Monday, January 28, 2013

Welcome to the Sandwich Shop!

While reading Joy Cowley's A Monster Sandwich, we made some sandwiches of our own. Felt sandwiches. These novelty/themed centers get old for the students after two or three weeks, so I try to change this area pretty frequently. 
All the ingredients lined up. I took a few things from the play kitchen and then just cut shapes out of felt, nothing fancy.

The serving counter. 

Which sandwich would you like to buy? 

Sandwich pictures with names and prices in dollar store frames

A place to sit and dine... or re-read A Monster Sandwich

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Living in Khaki World

As I was dealing with the incredible mess that is sure to come with 23 children doing squirt painting on wooden blocks, the thought popped into my head, "Don't get it all over your khakis!" Then as I walked down the hall of my school, I noticed teachers dressed far nicer than I, in their high heels and pressed slacks. I peeked in classrooms and noticed teachers standing by their shiny Smart Boards. 

I love my school, and these are strong committed wonderful teachers, but I wondered what I'm doing here in this khaki place. Why am I not wearing a flannel shirt covered in old art projects? Why are my oldest jeans not my school uniform? Why (and I'm SO ashamed to say this) is this the third time we've used paint this year? Why did I have to fit this project in between guided reading lessons instead of outside amidst hours of play?

 And why in the WORLD am I concerned about my stupid khaki pants? 

The next day, as our creations sat in the hallway drying into an ugly black color, several teachers stopped by to ask me what they were. I guess I didn't understand the nature of their question, because I answered instead what their PURPOSE had been. "We were squirting paint out of ketchup bottles and watching it run down the blocks," I told them cheerfully. 

It was several failed attempts of explaining this that I finally understood the question was literally, "What ARE they?" 

They're art, is all I really know. Ask one of my children, and they'll probably tell you it's a rainbow smoothie butterfly volcano. And it is, if they say it is, but I, as the teacher, didn't intend for them to be anything at all. I am not the artist. 

Drip Painting.

 Holton Rower did an awesome art project that has inspired some preschool teachers to try out "tall painting." I got the idea from Teacher Tom's blog. What happens in Rower's artwork is that different colors of paint are poured repeatedly in layers over a tall wooden piece. His artwork is quite large. After finding a pile of throw away wood at a construction site, I thought we should make a go of it.

 I decided to use ketchup bottles instead of pouring it. 

The finished wet product was pretty awesome looking. 

The finished dry product was, well, just a black block. Using only tempera paint is obviously NOT the key to this project. 

Did we consider it a failure because they dried looking awful? 
Of course not. 

Because we learned about cause and effect, gravity, color mixing, texture, and more. We used our creativity and imagined blueberry castles and rainbow rockets, ice cream volcanoes and strawberry mountains.