Saturday, March 10, 2012

working with clay and writing about it...

This is a blog entry I started and didn't finish.  Since I wrote this we have done two more sessions and we now have the final products.  The students have actually now started Clay Diaries Part Two!  But for now I will share Part One, an entry actually written in mid February with an update at the end!

We have now had three sessions (well actually five now) with our artist in residence, Phyllis Schwartz.  We had a two week hiatus due to her being away on holiday and our long weekend.  So far the students have done masks and hand built projects of their choice.  They have had a marvelous time and are eagerly awaiting her return to work with glazes and decorate their works of art.

When I was a consultant I was often told how great it was to have me in a classroom (okay at least sometimes) and I loved being in those classrooms.  This year having Phyllis teaching the children, I realize how much  kids benefit when someone has knowledge and passion about a subject and in her case, much patience and appreciation of the children's efforts.  I, as  a teacher, so appreciate how she can do what I really can not.

I want to freeze the experience a bit for my students and I have found that the best writing occurs from what experiences kids actually have.

Before we began working with Phyllis, I had the kids think about masks,  look at examples of different kinds of masks  and do a bit of research into masks (thanks again, Wikipedia).  During the project I had them keep "Clay diaries" writing shortly after they had worked with Phyllis each time.  Then they edited these and did drawings of the steps of their progress and published them. 
I think we were all pleased with the results and I will share a few here.

 This is to show you the covers!

 Samples of a bit of their writing!

Since then we had Day Four when students painted their masks.

Day Five they put on the glaze.

And finally they arrived back at school from our strike to find
the finished products that we put in the show case yesterday!

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