Saturday, November 19, 2016

Turkey Technology and Other Random Stuff

Oh Happy Week. I link-up with Doodle Bugs for Five for Friday.

1.  Have you seen this video. It pretty much sums up my week... yep.

2.  And then there is this.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not complaining. Our fall here in the south-east corner of Michigan has been absolutely delightful, lasting over two months, and oh-so-welcome after the record breaking high temps and humidity this summer. But there's no denying it now... winter is coming...

3.  Just look at these sandbox pics, from this very week, no less. So much science going on. 

Composting- leaves, dirt, leaves, dirt

An archeological dig- those dinos must have been around a watering hole

Pouring and packing

Spying with the periscope

4. Here's a project we did this week. It doesn't take long and might be something to try in your upcoming short week before Thanksgiving.

We went to the computer lab and drew turkeys with KidPix, using our hands as stencils. Yes, I let them put their hands on the screen- gasp! We really need practice with the mouse so tracing our hands was a good challenge. Then we printed only in black. When we brought them back to the room we talked about how the turkeys looked like they were floating in outer space. I added a horizon line to mine with a marker, colored the bottom green and the top blue- voila! The turkeys were on the earth. The kids got it right away. Who says you can't teach five year olds perspective. The kids added color, a few details, and the lyrics to a song we've been singing– art, technology, music, and literacy all wrapped up in one. 

A turkey getting a midnight snack

We could see in some photos we have of wild turkeys a bit of a blue-green sheen to their feathers. Some of us took artistic license with color.

5. I send this eCard from Blue Mountain to my families each year. I share it now with a wish that you have a fabulous, fun, family-filled Thanksgiving Day. Click to see it animated.

Click on back to Doodle Bugs! Thanks, Kasey!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Kwik Stix Tree Drawing

Hello Everybody! I'm linking up today with Stephanie from Forever in Fifth Grade for her Show and Tell Tuesday. I have a "show" to share. Do your kids make lollipop trees when they draw? You know the brown rectangle, green circle on top versions. Well, many of my kiddos were drawing trees that way, and with all the fall leaf discussion and time spent outside and in the woods, I thought it was time for a little guided drawing lesson on trees. What a great project to use our new Kwik Stix Paint Sticks on.

Do you know about Kwik Stix Solid Tempera Paint? It's paint that comes in stick form– sort of like glue sticks that twist up out of the tube. They are very CLEAN, exciting news for every teacher. Using them feels a bit like using oil pastels... but cleaner. And when they dry within seconds (they aren't really very wet to begin with) they are a LOT cleaner than pastels because they don't rub off.

My students and I talked about how sometimes trees can look like this in pictures...

... but do trees actually look like this? Half of them said yes... sigh. I shouldn't eyeroll– as I look back I think I was in third grade before any teacher ever pointed out that we should LOOK at what we were drawing. We've come far in our teaching of all things.

We trucked on over to our window to take a gander at our trees. Nope, not a single lollipop tree. In fact we could see a lot of branches as half the trees had dropped their leaves already. And when I pointed at the base of the tree we realized that trunks don't even come up straight up out of the ground, but are wider where the roots were.

We headed back to our tables and started by drawing a trunk with two lines. Then we added a bit of flare at the bottom. And a couple long lines spreading out on top. Then we added lots of branches coming out. We added yellow, red and green "dots" for leaves. We talked about how the dots should be kind of small, because leaves are rather small even on big trees. Also, big dots made it look like the tree was covered with balloons and that's silly.

We added some leaves to the ground, and even a bit of grass. Ta-Da!

It always amazes me that even when kids do a guided drawing, all hearing the directions at the same time, the interpretations are all unique. And it points out that trees are a rather complicated subject matter.

Before I started this project I played a bit with my new Kwik Stix. The colors are quite opaque and intense. Here are two "suns" on two different kinds of paper. The first is on rough manilla paper.

And the second on just smooth cardstock.

I experimented using a wet brush to blend and disperse the colors, like watercolors, and that is how I got the softer look of some of the stripes. It was fun... and clean... to paint with just water over my drawing. I think the kids will enjoy it with our next project.

At these angles you can also see a bit of the sheen from the metallic Kwik Stix.  Nice, eh?

The metallic sticks are especially neat. And the water didn't seem to diminish the shine too much.

Now here's a really neat thing– Kwik Stix are now available at Target!! Yep. You can jump in the car and get some right now!

They weren't at our nearest Target, but they were worth another ten minute drive to our other one. They come six to a box and cost about five bucks. They'd make a neat stocking stuffer don't you think? Did I mention they were a pretty clean painting method– loved by mothers everywhere... I made that up, but I bet they are!

And if you are after some for your class, or in more colors than in the two small boxes sold in Target stores you can go to the Target site for more variety. Just click on the picture below. They are also sold by The Pencil Grip, Inc on their site and on Amazon, too.


Whew, that was a bigger share then I intended, but now you know more about Kwik Stix and have an idea for a guided drawing lesson you might try.

Hop on back to Forever in Fifth and see what the rest of the gang is sharing. Thanks, Stephanie for the linky party.

Thanks for stopping by! See you next time.

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