.m. everyday! 

I have my 2nd round observation coming up on Tuesday next week. This one is an announced observation so I had some pre-observation questions I had to answer and upload to my account on Teachscape for my administrator to view before Thursday a.m. so we could have a pre-conference meeting on Thursday.

Here are the questions I had to answer: ( ready for this? )

1.)  To which part of your curriculum does this lesson relate?
2.)  How does this learning "fit" in the sequence of learning for this lesson?
3.)  Briefly describe the students in this class, including those with special needs.
4.)  What are your learning outcomes for this lesson? What do you want the students to understand?
5.)  How will you engage the students in the learning? What will you do? What will the students do? Will the students work in groups, or individually, or as a group? Provide any worksheets the students will be using.
6.)  How will you differentiate instruction for different individuals and groups of students in the class?
7.)  How and when will you know whether the students have learned what you intend?
8.)  Is there anything that you would like me to specifically observe during this lesson?

Yeah, all that...  I felt like I was back in college working on an assignment for a class! I was at my PLC Monday afternoon when I was reading all the questions, my other administrator happened to be present and I was like... OMG!!! They smiled in what I took as agreement and told me to keep it brief. So I did, but in a way that I feel was very professionally written, siting curriculum standards and specific IEP modifications where needed. Seeing that everything I upload to this site can be viewed by any administrator in the district including the superintendent, I am making sure I am keeping any "snarkyness" to myself...  there's a time and a place for everything...

This so looks like a beautiful abstract sunset to me! It's one of the 4th graders mixing plate from the landscapes they have been working on.  I have had them mixing all the colors for their paintings and they are creating the most incredible color values!!! How I wish we had so much longer than 30 minutes for class because they were so involved I hated stopping them to clean up!

The lesson was inspired by the beautiful paintings that Laura, from Painted Paper had her students create earlier this year.  If you have never been to her site go visit! Her students create gorgeous pieces!  More on what my 4th grades did with this lesson when they are complete!

I do love Crayola tempera but due to the fact that I can no longer afford it in my budget I have tried the Sax Versa Temp this year and I am very, very satisfied with it's texture and mixing properties!  

The paints are looking a little nasty at the moment!  :)  They show that great creativity and involvement in the objective that was going on! :)

The students loved trying different combinations of colors to get different values of brown! As I was circulating the room I could hear them all saying things like," Wow! Look at the color I just got! " and sharing with each other what colors they combined to create their loved colors! Boring assessments became a thing of the past and creativity was alive in the art room once more! ( I know that the purpose of these assessments are to be able to track my students learning ( and how well I am teaching them ) but seriously from a creative standpoint, they really are boring...  :(  The kids keep asking WHY? This is ART! We are supposed to be creating, not taking tests! 4th and 5th grade can be very insightful at times...) 

My 5th grades are finishing up their mid-assessments and a surrealism project this week. Next week they also begin their journey into everything color! They are going to be working with monochromatic values. This project is always a favorite! I have done it with 2nd to 5th grade and it's always a hit! The finished pieces are always stunning! 5th grade saw the beginning example on the board this week and is anxious to start! :)  

Happy to see the drying racks again filled with drying paintings! All is good in the art room once again! 

It's actually rainy ( very rainy ) and 50 degrees F here in NJ today! A stark difference to the past week! I'm off to go put on a pot of sauce for supper tonight and work on some creative projects that have been sitting in limbo all week...  tomorrow I have to get my lesson plan and all my documents for the lesson together to up load onto Teachscape before Monday for my observation Tuesday.  Hope you all have a creative weekend! 
Mrs. "C"  :)


  1. Oh man. ASS'essments. I hear ya, sistah, I totally hear ya. I believe I wrote my stuff up the day before DURING a faculty meeting and I totally got busted when my principal (who thought I was taking notes, haha!) saw what I was writing. I just shrugged. I mean, really. It's truly for the birds and we've got creativity to enhance and masterpieces to create! AH! Stepping off soap box now.

    Thank you for the paint review! I always buy Crayola but it is costly. And I've always heard good things about I'm glad to hear it from an expert such as yourself. Thanks! Great post :)

    1. Yeah, that's one way to describe them! :) I wouldn't call myself a paint expert( thanks though! ) but, I do like the Versa Temp. I will be buying it again next year. I bought some really cheap brand last year( I forget what it's called) but it was total #$@%** It was the consistency of finger paint, was completely transparent( even after several layers) and when you mixed the blue and yellow together you got a weird gray instead of green! So much for how to mix green last year! Our landscapes were really strange looking! :)

  2. I love visiting with you in the art room, your students are blessed to have you as a teacher. Good luck with all the ridiculous monitoring, such a waste of time and creativity.

  3. Great post, I feel for you. Hope you get through this insanity and back to those holy moley overflowing drying racks!

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