Tag Archives: Creativity

I Get Wobbly Knees


When I read powerful student writing, something happens to my knees. They actually shake. I know that sounds silly, but it just happens. I get weak in the knees. It’s a good thing I am usually sitting down when I read student posts because these days I would have to strap a pillow to my derriere.

Good writing is not effortless. My students are really sweating over their work. I am proud of their willingness to polish their writing and hope you can tell how much thought goes into each blog post. 

The post below is written by Jenna. You can tell she has a topic she cares about, one she has been thinking about. 

Photo Credit: squacco via Compfight


Art is a passion, not pass time.

I believe with art you can never go wrong with being yourself  and letting your true passion shine. When you pick up a pencil or paintbrush you can just let your feelings flow. I love art because it’s a way to express yourself,  inspire and be inspired.

With art you can express your passion and you can make a difference if you care. My favourite form of art is painting, I usually use acrylic paints and paint on canvas instead of paper. I don’t like painting “exact” but I don’t have a specific technique. There are many forms of art, sculptures, paintings, drawings, clay, origami, etc. Lots of artists have specific techniques that they use every time. One of my favourite artists is Gustav Klimt. I love his tree of life painting and I’ve even done one myself at our local 4Cats Art Studio.

Gustav Klimt
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: David Flam via Compfight

Art is not about being exact; it is about being spontaneous, courageous and creative. Some people get so caught up in trying to make it perfect that they lose the meaning and importance to the the piece because art isn’t about perfection it’s about having fun and being able to express yourself whether it’s with a pencil, or a paintbrush it’s your chance to be creative and I love that about art.

What about you?

Please comment on Jenna’s post here.

Monster Madness

For a little Halloween fun, we sought out the creative inspiration of graphic artist Stefan G. Bucher. Several years ago he shared his imagination and talent with the world by creating The Daily Monster. He filmed the process and invited people to make their own. A simple process with infinite variation.

You see it in high speed in his videos, but the video below shows how much time and care he takes in the process.

So, we had to make our own! Stay tuned for stories about these monsters on our student blogs.

Do you find these monsters scary? Funny? Silly? Let us know!

Our Robot Dance-Off

Robots are pretty fascinating. And, as we have discovered over the last few weeks, a great challenge and a lot of fun. Here is a video of our efforts.

We are really grateful to our guest judges, Mrs. Mooney, Ms. Janine, Mrs. Crawford, and Mrs. Timmins. Thank you for taking the time to give us feedback!

Huzzahnians, please comment below and tell us two things: 1. what was your great aha! and 2. what was your personal victory in this competition?

Huzzahnian Robot Dance-Off from Jan Smith on Vimeo.

What if…

Eric’s post made me giggle–and who doesn’t need a giggle on March 23rd?

I was inspired to write this by the novel, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, because so very much, if not all of the novel is illogical and nonsense. I made a list consisting of nine impossible things, and giving my thoughts on them.

hot dog_toast for brekkieWhat if it was possible…

  • To grow wings. I am likely thinking about this because I’d love to fly naturally (I hate planes, for several reasons I won’t explain right now) and soar above land, and be one with the wind.
  • That you could dig your way to China, without being burnt alive by the earth’s core. I highly doubt that the hole would be finished by the end of those people’s lifetimes, and judging by the size of the earth, a hole to the other side of the world is quite impossible…. or is it?
  • To find a vegetable that you can eat with your mind okay, let’s skip that one.
  • That there was a way someone could translate all animal speech, and convert it into English. Perhaps this could happen…? I’m too young to figure out how this would work.
  • That furniture could speak. Furniture doesn’t have brains, and you need brains to work your body, and you also need a heart to pump your blood, and you need blood, too… So this is definitely impossible (or is it?)
  • A device that lets you speak with just using your mind. I suppose it is possible, but very very unlikely that device could be invented.
  • A live flower that spits water at you. Okay, I guess I was inspired to write this from those artificial flowers that spit water that clowns put in their breast-pocket. Perhaps scientists could genetically alter a plant…?
  • A volcano that erupts maple syrup. Why would I even consider this idea?
  • What if eggs were the size of pupils? Well, it is possible… I think. The climate could affect this, or if we find another species of bird that lays eggs so very small.

What about you? Do you have any interesting impossible ideas?

Feel free to respond here or on Eric’s original post.

Image credit: Hot Dog by toastforbrekkie

Facing Forward

We finished our self-portraits!

We are a pretty fine looking crew, don’t you think? Not every student portrait is represented in this mosaic, but I will up-date this image as the last few are handed in.

These were our first self-portraits, and it’s an exercise we will repeat. Many artists, from Rembrandt to van Gogh painted their portraits again and again throughout their lives. They were able to capture the physical changes in their faces and some subtle qualities of their personalities, too.

Congratulations, Division 16 artists! You did a terrific job. Looking at your portrait, do you feel it is a good representation of you? As you think ahead to doing another portrait in a few months, what will you do differently? What will you do the same?

Facing Yourself: Drawing a Self-Portrait

The Challenge:

Draw a self-portrait. It’s tougher than it sounds!

The Tools:

A hand mirror, pencil, paper, and ruler (to prove to ourselves that our eyes are only half-way up our heads–not closer to the top!)

The Learning:

First, we looked at this video of portraits of women in the last 500 years: do you recognize any faces or artists? Notice that although the styles of portraiture (and what is considered beautiful) change over time, the proportions of the face stay the same.

Then we checked out the lessons on face shapes and facial proportions. THIS IS WORTH REFERRING BACK TO! This little test answers the question What’s Wrong With This Portrait? You can practice portraits–even silly ones–in this drag and drop activity.

The Results?

Wait and see!

The Process:

Division 16, what is it like to draw yourself while looking in the mirror? How did going through the lessons help you? Which facial feature is the most difficult to draw, and why?

We Agree!

Begin with the end in mind.

To start the year off right, we have come up with the agreements we will live and learn by. We looked at a series of Flickr images and then brainstormed possible messages they could represent about positive classroom relationships and a healthy learning environment.

For example, for this peacock image students wrote:

We agree to

– be original and stand out

– accept each other’s beauty

– show pride but not boast

– show our colours

– be ourselves, but not show off

– be colourful and bright, and be the best we can be

– be proud of ourselves for who we are and show our true colours as an individual and in a group

– be the best we can be

All great ideas! These phrases were merged into one statement: “We agree to be our unique selves and accept each other’s beauty.”

The process took time, but look what we achieved:

Our Classroom Agreements

View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: agreements students)

(If you can’t see the slides, click here.)

These agreements will be the foundation of respectful relationships and productive learning experiences this year. And I hope it is just the beginning of our work with digital images, technology, and collaboration.

Let us know what you think.

(All image credits on slide 12)

So, Division 16, take another look through our agreements. Which one is especially important to you, and why? What did we miss–is there something you think we should include? What sort of image would best represent your ideas about living and learning together?