Friday Two Cents: Awaking Joy In Creative Expression And Knowledge


As the second week of me working in the grade 1 class came to an end, I believe the students and I are getting the hang of the new routine. I am trying to keep as much of the students routine they had with the other teacher but I am adding a few of my own touches.

One thing I introduced is a story time where I read a story picture book but I only read a few pages every day. They are large, colourful books that have about 100 pages. I have many Disney story books that fit this description and the students are familiar with many of these stories. I also have a bookmark that I use to mark where we left off. Every day I would read a few pages until Friday when I would finish off the story.

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

This week we read “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”, the story seen in the original 1940 Fantasia. Many haven’t seen this piece and it was not too long for a first book. Every day I read a few pages and I would ask the students to predict what would happen next in the story. Many had some imaginative ideas but most came very close to what would happen next in the story. Every morning and even once or twice in the afternoon I was asked when I would continue the story.
I thought this is a wonderful way to introduce longer stories to them then they are used to and for them to know that they can read longer books. All they need is a bookmark to mark were they left off. The nice thing is that one student wanted my bookmark after I finished reading the book, however I suggested if they wanted they could make their own bookmark during their free time. I have a few strips of paper I use for making notes, the perfect size of a bookmark. I gave them one and then one by one the students wanting to make their own bookmarks too. Many even got some yarn to make tassels.

Student’s bookmark

But I think the clincher was when I told them that at the end of Friday I would show them the video of the original “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” from the original 1940 Fantasia, but only if they were good. Of course they were and just before the end of the day we watched the 9-minute video. They were enthralled, not one of them talked during the 9 minutes. And even though it is all music they never said anything about it not having words. They were so excited by it; many asked what story I was bringing in next week. I told them they had to wait and see. They were mildly disappointed but they smiled and I think they knew that was going to be my answer.
Amazing. Simply bringing in a book to read over the week helped the students get introduced to longer books they could enjoy over days, inspire creativity in making bookmarks and enthusiasm for reading. That’s why I love being a teacher. I guess Albert Einstein was right when he said …

 

 

‘It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.’ Albert Einstein

 

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Art Inspiration: Imagine The Impossible: Steampunk Woman 12  


    

‘The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.’ Aristotle

‘Imagination is more important than knowledge.’ Albert Einstein

 

Inspiration and Imagination, something every artist needs and is elusive as an island of tranquility in a sea of chaos. Many people have told me that I inspire the children and people in general with what I do. Whether creating art, playing baseball or trying to improve my life, people say that I have inspired others to try new things and look inside themselves. I have always found this interesting because I get my inspiration from these very people.

A prime example is when I drew the staff at my school as cartoon characters or caricatures for their Christmas Cards. It took quit a while to create the caricatures but once the staff received them they loved the cards and caricatures. In the next few weeks I will be posting a few of the characters from the cards because these people inspired me to create these characters. Hopefully they can spur imagination and inspire others.

Steampunk Woman 12

The twelfth caricature is a wonderful teacher who always wears a smile and is a sweet heart to the core. She always has a nice thing to say and is the gentlest person I know. Therefore I wanted her caricature be a badass and show a different side of her then she wouldn’t normally show. I began with a corset-vest combination and then added a rolled up shirt that showed some cleavage. Instead of pants or a long skirt I drew her with a mini-skirt that showed a lot of leg. I then added the leather boots and two belts, one with bullets. Her hair comes down past her shoulders and then I put in goggles for an extra touch. However, instead of drawing her holding a gun or a rife I thought she would look tougher with a kick ass sword. I draw her with a sword that was more of a cross between a sword and an axe. The results were pretty badass.

She really enjoyed her caricature especially the tough look of the caricature and she loved the sword. I hope you enjoy the twelfth steampunk caricature from “Imagine the Impossible.”

Steampunk Woman 12

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Friday Two Cents: A New Year With A New Experience


 

With the New Year I begin a new adventure.   I have been fortunate to been given the chance to be the teacher in a grade 1 class. It is a tremendous opportunity to teach a full grade one class and to put my years of education and experience into practice. I was lucky to teach in a kindergarten class at the end of last year’s school year and yet now I get another chance to teach many of the same students again in grade 1. I have been with them for the first week and it has been tiring but very enjoyable and enlightening.

The interesting thing is that I worked with a grade five class for about a week and a half before the Christmas break and now I go from a class of 10/11 year olds to one of 6/7 year olds. To say they are very different grades would be stating the obvious but they all have their own rewards. These little people in grade one are so full of wonder and excitement to learn that it has become a bit infectious. They have been eager to learn and I in turn am eager to teach the lessons with these students.
We work on subjects that I enjoy such as art but their enthusiasm for the core subjects like math and literacy is amazing. One literacy activity we did is a “Roll and Read” sight word game. Each student gets to roll the dice and whatever number it lands on they must say the words under that number as quickly as they can. I introduced it on Monday and everyday since they are eager to play the game.

Roll and Read Sight Game

Another activity I introduced is a subitizing activity. Subitizing is the ability to recognize the number of a group of items at a glance and without counting. I used bingo dabbers to make dots on a card and we practice this just before the math lessons. The real nice thing is that I noticed the students practicing on one-another during their indoor recess time.

Subtilizing Card game

It is only the bringing and I have no idea how long I will be in this class, but one thing is for sure, I am going to enjoy this experience with the students. Already I have noticed that they are learning new things but on the other side so am I.  

Art Inspiration: Imagine The Impossible: Steampunk Woman 11


 

‘The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.’ Aristotle

‘Imagination is more important than knowledge.’ Albert Einstein

Inspiration and Imagination, something every artist needs and is elusive as an island of tranquility in a sea of chaos. Many people have told me that I inspire the children and people in general with what I do. Whether creating art, playing baseball or trying to improve my life, people say that I have inspired others to try new things and look inside themselves. I have always found this interesting because I get my inspiration from these very people.

A prime example is when I drew the staff at my school as cartoon characters or caricatures for their Christmas Cards. It took quit a while to create the caricatures but once the staff received them they loved the cards and caricatures. In the next few weeks I will be posting a few of the characters from the cards because these people inspired me to create these characters. Hopefully they can spur imagination and inspire others.

Steampunk Woman 11

The eleventh caricature is a wonderful teacher and a lovely person that thinks of the students in everything she does. She is a bit quiet but she is always there to lend a helping hand. I wanted to draw her caricature a little riské, therefore I began with a corset and instead of a blouse I added a sheer top to show off a little cleavage. I then added a short skirt that allowed the caricature to show off her stockings and garters. Then I drew in the knee-high leather boots and a side pack. I had her hair come down onto her shoulders but I added a lady’s hat with feathers for that elegant look. The one thing that was different then the other caricatures is that everyone had either a necklace or earrings that had one gear as a piece of jewelry. Yet with this caricature I drew in three on her necklace. This is because she was my secret Santa and it was part of a game I did when I game everyone the final portrait with everyone on it.

She really enjoyed her caricature especially the stockings; as did everyone else. I hope you enjoy the eleventh steampunk caricature from “Imagine the Impossible.”

 

Steampunk Woman 11

Art Inspiration: Imagine The Impossible: Steampunk Woman 10


‘The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.’ Aristotle

‘Imagination is more important than knowledge.’ Albert Einstein

 

Inspiration and Imagination, something every artist needs and is elusive as an island of tranquility in a sea of chaos. Many people have told me that I inspire the children and people in general with what I do. Whether creating art, playing baseball or trying to improve my life, people say that I have inspired others to try new things and look inside themselves. I have always found this interesting because I get my inspiration from these very people.

A prime example is when I drew the staff at my school as cartoon characters or caricatures for their Christmas Cards. It took quit a while to create the caricatures but once the staff received them they loved the cards and caricatures. In the next few weeks I will be posting a few of the characters from the cards because these people inspired me to create these characters. Hopefully they can spur imagination and inspire others.

 

Steampunk Woman 10

The tenth caricature is a great teacher and a lovely person on top of everything else. The teacher cares deeply about the students and staff she works with as much as her own family. She is always thinking of others that I wanted to she her as a lady with a bit of spice on the side. I therefore began with a blue dress with a visible corset and a frilly skirt to match. I added the sheer top that showed a bit of cleavage and the thigh high stocks for that spicy side. I finished off the look with shoes and a top hat that matched the dress and of course she would not be complete without a sidearm, just incase you decide to mess with her.

She really enjoyed her caricature, as did many of the other staff, which liked the fact that her caricature was showing a lot of leg. I hope you enjoy the tenth steampunk caricature from “Imagine the Impossible.”

 

Steampunk Woman 10

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Friday Two Cents: Two Cents For A New Year


Last week was the final week at school before the winter break and I was fortunate to work in a grade 5 class for the entire week. I have supplied in that class before and the students all know me and I enjoy their company and quirky personalities. The teacher left her plans for me to follow but she also left me room to do a bit of what I’d like to do with them. She knows I have a visual art background so art of course was one of them, yet I also have a fondness for math.

The lessons for the week were around measurement and one unit was on money. I did the lessons with the students but one thing came to my attention with a question from a student. She asked about why do we have to know about pennies when we do not use them anymore. I told her that this was an excellent question and she was one of many people, teachers, administrators and parents included who were asking the same question.  I told her; even though we do not use them we still need to understand the math behind calculating making change and other necessary interactions when it comes to money. They mentioned the rounding up or down depending on the value. For example if the cents end with a 1, 2, 6 or 7 we round down to the nearest 5 or 10 but if the cents end with a 3, 4, 8 or 9 we round-up.
They got that concept but a question came up, “Does the rounding benefit the consumer or the retailer?” I was curious and then I heard about a study done by an undergrad on this very subject. She found that the rounding is benefiting the grocery stories in the range of over $3 billion Canadian or about $157 per store a year. A spokesperson for the Retail Counsel of Canada disagrees with the finds but it does make me wonder. Therefore I made it a point to look at my purchases a little closely for this issue and I did notice that the bills of many favoured the retailer more than myself, the consumer.

‘Penny rounding adds $3 million a year to grocery stores’ bottom line, study says’

I noticed this a lot with small purchases like coffee or when I went out for a bit to eat. Yet I also noticed this when I bought groceries and during Christmas shopping. I for one do not like using the debit cards when making purchases I prefer cash. Yet this has opened my eyes a bit and I have been changing the way I shop. Most recently I no longer use cash when buying coffee at Tim Hortons, I use a gift card that I reload, with cash. This way if the bill is $5.88 I pay $5.88 not $5.90. On large purchases I use my credit cards but I think I need to get a cash card for the stores that I frequent so I can pay the exact amount without rounding.
Upon reflection this is exactly what many people want, the beginning steps towards a cashless society. I know that I am not on the for-front of this but I enjoy using cash. It helps me to budget what I spend and how much. I also like the feel of it in my hand. Every time I feel those coins in my hand I would imagine what someone a century, two centuries even a millennia or two ago felt like when making a purchase. I once found a bronze Roman coin dating back to about 300 AD and as I held it in my hand I wondered, who else held this coin? A slave, a blacksmith, a farmer or even a Roman Legionnaire who knows but just thinking it made me realise that now I was part of this coin’s history.   Money, coins in particular have been around since the beginning of civilization, it is a part of who we are. It is a way for us to remember where we came from and be apart of history instead of just observing it.

My two cents and my new years goal is that I will probably go cashless on many things, just to make sure that the system benefits me more than the retailers. However in my heart I will probably still use the age-old traditions to help me with this goal, if only to remind myself and imagine a simpler time.  

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Art Inspiration: Imagine The Impossible: Steampunk Woman 09


 

‘The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.’ Aristotle

‘Imagination is more important than knowledge.’ Albert Einstein

 

Inspiration and Imagination, something every artist needs and is elusive as an island of tranquility in a sea of chaos. Many people have told me that I inspire the children and people in general with what I do. Whether creating art, playing baseball or trying to improve my life, people say that I have inspired others to try new things and look inside themselves. I have always found this interesting because I get my inspiration from these very people.

A prime example is when I drew the staff at my school as cartoon characters or caricatures for their Christmas Cards. It took quit a while to create the caricatures but once the staff received them they loved the cards and caricatures. In the next few weeks I will be posting a few of the characters from the cards because these people inspired me to create these characters. Hopefully they can spur imagination and inspire others.

Steampunk Woman 09

The ninth caricature is a great teacher and one tough cookie. With this in mind I wanted to draw her caricature to reflect it. I began with a corset, a low-cut white blouse and I then added a ruffled skirt to show her feminine side. But then to toughen her up a bit I added the boots and leather greaves. She has longhair yet I added the top hat with the goggles for that tough look. To finish the look I gave her a large steampunk looking rifle with a lot of embellishments on this weapon in comparison to others I have drawn. She is leaning and in the final image she would be leaning on a couple of large crates, similar to the small crate she is stepping on.

She really enjoyed her caricature, as did many of the other staff. I hope you enjoy the ninth steampunk caricature from “Imagine the Impossible.”

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Steampunk Woman 09

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