Laura Morin May 7, 2021 Dot to Dot
It has been a long while since I last wrote. I really miss it when I cant put my thoughts to paper (or keys... as it is). Last week I was teaching a bunch of kids aged 4-8 about the importance of mindfulness. This is a class which I teach every week. If you have never taught little kids before, it is much like trying to herd cats. The mindfulness class is one hour and for one hour I need about ten to twenty different activities as their attention span is so fleeting. Last week I had prepared a very exciting lesson using vinegar and baking soda to demonstrate how, when your mind is racing, it is like bubbles in the jar. I LOVED my new experiment and the kids were mildly amused for thirty seconds. I taught them to put their hand on their belly and breathe down the "bubbles of anxiety in their minds". Naturally as the acetic acid reacted completely with the sodium bicarbonate, the bubbles settled. Seemed like a compelling lesson? But, as with the others, it was... on to the next lesson!
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The event is inspiring creativity in the classroom worldwide: many teachers are reading Reynolds book aloud to their class, while some have been giving out certificates and dot candy as prizes. Elementary teacher Melissa Black is having her fourth graders use Pointillism (working with primary and secondary colors) and tiny dots to make paintings. She had her younger students start their artwork by gluing a paper dot of any size and color onto a piece of paper and learning to use the dot as a part of a bigger picture. Music teacher Judy Holloway is "Making Music with Dots" in her classes. She planned to use the notion of "sound dots" to relay basic lessons about rhythmic and melodic dictation while making the lessons fun and easy for her young students. "Third graders made colorful rhythmic patters and second grade wrote Do Re Mi on staff paper," Holloway wrote. "First grade will take colored markers and respond to music that is staccato (dots!) and legato by drawing designs on the whiteboard." Other teachers are having their students dot the equator and prime meridian on a map while they learn about latitude, longitude and other map skills. Some math teachers are using brightly colored dots in their lessons on arrays. In the computer lab, students are using Paint for Windows to discover where their dot takes them. Teachers are also sharing their plans with other teachers on the web; some are using Skype in the classroom and others are posting their ideas to the International Dot Day Facebook page.
Keep in mind that the level of difficulty of the subject is appropriate for their age and their skill level. This can be difficult when you are working with a number of children of differing ages or when youre working with your own children and they are of multiple skill levels. Please remember never to use competitive words such as wrong, right best and ensure you praise, praise, praise. Even when drawing the same subject, each childs interpretation will ensure a unique piece of artwork every time. After all, how can they be compared, just as De Vinci cant be compared to Monet? If you notice that your child is taking a real interest in art and drawing you may want to get them enrolled in classes so that they can enhance their skills and embrace that aspect of their world. Children who are also experiencing difficulty mastering fine motor skills or displaying poor concentration skills will greatly benefit from these drawing lessons, just be patient. Providing they are not too distracting for the other students and are enjoying their drawing, keep encouraging them and praising them. In the end this will reap wonderful rewards both for the child and the teacher.
The festival got off to a mild start with a set by Milk Maid over at Zoo that gently rocked the crowd into a frenzy and lead nicely into a half hour show over at the HMV Ritz from Bastille that had a fantastic turnout for so early in the day and revved things up a notch - getting everyone in the mood for more. More soon came thanks to the wonderful Lucy Rose, whos warm and fuzzy acoustics proved to be a huge hit. Her new single Lines could well be the song that takes her closer to mainstream success, but at this point it would probably be a good idea to catch her while she is at her hottest. Things were already starting to kick off elsewhere with The Dunwells and Jake Bugg at Zoo, Eyes on Film and Last Dinosaur at Joshua Brooks, The Night and Hyde & Beast at The Deaf Institute and all manner of shenanigans across the three stages over at the fantastic new Sound Control - a former guitar shop that has fast become one of the most interesting venues in the city.
Are you a parent interested in helping your child build on their drawing talent? You may have even been surfing the net looking for step-by-step projects they will enjoy. Once you find a project, then what? How do you present that information for your child to draw? YouTube offers many great drawing ideas with step-by-step instructions. Once you have found an artist that offers an instructional drawing video that you find fun and easy, do the project first yourself. Once you have your head around the basic principles, then you can prepare to pass this lesson on to your children. Show the children the completed project first. Next, take your students through each step of the lesson. You draw each element of shape, or line, first and have the children copy what you do. Take your time to ensure every child has completed each instruction before moving on. With very young children you may need to take them through each step with dot-to-dot. This way they will not feel discouraged at not meeting the level of the older students work.