School’s over in 5 weeks.  Ack!  I’ve made about a dozen pots since Christmas.  Where did the time go?  Too many bon bons with my feet up as I watched the soaps I guess.   Couldn’t get the pool boy to make the pots for me.  Oh… I guess I was a bit occupied doing art with the talented kids at my kids’ school.  Here’s some highlights of what I did during the 2009/2010 school year.   Reid is a third grader in a multi-age grades 1 through 3 classroom called Rainbow Room and Miles is in a sixth grade classroom called Fox Landing.

Rainbow Room made tie dye T-shirts in September.  They learned about the color wheel, primary, and secondary colors, and how to make yuck when you mix them all together! The kids were soooo much easier to keep track of on field trips in these shirts!

In November the sixth graders in Fox Landing made paper mache globes out of punch balls to understand world geography up close and personal. Now just how DO those continents fit together and what oceans are between them??

Next the sixth graders made block prints using styrofoam and printing them on thin slices of the cross sections of branches. They focused on the marine food chain. The class was divided into three groups: producers (plant plankton, plant life which other animals feed on), primary and first level consumers (animal plankton, crabs, small fish, etc.), and upper level consumers (sharks, whales, birds, etc.).

For holiday gifts the kids in Rainbow Room made clay luminarias.  They contained candles which glowed through the holes when lit.

More marine life was created in sixth grade. This time they created mixed media fish emphasizing the difference between warm water and cold water fish in color and form.

As part of an experiential unit on ancient Egypt sixth grade students made khats and salt dough jewelry. First teacher Seth divided the students into groups representing nomes (city states in ancient Egypt). He had them make fabric khats for their heads which they decorated with symbols referencing their nomes. Traditionally khats were worn by nobility in ancient Egypt. Next each group chose a central symbol for their necklace which characterized an important concept or religious belief which was held by their nome. Each nome had gods and beliefs which held special significance for their region. Many more “lesser beads” were made as well, followed by painting and stringing.

Rainbow Room made clay masks this spring. They have been “traveling the world” studying different continents. They were shown examples of masks from Indonesia, China, and Africa they learned about their significance in different cultures.