Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Mommy full-force

I have fully immersed myself in Maylin’s classroom. The regular teacher has been on maternity leave and will not return until mid-November, so I have been doing the best I can to help the substitute who is very nice and very receptive to all my ideas. I have started a weekly newsletter to keep all the classroom families informed. I have also started teaching art and music once a week, for a half-hour per subject. That totally fulfills my need to teach, work with children, and do something creative! I love planning out my lessons and getting supplies. My first project was mini-books (only folding and cutting, no gluing/taping/stapling), and the second was alphabet books bound with rainbow yarn. This week we tackle bleeding tissue “paintings.” You can’t imagine how hard it’s been to locate this rare bleeding art tissue. Joann’s Superstore in El Cerrito didn’t have it (they didn’t even know it existed), Michael’s in Emeryville neither. Dick Blick’s (a real art store) had two packs left. Phew. I’ve never worked with this stuff before, but it sounds amazing. I’ll do a few tests before presenting it to the class. You tear up the tissue, place it on your paper (I got large, high-quality watercolor paper), and brush it over gently with water, leaving the color to bleed for 10 seconds. Remove the paper to see the watercolor effects underneath, or glue on for a different effect. The really great thing is that you can layer different colors on top of each other. I’m curious to see how they will blend. This should prove to be an extremely creative project. Upcoming projects will include Mexican paper-cutting and papier mache.

I just started teaching music last week, which will be in a similar format as last year’s when I taught Maylin’s kindergarten class. It’s so great to see the kids come alive in both the music and art classes. It seems this is what kids are meant to do – move about and be creative. It’s tough when they’re expected to be in their seats for most of the schoolday.

I asked Maylin which class she preferred, music or art. She chose art, which should be no surprise. She’s always coming up with ideas for her own projects (it’s hard when she HAS to finish a project and it’s bedtime). Some notable projects which I should photograph include a mermaid costume made entirely out of paper, a dog house for her favorite stuffed dog, Coconut (who got married over the summer to a friend’s stuffed panda, Alex), and a 3-D forest scene complete with real wood pasted down to look like a felled log, and standing colored cut-outs of trees, a deer, and a rabbit.

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