Happy Fall Y'all! Last Friday was pumpkin painting time in my room. I thought I blogged about this last year, but I just went back to check and it turns out I never did, at least not with pictures. When I clicked on last years blog entries I saw my New Year's Resolution to use fewer worksheet/pencil & paper curriculum and to more hand-on activities. I was successful last year, but fell back into a more strictly curriculum pattern this year with the pressure from our consultant and new principal. It's gotten to me, and it's BORING! Besides it's not Common Core. So I stayed home today to work on activities, spider and bat units, fun writing projects, etc. Ahhh, I needed this. Woke up at 6:00 so I got up and worked on a sorting activity to practice odd and even. Then I got blogging and.... I've been here since. I'll get back to the school projects in a little while. Anyway.... I started out telling you about our pumpkins. I begin by showing the kids a bottle of yellow and a bottle of red paint and I say, "We're going to paint pumpkins." They look at me like "What- chu- talkin'- bout- Willis?" (Am I dating myself saying that? Did you watch Different Strokes too?) Then I read the book
which tells how primary colors mix to make other colors. We pass out paper, brushes, and paper plates with yellow paint on them. Then I start by showing how to paint a pumpkin shape (it can be round, tall, etc). I tell the kids not to spread the paint around too much. "Leave gobs of paint" I say.
I show them all these steps on my sample on the board then let them started.
What I love about this part is how all the oranges or different- just like real pumpkins!
I put them on our drying rack and have the kids add the stem the following day. I cut the pumpkins out and then put out pumpkin patch together. Ta-Da!
In my class most painting is done whole class. I call kids over in small groups to add details like stems, or hats and scarves on our snowmen. But the main things are done whole class to save time. The "painting rule" that is most helpful to me is that "There is no talking while painting." I tell them that artists focus on their paintings when they paint so "we" will do the same thing. The first time we paint (which is the pumpkins) I do have to take a few brushes away (2 this year). But I tell the kids that I will take their brushes if they are talking and give them back when they can work quietly. So I keep the brushes for only about a minute then give them back. In future projects I rarely have to take away brushes. It just seems to keep the kids focused and they are more careful about handling their brushes so it doesn't end up a fun face painting activity! I love painting with my class and they love it too!
Well, I'm off to try to "Common Core" my curriculum. Wish me luck!
But before I go..... my friend Barbara over at Grade ONEderful is celebrating 500 follower! She's having an amazing giveaway including some items from other fabulous bloggers. If you haven't been over to Grade ONEderful yet, what are you waiting for? Hurry! Click on her button below. Don't miss out on her great blog.
I also update my Blogger Meet-Up post with photos if you want to take a look.
Hopefully this all made sense. I didn't go back and read it. Thanks for sticking with me through this long post.