Even though I'm home this week for fall break, I have been keeping pretty busy and haven't found much time to catalogue what has been going on with us. In the meantime here's a look at a couple of projects that I have done with my new group of students:
This is a great one that I found online, I would honestly suggest doing this yourself... since I don't have the budget or the patience for oil pastels, I found this project that replicates the feel of pastels without the cost or the mess! All I did was mix a little sugar with some hot water and soaked regular old chalk for at least 15 minutes. The website I got this from called it "chalk painting" because the chalk is saturated, and therefore goes on very smoothly... with my kindergarten students I called it "magic chalk" because it goes on the page very dark and as the water dries the bright color of the chalk comes out. They were beyond amazed haha. With my middle schoolers we talked about lines and patterns which led to many Cosby sweater-esque final projects (which I LOVED!). They were very willing to explore with the chalk, and were even more excited when I showed them what it was, and explained they could very easily do this same project at home. I think the hardest part of this whole project was finding colorful skinny chalk (vs. fat sidewalk chalk)... no one uses chalkboards anymore, so it wasn't as widely available as I assumed haha. Here is a look at the very few middle school projects I documented... I am SUPER bummed I didn't take more pictures!
And then there's this..... documentation of a total project FAILURE! We're all allowed to have those right? It was Thursday and I knew my 5 year olds had already had a very long week of school so I thought I would bring something fun so that we could just play. Enter: play dough. Great idea right? I even had all the ingredients to put together a whole bunch without spending more than 50 cents on salt. Things were going my way...
...until I handed all the play dough out and watched in horror as their hot, sweaty little hands just MELTED every bit of it. It seriously turned to soup and they mashed it between their fingers and spread it on every inch of the tables. I have never seen such a mess in my life! It was awful. I spent a half an hour extra trying to clean it all up and apologized profusely to all my helpers. Ugh. NEVER AGAIN! Beware of homemade play dough recipes... they may work quite well in your hands but kids have crazy little fire hands that will turn this into your worst nightmare. It was the worst, and I left that class feeling totally defeated.
Thankfully this story does have a happy ending though... I walked into my class of middle schoolers who proceeded to self-start on a project we had worked on previously, and were so excited to complete it that they hardly wanted me to interrupt to discuss an upcoming project with them. Once I got talking and showed them examples though, they were ecstatic; you see, we're about to start saving plastic bottle caps with the intention of making a huge mural!
Isn't that the coolest! I can't wait to start designing something with them and to see what the final product will look like. So if you want to recycle your bottle caps for a good cause, I will be graciously accepting all donations... we're going to need a lot haha