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Posts Tagged ‘eco-art’

I have returned to teaching kindergarten, but it is my first experience with full-day kindergarten. September has been a month of community building and establishing routines. I knew it would be like this, but from where I left in June with my Grade 1 & 2 class, I need to remind myself that things will be different (especially for the first few months!).

My classroom has been a challenge, as it was formerly a Special Education classroom and is a basic rectangular room with little architectural detail. Although it is October and I know in my mind’s eye how the room should look; being at a new school and with limited resources it is taking longer than I expected.

The art studio is always one of the first areas of the classroom that I like to develop. So many children feel comfortable in this area and are able to demonstrate their skills and interests. In the first two weeks, the students were creating pictures with a full assortment of markers. I wanted to observe their representations of a natural object using a controlled palette. So, I set up a small table with a vase of hydrangeas, as well as a jar of pencil crayons in an array of pink, green, and brown shades.

The results were as I imagined. The children showed more use of detail, such as the outline of the vase and the distinct stems. They also considered the appropriate colours when presented with a limited selection.

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Keeping an eco-approach to our learning helps direct our art activities in the classroom. I have steered away from construction paper and pipe cleaners in the last few years and moved towards a collection of found materials. The book, Beautiful Stuff: Learning with Found Materials by Cathy Weisman Topal and Lella Gandini is a great starting point if you want to learn more about integrating found materials into your program. If you are looking for something more, Lella recommended the following book to me at a conference earlier this year, Children, Art, Artists: The Expressive Languages of Children, the Artistic Language of Alberto Burri by Reggio Children.

The art projects pictured here, integrated learning in language and visual art. Instead of making picture frames, the children created stands using recycled thread spools. A controlled palette was provided with an assortment of buttons, shells, and pearls. The children created individual pieces that were then used as gifts for their families.

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johnaleslietdsb

Our Inquiry Journey

The Third Teacher

reggio inspirations in my classroom

let the children play

reggio inspirations in my classroom

Inquiring Minds: Mrs. Myers' Kindergarten

reggio inspirations in my classroom

leaf and twig

where observation and imagination meet nature in poetry