chinese lunar new year begins on friday! it is the grandest and most important festival for the chinese. it falls on sunset on the day of the second new moon following the winter solstice. this year it begins on the 31st and lasts until teng chieh, the lantern festival on the full moon a couple of weeks later. this is the year of the horse.
the upper grade students were asked to create posters to be hung in a chinatown store plaza. i printed some images off the internet, gathered the class around me and gave them a mini-lesson on how to draw, no tracing allowed. i showed them how to incorporate elements from all the different printed images then set them loose to design their posters anyway they wanted. for many of the students this was their first time using watercolor. thanks to the packrat that inhabited the class before me i found lots of supplies in the closets.
it's amazing what 5th graders can do! especially this particular group of 5th graders. i told them i had never in all my years of teaching taught a class to draw and had them be so successful with such little instruction. then i said in all seriousness, "of course those were 2nd graders, but still…" these students haven't done any art this school year, but it's obvious that they've received some kind of art instruction in the past even though most said, "i can't draw!" when we started.
after school there was a faculty meeting in the library. i gaped and gasped when i saw the giant dragon & lanterns. this school is a TITLE 1 school like my old one and most of the students live at or near the poverty level. you wouldn't know it from the school environment or test scores which are higher than the district's or state's.
i love this school and my class. so glad i landed here!
when my gig is up here i want a big rocker in a reading nook like the one above, a hotel maid's cleaning cart plus a box of labels and sharpies, and a big art room stocked with art supplies and 5th graders. reading, cleaning, categorizing, and making art with kids. that's what i want.
And a bit jealous.
Get out! You mean those fish were really drawn by your students? Love it!
oh MAM my heart sings with joy at the beauty of this artwork! Way to inspire your little ones to a lifetime of artistic joy! You are special indeed as are they who produced this fabulous work celebrating Chinese New Year!
Kate Burroughs says
Thank you so much for posting the kid’s art work! Blessings be! What a gift to those students to have a chance to do some art. “I can’t draw” indeed.
This is so awesome. This I think is the first time ever that I’m wishing to be back in school- for art time with Ms. Moss. Lucky kids.
Eileen Mailloux says
I wanted to tell you that I admire you. I see I’m not the only one.
Susan J. Gilman says
Lucky bunch of fifth graders landing YOU as their teacher! I want to be in that classroom making art and listening to you read! I’d help with the sorting and clean up and all….promise! (I am v. short so maybe they won’t notice I am decades beyond grade school age…)
So happy you have found this class ( and school) and they have found you. A great match.
You are the RADDEST teacher ever! Thanks for sharing. Children’s art makes me soooo happy.
Judy H. says
Love this. 🙂
What fun! Your students work is spontaneous and very good. I love to see anyone express themselves with no limits other than no tracing allowed.
I’m glad you get to teach at this school. I’m sure your students and their parents will love you for the gifts you bring to the classroom.
I love this.
Diane Moline says
Exactly why you should be in the classroom. With 5th graders. The best age of all.
Gabrielle Fabian says
You and your students are having so much fun!! I have taught at Contunuation High School and taught art to those students. One of the best things I have done with students over the years!
Enjoy your time there xx
Wow, these are fabulous! Your students are absolutely fantastic artistic learners! Perhaps you should be an art teacher….
My goodness, are you in your element or what? This is fabulous!
Wow, those posters are awesome!! The horses and the fish are especially well done, it’s amazing how talented these kids are. Okay, now I want to draw a koi!
WOW! Those drawings are really great. I’d love to be able to draw like a 5th grader…with your instruction of course. Simple supplies indeed. I’m so happy that you have landed there. Every day will be a marvelous adventure for you and them.
Every part of this post made me happy this morning! It gives me joy to know this beautiful school is Title I. It is Shangri-La!!!!!!!
Missy from the bayou
You’ve no idea how much I wish I was a 5th grader in your class! Those posters are amazing and I just adore this post. Hearing the happiness and energy in your ‘voice’ is wonderful. I am so happy that you are happy in your new school. Lucky you, and most importantly, lucky students!
The past year has been fun, but it is v.v.good to see you back in your element.
wow, look at those craft monkeys go. these are great. i bet you are loving it.
新 年 快 乐。 Just in case any of your students are Mandarin speakers! awesome work! Ang what kids can create with such a skilled and inspiring teacher as yourself
Janet Ghio says
I’m so glad you like your new school-it sounds like a wonderful experience for both you and the kids!
Kristi Shreenan says
The angels are watching out for both you and your students because you have landed on the perfect cloud! I’m imagining you driving your favorite route home and smiling, maybe cranking a little “Fly Me to the Moon” by Frank on the radio, Koi dancing wildly in your head. I am so grateful that you have found some peace in your working days. You gave them clear instructions, guidance and confidence to explore, and the students created mind boggling beauty. Like you they won’t forget that special day either. I adored the little Koi jumping out of the wave at the bottom of the page where there is a huge Koi on top. Ingeniously placed. And that dragon in the library took my breath away! Have a great day!
Parental involvement is often the tipping factor in schools, Title 1 or not. But you know that…
I’m lovin’ the work these chicks did so much so that I had to get myself a Koi image to play with. I guess it’s a watercolor day!
I have missed your school photos! So glad to see your students’ work. I tend to overbuy and underuse expensive and “sophisticated” supplies, and I am a bit awed by the works produced with only a basic box of watercolors. This minimalist approach to creativity has been a thread in your blog for as long as I can remember, but today’s photos are really “living proof.”!!!!!
You are making me miss substitute teaching – which I thought was impossible.
Well, Mary Poppins, I think you have found your niche!
This is so cool! In Hong Kong we say ‘Kung hei fat choi’. Have you seen the book ‘Chineasy’? Check it out on Amazon, it looks really cool (pre-order only though). The chinese character for horse is so similar to the horse watercolor made by one of your students. Love that life is good to you xo
Such fantastic art done by your students! I love it! You make ME want to work there! 😉
love love love this!!!! well done MA!!!
Linda Watson says
This is fantastic. And, I’m so glad that you’re happy and having such a great time. Yup. Art, kids, imagination, a dragon! Seems good to me.
Susie LaFond says
WOW Double WOW Triple ten-fold W O W!!!! Those posters are amazing, oh to behold the art from the hands of kids, beautiful, open, fearless art…LOVE IT ALL and your post made me feel good from head to toe at the very good kind of day you had, the best. I am wishin with everything in me that you can get a permanent gig in this school, or one with the same kind of vibe. And here is the thing, clearly someone cares and cares a great deal cuz bricks, concrete and mortar don’t make a school, it’s the staff, the people deep inside it’s walls that makes it a learning environment that thrives in spite of all the gaping holes in the system. You are one of those wonderful, teachers that are making a difference. You ROCK!
Sandy Guderyon says
And you shall have it,my dear-you shall have ALL o fit-the rocker, the supplies. the pens, the markers, the paints and the time and the money to do it, whether at home or on retreat! Even when you’re an old, old lady, you will be the one they come to and they will sit at your feet and you will dispense you wisdom.
That is as it should be.
I’m just sayin’ !
Glenda Hoagland says
Looking at this post made me think of my 12 days in China. You have done a great service for these children. I do so respect and admire you.
Pati Woodard says
OMG…. I love you even more… Can you imagine what the parents will think of this drawing their kid brings home? Bless you!
it seems that things are working out for you MAM. these are incredible posters! and the dragon! chinese new year is one of my favorite celebrations even though i don’t live in an area where it is well known.
i’m so glad that you are enjoying your class.