Thursday, October 30, 2014

Classroom Nightmares

It is bad enough that, despite placing my classroom orders in June during the last week of school, they don't get approved until summer is over and never show up until the middle to end of September.  It is worse when what you have ordered shows up hopelessly damaged. 

Our district uses School Specialty to order through.  I have been ordering from them for over a decade now and have rarely if ever had an issue with them.  The few times something has gone wrong they were very good about getting back to me right away to correct the problem.  That does not seem to be the case now.

This year I had paper arrive opened and torn - not just a few sheets but all the way through the entire pack.  Paint bottles burst, paint gallons were packed on the pallet upside down and then had heavy reams of paper packed on top so that everything was crushed and leaking.  I ordered 25 glue sticks.  24 were packed in their own box.  Number 25 was packed underneath two reams of 500 sheets of paper because - why not?  I wound up with white paint all over myself because there was simply no way to avoid it when unpacking.  Things I thought had dried where still damp under the "skin" of the paint.  The only saving grace was that it was tempera paint and it did wash out.

I was shocked at how much damage there was but even more shocked by the lack of communication with the company.  I have sent in their official "complaint ticket" on the website - which they do not make it easy to get to.  I have sent separate emails and left voice mails to no avail.  I am stuck with the damaged goods. 

Some examples of what showed up:

Of course boxes that were lightly packed came utterly destroyed.
That tear when almost a sixth of the way down the ream.

This tear when straight through ALL the paper.

The middle one was open with a broken cap and exploded all over the other two.

The paint was everywhere - it was like blood in a gory horror movie.

The guilty party.

I guess it felt because the big one leaked it needed to as well?

Am I the only one who had a classroom supply shipping horror this year?  What was the worst supply disaster you ever had arrive in your room?

Busy Summer = Late to Post

Well, I'm a horrible horrible liar. I just did not get to the computer once this summer to update my blog.

  I spent my summer passing Obedience School with Dixie:
She's the star of her class - as long as she doesn't need to recall perfect 100% of the time.

 Working on miscellaneous craft projects and artworks:

Scrapbook paper flower wreath, as of yet unfinished due to a bad case of lazy.

My husband has an awful griffon tattoo that needs re-doing.  I was working on some redesigns for him.  This one is based on a Raven for the front half.

I love owls.  This was a colored pencil draft for a larger painting.
 And making new posters for my new classroom:

I am FINALLY off the cart and back in a room!  WHOOT!

How was your summer and the start of your school year?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Last Day!

Today is our last day of the school year!  Well, it is for the kids anyway.  We teachers still have a workshop tomorrow from 8am till noon and then we're free too! 

I do plan on updating the blog during the summer and catching up on all the lessons I didn't have time to post during the school year. 

Most of my summer is going to be spent by my in-law's pool.  How are you enjoying your well deserved time off?

Thursday, May 29, 2014

A Nice Surprise for Teacher Appreciation Week

Yes, I know.  Teacher Appreciation Week was almost a month ago and I'm just getting around to posting this now. 

At one of my schools, the PTA took it upon themselves to decorate the door of every classroom with something unique to that particular teacher.  This is what I got:

I simply love it!  I've left the decorations up.  It seriously makes me smile every time I come into my room. :)

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Warm and Cool Color Collages

This project was meant as a review for the warm and cool color families that first grade had been working on.  It also combined geometric and organic shapes with collage to make these adorable underwater pictures. 

We read the book, "Tickly Octopus" by Ruth Galloway.  It was a cute story involving some nice character development about finding out all the things you can be good at. 

After the book, we got down to the nitty-gritty of octopus making.  We used a circle for the main part of the head/body and then wiggly lines that we doubled for the eight tentacles.  It was so cute to hear a whole class counting to make sure they'd done eight arms!

I reviewed the various characters in the book with the class and modeled how to create them. 
After that the details were up to them.  This took two class sessions of 40 minutes each for them to complete.

In the book, the octopus was chased by an eel.  That is a large blue eel with very unfortunate placement.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Grumpy Cat - Neutral Colors for First Grade

This has nothing to do with the famous Grumpy Cat from the internet and everything to do with this charming little book:

It's a lovely little story about how one grumpy old cat learns to care for a young kitten.  The kids thought is was adorable and from an artistic point of view - this was great for teaching neutral colors! 
I pulled out crayons in black, white, brown, and grey as well as supplying paper in grey and brown (we did venture off the neutral scheme just for the background to create some contrast).

I modeled two poses, drawn from the book.  One from the beginning of the story where Grumpy Cat was trying to get away from his little shadow and one from the end of the story where the two were now friends and cuddled up together.  The students were allowed to chose which one they preferred.

We drew our cats, cut and glued them to the background.  With the story include this project took one and a half classes (my sessions are 40 minutes each). So I had how to books on cats and some Cat Fancy Magazines on hand for afterwords as extension activities for those who finished early.

They just came out so cute!  I love the facial expressions on some of them - especially the ones on Grumpy!