Thursday, May 28, 2009

May is Math Month

I find this month to be the crunch time at school since lots of curriculum is yet to be covered and students are ready to go play outside. The activities at night make homework hard to accomplish. Teachers have a lot to get through and the track and field days, band concerts and outdoor cleanups are taking more and more time out of a typical spring day. So, I wrote 2 articles suggesting how parents might help teach their child at home the concept of fractions. This can be reinforced many times and will help give the child hands on opportunities to understand fractions. The article is about using an egg carton to teach parts of a whole. Then the child goes on to use measuring cups in a chocolate chip cookie recipe to help measure fractional amounts and then double a recipe. Doubling or tripling a recipe helps to make the child want to understand the concept of multiplying fractions so they don't ruin the cookies! Try these with your child.
Fraction Fun at Home: Modeling Fractions and Multiplying Fractions

Monday, May 25, 2009

Recycled Art Projects - Shoe Sculptures

The Conservation In a Shoebox art show prompted me to assign redesigning shoes to Mr. Shewchuck's class. Don't chuck shoes, reuse! was a message written to the students. I asked them what "footprint" they would leave on the earth. How would they mount the shoes? Would they walk on water, walk the walk, walk on a thin line, walk on a path, follow someone?? Did their shoe shine? Did it shine a light on conservation? Did they "toe" the line? Did they make a stand and stand up for what is right? By posing these questions on the board, the students came up with some pretty creative shoes.
An article written about the project is found at: Recycled Art Project: Shoe Sculptures
The top shoe was called "Flower to Empower" and was made of paper mache with flowers glued all over it. The "Bee Free From Pollution" shoe mounted on a flower was my second pick. Creative and fun project that I took many pictures of and will do again.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Recycled Art Projects - Conservation in a Shoebox

Recently, a student art show prompted me to do conservation based art projects. The projects were for grade 6 - 8 students. They brainstormed what they would like to see in their future in a perfect green world. Then they designed projects to fit in a 12 by 12 by 24 inch high space. The title was "Conservation in a Shoebox". One class had to design shoes. The medium could be clay, paper mache, pop cans, old shoes, cardboard, wire, etc. They had to give a title to the piece, medium used and name. On another index card they had to explain what they were trying to teach the world about conservation.
The project was very creative. Especially because they knew that a few pieces would be chosen for a student art show. Some items the students designed were: pop can shoes, bowls from magazines, recycled worlds (dioramas), pop bottle hats, magazine shopping bags, pop can tops jewellry, wind energy farms, parks, biomes, birds made of seeds, and a hot air balloon as alternate transportation.
The shoes were painted with buttons glued on, paper mached with flowers glued on, molded out of wire, cut out of foam, redesigned by gluing on pop cans, newspapers, and sand.
I wrote 4 articles about the projects. They can be found at Bright Hub. The procedures and pictures are explained in the articles with hints and tips.
How to make robots out of old nuts and bolts: Recycled Robot Project
How to make bowls out of magazines: Recycled Magazine Bowl Project
How to make sculptures from pop cans: Recycled Pop Can Project