Day 84: Ice Sculptures!

Wednesday and Thursday of this week one of our newest artists, Adam Buehler, did an outstanding ice carving demonstration for our kindergarten students.  Learning about our five senses is a Science standard for all kindergarten students attending public school in Colorado.  This can be an exciting unit of study, as children are encouraged to look, smell, taste, feel and listen to the world around them.  Activities that many teachers bring to their classrooms almost always involve art projects that require students to work with random objects of various textures and reflect on how these textures are the same and how they are different.  As a grown-up today you may even remember using smelly markers that made you want to eat the (chocolate) brown, (berry) red or (banana) yellow.

But did you ever learn about your senses through the unusual lens art of ice carving?  Well this week the little ones at DCISF certainly did! 

Thanks to the passion, skill and attention to academic detail of one very special artist, our students were able to watch and listen as he carved huge blocks of ice with a chainsaw and a few chisels.  Adam was careful to take the time to discuss with our students how he works and the students were encouraged to touch the ice after his work was done.  The event ended with a reflection segment where the children were asked to relate the knowledge they have gained with their teachers to the practical experience had by this extraordinary ice sculpting demonstration. 

Suffice to say, the children were very enthusiastic about their experience and their enthusiasm was contagious.  Before and after school parents, teachers, children and members of the community visited these sculptures as they sit on display at the school’s entrance.  It is clear to everyone that the people living in the neighborhood really value the winter gifts brought by one generous and talented artist. 

If you are in the area please come by and visit our snowman, snowflake, lion and DCIS heart.  And if you happen to catch Mr. Buehler please thank him for his commitment to our school and the smiles he has brought to the faces of our children.

So on that note, I will leave you for the winter break.  I hope everyone has a very, merry ho-ho-holiday and a blessed new year.

Con Amor,

TC

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Day 75: Session 1 Ends and Session 2 Begins!

I am excited to announce that we recently completed the very first session of our Integrated Global Arts program.  This program aims to teach children Science and Social Studies in interactive and creative ways with the help of a Community Artist who works with them for eleven weeks.  Together the teachers and students explore common academic themes in ways that require the students to explore their world through sight, sound, movement, creation and reflection.  Each project concludes with a “Take Action” component that makes student learning visible.   This session’s projects included a 2nd grade urban design action piece where students investigated their neighborhood and wrote letters of recommendation to community leaders recommending they transform a nearby lot into a garden.  Our 1st grade Spanish speaking students designed two monsters, a dad monster and a baby monster, to illustrate the academic standard that “offspring have characteristics that are similar, but not identical”, to that of their parents.   Lastly, Kindergarten created class body maps reflecting the various similarities and differences had by the all.  Go ahead and take a stroll through our kindergarten wing and check out all that our little ones have learned!

A special thanks and congrats to Libby Kaiser, Elise Butler and Cat Chengery for all of the creative work they have done with our teachers and students this session!

Our Integrated Global Arts Session 2 has just begun and is sure to be as engaging as the last.  We are happy to welcome Adam Buehler, a painter and ice sculptor, to our kinder classes.  Elise Butler, the dancer who worked with kinder last session, is back in action and working with our English speaking 1st graders.  And Stephan Griffin, an African drummer and Ford Elementary veteran, is working with our 2nd graders to explore the science behind sound. 

I have an additional announcement that is very exciting.  I am in the first stages of developing a workshop with some very talented folks at Artists Striving to End Poverty (ASTEP).  I sit on the Board of Directors for this organization and am very excited to introduce the wonderful work ASTEP does in the developing world to my colleagues here in Colorado.  This workshop is intended to serve two purposes.  First, the event will be an introduction to artists and teachers who may have an interest in volunteering for any of ASTEP’s teaching positions abroad.  Each program in each country is a little different in length and aims to meet different goals, so there is surely a program for everyone.  Second, the workshop will creatively explore the challenges faced when teaching children of generational poverty.  From this perspective, our educators here in Denver (artists and teachers alike) will have a chance to break down any perceptions they may have of what it means to be a child of generational poverty, and how best to meet the needs of this growing population.  More info on this event is soon to come, so stay tuned!  Until then, check out ASTEP’s website by clicking on the link to the right. 

If you have any questions about this posting or its contents please feel free to message me here.  Until next time, happy holidays!

Adios ~ TC