Saturday, January 8, 2011

calaveras de azucar

yesterday was a good day!
I received an email right after my last post, from the department of education, congratulating me on receiving my license. I was previously only certified to teach grades five through twelve visual arts, so in November I applied for my k through eight license. and now, its official!

after being at school (on my day off) and thinking back to the fall for my last post, I've realized that I have accomplished a lot more than I thought with my students. they all know the elements of art, and can point out the ones they use for each activity. they all know primary and secondary colors, at the very least. which I still think is a big deal, knowing how art was taught before I was here. and slowly but surely, each is learning to take pride and enjoy their work. and I feel pretty good about that.

between november and december, I worked on my fear of glitter.
dia de los muertos, or day of the dead, is a Mexican holiday celebrated on november 1st, that remembers those who have passed away. it is a joyful celebration complete with food and great decoration, including skeletons representing those who have died. I love the colors and symbolism so much, that I had all my students working on something related.

grade two painted "calaveras" or skulls with tempera on black or gray paper
grade three (and I think grade five) drew a skull and flowers on white paper, then cut and pasted onto black. adding gems and jewels and glitter.
grade four drew with glue- yet another reason I am nuts- on black paper, a skull with flowers or other details to decorate or describe the person it represented. when the glue dried, we colored around the lines with oil pastel.
grades 6-8 looked at the skeleton from the science lab, and together we drew a skull. many sugar skulls are intricately decorated, so using sharpie, students used symmetry and pattern to decorate their skull. to introduce some bold color, we added construction paper crayons in some areas.

I made sure, at least with the elementary grades, to attach a little info. slip to the artwork before it went home. and I stressed with all grades, the joy and happiness of the holiday. the last thing I wanted was for a parent to complain I was teaching their kid about morbid things.

november also brought my favorite activity of the year.... but I think I'll write about that tomorrow. making sure the layout of the pictures is proving to be a little more difficult than I want to deal with right now.

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