Kid Knits Enrichment Cluster is complete

My amazing Enrichment Cluster group wrapped up the year last night with our showcase for parents. This year I taught a group of 15 students how to knit hats on a round loom.
We used the curriculum and kits available at www.kidknits.org. Students learned about global poverty and how a little girl named Ellie started a company to help widowed women in Rwanda. The women were taught how to take the wool from sheep and turn it into yarn that they could sell. Check out this video:
The parents were impressed with the hats and how hard their children worked on them! Here's some of the competed hats. We are donating the hats to a local charity for children.
 Each skein of yarn came with a tag that told about the woman who made the yarn on it. On the back is a space for the students to write about themselves and how they hope to make a difference in the world.
I really enjoyed teaching this class and think it would make an awesome service project for an art club!!

Another Successful Art Show!

It's my favorite time of year! March is Youth Art Month and to celebrate my school hosts a fabulous Fine Arts Night. Every child in the school has their best piece of art professionally framed and on display for parents to see. That's 691 frames!

Kindergarten - 2nd grade framed artwork

4th and 5th grade framed artwork
This year we set up in the main hallway and kept the artwork up all day. Students loved looking at the gallery and writing reviews of the artwork for other students!
Kindergarten framed artwork with 4th grade masks above

Kindergarten and 5th grade students viewing the artwork together

Sculptures and clay projects on display

Here is a video with a sampling of some of the amazing pieces that were in the show this year.


St. Patrick's Day friend

I had a little visitor in my classroom today.

Japanese teabowls

I had the amazing opportunity to study abroad in Japan with a ceramics class as part of my grad school coursework. We learned traditional Japanese hand building methods, saw the sights, and took shifts firing the town's anagama kiln. Have you ever fired a wood kiln?? First, let me just tell you it is hot! There's a real fire in there folks! Next thing you should know is that you have to get the kiln to temperature and then maintain it. This required us putting wood in the little opening every 4-5 minutes. All day. And night. For days.

This trip only fueled my love for this second grade teabowl lesson that I have done many ways over the past 12 years. My favorite part is having a tea ceremony with our bowls at the end of the unit!

Here are a few of our bowls before I loaded them into the kiln this morning. This year I had students look for common themes in the designs of contemporary teabowl artists. They noticed most of the designs were either inspired by nature or geometry. Next they chose a limited color palette to represent the simple beauty that is part of the Japanese aesthetic and set to work with the glaze. Can't wait to open the kiln Monday morning and see how they turn out!

-- Mrs. A

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