Miss Galvin Learns

March 15, 2015
by Ms Stefanie Galvin
0 comments

Sunday Showcase – Zentangles

Title-SundayShowcaseHello, my friends! Happy Sunday!

Today I thought I’d show you something I’ve been really intrigued by recently, and something I hope to be able to take with me to school and use with students. (Perhaps not quite with my Foundation students, but then again, I do believe everything can be modified to allow students the opportunity to practise a skill, so, you never know!)

It’s a doodle-art form called Zentangle.

I first came across this while watching a video on youtube by The Frugal Crafter (a great channel to follow if you love art and craft making!), and gave it a shot late last year. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll have seen some of the pieces I’ve been making over the last 6 months or so. I’m going to link the video at the bottom of this post for you!

Essentially, a zentangle image is a picture created by drawing structured patterns.

Yesterday I played around with the following 4 designs. (Some of the lines – the squares and circles – were printed for these, because I’m considering using it with some students and I think some guidelines might help them focus more on creating the patterns at first!)

Slide1Slide2They are a bit time consuming, but honestly, it’s so relaxing to sit there and create repetitive patterns and they look so effective!

If you want some more info, simply do a Google or Pinterest search. I’ve pinned a whole lot of ideas to a Pinterest board which you’re welcome to take a look at:

Screen Shot 2015-03-15 at 12.00.44 pmI’m quite keen to try out those Easter Eggs for the upcoming holiday!

And for those of you who are interested in the video I mentioned:

Thanks for stopping by today – I hope you got a bit of inspiration from it!

What helps you relax at the end of the week?

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February 15, 2015
by Ms Stefanie Galvin
3 Comments

Sunday Showcase 15/02

Oh my goodness – I’m so sorry I’m finding it difficult to stick to my posting schedule!

I’m not sure what it is at the moment, because for the first time in 3 years I’ve actually got some time up my sleeves on the weekend because I’m not having to do the second-half of all my planning. Maybe it’s because I’m just so relaxed and chilled out?

Okay, so today is probably more a combination of my Five for Friday and Sunday Showcase posting ideas, but it’s definitely Sunday (not Friday) and I thought I’d just show you a sneak peek of some of the things I’ve been up to in the last few weeks, both teaching and non-teaching related!

Title-SundayShowcase

 

I’ll start off with some personal stuff that’s happened:

Slide1

 

On Saturday two very good friends of mine were married at the very beautiful Marybrooke Manor. Despite some early rain (a good sign!) it was a truly lovely day. Beautiful service, fabulous picnic-style buffet lunch. Lots of friends and fun! (Also, a fun opportunity to dress-up, too!)

Slide2

 

I tidied my little workspace. It may not seem like much, but trust me, it is!

Moving on to some school-stuff…

Slide3For the first 5 Wednesdays this term, I’m running the Early Years Literacy and Numeracy interviews. I’ve run the EXACT SAME interviews every year for 6 years now. It’s very informative about what my students know at the start of school, but I can quote BOTH interviews, word for word, without looking at the script now. 😉

Slide5During the first week of school we had a chat as a class about our school values (Care, Respect, Cooperation and Integrity). I think the kiddos did a wonderful job identifying what it means to show respect to others!

Slide4

 

I bought these cute hearts on strings when I was in Toronto from Dollarama. So glad I did – they were a big hit with the kiddos on Friday for our ‘Love Day’. We made Love Bugs (which are not 100% finished just yet, but will be soon) and read There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Rose and Love, Splat and had a magnificent day.

And now on to some of my crafty/planner-related stuff…

Slide6My Valentine’s themed planner pages for last week. It was a lot of fun to work with blues and pinks. The little laminated card was made from a print that you can download from Studio Calico.

Slide7I am determined – DETERMINED, I say! – to get into the swing of Project Life this year. I think I’ve found the perfect way, by combining a self-paced photography challenge I’m doing from A Beautiful Mess with PL to document my life.

Slide8I attempted to make my very first card using stamps and watercolours. It’s not perfect, but everyone’s gotta start somewhere, right?

Slide9

 

And my most recent obsession has been making bead necklaces. I just want to keep making more and more (but honestly, I’ve got about 10 hanging on my wall the moment – what am I going to do with them all?!!).

So that’s a bit of what I’ve been up to. I’d love to know what you’ve been doing. Leave a comment and let me know so I can catch up with all my wonderful online friends!

Until next week, have a lovely weekend! <3

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January 25, 2015
by Ms Stefanie Galvin
1 Comment

7 Art & Craft Projects

First off, congrats to Nicole S for winning the $10 TpT voucher. Please check your email for your prize!

Title-SundayShowcase

Today’s Sunday Showcase is actually a suggestion/request from one my Facebook followers, Rosie. She wanted to know if I taught art in my Prep/Foundation classroom, and if I had any lesson suggestions.

I have a confession: last year I didn’t take as many photos as I would have liked of our art/craft activities, but I have gone through my photos from the last few years and pulled out a few examples.

Art at my school:
At my school we’re very fortunate to have Art as a specialist subject, so once a week my students have a 50 minute session with one of the art teachers. (This year we happen to have 3 teachers teaching art part time, with one – very awesome teacher! – who is in charge of Foundation art.)

Any art and craft that I do within the classroom is extra and fun because I love art and craft and I think it’s important for students to have extra exposure. Plus, it also encourages fine motor development, as well as consolidating the basic art skills students are learning in art.

Things I tend to focus on: lines/patterns, colour and colour-mixing, using a variety of media, how to use tools like pencils/crayons/markers to get different effects, cutting/scrunching/tearing/punching paper, etc.

Obviously, with our youngest students, we’re not talking Amazing Artwork (although, let’s face it – it is ALL amazing artwork) – but we are talking developing little artists who are confident in producing a piece of work. To that end, a lot of encouragement is really important.

I don’t consider myself an expert, by any means. I just love finding ideas for my classroom that are easy to implement and that can be tied in to a Reading or Maths focus, because let’s face it: finding time in the classroom is hard. The better you can integrated your lessons, the more successful they usually are.

Some of my class art and craft activities:

#1

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One craft activity we do regularly in our reading sessions is a ‘sound craft’ (we have a phonological awareness program we follow, so we do have a sound focus each week). I love using Pinterest to find ideas for these letter crafts and then usually use PowerPoint to create some templates for students to cut out and piece together.

This encourages scissor-skill development, and a bit of puzzle piecing, too as they work out where all the pieces.

#2

Slide02
Using coloured pasta is a great way to create artwork with different mediums. I’ve used it to create the rainbows (below) – which are great for any work on colour or for a sound focus on ‘r’ or anything else you can think of. I’ve also used them for creating patterns in maths, as well as picture frames. They have a unique texture and look about them (including being three-dimensional) and it takes a step back from the usual ‘noodle necklaces’ (which I do love!) to create a different kind of piece. An alternative to dying the pasta would be to either paint or spray paint them.

Using pasta also teachers students to think about how much glue they need – how much is too much and what is not enough.

#3

Slide03
This particular piece was used for International Dot Day (based on The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds). He has fantastic books for stimulating discussion on art with students, because the characters in his books are all very self-conscious of their art and work through that feeling to develop confidence.

For this task all students were given 6 blank circles to decorate using a variety of lines, patterns and colours that we discussed as a class. This time I chose the medium – crayons – but in the past I have used water colours, regular paints, glitter, markers, etc. Students had to cut out their circles (fine motor), cut them in half (maths) and then trade one half of each circle with a different person in the class to create 6 new and different ‘dots’. We used black backing paper to make the colours pop!

#4

Slide05
This art piece was done after reading The Lorax with students, and focused on colour, paper tearing and scrunching. Students were given a blue backing page and a selection of coloured paper on their table to share and had to tear a foreground and background colour for their hills. (They did need a bit of help tearing all the way across the page, but they determined which colour was required wear and some did have a good go at tearing their own paper.)

We used popsticks decorated to look like Truffula Trees and students then tore and scrunched tissue paper to create the Truffula Tufts.

I have used similar techniques for art projects (ala the paper tearing) for book responses to Isabella’s Garden and For All Creatures by Glenda Millard, as well as for a maths activity response to Perfect Square by Michael Hall.

#5

Slide06
Eric Carle is perhaps my favourite author to use as inspiration for artwork because, quite frankly, the ideas are endless. This particular piece was inspired by Mr. Seahorse.

Students painted their own backgrounds using sponge rollers and blue and green paint. They also painted a page using brighter-coloured water coloured paint, which they then used to cut out their seahorse shapes. (There were some seahorse templates, but most chose to attempt their own!) Finally we added cellophane ‘seaweed’ over the top, and students had the choice to glue it flat, or twist it, or scrunch it, etc.

Obviously, you could use similar techniques for ALL of Eric Carle’s books. I also like using this technique to create student-painted papers for ‘Spring’ pictures early in Term 3, too.

#6

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Slide08
Every Remembrance Day I do some form of Poppy craft with my class. I believe it’s very important to teach them about both Remembrance Day and ANZAC Day and why it’s so important to remember those who have gone to war to keep our country safe. These make really wonderful displays.

We have painted coffee filters, torn and scrunched tissue paper and finger-painted poppies over the years.

#7

Slide09
My final example for today is a piece of artwork we did using newspaper to create a different feel, inspired by the book Herman and Rosie by Gus Gordon. (This is a truly beautiful book – definitely have a read if you haven’t!) It was a Shortlisted book a few years ago so we did this for Book Week.

Students were asked to consider their background – light blue on dark blue background, as well as what they might see in the night sky. They used metallic pastels to create the stars and moon. They had to consider the heights of their buildings – what would it look like if they were all the same? What would it look like if you had some tall and some short buildings? They also had to consider the position of the Herman and Rosie figures. Finally they had to add detail to their buildings and you can see how each student did something a little bit different!

Thanks for reading this super long post! I hope you got something useful from it. If you’re interested in seeing more artwork from my classroom, let me know in the comments, and feel free to ask any questions. This year I aim to be a bit more on top of photo-taking with my class!

If there are any other topics you’d like me to address on my blog, please leave them in the comments – I love suggestions. I’m definitely more than happy to take them!

Enjoy your weekend!

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June 6, 2014
by Ms Stefanie Galvin
6 Comments

Five for Friday (June 6th)

Oh, my goodness. This week has been the week of PD, sore throats, endless meetings, P&D chats, mentor chats, looking after grads and dealing with kids who want to be on holiday.

Thank goodness it’s a long weekend!

Linking up with Doodlebugs Teaching for 5 for Friday!Linky_F4FBanner

#5

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Our Art specialist made these fun ‘creatures’ with my kiddos a little while ago whilst exploring colour. These are some of the examples, and the rest are up in our school gallery. They look absolutely fabulous and the kids came up with some really creative ideas for what their creature was.

#4

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My new nails. I get them done every 3 weeks and it’s hard to see but the glitter polish is very iridescent. It’s so pretty with the black. Yay for BioGel nails! (Also for Nails by Nancy, who is my very good friend and does them for me!)

#3

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I’ve just started an online 4 week seminar about CAFE. So far it’s helped me unpack the book a bit better and next week I’m officially going to start using it in the classroom. Here’s my brightly colour CAFE Menu (on my rainbow wall!). Very happy with how it turned out. The kiddos have been talking about The Cafe on the back wall since it went up!

#2

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Aaaand, to go along with it, my Pensieve, which I’ve started putting together. Super happy with how it’s going so far. Of course, I used my Scrappy Self by From the Pond. Pretty much everything I make for the classroom now has me and my Minnie Mouse ears!

#1

Slide5

One of my roles at work this year is to work with all the Graduate Teachers (not as their mentor – although I do mentor one of them – but to help them find their way and facilitate debriefings and how-to sessions etc at school). Next term we’re encouraging them to do a whole lot of collegiate visits with staff from our school. One of the other mentors and I had the idea to make them their very own observation journals, which could then be used as part of their evidence in their VIT inquiry project. These are the covers and I’m SUPER HAPPY with how they look so far. Now just to make pretty notepapers to match!

Happy (Long) Weekend!

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June 3, 2014
by Ms Stefanie Galvin
3 Comments

Tuesday Art Linky – Ladybird Drawing Craft

Linky-TuesdayArtGoal #1 – Join Mel (From the Pond)’s awesome art linky!

Slooowly getting back into the blogging thing! So, without further ado, here is a fun little craft I did last week with my class when we needed a chance to refocus, relax and practise our listening skills.

I combined two ideas in this craft.

First of all, I was totally inspired by Mel’s fabulous Ladybug Art post last week. I really loved the effect of the blue and green background, but was lacking in red kinder circles (and kinder circles in general). I didn’t really want to photocopy circles on red paper, either.

Then I remembered I had a fun directed drawing pack by Doodle Bugs Teaching (Spring Directed Drawing Activities) and instantly I had an excellent listening task, that each student could complete in their own style and still look fabulous!

Slide2My example. I didn’t get to colour in my ladybird. So sad! Still, it’s waiting for me to colour in and be stored in my examples folder for the next time I need a quick and easy craft.

And now for some student examples:

Slide1

Slide3I think they look so adorable. They’re currently up on display on our entrance door and look fabulous together with the very vibrant dark blue and green backgrounds!

Don’t forget to head over to From the Pond to link up your ideas or check out some other great ideas!

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June 15, 2013
by Ms Stefanie Galvin
9 Comments

Celebrating Art and Books

The Children’s Book Council of Australia host Book Week every year, here in the lovely land of Oz!

It is, hands-down, my favourite event in the school calendar.

Books are nominated, short-listed and finally selected in a range of categories, and schools are encouraged to read and celebrate these books with their classes.

In my school, we have a week-long (although, honestly, it goes on for much longer than a week!) celebration across every year level, where students read these fabulous examples of Australian literature and make beautiful art pieces to go along with them. (Along with regular book responses, of course!)

Each year has a theme, and this year the theme is Reading Across the Universe.

Here in Melbourne we have a great school art supplier, Zart Art. Every year, Zart runs workshops for Book Week, selecting up to 12 books from the Book Week shortlist to provide teachers with art ideas and inspiration. This is the second time I’ve attended (the first being in 2010, my first year of teaching) and it is nothing short of AMAZING!

(Zart Art’s Book Week art activities guide)

Picture this – 28 teachers, 5.5 hours and 8 art pieces created. Each. It is so much fun!

Here’s what we created:

1. Animal Masks (based on The Pros and Cons of Being a Frog)

2. Wire Tanglewood (based on Tanglewood)

3. An Iceberg (based on Sophie Scott Goes South) – this is really cool, it’s a model of an iceberg field on the way to Antarctica, and the tiny little orange dot is the Aurora Australis, and it’s designed to highlight the fact that we only see 1/10 of an iceberg above the water!

4. The Rocket (based on The Terrible Suitcase) – if you squint you might be able to see the tiny, pink suitcase hidden inside the rocket!

5. Aerial View Jigsaw (based on Herman and Rosie) – please excuse the poor quality of this piece; as my Dad commented upon seeing it – I’ve got NO spacial awareness! That said, this is probably my FAVOURITE story from the list so far.

6. Elephant Mobile (based on Too Many Elephants in this House) – we had to make 4 elephants, exactly the same, and trade 3 with people on our table. The red elephant is mine!

7. Lest We Forget Medal (based on A Day to Remember) – an ANZAC story, very beautiful and moving.

8. The Flying Coat (based on The Coat) – the quote reads “If we create from the heart nearly everything works, if from the head almost nothing.” (Marc Chagall) I think this is my new favourite quote!

All that art-making and we still had time for morning tea and lunch AND I went shopping for art supplies for my classroom!

My goodies: Supertac (like PVA/Elmer’s glue only thicker, so it doesn’t run and it sticks EVERYTHING!), poster colours in warm, cool and fluro colours, an assortment of tissue paper (in block colours AND animal prints!), giant crayons, paper bags with a gusset, boarder roll in silver and gold, 2 packets of Paper Magiclay (we used it for the icebergs, but it’s so handy!).

I also got 2 free pencil rolls! (Cue my happy face!)

Two really great tips from today:

  • When modelling creations for students, do your second-best work – it’s ok to be a little bit different and NOT perfect!
  • When folding a page and cutting for 2 exact images, tell the kids to hold the fold!

So that was my very exciting day.

What are your favourite book crafts? Feel free to leave links so I can visit your blog and pin ideas!

August 27, 2011
by Ms Stefanie Galvin
4 Comments

Isabella’s Garden, Pt. 2

Earlier this week I made a post about Isabella’s Garden, a beautiful picturebook written by Glenda Millard, and illustrated by Rebecca Cool.

I also talked about an art activity that I’ve used following a reading of the story, using torn bits of coloured paper to create a landscape image in the season of the students’ choosing. Below, please find examples of students work from 2011.

Isabella's Garden

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I also promised to share a photo of my Book Week Parade costume – Sunday Chutney!
IMG_0237Alas, I cut all my hair off the Saturday prior to the parade, but other than that I was quite happy with my costume!
How was your Book Week? (For those who celebrated it!)

Who would you dress up as for a book parade?

August 25, 2011
by Ms Stefanie Galvin
6 Comments

Isabella’s Garden

Isabelllas Garden

Last year, my favourite CBCA Shortlisted book was Isabella’s Garden, by the extremely talented Glenda Millard, with gorgeous illustrations by Rebecca Cool.

Earlier this week I was reading the latest blog post from 2KM and 2KJ about their Book Week celebrations. Now, Book Week is probably my favourite calendar event at school – and has been since I was in primary school. I remember many years of trying to decide on which book character I was going to dress up as for the Book Parade and now as a primary school teacher, I get to do it all again!

(This year I dressed up as Sunday Chutney – apparently there’s a photo floating around, so I’ll need to find it and post it!)

But, going back to 2KM and 2KJ’s blog post, I left a comment for them about how my class would be celebrating Book Week – with lots of reading and lots of art activities and lots of celebrating learning. And I was talking about some of the books we’d be reading as well – not just the 2011 shortlisted books, but also some from last year – including the aforementioned Isabella’s Garden.

I received a lovely comment back from Molly, asking who the author for Isabella’s Garden was and I was happy to reply, and with a bit about why I really adore this particular book.

I’ll even go so far as to say that this book is probably up there with some of my all-time favourite picture-books. I just love the language that Glenda Millard uses to conjure up such wonderful mental images – the repetitiveness of  the phrases she uses and how it depicts the change in the seasons and the life cycle of the plants in Isabella’s garden.

Last year, my prep class loved the book, and I was even happier to be sharing it with my class this year, because I know how much pleasure students can get out of hearing the story – and joining in when they realise that they know the words to the story. It’s quite lyrical in that sense.

These are the flowers that waltz with the wind that ruffles the buds, all velvety-skinned that swelled the shoots that sought the sun that kissed the clouds that cried the rain that soaked the seeds that slept in the soil all dark and deep, in Isabella’s garden.

Recreating Isabella’s Garden:

And, to follow up the reading, my students and I talked about the change in the seasons – and what happens to a garden over the course of a year. Then we talked about how each season can be represented by different combinations of colour (which prompted us to go back to the story):

  • Summer: yellow, orange, green, bright blue
  • Autumn: orange, brown
  • Winter: pale blue, white
  • Spring: bight green, pink, orange, red

Following this we made a very simple paper collage – with 2 rules:

  1. No scissors allowed!
  2. No pencils allowed!

Students created a scene from the season of their choice – a landscape –  using paper ripping techniques and their imaginations.

They were quite apprehensive when I told them they weren’t allowed to pre-draw their images – but once they realised that they were capable of tearing the paper and creating a picture using small bits and pieces they spent quite a bit of time putting together the ‘perfect’ scene. Not a single student complained that they couldn’t do it, or that they didn’t know what to do – and that is the mark of a successful lesson, where everyone can achieve their best work.

Isabella's Garden

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Do you have a favourite picturebook that inspires you?

Do you have a favourite book activity that you would like to share? (I’d love to hear it!)

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