Monday, June 29, 2015

Art in Education: Street Painting


This past weekend we had the opportunity to attend the Italian Street Painting Festival in San Rafael.  This year's theme was Carnevale di Venezia.  My daughters and I enjoyed seeing all of the beautiful chalk drawings from artists from as far away as Italy and Mexico City.  Check out some of the artwork.

While I never personally felt artistically inclined in school, I always made it a point to incorporate art in the classroom. Students always had the opportunity to sketch out ideas, illustrate vocabulary, and brainstorm with pictures when needed.  I also reserved Friday afternoons for expanded art lessons. I always felt as though I got to see a different side to my students when they hunkered down and tackled a new art project.

As I strolled through the hundreds of street paintings, it made me wonder how students could use these paintings to illustrate what they were learning. How fun would it be to take the kids outside and allow them to explain in drawings, rather than words, a section they were reading about (in any subject)?  Fresh air, artistic freedom, and comprehension skills all wrapped in one? Sounds like a win/win.  Plus your school play yard would be a bit more colorful!  I'm sure the students would enjoy showing their friends at recess which drawing was theirs; as well as explaining/teaching the concept to their peers.

I'd love to hear how you incorporate art in your classrooms!

P.S.  Here's my 4 year old daughter working on her masterpiece.

Have a great week!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Twitter Newbie!

Hey Everyone,

So, I'm trying to come into the 21st century and figure out Twitter.  It seems a bit like a foreign language with all the hashtags, and @ symbols.  Bear with me.  If you'd like, you can follow me @Sugar_Cube_Edu. Who knows if I will ever figure this out.  I should ask a student to help me.  Ha. 
On a positive note, here's a pic of my first tweet!  Have a great weekend, y'all.  Enjoy the sunshine.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

Hello Everyone,

It's Wordless Wednesday and I am joining Miss DeCarbo for her Wordless Wednesday Linky Party.

I hope you're having a great week so far!  This pic came through my Instagram feed this morning from @sracruzspanish, and it reminded me to take a step back and breathe. The dishes, the laundry, the grocery shopping will all still be there.  What's important is to live simply, dream big, give thanks, love a lot, and laugh even more.  


So rather than dwell on all the 'stuff' that was on my never-ending to-do list, my daughters and I went to the library, played at the park, wrote thank-you letters and decorated them with glittery stickers, went for a long walk, and read lots of books.  Because at the end of the day, what's really important (to me anyway) are the simple, little blessings right in front of me.  And for that I am grateful.   

What are you grateful for this week?

Monday, June 22, 2015

Dare to Dream Challenge #2

Hello Everybody,

It's week two of the Teachers Pay Teachers Seller Challenge, and this is the week to dream big.  I love how this challenge has made me sit down and think about why I am embarking on this adventure. It is a big time investment, but it has been a great creative outlet for me, and has allowed me to keep in the loop of all things education.
Go big or go home, right?

  1. I set three goals for myself and my little TpT store.  My short term goal is to buy a serger so I can sew my littles some really cute clothes.  I love to sew clothes for my girls, and when I'm not working on classroom lessons, you can find me cruising sewing blogs and drooling over fabric at various online shops. (P.S. For any seamstresses out there, have you seen Kitschy Coo's shop?  I love Lillestoff fabric, but it's another treat I have to save for.)
  2. My second goal is to help pay for my girls' educational expenses.  Catholic school tuition isn't cheap these days; but I would love for them to be able to go, so they have an opportunity to grow in their faith every day.  
  3. My long-term goal is to save for a trip to Greece and the Holy Land.  For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to visit Greece, and its iconic blue-domed facades.  A trip to the Holy Land would be spectacular, and a huge learning experience for me. To trace Jesus' footsteps would be an amazing experience.

Thanks for coming along on this journey with me, and all the support along the way.

Friday, June 19, 2015

A Fun Little Read Aloud & Opinion Writing

Hi Y'all, I just wanted to share a fun little book I think would make a great read aloud for your lower elementary classes. Missy's Super Duper Royal Deluxe Class Pets by Susan Nees is a hoot! The main character, Melissa really wants to take home the class pets (rats) for the weekend, but Mrs. Snodgrass, her teacher, promises them to the new girl, Tiffany. When Tiffany finds out that Eeenie-Meenie, Miney, and Moe are rats (and not hamsters), hilarity ensues. This book has so many teaching points: opinion writing, being responsible, and how to resolve conflicts, to name a few. My daughter and I really enjoyed it.
Also, if you'd like to emphasize the opinion writing aspect of this book, I have my Step by Step Opinion Writing pack in my store. One of the writing tasks in the pack is for students to explain to their parents which pet is the best and why they should buy it for them. Click on the shop tab to grab it if you wish. Thanks! I think your students will really enjoy this book!

Makeover Madness Challenge #1

Hey Everyone, I'm having such a great time learning from all the wonderful teachers that are Teachers Pay Teachers. While I am fairly new to this community, I wanted to share my TpT Sellers Challenge #1, which was to make over a product that you thought might need a little sprucing up. I decided to change up the first product I ever listed, which is a basic introduction to bar graphs for third grade. It is pretty simple, but I love how it makes the students active participants in designing questions about the graphs they are seeing. There is a great website on the last page that lets the kids create their own bar graphs online too. I suggest using this product whole group with a projection camera if you have one. If you need an easy, simple introduction to bar graphs, you can find it in my shop.
Thanks for stopping by!