Monday, 16 June 2014

Sew Sew

my year threes, fours and fives are busily working on their textile project which started some time ago. We developed a design and made a print on fabric. We have been exploring and learning different types of embroidery stitches. I have this on my interactive white board for them to refer to along with a set of sewing cards for a range of other stitches if they want. My plan is to make some little movies demonstrating how to do each stitch so that the children can go to the board and by touching the illustration they are given an individual instruction when they need it - I just have to figure out how to do that! ;)
 Each year level has a certain number of different stitches to aim for. 
 Year 3 need to work on the running stitch family of stitches and have a go at stem stitch and one "tricky" stitch if they would like to. 
Year fives are expected to be able to do the running stitches and stem stitch plus one of the tricky ones. I have set these targets because I realised that a lot of the kids were saying "This is hard" and giving up really quickly when challenged by something that wasn't really hard but actually just required some concentration and a little perseverance.
 Having said this within each class there are some kids who do have extra challenges to face whether it be physical or just down to a lack of confidence or experience with a certain skill, so several children have their own specific goals that I will negotiate with them along the way.
My father was an artist and a teacher also, he worked in many contexts - as I have done but at one stage he worked with young kids with disabilities at Rocky Bay, some of these children were born without arms or legs so for an art teacher this was a big challenge, but this didn't stop my father from looking for the positives finding ways to see what they could do rather than focusing on what they couldn't do. 
This stuck in my impressionable young mind and to this day I try as much as I can to help children see beyond what they can't do to find ways of doing things that works for them - whether it means insisting that they have just one more go at threading that needle for themselves 
or finding ways for them to hold a tool in a way that works for them 
or finding something that might support them and make the job just a little easier. 
The look on their faces when they actually achieve something for themselves is priceless.

The photos used here are from my year 4/5 class.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014


Two of our upper primary classes have been looking at how Chinese culture has influenced western culture. Some of the children had studied China in Social studies so we discussed some of the important things that Chinese culture has given the world, like the compass, gunpowder,
paper and silk and of course china.
We looked a typical blue and white china designs.
I played a bit of a trick by showing the class the willow plate. They immediately guessed that it came from China. They were surprised to find out that the famous willow pattern china is actually English.
 It came as a result of people being interested in things from china and it became fashionable to imitate the Chinese style in other countries.
We watched this animated version of the Chinese story that inspired the plate design.
Then we had a go at creating some of our own. Firstly we sketched some ideas in our visual diaries, taking care to copy the patterns and shapes of designs that made the plates look Chinese.
We used blue, black and white acrylic paint to create shades (adding black) and tints (adding white) of blue.
delightful aren't they?
These are from my year 6/7 class.