Saturday, July 13, 2013

Google Art Project

I was browsing the teacher blogs I read today and came across a post about Google Teacher Academy (sounds like an amazing PD opportunity!). Among the cool stuff this teacher shared was Google Art Project. This is an amazing resource of tens of thousands of gigapixel images. And what's even more awesome is that you can search by just about any parameter you can think of: not only by collection, artist, and medium, but also by event, place, time, and person (artist or subject). This would be awesome for social studies and who knows what else!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Figure Drawing

In my 8 Weeks of School Left post, I mentioned doing some figure drawing, and now, just a mere ten weeks later (ugh) I actually got around to going to a figure-drawing drop in session. And it made me realize I should have done it sooner! I have not felt that level of focus in a while. When you are doing something fun yet relaxing that also requires intense concentration, it sort of makes your brain buzz, and drawing totally does that for me. It was great. I will definitely be doing more figure drawing, especially when school starts back up. It's nice to have something that takes up so much brain power that you can't think about anything else: that's definitely the sort of hobby I need during the school year.


I have embarked on a reading project this summer. I want to read as many great picture books as I can so that I have a working knowledge of books that would be good for read-alouds. In the past I've either used chapter books or been frantically looking for books that would fit a particular strategy as I lesson-planned. I think that having a go-to list of books will be enormously helpful in planning more efficiently this year.

I found this great list of books by reading comprehension strategy over here at The Reading Lady. I am going to try and read most of these by the end of summer. I don't know all the books on the list but the ones I do know are high-quality so I am assuming the rest are as well. There are also great book lists at The Reading and Writing Project, broken down into different categories such as genre, multicultural literature, and good mentor texts. If you know of other sources for good read-aloud books let me know!

I am also reading Guided Math, by Laney Simmons. I have no idea where I picked this up or who (if anyone) recommended it, but it's been really interesting. Basically the author is taking the principles of balanced literacy and reading workshop and showing how you can apply them to math. It's also helpful that the examples she gives mostly come from primary classrooms, which is nice for me since I'm making a move to first grade in the fall.

I can't believe I start PD in one week! (Still have a dining room table to build—yes, it will happen. I am determined! The lighting fixture I also planned to build: probably not so much.)