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YIA News

Second Graders Learn to Make Brown

Second Graders at Laurel Dell Elementary School discovered that making brown is a challenge! Each student traced their own hand, and then those of three friends, onto their paper. They then practiced mixing red, yellow, blue, and white to make as many shades of browns and tans as possible. We counted more than 100 different shades and tones!

Students practiced Collaboration (with keeping the shared colors clean for their friends and also teaching each other how to make certain colors); Persistence as they failed many times before they learned the process and trick: If you need to use red, yellow, and blue to make brown, and what you have looks very green, what’s missing? (the answer is red). Students were also able to experiment with making any color imaginable, and rose to the challenge.

We noticed that while we all are slightly different shades of brown and tan, and we can make them all.

Thank you for your continued support: Laurel Dell PTA teachers, parents and students and the California Arts Council

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First Graders Practice Making Secondary Colors!

First Graders were able to practice lots of vocabulary with this painting project, including their shapes, colors, and counting. Tracing is a surprisingly challenging task for some first graders, and is a valuable writing tool as they have to use both hands, hold an object steady, and work their writing hand all the way around it. I feel that this is a safe and entertaining way for them to practice what can be a frustrating skill.
In terms of sharing colors, working with one set of paints for an entire table again gives students a safe way to practice making choices, listening to peers, and problem solving: what happens when your friend mixes the colors? How do you solve the problem?

Thank you for your continued support: Laurel Dell PTA teachers, parents and students, the Walker Rezaian Creative Hearts Fund, and the California Arts Council.

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3rd Graders Prepare for Figure Sculpting

Students began thinking about Super Heroes several weeks ago working with Ms. Bowman. They talked about what makes a super hero, what is a problem in our community that a super hero could help solve, and what would that look like? They made beautiful pop up images of their heroes.

Now we are getting ready to create 3D sculptures of our super heroes! We need to know a little more about the human body, and how to show bodies in motion or performing their power. What does running look like? Swimming? Flying? Each student had a turn at showing their super hero pose, while the rest of the class artists practiced using their entire arm to draw FAST (30 seconds per pose).

Next we created a wire “skeleton” or armature. We practiced winding wire, then wrapping our armatures in foil. Students ended the day by drawing their works-in-progress in their art journals. Next week will be Papier Mache!

Thank you for your continued support: Laurel Dell PTA teachers, parents and students and the California Arts Council

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Entrances and Connections: Fifth Grade Architecture

By Architect and Educator Janine Lovejoy Wilford
When we meet in the architecture class, Ms. McCarthy’s fifth-grade students become an amazingly creative “office of architects” as we call ourselves.  The last two weeks, they worked on building models showing the connection between inside and out, and the importance of entrance.  Building on their geosphere studies, we discussed different door types and how the climate can affect the decision of placement and form.
First, they shaped “the client” using a pipe-cleaner.  This way they had a scale for their project and entrance.  From a flat piece of paper, they designed the door, cut it out so it would swing in the direction they designed, and added windows and other details on the façade using pens and white pencils.  Then, they folded their flat sheet and using glue, create a 3D model of a partial house, adding interiors and exterior details using recycled caps and other materials.   Afterwards, they measuredand drew a floor plan, to scale, of the walls and door of their model.  The focus on this part of the project was the process of seeing and drawing (observational drawing), a skill that is valuable to all (not just artists and architects!), in my opinion.  This drawing task was challenging for some students, but in the end they all completed thoughtful projects with determination and pride.
With all the models and plans in a row, we discussed the designs, and what are good attributes of a neighborhood.  This will lead us into the next week’s section; mapping and community assets of San Rafael, as we prepare for the “Real World” challenge of envisioning the future growth for San Rafael in 2040.

Thank you so much for your support: Laurel Dell PTA, teachers and students, UC Berkeley’s Y-PLAN, Janine Lovejoy Wilford, and the California Arts Council

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4th Graders Bridging Differences at Laurel Dell Elementary

By Shirl Buss, Architect and Educator

We had a wonderful session with the 4th grade students in Mr. Seligman’s class last week.  Suzanne, John and I teamed the students in pairs.

Their mission was to design a  bridge that was structurally sound, but that symbolically “bridged” opposites or differences. After working out their ideas in a “sloppy copy”, the students were remarkably creative and astute each team created a collage representing their concepts.  The opposites/differences  included:  Cartoon/Real Life, Light/Dark, Above/Below, Fire/Ice (with water in between), Glass/Crystal, Complicated/Simple and many more.
It was a was a very productive session.  Enjoy some photos below.

Thank you so much for your support: Laurel Dell PTA, teachers and students, UC Berkeley’s Y-PLAN, and the California Arts Council

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