Thursday, March 31, 2011

Paper Cranes for Japan

I posted last week about starting the Paper Crane for Japan work that is happening around the world. I started working with one of my after school groups. We made "rough draft" paper cranes by watching the youtube video. And boy was it hard. I mean really hard. The kids were frustrated, I was frustrated. It looked like we might not ever have a crane that didn't resemble something smashed on the windshield. But as it usually goes with something new, we just needed practice. Today we worked again as a group and as soon as I had "experts" they became teachers and helped others. I had each person make at least 2 white typing paper cranes before passing the level and moving on to the colored paper.

What a difference a little practice can make! There were literally squeals of delight--quickly put to a stop. Can you imagine 25 squealing 4th graders? Me either.

Things were clicking and our box is starting to fill. Some students are planning on making some at home and teaching their families to make them, too. I believe one boy is planning on making 50 tonight. The power of an idea + the efforts of students is awesome.

We went from this:

To this:

Feeling Appreciated.

It's Teacher Appreciation Week and it has been as week full of thank you notes, hugs, and treats. LOTS of treats. I'm pretty sure I will have to be rolled out the door on Friday. Thank goodness for maternity pants. Elasticated waistbands are where it's at. And really, why aren't all pants made with elastic? Think of the problems it would solve. No more bending, stretching, and the deep "I'm tying my shoes" move to make pants fit. Or is that just me? It works, you should try it.

Anyway, as part of the eating frenzy, I received this gift from two of my students who obviously know me well. Yesterday I brought home possibly the best Teacher Appreciation Gift ever. It won't last long, clearly.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Art for Japan

I stumbled upon the Paper Cranes for Japan project on the website Students Rebuild found here. For every paper crane made and sent in, the Bezos Family Foundation will donate $2 to Architecture for Humanity. The goal is to reach 100,000 paper cranes to be woven into an art installation to symbolize a gift from students around the world to the children of Japan. The effort is being virtually documented on Facebook. The website also has a helpful link to a video tutorial on how to make a paper crane. I know I will be watching this a few times. Following the little picture diagrams is not my style!

What a great idea for students! Children LOVE to do origami. Creating something three-dimensional from nothing always amazes them, and really, it is pretty amazing. This is a great way to teach about art from a different part of world while contributing to something bigger than ourselves. My after school art club will definitely be doing this, and I know they will be passionate about their contribution. Has anyone done this already? Or anyone know of any other service projects through art? We would love to get involved!

Off to acquire some origami paper, and some mad folding skills.