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YIA News

Looking at the Lines We Made

WRLogo-Online200px-RedThe Walker Rezaian Creative Hearts program allows kindergartens to develop a deep understanding of lines, shapes, colors, and friendship. In this early class, we work on fine motor control as we design sculptures of 3D lines complete with colorful bead patterns.

Students gain their first experience with observational drawing, which is a fundamental component of the program. They learn to look closely and document their work with their drawings.

This year, the Walker Rezaian project has expended to two sites! Thank you to our generous donors.

 

Students practice perseverance and fine motor control as they find beads for their sculpture

Students practice perseverance and fine motor control as they find beads for their sculpture

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Lots of choices

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Lines move off the page and into 3D

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teachers have fun too.

The first step in observational drawing.

The first step in observational drawing.

Observational drawing of a sculpture

Observational drawing of a sculpture

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Thinking about choices

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Concentration

Making sure the sticky "feet" stuck!

Making sure the sticky “feet” stuck!

Students had to pay close attention to use some of the tiny beads.

Students had to pay close attention to use some of the tiny beads.

Teachable moments were embraced: how do you share one bucket with a group of friends? What happens when two people want the same shiny bead?

Teachable moments were embraced: how do you share one bucket with a group of friends? What happens when two people want the same shiny bead?

Learning to look: we ask students to look closely as they make drawings of their sculptures.

Learning to look: we ask students to look closely as they make drawings of their sculptures.

Kindergarteners Explore Shapes and Textures

In our second week at Laurel Dell Elementary, working with TK and Kindergarten classes through the Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts Kindergarten Arts Program,  we explored shapes and textures as we created beautiful wall hangings using contact paper, construction paper, lots of different shapes and textures, and magic gold!

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Magic Gold makes the shapes and drawings come alive.

Kindergarteners are learning about comparisons, shapes and textures.

Kindergarteners are learning about comparisons, shapes and textures.

The project was inspired by work that was already happening in the classroom.

Tetrahedrons and Community Mapping

Fifth grade students at Laurel Dell learned how to make a flimsy piece of paper strong by rolling it, then turned their “sticks” to triangles and into Tetrahedrons. They also learned about Vetruvius, one of our earliest known architects. Next week they build with their tetrahedrons.

Meanwhile in fourth grade, students took a close look at their school to discuss what they love, what doesn’t work, and what they want to change about their schools!

Eddie’s Engaging Performances at Edna Maguire

The Sewam Dance of the Plains Indians assemblies at Edna Maguire Elementary School were a great success.  Eddie Madril performed several different Plains Indians dances for the preK through 5th grade student audiences.  His incredibly engaging dances culled with chanting and singing, had students, teachers and parents enraptured.em-edna-m3

Eddie Maguire Assembly 2 (photo credit Sara Sandström)

Eddie Maguire Assembly 2 (photo credit Sara Sandström)

In addition to his solo performances, he also invited students to perform two different dances with him.  For the first group dance, each teacher chose one student to participate onstage with Eddie.  The big surprise came when those teachers were asked to join in as well.  All fifteen got up, linked hands, and enthusiastically danced with Eddie and their students.  The long line of participants weaved in and out of the crowd, much to audience’s delight.

Eddie Maguire Assembly 3 (photo credit Sara Sandström)

The hoop dance was a particular highlight.  Students experienced firsthand how challenging it is to work with the hoops when Eddie asked them to pick the hoops up with their feet.  After they sat down, Eddie put on a breathtaking performance of the very complicated dance.  Using eight hoops, Eddie transformed himself into a bird.  The audible audience reactions clearly showed how awestruck the students were.

Eddie Maguire Assembly 1 (photo credit Sara Sandström)

Eddie’s handmade regalia is artwork unto itself.  The colorful feathers, embroidery and beadwork bring even more life to his dances.  During the assemblies, Eddie explained the significance of what he wore in relation to the cultural history and traditions of various Native American tribes.  He taught the students the meaning behind each dance and song performed as well.

Cara Guyot, the PTA volunteer who organized the assembly for Edna Maguire’s students praised, “We loved the assembly! In my three years of doing assemblies, this is the first time that I have received thank you emails from parents who heard such rave reviews from their children. Eddie really connected with the kids!”

Thank you, Eddie!em-edna-m4em-edna-m2

 

Exploring Music with Venetia Valley

By Mentor Artist William Rossel

At Venetia Valley I worked with students in Erica Wheeler, Emily Derecat, and Chelsea Fitzsimmon’s classrooms. We used music and percussion as learning tools, counting beats, playing echo/call-and-response games, creating patterns using long and short notes, improvising and jamming! We learned about levels of volume (soft, medium, and loud) and speed (slow, medium, and fast) in music, and in Ms. Wheeler’s class we even learned about more complex musical concepts, like polyrhythms (more than one rhythm at the same time), and conducting (using a bouncy ball to cue the musicians in the class). We learned and sang lots of songs (Sunny Side of the Street, What a Wonderful World, All Together Now, Siyahamba, and more) and played different kinds of drums. We had lots of fun!

Here’s a short classroom video of students jamming!
Additionally, the entirety of my time together with the three classrooms at Venetia Valley was documented as part of a study, conducted by Dominican University, to begin to measure and quantify the benefits of music and arts education for student populations with special needs. It was an honor to be a part of the study.

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Arts Unite Us is Youth in Arts program tailored for students in school with special needs. Youth in Arts is the only consistent provider of arts for special education programs in Marin.