Monday, December 12, 2011

Every time an eraser dies... soul dies a little with it. 

There's nothing worse than having a sharp pencil without an eraser. It's almost as if the pencil is taunting you. "It's okay to make a mistake because you can erase it," it whispers, "but you'll have to get up and go FIND AN ERASER FIRST!"

Since I bought my first 12-box pack of Ticonderoga Dixon #2 pencils at Costco, I have protected these erasers as if I'd made them myself. I usually make my students use the REALLY big pink eraser to help prevent eraser attrition. I mean, what good is a pencil if it doesn't have an eraser? I've been slacking lately and these pencils are the proof.

Looks like I need to get the big pink eraser out again!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

What children’s drawings would look like if it were painted realistically

This is one of the coolest things I've ever seen! I truly believe that everyone has a gift to share with the world. Some people are great chefs, some people help others in need, and some people shape the future of the world, whether it's through teaching, child raising, technology, or art. This is a perfect example of a person that has used their passion for the greater good.

Most children love to draw. When they are young, it can be difficult to decipher just what those drawings are "supposed" to be. The mastermind behind "The Moster Engine" is Dave Devries. According to his website, Dave says, "It began at the Jersey Shore in 1998, where my niece Jessica often filled my sketchbook with doodles. While I stared at them, I wondered if color, texture and shading could be applied for a 3D effect. As a painter, I made cartoons look three dimensional every day for the likes of Marvel and DC comics, so why couldn’t I apply those same techniques to a kid’s drawing? That was it... no research, no years of toil, just the curiosity of seeing Jessica’s drawings come to life."

Here are a few examples of his work:

In his book, you will find a page with the child's monster, and a page that shows his drawing based on the child's drawing (he uses the same lines that the child originally drew). Then there are 2 pages of interviews with the child about his painting, which include photos of the child.

He is selling some of his artwork on Ebay, and the proceeds benefit local families in need. However, because of all the publicity he is receiving, there are no more pieces left, and his book has a 3 to 4 week delay. 

Children have such creative minds. It's refreshing to see someone advocate for them. There's a local company that takes children's creative, short stories, and turns them into 3-4 minute skits. They LOVE the skits just as much as the parents do. 

Do you know anyone that does something similar to this? We'd love for you to share!

Do you need a Pintervention, too?

Before Pinterest, I would wake up in the morning, check my emails, take a quick look at Facebook, and then get on with my day. Since I don't usually start work until 2:00ish, I had plenty of time to make phone calls, reply to emails, handle issues in the office, and get everything together that I needed for the day. I was excited about adding "blogging" to this morning routine as well. 

Once my blog was set up, I noticed this little button at the top that said "next blog." I began clicking away through these, and miraculously came across some very creative teacher blogs. I was a little intimidated because all of the fabulous posts I was going to make about things I had been doing with my kids were NOT on point with the creativity of some of these educators. One blog had a Pinterest link button, and since I had never heard of it, I clicked it. That's when everything went down hill...

Pinterest is the creative people's mecca of the world. It's kind of like doing a Google image search, except that you don't have to type anything into the search box; it just has pictures of things that it KNOWS you want to see. And instead of having to read a ton of website descriptions, it's just pictures. So basically, it's a site that you go to that has pictures of stuff that it knows you want to see. Oh wait, it gets better. Rather than just a picture, the picture links you back to the original sits on which it was found. This is where the creative types of the world go to brag about their work, rightfully so. For the first few days, I was on a RAMPAGE to find every creative and crafty thing ever made in the whole entire world. I was officially addicted and in need of a Pintervention.

Over the last few years, I've managed to come up with some pretty fun activities for the kids. I always enjoy taking something that they consider boring, and trying to find a way to smoke-and-mirrors it up enough so that it seems fun until we finish. However, I could not post all of these ideas on my blog because, surely, they didn't have much visual appeal. How could I compete with all of these creative people that enter a secret universe that has 589027549 hours in a day instead of 24?

This is how I see my lessons:

This is how I see their posts:

Although they have the same-ish content, theirs looks WAY better. After weaving my way through the Pinterest posts, I realized that I was a horrible combination of 2 suppressed personality traits: creative and perfectionist. Nothing stands in the way of creativity like being a perfectionist. However, there's a cure. On Pinterest, I found this quote:

Doesn't that just make you feel so much better? Doesn't it just make you want to get up and do something awesome today?

Now, before I start anything, I usually consult Pinterest first. Pinning is now part of my morning routine, and yes, I set an alarm to get off of Pinterest. I even downloaded the app on my phone so that I can have it wherever I go.  What happened when I left my phone at home for a whole weekend getaway? I downloaded the app on a friend's phone.

I originally wanted to make the boards all academic, since it was tied to my business website. However, I began finding other things that I thought parents would like, and then I figured that I would make boards for DIY projects that are fun also.

Here are some of the AWESOME things I've found on Pinterest:
Click here to visit the original site.
Click here to visit the original site.
Click here to visit the original site.
Click here to visit the original site.

Click here to visit the original site.
Click here to visit the original site.
Click here to visit the original site.
Click here to visit the original site.

Come join me and see all of the other trinkets I come across!