Posted in Edublogs

Art, Poetry or Music

desert-749692_1920EduBlogsClub Prompt #18:

Prompt: Write a post that uses art, music, or poetry.

Write a poem or song, draw a picture, create a meme/gif. Get creative!

Or write a post that shares how you use art, poetry, or music in the classroom.

I love art, music and poetry. I remember the few classes I had in those categories over my K-16 career with much fondness. I wish I had received more formal training in those areas and that they had not been treated like fun “extras.” It’s that sentiment that has me rather hyper focused on the arts for my 7th grade son. He had expressed an interest in music from a young age. In my school district, students are not provided any music education until 4th grade. So I asked around and eventually my son ended up at a local university for their community school of music. There he spent a few years learning piano, which served to be an excellent foundation for him picking up other instruments as he got older, including saxophone, trombone, and guitar.

In elementary school I remember being so excited to be a part of the choir. I had wanted to learn how to play the oboe, but family finances prevented that from happening. I also remember enjoying dance, but again, money stood in the way of any extensive lessons. In middle school, I remember balking at home economics (it was the young feminist in me) and signed on for art. I enjoyed the class, but felt I was rather bad at it unfortunately. In high school, my interests turned more toward writing. I really enjoyed my English Composition and AP English classes. I recall enjoying the depth that we dove into various texts. Then during my undergraduate years I remember loving my humanities courses, especially art history and philosophy. It was in college when I finally became a published author, it was a poem I had written for our local literature publication. I could not find it in time to share with this post, but it had been called “La Gitanita” (the gypsy) a poem I wrote in both English and Spanish to represent both sides of my life experience.

There seemed to be little room in my life for art after that. I have to admit I rarely did art in my own classroom for a few reasons…one of the big ones being the fear that doing too much art would be frowned on as the connections to state standards wasn’t strong enough, and the other main reason being having to manage 30+ elementary students excited about art and doing whatever they wanted with the supplies instead of the intended task.

I wish my students would have just been allowed a time for art, just to explore and create, without having to be held accountable for standards. The maker movement makes me think that education is finally coming around to allowing students to just explore, without standards needing to be a major factor.  They key is being at a school with an administrator who supports student exploration. I was at a school like that, and I was allowing my students to explore. While my experiences with traditional art were not strong, my experiences with technology are. I soon realized I preferred my art creation digitally. I ran an after school Minecraft Club, and while I tried to focus the students in my club on activities, I found they just wanted to be free to explore and build. They produced art digitally in Minecraft, and that is not any less valuable than traditional manifestations of art.

This leads me into what the prompt actually asked for, a sharing of art. While I can’t paint or draw or sculpt, I don’t play an instrument, and only sing in the car with the music turned up so loud I can’t actually hear myself, I can take digital photography in a virtual world that I consider art.

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How does art manifest itself in your personal and/or professional life? Share with me in the comments below. 🙂


Posted in Class News

The Imagination Machine

We recently had an assembly by “The Imagination Machine” brought to us by our PTA.

The students really enjoyed it and afterward they were tasked with writing their own stories. After we brainstormed of “who, what, where” students wrote, and had a good time doing so. They practiced the writing process and improved their pieces. Teachers were asked to turn in the best papers so that they could be sent on to The Imagination Machine for consideration as they will be visiting us again before the school year is out to perform some of our students’ stories. I wanted to share the stories of those selected from my class in a new way, so I decided to finally try out SoundCloud and have students make their stories into mini podcasts for anyone to listen to.  Please click HERE to access the playlist that contains the following stories:

  • “The Lost Swimmer” by Xiomara
  • “Aquaman Saves the Ocean” by Jesse
  • “The Lost Little Girl” by Audrey
  • “The Boy With Bad Luck” by Andrew
  • “The Hero” by Wyatt
  • “Samantha Steals Jewelry” by Amanda
  • “The Friendly Ghost” by Therese

The class on the whole did a great job with their writing. I am seeing much neater penmanship, improved spelling and sentence construction, and proper paragraph structure. One area I observed that needed some work across all students was adding more details, which we will continue to work on.

Posted in Spelling Stories

Introducing….Spelling Story of the Week!

In order to promote better spelling, I have decided to publish a student spelling story to my website as a special treat to my students. As a proponent of educational technology, I would have preferred my students type and publish their stories themselves, but in light of the limited technology we possess in my classroom I figured me typing and publishing their stories for them was still something they would be very interested in and I was not mistaken. After teaching the words of the week, and creating a list for them to practice with on VocabularySpellingCity, they were tasked with writing a spelling story (my way of trying to multitask and not only work on spelling, but writing as well). My instructions to them were that they were to take this week’s words and use as many as possible in a story that makes sense. We have an editing procedure in class where the students sit on the floor to “peer edit” on another before they revise their papers and turn them in to me. After reading the completed papers the following was selected as the best of the week. We will repeat this routine each week with new spelling words.

(spelling words are in bold)

“The Boy That Broke His Leg” by Wyatt

Once upon a time there was a boy playing sports outside. He was going inside because a storm began. When he was stepping on the porch he slipped and broke his leg. His mom heard him scream and she ran to get him. They got in the car and drove to the hospital. They had to hurry because it hurt more and more. When they got to the hospital the nurse checked him in. The nurse was looking at it. She said “Yep, its broken.” They brought in the doctor and the doctor did some x-rays. By the time it was 10 minutes before 1:00 the doctor gave the boy crutches and a cast. The doctor said “Stay off the leg for 6 weeks.” Right before they left a storm started, so the doctor gave the boy a wheelchair. 6 weeks passed and they boy was 10. Then he tried out for a sports team and he made it because he practiced a lot.

The word spelling and cute boy using tablet against red apple on pile of books