Friday, May 11, 2012

Always at the last minute...

Procrastination.  It's sort of a thing with me.  Also, last minute changes in plan.  Not exactly sure why I'm that way.  I suppose it's a great nature or nurture question.  Or maybe just a bad habit that's all on me.  Regardless- I did a last minute change of plan Mother's Day project at school today just so I felt like I "did something" for the holiday.

Where I used to teach, I always did up Halloween, Christmas and Valentine's, Easter; made a poor showing attempt for Thanksgiving, Groundhog Day, St. Patrick's Day; and then usually completely skipped Earth Day, Mother's Day, and Memorial Day.  Are there other school crafty holidays?  Then add them to the totally didn't do list.  But at my new school, my old stand bys are kindof no-nos.  At least, that's my perception so far- but everybody was doing something for Mother's Day.  Did I mention I am also easily swayed by group dynamics? Yes, I am just a tub of poor character traits.

So I had been tooling around on Pinterest and came across this Mother's Day project on .  They made some really extremely cool Mother's Day portrait collages. And even had this whole math, counting money, economic choices thing wrapped up into it.  If you have not seen this site- go there now!  Forget this drivel I'm writing.  And they had other Mother's Day ideas as well- of which "the spa" is something I absolutely want to shoot for next year.   If I can plan ahead for it.  Since you CANNOT do a last minute spa.  Impossible, for sure.

This Mother's Day collage portrait is ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE.  And after becoming consumed with professional awe and jealousy over Flamingo Fabulous' silhouettes - - YES, HEAD THERE NOW TO SEE!!!, why are you still reading this, anyway? - I decided that I must give the portraits a shot.  No, I did not have all of the necessary materials.  Yes, I am making a very stern note to myself to make sure I have them ahead of time NEXT YEAR (a.k.a Super Teacher Year).  But we made do with what we had, and I have to admit, they turned out pretty cute.

Here's a few samples:

The big item that I needed was the multi-cultural paper, or at least crayons or markers.  I told the kids to make sure to color the heads, but some chose not to.  Which is alright, but if you go to the other blog you will see how much better they look with the already colored paper.

I didn't do the economic choices part of it either.  That was a time issue thing.  I just had them choose their materials and get crafty with it.  But I did start the lesson off with playing ABC adjectives for our moms.  I announced the topic, let them brainstorm for a minute with their friends, and then called out the letters and took suggestions and I wrote them all on chart paper.  We discussed choices while we charted, sometimes they thought of an adjective that started with the right letter, but wasn't really a "nice" thing to say about their moms.  "Yes, I know your mom might be very tired- it comes with the job, but we probably shouldn't put that on a poster describing everything we love about her..."  And were able to have some nice discussions over suffixes and what words meant.  It was surprising how many different words they suggested and then asked a second later- "What does that mean, anyway?"

Overall, they were pleased, and so was I.  We all loved the scrapbook paper for the shirts. It was amazing how they looked at the papers and talked out loud about- "Well, I know my mom's favorite color is ____ so I'll pick this one."  And then when they chose earrings and pendants, I loved how a little boy said "I can't pick the red earrings, they don't match what my mom is wearing!"

But I also noticed how they really didn't have a lot of crafting experience, or problem solving skills in that area.  What to do, what to do if my glue won't come out?  HOW am I supposed to put the necklace on?  I can't make a shirt!  And I don't know, but it made me feel a little sad.  Back when I went to elementary school- but also at home with my Mom- we made crafts ALL THE TIME.  By the time I was in second grade I was a total scissor wizard.  Knew NOT to cut in the exact middle of the paper- go for the edge for Pete's sake to save the paper.  Also, poke the top and bottom of the glue cap with a pencil to get it unclogged.  And if you wanted to make wavy hair, well, roll your scissors up and down to make scalloped edges.  I think we've gotten so concerned with testing and standards, that's we've completely abandoned fine motor skills, hand eye coordination, and creative thinking.  Ah, well, I'll rant about that another day.

I made one for my Mom too.  Brought it home to her today and saw her get just as giddy as she would when I brought her home things when I was little.  So I know that when my kiddos got off the bus today and showed their mom's- there was a lot of smiling going on.  Even though it was just a last minute project.

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