And We’re Back!!!!

In a blink of an eye. That is how quickly summer flew by. Trust me, I know that summer is not officially over until September 21, but let’s face it, the minute school is in session we lose the carefree feeling of summer. Not all at once, fortunately. Instead, it languishes like a tan that begins to fade after the last beach day of the season.

Seaside, Florida

Speaking of beaches, I enjoyed several trips to the beach this year to Cape Cod, Rhode Island, and the Gulf Coast of Florida. We saw dolphins passing by in Florida, which was just beautiful. We spent time with our family and grandkids this summer, and those were joyous moments, as always. For the first time in a while, I ran a fun-filled and creativity-loaded clay workshop in the middle of July. The week of clay work generated enough projects to fill the kiln 3 times, so I was back in school pretty much weekly to get those fired. It was awesome and the work is gorgeous.

Clay Every Day hands…

Another thing I did over my summer vacation was present to art teachers in the region about using iPads and Technology in the Art Classroom. The workshop was sponsored by the LSDO as part of a larger focus on technology across all subject areas. As well as sharing what we are doing in my classroom, I also learned a few tricks from the other art educators. I continue to learn every day through the world-wide community of art educators on the internet who have become part of my professional learning network. One of my goals this year is to add animation to our curriculum. I have purchased the animation app, Doink, for my students to work with. Fifth grade students will be happy to know that although they have to wait until January to get their very own iPads, they will be using them in the art room with me within a week or so. Here is an example of a Doink animation:
(Click on the photo)

Doink Video

One very cool thing happened most unexpectedly in the middle of August. One of the kids from the clay workshop, Isabelle, came in to pick up her work on a Friday morning. Her mom and I were talking about animals, and Isabelle’s mom mentioned that they had lost a goat to a sudden illness, leaving behind a lonely, single goat. They were looking for a home for the lone goat, so we adopted her. Her name is Beatrix (all of our barnyard animals are named after famous artists) and she is just adorable. Our three other goats have welcomed her and she fits right in. Just another example of a wonderful interaction thanks to our warm community of Mendon/Upton with its rural roots.
(Click on the photo to see a very short video)

Beatrix the Goat
Beatrix the Goat

And so, with this terrific summer fading fast, it is time to file away these memories and focus on the future of this school year. I hope everyone has a wonderful first day, and I am looking forward to meeting my fifth graders for the first time and seeing once again all the kids who were fifth graders just 3 months ago…this year’s 6th grade class! To everything there is a season; as summer fades into the sunset we will soon be busy with the schedules and routines of autumn. Let’s get this school year underway!

Mona Lisa fades into the sunset…


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