I am a firm believer in sketchnoting and the bullet journal, so it gives me great satisfaction to doodle coloring sheets with a message for a board at our school. Students usually help me fill it in when they are at recess or on a brain break. This year I have no idea how that will work, so I guess I am just hopeful doodling at this point. I decided to video it this time to show that I keep at it until it’s done… everyone can doodle.
“Photography is an immediate reaction, drawing is a meditation.” Henri Cartier-Bresson
This year more than ever I am looking with a nervous eye at the Summer Slide effect. To keep learning interesting we mix in lots of activities that can employ language skills, but aren’t worksheets (although I am totally on board with a worksheet now and then because I am a tired working parent). Lots of apps and sites like Educreations had generous free upgrades this year for teachers during the school shutdown, so we used those at home, too.
Keeping things educational in quarantine wasn’t so bad when we used our own backyard and a homemade journal to record observations of animals and plants all around us. An example I made in my bullet journal is above, you can see my son’s journal as you view the slides below. When the boys found a critter to research we relied on Capstone, Epic and other kid friendly research sources to annotate our drawings with new learning. Then we tried out educreations to share our learning with friends. Click on the image to see/hear an example. Working on ideas for the next project now…the backyard animals want us to go away.
As a teacher, librarian, and girl friday- I have supported creative thinking in all my educational roles. But admittedly it’s hard to incorporate with all of the expectations and schedules and testing (blech had to say that). But give yourself a pat on the back if you have supported music, theatre, and dance in your instruction whenever you can! I’ve jotted down what I added to my routines this year to remind me that I am trying my best to support arts integration to address learning needs for the whole child.
5. You read books aloud to kids and you do picture walks. Find a few art terms to discuss (line, shape, texture) while looking at the pictures. Don’t know them well enough? No biggie, google some or ask your art teacher for help. Slap them on a post-it inside the book for easy reference as you read, viola, you are a museum assistant. Now the kids can draw and use these terms to express their own work, too.
4. You read the story? Fabulous. Act it out. One scene, assigned scenes, a character in the story with a new problem, role play… real theatre, my friends.
3. SING. You don’t want to? Find a youtube video and groove along. The movement and music are wonderful brain breaks, and if you can find a song about cell membranes, that’s a bonus.
2. Create a performance hour or choice board. Let kids know they can look forward to this type of expression or learning regularly in your class.
1. Allow students to give you feedback or information through drawing, painting, acting. THIS is the ultimate artistic exit ticket. Show me what you learned through art!