Learn Camp ending the year off right.

On Tuesday to kick off our last week together my coworker and I decided to run an EdCamp style day for our grade 3’s and 4’s.  We helped organize Edcamp Winnipeg in June and were interested to see how our students would respond to our very own Edcamp. When our students walked in to the school they saw signs for  RVS Learn Camp. We started just before recess explained the purpose of the day: Teach, Learn and Play. They were asked to think about what they could teach their peers about. Something they were had knowledge of and wanted to share with others. They were also asked to think about things they wanted to learn more about. We left the day wide open, just like normal Edcamp. We were simply there to help facilitate and learn with them.

Oh the twinkle in our students eyes when they realized we meant what we said… wide open floor!

Once they had filled out their Q cards with ideas they came and shared with their peers what they wanted to teach or learn about. Some of the ideas that were brought forward were: teaching people how to create minecraft people, how to write a play, how to create a tessellation picture to learning more about famous artists and how to draw animals.


Topic Suggestions

During recess Jenn and I put together a schedule for our Learn Camp and organized it into 6 time slots of 30 minute intervals. Each time slot had 2 sessions running at the same time. As luck would have it we had exactly the right number of topics to fit our schedule! We booked a computer lab for the day and had our classrooms open for sessions.  When the students came back from recess we gave them a quick rundown of the ‘rules’  and the students launched into their first session!

Rules for the day:

– Today is about learning. If a session isn’t meeting your learning needs go try the other session.

– If someone comes to a session they must be included.

– Have fun!

Session Pictures:


Tesselation Art Station


Build a Minecraft Model Station


Learn how to draw station


Learn how to draw station

It was so cool to see what they came up with! The students totally embraced the concept bringing their knowledge from their own lives and even from what they learned in school to share with others. It was quite amazing to see our two classes move from session to session totally engaged in what they were doing every step of the way. When we asked them at the end of the day if they enjoyed it the kids said they loved it! The liked being able to pursue what interested them and to teach each other about what they were experts in.

Jenn and I both agree that this is something we would try again with our students as we think now that they know what a Learn Camp is all about, next time they will push themselves even further.


The Bliss of Being

Happy girl Hopschotch in Strawberry photo credit: Pink Sherbet Photography D Sharon Pruitt via photopin cc

After being away sick two days this week it was wonderful to back in the classroom on Wednesday with my students.  They were so excited to tell me about the sculptures they had made in their Outdoor Ed block and how they couldn’t wait to paper mache them!

Today was the day they got to get their hands sticky and bring their animal sculptures to life.   As I sat watching them working away talking, laughing and happily creating with their hands. I couldn’t help but relish the joy and happiness of simply being together and learning.

Today was a good day. Pure Bliss.

Falling Into Our Imaginations

Here is an overview of an integrated art / writing lesson I did with my students last month.

It all started with a simple video I found on The Literacy Shed.

After watching the video we discussed what happened in the video and what happened to the boy as he fell into the ball pit. I then introduced them to the  art concept of foreshortening using a Powerpoint from http://www.mrsbrownart.com/5th.htm (Lesson is called: Falling into Foreshortening. 1/2 way down the page).

I then challenged the students to create an image of them falling into ‘something’ using the technique shown in Mrs Browns blog. The process is pretty simple. Students first trace their feet onto the bottom of the page and then trace their hands so their toes overlap the bottom of the palm of their hands. They then draw their body to create the complete the illusion of them falling.

After the students were done they were asked to write a short piece about what they were falling into. (I had modelled my own process from art piece to written piece).

Time Allotment:

3 – 4 classes

(One student even finished the project at home while she was sick!)


Large pieces of drawing paper,

Pencils and Erasers,

Pencil Crayons,

 You may want to use markers to really make the pictures pop!

We had students falling out of planes, into a ball pit, into hockey arenas and one was even shot out of a volcano!

Here are the final products:











Art is Beautiful

In the last week of practicum this year I had the amazing opportunity to take up my faculty advisor on an offer  she had made for her to come in and do an art workshop with my grade 4 class. Andrea is an amazingly talented woman who in addition to being a phenomenal faculty advisor, teaches at a local university and travels to schools around the province running art workshops! It truly was an amazing honour for me to have her come in and work with me and my students in the classroom.

The project she had chosen for us was a water-colour painting workshop inspired by the work of Romero Britto (http://www.britto.com/front/index). The process is fun, simple and enables all students to create something beautiful and that they are proud of. The students and I learned so much through the creative process.

Many thanks to Andrea, for without you this project would not have happened!

Time: 4 -6 hours

Grade Level: The beauty of this project is that with a few adjustments it can be done with students from grade 1 – 12.

Possible curriculum connections: Art, Science – light and the colour spectrum, Math – Patterning


Food colouring – Red, Blue, Yellow and Pink (It’s bright, cheap and washable! Every teachers dream art medium!)

Paint brushes of assorted sizes

Water colour paper (Cut into squares 28 x 28 cm)

Paper towels

Large selection of close up pictures of flowers

Water  in tubs at each station for washing brushes


  • Lay out all the images on the floor and introduce students to the idea that one of the things artists love to paint are flowers.
  • Have students pick a flower and examine it with their eyes and trace the outline of the image.
  • Using only red food colouring students paint the outline of their flower making sure that the image touches all four sides of the paper. If the student has chosen a skinny flower the outline may then only touch 3 sides of the paper. (Reassure students that the outline disappears in the final product so they can keep painting until they have the outline they desire).
  • Discuss with students what colours are made when you mix: red with yellow  and red with blue.
  • Students then pick either yellow or blue as their second colour. Students should work with the two colours to create different shades of oranges and purples and paint the inside of their flower. The colours created need not be the same as the ones in the picture they used to base their outline on.  *The pink is used to brighten the shades of purple*
  •  There is no need for students to add details here as the details will come in the last two steps of the creation process.
  • It is important to stress that students wash and dry their brushes after every time they dip their paint brush into the paint. This avoids polluting  and diluting the colours and helps to keep them bright and vibrant.
  • Using a colour wheel students pick a complimentary or analogous colour for their background that will help make their flower pop off the page.
  • Once the paintings are dry outline examine the doodles in Romero Brittos work and discuss the types of doodles he uses, the density of the doodles and how he arranges them in his paintings.
  • Students use a large permanent marker to outline their flower.
  • Then they proceed doodle on their flower. Encourage them to use the same doodle in each partition of the flower.
  • Voila! You should have a beautiful watercolour flower inspired by the work of Romero Britto!
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