We only have a week before spring break, so I don't want to start any major projects (specifically, the self portrait project). I need to decide what to do, though - the shorter day during conferences week cuts down on the arts and crafts. So the kids miss out. When I pulled out the stinky markers and the fruit stickers to decorate some flyers on Friday they went into spasms of delight. This is sort of depressing, really: I mean, I want them to be excited but I couldn't help but feel they had been deprived beforehand.
I'm learning toward doing tertiary color blending using cellophane and high-end self-laminate (the kind that is truly clear, not vaguely frosted). We could also do Child Mondrian this week; we are moving into measurement in math and working with lines is a neat way to use some of those measurement words (heavier, longer, thicker, and so on). Or we could continue with the Resident's TE and do some puppetry around her reading comprehension project.
Last week the kids finished their paper dolls - the holding hands kind. They decorate the one in the middle to look like them and then decorate the other two (they are in threes) to look like two of their friends. This culminates an ELD/MELD/Social Studies unit. They get to use paper crafting for the hair (pinch-tearing and quilling) and various cool papers for clothing (this year, I had "kente" paper, glitter paper and glasscrafting paper available). These are all hanging up holding hands in a giant circle. A few kids chose to make me one of their friends, I think because my hair offered exciting choices in color work and styling technique.
In other news, I got two new students and now have 18 again. This makes me happy. Having a small class is really quite nice - 21 to 16 makes a huge difference in what we do - but also a downer since we all miss the kids who are gone.
One of the kids in my class got hit by a jump rope handle in the after school program. That child's conference was at the same time, so they brought the kid to my room. My student wanted me to tell all the kids about the injury (which was minor but bloody). So I told them that the child had fought a monster, which whipped out with its whippy, spiked tail and hit the child's mouth. The other kids were extremely impressed.
When the kids have bananas in the school lunch, we have them strip the peels right away so we can compost them for them (it cuts down on the end of lunch to recess transition hysteria, which is bad enough with the milk pouring and the difficulty the kids have in managing all the stuff they have to carry). We refer to this as getting the bananas out of their pajamas. So when I came across some stickers with bananas WEARING CLOTHES I had to get those. We have the best stickers. I try to buy some for each child's interest: I got puffy robots because I have two children who looooove robots, for instance. The extrinsic/intrinsic issue is not a big deal; they get stickers when I feel like it and don't generally ask for them (answer: "No."). Moreover, I have hate for sticker swap city and that tends to lead to children immediately backpacking stickers anyway.