Compass Points / Step Inside - Visible Thinking Routines
G3 have been developing their observing and analytical skills through visible thinking routines. The first one we tried was called 'Compass Points'. This routine prompts the children to express their own views about something (in this case a provocative image) and to consider the perspective of the artist and the bigger conceptual idea behind the image.
We have also been using the visible thinking routine of 'Step Inside' to really put ourselves in the place of an artist and to really learn to appreciate what they are trying to express to their audience. This routine is very fun, as we literally have to step into the picture (see video below).
Within G3 we are using lots of engaging visible thinking and we are building up a healthy repetoire of different routines. These then become a common way to share our views, ideas and thinking. More information about different visible thinking strategies can be found by clicking the link below.
A huge thank you to all the parents and teachers who took part in our creativity week. The children got lots of opportunities to understand, try and ask questions about many different art forms. Thank you for being so brave and setting such a good example for your children.
The adult workshops have also inspired the children to bring in their own passions and to share them with the class in a similar way.
Hastimam Madrassa Trip
This week Grade 3 were very lucky to visit the Hastimam Madrassa in Tashkent. We were treated to five fascinating local workshops about wood carving, lacquered painting, straw art, embroidery and minature painting.
It was wonderful to observe the accuracy and precision by these craftsmen/women. It was great for the kids to see the dedication, patience and enthusiasm by the artists for their work. We also got to 'have a go' at some of the arts. Hopefully, some of these experiences will inspire and influence the class when they start creating work for the G3 Art Exhibition at the end of our current 'How We Express Ourselves' unit.
Emotional Doodling - Expression
Emotional doodling is when you let your drawings be influenced by other factors, in this case music. You allow the ideas, the colours and outline of a piece to be driven by the emotions you feel from each piece of music. We had four very diverse pieces. A scary piece of music from a horror movie, the calm of William Orbit, the Teletubbies theme and finally ending on Dr Dre. It is fascinating to see how each child reacted differently (through their art) to each style of music. This was a great lead in to our second line of inquiry 'Audiences can interpret the arts differently' and our focus on the related concept of 'subjectivity'.
As part of our word study lessons we inquired into pangrams. A pangram is a sentence (that makes sense) that has every letter of the alphabet used at least one time. The shortest pangram in the English language is 'The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.' 9 words and 35 letters. The challenge was to beat this total. Sadly, we did not manage this almost impossible feat (modern computers have failed to create a shorter panagram), but we did come up with some very fun sentences and we really took time to consider our choice of words and letters.
The last few weeks Grade 3 have been focusing on fractions in mathematics. The central idea has been 'We explore fractions to understand how the world around is shared / divided'. We followed the following lines of inquiry and concepts.
Creativity Videos of the Week
Below are some very inspirational and provocative videos that we have been watching about creativity and the arts. If you have time over the weekend, I would definitely recommend that you watch these together as a family and talk about how each video makes you feel and why. What do you take away from the videos?
As the culmination of our 'How We Express Ourselves' G3 will be hosting an Art Exhibition on Monday 12th March. Parents will be invited to come to the exhibition from 1.10pm and then children from other classes will start attending from 1.30pm. Please mark this date in your diaries / calendars.
Have an amazing and creative weekend,
Our New 'How We Express Ourselves' Unit
G3 have been very busy unpacking lots of the key elements in our new 'How We Express Ourselves' unit of inquiry. We have been un-jumbling our central idea and considering what directions the inquiry might possibly go in. We have also looked at which skills we will be focusing on and trying to improve over the course of the unit. We start with looking at the skill of observing, then we synthesis our ideas before presenting them in many wonderful pieces of art!
As a provocation to get the children really thinking about their own views and ideas about art, we gave them 12 different paintings to observe and consider. These painting ranged dramatically in value (and fame) from the most expensive painting ever sold by Leonard Di Vinci ($450.3M) all the way down to a painting by a boy named James aged 5 from South London (James does not sell his paintings).
The children were not told the name of the artists or the valuations initially. Instead they were given the task of ranking the paintings (in groups) in order based upon the following criteria. 1) Preference 2) Value 3) The ability of the artist. Of course, so much of this is very subjective and there is no actual correct answer. This kind of activity is an excellent starting point for the children to debate and exchange different views.
Interesting enough, most children were drawn to two paintings that had very low valuations. They expressed why and could give reasons for their views and why they were each ranked above the other paintings. It was very interesting when the real valuations were displayed. Did the children still feel the same or did they change their minds? Was value important or was it the beauty that they saw before they knew the price? Some very interesting debates and conversations....
Our 'How We Express Ourselves' central idea is 'The arts are a unique way to communicate a message or a story'. So, an important part of the unit is for the children to work out what message or story they want to tell and explore.
We started this process by getting the children to lay down and listen to relaxing music. They were then asked to start to try and visualise important memories from their lives. They were encouraged to considered all memories that perhaps involved lots of different emotions. Once the children had been given lots of time they each chose 4 key memories to focus on and to document in their scrolls.
For each memory the children recorded a sketch of the memory, why it was powerful to them, what emotions were linked to them, the senses they connect to it and a headline that summed it up in 2-8 words.
Now they have completed their scrolls, these will form the platform for their inquiries in to how they express and tell their stories through a wide variety of arts. Also, the children will start to consider whether they can share the same memory using different forms of art. Are some memories easier to share through certain art forms? Why?
Passion Projects 2018
3C have been thinking about their passion projects from 2017. Which parts were successful and why? Also, they were considering if they wanted to continue their old projects or start a new project.
Some have continued to explore the same areas, whilst others have changed their ideas. We have lots of intriguing new projects in many exciting areas such as:
- How to draw better
- The history of bookmarks
- An exploration into the discipline of the pole vault
- The ultimate Marvel fighter
- Photographing nature
G3 practiced their presenting skills at the Winter Concert last night. The night provided lots of connections to our current unit and a great chance for the children to express themselves in front of a very big audience. There are some photos / videos below from both the dress rehearsal and the concert.
PARENTS - We Need You!
Dear Grade 3 Parents,
G3's current 'How We Express Ourselves' unit is underway. Our central idea is 'The arts are a unique way to communicate a message or a story'. At this stage of the unit we are looking at the different forms of art and how they can be used to express feelings and stories. This is where we would like your help to introduce the children to as many different forms of the arts as possible.
Please sign up to the following google doc if you are willing to offer a small workshop next week to share an art / hobby that you are passionate about that involves creativity. The workshop might only be for 5 minutes or perhaps a lot longer if you have lots to share. Last year we had lots of brave parents who offered a wide range of small demonstrations. Examples included origami, dancing, embroidery, instrument solos, poetry, story telling, showing art and talks about photography.
Thanks for being risk-takers and getting involved in G3's learning. Once you have signed up to a slot one of the G3 teachers will be in touch to see how we can assist you to prepare.
The Grade 3 Team
Creative Street Art
Many of the children really enjoyed this video and the idea that the street artists used the environment as the inspiration for their art work. It is really great to keep pausing the video and to consider what was the starting point that inspired each piece of art and to try and consider what each artist is trying to express and why. Enjoy.
Growth Mindset of the Week
I hope to see some of you next week joining in our week of creativity and expression. If you can not access the google doc to sign up for a workshop, please just email me and we will work out a time.
Have an amazing weekend,
Welcome to the G3 blog.