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Monday, February 20, 2012

Defying Gravity

Each year the staff at my school has a back-to-school "retreat" and my principal picks a theme to focus our activities around.  Last year, her theme was "Defying Gravity" from the musical Wicked.  That theme really stuck with me as a way to talk with my kiddos about setting goals and pushing ourselves to achieve more than might be expected of us.  It worked so well that I did it again this year and I wanted to share the bulletin board we created.

This is a board that stays up all year.  The art work was created in the first week of school and the goals change as they are met.

The title of the board is "Together We Will Defy Gravity" and I also have a "Shoot for the moon..." poster on there.

The students created art work of rocket ships in out space.  It was a bit involved but they turned out beautifully and the kids are still proud of it- which is good because it stays up all year!

They started by using oil pastels to draw up to 5 circles of different sizes on their paper.  They could color these any way that they wanted to make planets.  Then, they painted the paper black.  When the paint was dry they added stars using oil pastels/clear glitter paint.  The rocket ship is just a clip art print out which they colored any way they wanted and we used tissue paper to add the flames.  The final touch is the photo of the student.  We went outside and I took a picture of them either, jumping or hanging off the monkey bars.  They cut the picture out and glued it onto the art. PHEW! It certainly sounds like a lot of work when I type it but really it was fun. I PROMISE (if you like to do art projects)!

The students' goals for math/reading are written on a slip of paper and when they are met, the student gets a prize and then sets a new goal for themselves.  I only help them in the beginning of the year if they set a goal that is too easy or too hard but they are pretty good at setting their own goals.  It is also up to the student to let me know that they met their goal.  I really want it to be something the kids take ownership of and if you ask them what their goal is, they can tell you.  So, I might hint that they have met their goal but I wont give them their prize or tell them that they have met it- they need to tell me themselves.

One last look...enjoy your day off!