Mother’s Day Art Ideas

March break has come and gone. We are looking forward to spring and planning our Mother’s Day event. Here is a collection of Mother’s Day art activities you can do with your children. 

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  1. Fork Sunflowers Crafty Morning
  2. Picasso Flowers Mrs. T’s First Grade Class
  3. Mom The Educator’s Spin On It
  4. Monet’s Garden Art Rocks
  5. You are My Sunshine Twin Dragonfly Designs
  6. Paul Klee Portrait Simply Art Lessons for Kids
  7. Dandelions Crafty Morning

 

Create a personalized new piece of artwork or break open the treasure trove of artwork you have preserved neatly. We’d love to see what you do together. Share it on our Facebook page

Orders over $80 receive free shipping! Order by April 25, 2017 for a Mother’s Day delivery. 

Happy spring!

Maria

Six Fundraising Questions for Schools

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Its that time of year again when schools begin to think of How do you go about choosing the right fundraiser for your school? What factors affect which fundraiser is right for you? Plenty. Here are a few things you should consider;

1. What is your fundraising goal?

Be sure you know what you are allowed to fundraise for. Many school boards do not allow fundraising for textbooks. Knowing what you are fundraising for and the amount helps to plan a variety of activities.

2. Does the fundraiser fit into school and school board policies and goals?

Check with the organization’s policies. Some school boards have limited permission selling “junk” food. Other’s do not allow home baked goods.

3.  Is it a community builder, service, or product fundraiser? There are many creative ways to fundraise. Most organizations plan out their year and choose a balance between a community builder (Halloween dance), service (hot lunch program or speaker) and a product fundraiser (gift wrap). There is also some fundraisers that are both a service and product fundraiser. One fantastic idea is the Fresh from the Farm fundraiser. The program promotes healthy eating for the entire family. 

Community building events such as an art show brings the school community together. Is it open to the public? Will you need an advertising budget.  
A service fundraiser such as a hot food lunch program is great. My children’s school offered milk and pizza every Monday. I always thought it was brilliant idea to not worry about a lunch for  Monday mornings especially after a busy weekend. If it a product fundraiser, do you have to purchase product before selling them. Leftover products will cut into your profits

4. How many volunteers are available to help organize and run your fundraiser? What are the time commitments?

The best fundraisers require the least amount of work. Community builders require a number of coordinator meetings.  The more volunteers involved in a community event the better for generating spirit in an organization. Most people want to be assigned jobs during a community event and not interested in detailed meetings. Using Volunteer Spot is a great way for signing up volunteers online.

5. How much money might be raised by the fundraiser?

Do you know what the average participation percentage rate and the average amount of profit is per participant. Knowing your stats will help you make informed choices. How will the money be collected? Who will collect it and is there a process of transparency?   

6. Are children part of the process?

When children are active participants, it sends a clear message that altruism is a worthy characteristic. However, we do not recommend children “sell” to strangers. Can the fundraiser be incorporated into the curriculum such as Jump Rope for Heart?

Take these factors into consideration before you select any fundraiser for your organization. Know your group, do your research, and you will have a better chance of selecting the right fundraiser for you.

 

 

 

Book Review: Using Art to Teach Reading Comprehension Strategies

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Summer Reading for Art and Artful Teachers

Early in my career I was teaching primary French Immersion at one of the schools identified as a “Turnaround” school by Ontario’s Ministry of Education, now almost ten years ago. I have continued to embed my teaching of decoding strategies to early primary students within opportunities that build the groundwork for complex reading comprehension strategies.

I was excited to read the work of Jennifer Klein and Elizabeth Stuart that invites us to integrate the teaching of art and reading comprehension strategies in ways that that I believe will increase all students’ engagement, deepen students’ understanding of both art and reading processes, and support students with special learning needs.

Klein and Stuart present their work in a very organized and methodical manner which makes it an ideal resource for practising teachers. The introduction summarizes the core principles of art education as well as the leading research on how to best teach reading comprehension strategies. The subsequent chapters focus on six key reading strategies: Making Connections, Questioning, Visualizing, Inferring, Determining Importance, and Synthesizing.

Each chapter describes a systematic process for teaching one of the reading strategies, first through a series of two to four art sessions, and then in two to five reading/language sessions that incorporate skills and understandings that students first develop during the art sessions. The chapters also provide resources that support the teaching of each reading strategy, including a list of books and artists, the research on literacy benefits of each strategy, the authors’ reflections from their teaching practice, and copies of the templates and worksheets the authors use during their sessions.

I have encountered early primary students who react negatively to feeling pressured to become successful decoders. Some of them experience challenges in verbal linguistic areas of intelligence but are gifted in visual-spatial, natural and inter- or intra-social intelligence. Klein and Stuart advocate using art and art making to introduce the concepts and practise the skills that will lead students to make connections, question, visualize, infer, determine importance and synthesize, without the added stress of decoding written language.

As students gain confidence in their abilities to make meaning and revise their understandings through reflections and conversations about art, I believe they will be able to draw upon these reading comprehension skills during the difficult task of decoding written language. I believe this approach will enhance reading instruction for all students, and may prove to be instrumental for the success of students who feel challenged, overwhelmed or disengaged during reading lessons that prioritize the teaching of decoding strategies to improve reading for meaning.

Wendy Fischer, OCT teaches primary French Immersion in Ontario, Canada.