19 December, 2014

Holiday Cheer

A little something I made during my classes yesterday for you all: "MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!"

I have deemed this week the week of holiday "make and take" in my classes, so we have been creative, sat and chatted (love the conversations I have with 1st graders!) and listened to some Christmassy music.  And yes I've had Jewish and Muslim students in some of my classes, but I think it's important that all students see that celebrating together is a very human thing to do.  I talked to them about their big holiday celebrations and what they do and students in those little conversation groups chimed in about the differences and similarities.  At this school we have kids from ALL over the world, so it was even nice to talk about the differences in how we celebrate Christmas: what we have for breakfast, when we open presents etc in an informal way.

Anyway, this is my card to you, my dear patient blog readers.  I have missed being present in this space this year, and while I would love to say that I'll be here more often in the future, it's not a promise I can make!

A round up of things happening around here lately:
Ella got really sick with a tummy bug and had to have a drip as she hadn't eaten for 5 days.  In the midsts of all the crochet I was doing for the Christmas craft fair I made her a walrus and narwhale to cheer her up.

One of our 3 finished 1st grade collaborative collage pieces all to be hung up around the schoo
I don't often post pics of the kiddos from school, but I just love these ones at work on "free choice make and take"
One of the 1st graders choice: inventing superheroes.  I love Inviza boy.
My gorgeous youngest baby girl turned 14 yesterday, but celebrated her birthday a week early with friends 
And her birthday cupcakes that they maybe should have carried more carefully!  AKA cupcake carnage.
Matt flew off to NYC on Saturday for a week of work, so before he left he gave out birthday gifts to Ella and Kit's Christmas gift...  Now that they make vinyl records so cool and funky he's hit the jackpot with gifts!

Kit's Tyr album

ANOTHER rainy Singapore day with some of my 5th graders work drying on the window sill

From a first grade lesson emphasizing background (using Eric Carle creatures).  This collage unit seems to have gone on for EVER, but they were really excited to do the backgrounds...
And as much as I am just so excited to jump on that plane tonight and head over to snow and cold and people and places I love, I am so sad to leave this little love behind for 21 days.  Thankfully we have a lovely helper who is very sweet with her to look after her.

07 December, 2014

hanging and things

So after 9 days in bed, I finally dragged myself back to work on Wednesday.  Mainly because I had to do reports and I've been so unwell lately I hadn't even recorded anything, so I had to go and look at actual work.  I got through the 3 days ok, and although I'm not 100%, I'm definitely on the mend.  But although I was laid up for a long time, I kept busy.  2 of the other art teachers and I are having a stall at the school Christmas fair next weekend, so I've been busy making a few things. 

I got totally side tracked in the middle of all that making and tried a little basket work (I don't really know what made me try it this way as I don't remember ever being shown how to do it.)  And I LOVE it.  I've become increasingly infatuated with baskets over the last year or so, so it was only a matter of time until I gave it a go.  This one started out as and open one, but I ended up making a lid for it too.
 I've been crocheting some mustaches to sell.
 And Christmas trees.  I've also made a few more cacti, Ella made some wands and I have my pillows as well.  We will see how we go.

In other news... This year one of my colleagues, Tanya,  and I have been working really closely with the admissions section of our school to provide artwork for them to hang in their new new, very sparse, offices.  Here's some of our grade 1 collage pieces (yes, they need to sort the hanging out, that wasn't us).  We photocopy the students' work so that they can take it home.  It also makes the work look cleaner.
 And here's KG2 self portraits done with water colors.
 One of the upper school teachers has also provided work and I absolutely love these prints that she did with 8th grade where they had to look at the new school building and incorporate elements from the design into their abstract prints.  (sorry to Tanya for getting her in the shot talking)
 A gratuitous puppy photo because I love that spotty snout.
A sneaky selfie of the ridiculous new vests we have to wear while on yard duty.  It is SOOO hot.  It's like wearing a plastic bag.  Makes me come in DRENCHED in sweat.  And we're not allowed to use our phones while on duty...but there were no kids in that area yety.
 My 4th graders have FINALLY finished their self portraits and I have hung them up.  While these started as painted portraits, I quickly saw that the kids REALLY struggled with painting.  Half of them didn't even know how to use a paint brush properly or were capable of BLENDING.  SIGH.  I think that's partly why they took so long.  So to finish them off they could use color pencil, chalk pastels and oil pastels.  Greatly improved some of them.  This is the board outside my classroom (my Tuesday and Friday classroom).  As it's the one you see as you are walking down the hall, I put some of the best work here... along with the learner profile attributes and attitudes from the unit.
 This wall is also pretty much in the spotlight: I added some art words to this wall to fill in some blank spots.
 The next two walls are more tucked away, and obviously in a darker corner as my phone struggled to take focused photos.  To fill in the gaps here, I used some of the photo copies of the portrait drawing process from their sketchbooks...

 A gorgeous little series of Loki enjoying the new brush I bought for Meeka.
(Poor Ella's been sick in bed for the last 3 days with a stomach bug)
2 weeks of school left!!!  So looking forward to the snow, the cold, the big boys, the friends.
I'm glad Meeka and Loki will have each other to keep company over the break.

25 November, 2014

The dreaded lurgies

ARGH!  It's been a hard slog over the last few weeks.  I've been hit with "mycoplasma"; also known as "walking pneumonia" which is ridiculously common among the expat community here. Ella had it about 3 weeks before I got sick.  2 weeks ago I had 3 days off work as I was feeling just so ridiculously tired and dizzy for about a week or so before that.  I went on antibiotics, had 3 days totally resting with my pup (could be worse) and then went back to work.  Fast forward a week, and even though I was still taking the antibiotics and I was struck down again. This time  even worse, with the horrid cough that is a common symptom.  So I'm back home, on stronger antibiotics resting with my pup again for 3 days this week (plus we have Thursday and Friday off for Thanksgiving).

Anyway in amongst all that, Oscar has come and gone, Remi has gone with him (and they're in the states right now-Oscar's already up in VT), we have a new helper (I had to interview feeling really unwell and needless to say the house looked a bomb had gone off after young men hanging around and me not being well enough to clean).

Oh yes, and Kit had his play, The Good Doctor:

In our brand new theatre (yes, I forgot to take a proper camera).  Kit was playing a general (again- he tends to get type cast in that role)

Work has been crazy busy (nothing new) and I'll need to go in over the weekend to work on reports and portfolios etc.

Some work I've been doing with the kids at school:

KG1s have done monotypes using laminated sheets that they rolled paint onto and then drew into with their fingers then we made prints- they look so cute all together.

KG 2 have been doing flowers using color to express emotion (this is my favorite one)

Grade 4s are finishing up their warm and cool color self portraits that they have been working on for WEEEKS!!! MONTHS EVEN!!! I'm so done with them, but I really wanted them to get to some level of success with them and they struggled SO much with painting: applying paint, blending paint, using a paintbrush etc.

Meanwhile Grade 5 have finished doing their observational drawings and are onto their project making.  It's mad crazy as they are all doing different things, including paper mache, wire sculpting etc but they love it.

But the good news: only 24 days until we leave for the US for Christmas.  I'm very sad about leaving the puppy, but at least I know she and Loki are best buds (they play fight EVERY day- for HOURS!!!) and have each other for company.

And here's a few photos for my dad that I took a few weeks ago.

17 November, 2014

puppy videos

Oh my goodness what a week has made to this timid little pup.  She's just come out of her shell in the last week (maybe it was spending 3 days on the couch with her when I was sick last week).  My greatest joy every day is when I walk into the room, or come home from work and she's just besides herself excited.  She's gone from being sad and scared to being a skippedy bundle of puppy goodness.  Helps that she's putting on weight and growing and just looks so healthy now.  She still has her timid moments, but she's so much better.  And she and Loki have hit it off.  They look for each other all the time and play like this on the couch for hours!!!

video video video video video
And while we don't usually allow animals on the couch (or dogs at least), it's the place she feels safest and happiest.  

09 November, 2014


Since my dad doesn't follow me on Instagram (hint hint, you only have to follow me dad), I'm going to post some gratuitous puppy photos and videos here for him.  I don't love (or even like much) face book, so I only occasionally link my instagram posts too it.  So if cute adorable rescue puppies are not your thing...move along.

video video

07 November, 2014

Something Fishy

Grade 5 students are doing a unit on observational drawing of organic form right now.  I'm loving it.  I'm so glad we chose to do this with them.  It's really allowed for discovery both artistically and scientifically.
My work
My sketch book 
I've been buying Cacti, peacock feathers, fish and fruit for them to draw, we also have shells and this lovely lotus pod that one of my students brought in (I want one!)

 Any other artists out there, please feel free to use the previous photos as you wish.

It's certainly caught the interest of the majority of students.  I've also provided magnifying glasses, and opportunities for the kids who struggle with drawing to still get involved by providing leaves for rubbing etc.  I'm bringing Oscar into school with me today and I'll get the fish back out of the freezer for one more go....  One of the other art teachers photocopied them the other day, so I'll be making copies of those too.