Monday, March 22, 2010

Back North

Last week was the busiest I've had in awhile! As I mentioned in my last post, I was traveling down South to give school visits as part of the Virginia Festival of the Book and a few other lovely book gatherings. I am from Virginia, so its always fun to go back there and visit family and friends while I have some book fun. And of course its encouraging to see the first signs of spring that have not yet made their way to Massachusetts:

I had the pleasure of speaking to both little kiddos and teachers... the week began at James Madison University speaking to their kidlit class, taught by the amazing Joan Kindig. Teachers always have such great questions and are so polite, enthusiastic, and fun to talk to, truly its one of my favorite groups to visit.

Then I began my week of visiting little ones. One school I went to was having a "book-in" on the day of my visit. Everyone came to school in pajamas, ate chocolate chip pancakes and waffles, and laid around reading books all day (sounds like a good time to me!). The campus was composed largely of log cabins in the woods and had the most adorable little library I've ever seen. Don't you just want to curl up in one of those rocking chairs and read all afternoon?

Here I am drawing a soccer playing dragon, as suggested by my very cute audience of K-3rd graders:

In my slideshow I start by showing a pic of me drawing as a little kid:

Then I show them all the cats in my house growing up, which inspired me to make up animal stories:

The week finished off at the New Jersey Annual Kindergarten Teacher's spring conference, where they had a "go green" theme, and thus brought me in to talk about What Can You Do with an Old Red Shoe? A Green Activity Book About Reuse. I had a lot of fun walking through how this book evolved, and what the book making process is like. I went over my favorite art activities from my years spent teaching, such as painting with "texture paintbrushes" and making paper by hand:

Then I described how these led to the activities with reused materials I made up for Old Red Shoe, such as the flip-flop activity:

And of course what you can do with that old red shoe:

These teachers just blew me away with their creativity... they collected 20 pairs of old red shoes and made centerpieces for each of the lunch tables, with green chrysanthemums, that looked like this:

And a decoration for the podium (Dorothy shoes!):

Groups of teachers presented their own recycling activity ideas, including this tri-fold board with ideas about how to combine recycling with math activities:

There were recycling songs with Woodsy the owl (Smokey the Bear's sidekick, remember?) sung bravely for the group:

One teacher made a ring toss with an old soda bottle, an Edible Arrangements box, and some reused tinfoil:

There was also a hockey game made from a pizza box and laundry detergent bottle tops (genius!):

And another favorite, a bowling set made from milk jugs and a tinfoil ball:

Thanks to everyone who made the week so much fun!

1 comment:

alvinaling said...

Wow...those crafts are amazing! So wonderful that your book inspired such creativity.