Monday, May 30, 2016

Collage Challenges and Becoming a Duck


I had the pleasure of traveling out of state to visit a lovely school in Waltham, MA this past week for my final author visit of the 2015-2016 school year.  I had a lot of fun with the Kindergarteners and the First Graders, reading Wink and telling them about how I made the book.


Then we all made collage ninjas.  Usually I do this project with second and third graders.  There are some slightly challenging bits that the youngest kids have a harder time with.  I've figured out short cuts for almost everything except one concept.  When it's time to apply the glue to the ninja (that has been cut out of black paper) I always tell the kids to put the glue on the pencil side.

I make everyone stop what they are doing and look at me.  I show them which side is the pencil side and which side is the clean side.  I show them how to put the glue on the pencil side.

I say, "Which side do you apply the glue to?"
"Pencil side," they say back to me.

And always, always 50% of them put the glue of the clean side so all the pencil lines are showing at the end.

I understand why this is happening.  In their minds there is a front and back and you draw on the front and you glue on the back.  That concept is so concrete in their minds that they can't override it with specific directions to the contrary.

This only happens with Kindergarten.  Pretty much everyone else - first grade an above - gets it if they are paying attention to me.  But not the little ones.

I discussed it with my friend who is the drama teacher at the school and she suggested that I have the kids draw an X on the belly of the ninja.  So when I give the glue instruction, I tell them to start by gluing over the X, then the head, arms and legs.  That way, they have a concrete item that they are gluing.

Did it work?  It did not.
Same amount of kids glued on the "back" side of the ninja.
Funny, right?

Anyhoo ...

Usually, I am booked pretty solid at an author visit, but I had a chunk of time at this one where I was able to sit in on my friend's drama lesson.  She reads these Mrs. Wishy-Washy books to the kids and then they act them out.  Basically it goes like this:

One by one, animals roll in the mud and make a mess.
Mrs. Wishy-Washy puts them in a bin and washes them.
Animals roll in mud again.

After watching one, I got to be a duck.


Here I am as Mr. Wishy-Washy puts me in the washing tub.  See how I'm selling that duck!  I have my arms in wing position and a vacant look in my eyes.  I have to put that theater degree to work any time I can.  :)

Then we all took a bow.

I love going to author visits and doing my thing, but it's really fun when I can also be a part of their regular day.  It was definitely a treat!

Thanks so much for stopping by.  I hope you're all having a lovely Memorial Day Weekend.

Monday, May 16, 2016

LEGO LADY: A True Tag Sale Story

This past Saturday, I had a tag sale.  This is what happened.








Thanks for stopping in.  I hope you're all having a lovely May.



Monday, May 2, 2016

A Sunny Day for Hidden Houses


My artists group, the WeHa Artists Emporium, held our art hunt event this past Saturday.  What a beautiful day!  The whole thing was so dang smooth and lovely, it really could not have gone any better.

Nine local artists made 138 tiny houses and they were really, really cute. The temptation for me to hide a few in my living room was great, but I was good.  All houses made it out into the wild.

The Hiders met at 7:30 that morning.


We had 5 teams, each with a box full of a variety of houses and a section map.  Elizabeth Park is a big place and I can be anal when it comes to organization.  But that makes things go smoothly, right?  I think so.  Anyway, we all knew exactly what section of the park we were hiding in.



One of my little Irish Cottages, in the wild.

Photo by Phyllis Meredith
After hiding, I returned home to man my computer and post the secret location promptly at nine a.m.  Smart Hunters were already dressed and waiting in their cars for their destination.  The Hiders that stayed at the park said that the hunters descended like locusts.  Some people were dropping other people off and then finding parking. 


I waited five minutes at home to see if anyone had any questions on Facebook, then I got on my bike and rode back to the park.  It really is so much fun to watch a place fill up with adults and kids all excited to be hunting for treasure.  I looped back through my hiding zone and gave a couple hunters hot/cold tips.  "You're getting warmer....warmer...you're hot!"  But most of the houses were already found.

Photo by Phyllis Meredith

Photo by Phyllis Meredith

There were even several reports of children giving the houses they found to others who couldn't find one. And more reports came in that kids went home and started making their own houses to add to their little house community.

It's extremely gratifying to spend the morning making people happy and spreading art and inspiration. If you want to see more pics, here's the link to the album on Facebook.  https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.523694494483259&type=1

Thanks so much for stopping in!
I hope you had some fun this past weekend too!
Julie