Friday, 20 February 2015

School Year Timeline

Our Local Community

My first social studies unit of the year was "Our Local Community" from the grade 2 curriculum.  During this unit, students learn about timelines.  They first create their own, then move on to working on a community timeline.  As part of this process, when my friend Kathy and I planned this unit, we decided to also have our students create a school year timeline. Our idea for this was inspired by this Pinterest site: Class Timeline.  Of course this is an on-going year-long project.  So of often when  a unit is over, we tend to start the next one without thinking much about the previous one.  Therefore it took some discipline for me to continue with our school year timeline.  

We decided to do  two pages for each month and use 12" x 12" scrapbooking pages for them, so that at the end of the year we would actually have a timeline scrapbook of our school year. At the end of September my students and I discussed different events of the first month of the year.  I then went through my pictures and ordered what we would need.  It took several days for me to get them back.  Finally we proceeded to create our two pages of September. and posted them on our timeline bulletin board.

Pic Collage

By then I was already wondering about keeping this up month my month for the entire school year. Kathy and I chatted on the phone and she remembered an iPad App Kathy Waldner and introduced to us at ICHE 2014 - Pic Collage.  What a fabulous idea!! Thanks Kathy (both of you)!
With this free App, you can create collages easily and quickly.  You can choose from various layouts, backgrounds and shapes.  You can add photos, videos, text and stickers.  All in all, it's a splendid tool to use for our class timeline project.  It takes us about 20-30 minutes to select our photos and create our pages each month.  Since my class consists mostly of first graders we work on this as a group.  I understand the Kathy (or probably both of them have their 2nd and 3rd graders do use this App independently one they've been introduced to it. 

September 2014  to June 2015

Now that we're into summer holidays, our 2014 - 2015 School Timeline has also been completed.  After adding our June events and admiring the completed bulletin board, we compiled the entire project into a scrapbook which we keep in our school library. 


 My students and I felt a sense of closure as we added the last page: a Wordle describing the events, projects and activities of  our school-year.  This project proved to be a great way to teach timelines and document our school year.  We may not create one every year, but I'll certainly keep it in mind for the years that I teach grade one social studies.


The other day I chatted with my friend Ruth and she gave me another idea, "Typically our yearbook has mainly events and activities that took place at the end of the year, you could add your entire timeline and you'd have something from the September through to June."  What a great notion! If not in our yearbook, as we don't publish on each year, then we will certainly consider adding it to our Term 3 Brennan Bulletin.  Thanks Ruth!

Saturday, 7 February 2015

SmArts 2014-15 Part 1

When I first started teaching here at Brennan School, a grant became available in our area to incorpoarate the arts into the rest of the curricula.  Funded by the JW McConnell Foundation, ArtsSmarts afforded schools and teachers to hire local artists, purchase art supplies and offer programming that otherwise might not be possible.
Modeled after this same program, Portage la Prairie School Division currently offers a similar program: SmArts.  This year, here at Brennan School, we've hired Ms. Carol Barbeau to teach three blocks of art classes, one per term.

Colour Mixing

Term 1 consisted of colours and collage.  In the first class students learned about mixing colours by creating either bubbles or balloons.  Primary coloured circles were strategically drawn on water colour paper using water colour pencils, some of the circles over lapped to create the secondary colours.


Next, the students created a collage out of cardstock and construction paper.  Tracing, cutting and colour selection were a large part of this project.  As a finishing touch, students enjoyed decorating their bowl or vase with metallic stickers.





Water Colour Farm Scenes

Thirdly, the younger students created a country scene of grazing sheep complete actual wool.  The older students painted a similar scene with a barn. 

Second and Third Terms' projects will be posted as the terms' art projects are completed.