Monday, January 5, 2015

Lois Ehlert

In kindergarten we have been learning about fiction and nonfiction books. We read Mice and The Scraps Book: Notes From a Colorful Life, by Lois Ehlert.

The next week, we created art like author and illustrator Losi Ehlert in the style of her mice from the mice books. Students learned about collage, and identified the shapes Ehlert used to make her mice. They then got to work. They look adorable hanging in our halls.

Friday, December 19, 2014


Hard at work!
Last week, I went to the TIES Educational Technology Conference. I learned a lot of great new tools and ideas.

One of the things I was most excited to try was the app iMotion. I saw it in the Maker Space (an area used to create) and had a lot of fun. I can envision all sorts of ways kids could use this for projects.

iMotion is a free app for the iPads that allows the user to create stop motion film. This week, I demoed the app to our 4th grade students then let them play and create their own short stop motion film.

I used play-dough to have the students try to make a ball move and change shape. Students collaborated and worked for 10-15 minutes, created a film, shared it with a classmate, and had a lot of fun.

I highly suggest this FREE APP!

Working together.


Learning and Creating!

It doesn't seem like work--when it is this fun!

Taking Pictures,.

I got my husband to make me these stands for the iPads so they could remain stationary while filming

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Art Research Project

Recently, our art teacher Mr. Moore asked me if I could help our 6th graders research artists for a project he was working on. Of course, I jumped on this amazing opportunity. We got our 6th grade teachers to collaborate with the project as well.

First, Mr. Moore previewed all of the artists that the students could choose from in art class. Students chose one artist that they wanted to research and create a piece of art in the style of. Then, I created a page of WEB LINKS that had websites where students could find information and images of the artist's work. Next, the 6th grade teachers took the students to the labs, and let them do a brief research project and explore their artist.

Once the research was complete, Mr. Moore taught the students about what makes a graphically pleasing "infographic" or poster. He taught them about fonts, color, layout, and headings. He also created guidelines for their research poster. (One of my favorite parts of this collaboration project was that Mr. Moore taught me how to match colors from the artwork. Wow! My life has changed for creating things on the computer! Collaboration really is great.)

I then brought the students to the computer lab with their classroom teacher. We used powerpoint to create our posters. I taught the students how to use tools to insert images, crop, create text boxes, find appropriate fonts, and change backgrounds. We reviewed how to site sources for the images they used. In the same time period, Mr. Moore had students create art projects in the style of the artists.

The projects turned out great! They are hanging up near the music rooms. Go check them out!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Pajama Rama

On Thursday Night, we celebrated our first ever Pajama Rama Family Night for 3rd and 4th Graders. The evening was a lot of fun. It was great to see so many families, and fun to see the kids (and their teachers) in their jammies.

We started the evening with a pizza party. After that students and their parents moved to stations with a pajama party theme. Teachers prepped a station for their classroom that involved a fun literacy or math activity. This year, we had:

Minnesota Mapping
Shadow Puppets
Math Dice Games
iPad Everyday Math Games
Go Noodle Fun
Snack Station (measuring)
Bonus Book Check Out in the Library
Estimation Jars
Flashlight Reading

Students moved to each station and did activities with their parents. After our stations were done, we had the students practice a song to perform for their families. Parents played a getting to know each other game. This was an activity to promote community within our school.

As the students came back, we did a raffle for Target gift cards for parent winners. After the song, we gave away Spring Book Fair Gift Certificates for a student raffle.

I can't wait for the K-2 Pajama Rama later this winter! Don't our students look great in their pajamas?!!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Fall Author Visits

Margaret Peterson Haddix and Lisa McMann talk with 4th-6th graders about writing.
This fall, we have had 3 amazing authors visit Brimhall School.

Margaret Peterson Haddix and Lisa McMann came to talk with us about their books and the writing process.

Author visits are amazing, because kids able to envision themselves as authors. It was inspiring to hear Lisa McMann talk about how she wasn't super great at school as a kid, but she loved to make up stories. Now that is her job.

Meeting Margaret Haddix Peterson was an awe inspiring moment. She taught our students that she does a lot of research to write her series. She also showed us her writing process.

Author and illustrator Brian Lies talks with our K-2nd graders about creating books

Brian Lies came to talk to our Kindergartener through second graders.  He showed us pictures of his studio at his house. He talked to us about how he is a normal person with a normal house whose job is to write and illustrate books. He showed us a story he wrote and illustrated when he was in second grade. Then he showed us his drawings from today. It was cool to see that he practiced and learned to be an artist. What a privilege to have such talented people talk with our students.
Author Margaret Haddix Peterson shows us her newest book.
Learning about writing and illustrating
Brian Lies drawings as a second grader
Brian Lies Showing us his newest book!
Books waiting to be signed for our students.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Library Orientation

At Brimhall, students show Bengal Pride by showing:

Care of Property
Best Effort

Here is a short video we made last week showing students many ways to show Begal Pride in the library.