Sunday, November 12, 2017

A Bird Ballet - Part two

I saw the most incredible thing the other morning. It began with a sound: a swooshing sound that pulled me out of my warm house, barefoot into the cold. I thought the noise was the wind but it didn't sound quite right. I looked up and saw what was making such a sound: birds! The flapping of their wings was loud enough for me to hear inside my house! Thousands of migrating birds ribboning across the sky in black stripes - dancing and singing and flapping over me. I threw my head back in delight. My smile grew bigger and bigger as the birds kept coming. For over ten minutes they flew while I smiled up at the sky. Another gift for me to marvel over - another story to tell.

A BIRD BALLET - Part one

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Paper Cellphone

I have a paper cellphone that was given to me by a 4th grade student.  He gave it to me so that we could communicate throughout the class. This class was at the end of a very busy and trying day - the energy was chaotic, elevated and challenging to manage. At one point, I stopped in the midst of the chaos and watched as the class unfolded.  Let me clarify, please: I believe there needs to be a little chaos to feed the creative process. Though I don't try to instill chaos, I do let the students ride on the edges of it sometimes.  They were way beyond the edges - and I knew I needed to rein things in. But, truth be told, this was the tip of the iceberg for me and I was feeling defeated.

Then I looked across the room and my student, who had given me the paper cellphone earlier, had his paper cellphone to his ear. I took mine out of my pocket.
"Hello. Ms. Wheeler-Bean, are you okay?"

I told this boy that it had been a hard day and that I was feeling overwhelmed.  He reminded me that sometimes students make bad choices but we are all good people inside.  I smiled at him across the room and reined that class in, with light in my heart ... thanks to the wisdom and compassion of a 9-year old boy at the other end of a paper cellphone.

Monday, October 9, 2017

The Galleries at Lincoln Street School

              #no such thing as trash ... a gem I discovered on the drying rack :)          

Lincoln Street School students are finishing up a variety of projects: tree drawings, tree paintings, relief prints and gel plate prints. Finally - there is artwork to mount and display in the Lincoln Street School gallery! I consider every hallway in the school a wing of our gallery and I display one piece of art for each student with every project we do together. I believe it is important to show the art that is being made and to celebrate the accomplishments of each student.

In the process of making a final piece, other work may be generated.  Most of this work will be sent home as it's completed, along with information about the project.  As for the work that is on display in the LSS galleries, that will be sent home when the next show goes up. Though from time to time I may hold onto some artwork for display in the Youth Art Month show (March 2018) or the Town Library Shows (Nov/Dec 17, Jan//Feb 18). 

Please come tour the Lincoln Street School galleries!  The work that is going up is powerful and inspiring.  And be on the lookout for artwork coming home :)

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Walking to school each day

I consider myself a steward of this land. I walk to school every day - through the campus of Main Street and Lincoln Street Schools. I have witnessed great changes in its layout and landscape and yet it is still a beautiful site with mature trees and vernal pools, a rich habitat for birds and frogs, rabbits and squirrels. This land is an inspiring and rich resource for of our students. I am amazed every day by the beauty and grandeur of this place.

Go outside today.  Look up at the sky.  Watch the clouds.  Listen to the birds :) 

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

With a Little Help from my Friends

There's nothing better than being with a friend: talking, sharing ideas, laughing.  So much of school is based on those relationships with friends - making friends, building trust, belonging. I witness this building of friendships and community often at Lincoln Street School, especially at the start of the year when classrooms are new and new friendships are forming. I also see the reuniting of old friends after a summer apart - the joy in reconnection, the sharing of summer stories.

I had the pleasure of such a reconnection as I welcomed Ms. Rossetti back to LSS last Thursday.  Ms. Rossetti retired in June after 30+ years of teaching grade 5. She volunteered in the art room all day - helping me with whatever I needed! She was such a great help ... and such good company :)

As I reflected on last Thursday, I was reminded how invaluable having a friend by your side changes the entire day.  Not only was I able to share the work, but I was also able to share the experiences of the day: the successes and challenges - to let them go or to celebrate them ... with a friend.

Thank you Ms. Rossetti for sharing your time, your humor & your heart with the LSS students and me! We look forward to our next day together!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Open Art at LSS starts this week!

My grandnephew, Vinnie, drew this to display
in the art room!
Open Art starts this week! What is Open Art, you ask?
Open Art is a time that the art room is open to students before school. They can continue projects they began in art or begin a new, self-directed project. This time allows for more one-on-one with me as well as a quieter workspace.

I began this program over 10 years ago when I observed the stress level of many students who felt they were rushed in their art making. After all, we do not all work at the same pace ... especially in a creative activity. Time must be allowed so that ideas can flow and execution can unfold.

So, the nuts & bolts of the program are this:

Students may come into the art room from 8am - 8:25am beginning Tuesday, September 19th. Each grade level has a day: Tuesday for grade 5, Wednesday for grade 4 and Thursday for grade 3. Friday is a day I reserve to invite students in so that I can work with them and Monday is a day that I do not have Open Art.

Feel free to be in touch if you need more info!