I’ve had a busy but thoroughly enjoyable School Holiday. I took the chance to join the Teacher Challenge, enlarged my Personal Learning Network via Twitter and read and commented upon many Blogs. I’ve learnt so much during the past six weeks that I’m concerned that going back to school might slow down my learning. I’m even more concerned that some of our students might be thinking the same way. I aim to make our Visual Arts classroom one which encourages more individual exploration this year. I hope that we will focus on our small part of the incredible amount of learning happening in and out of schools throught the World and that we will explore new ways of showcasing it on our Blog and connecting with others.
I took this photo on a Kingfisher Cruise on the Murray River in the Barmah Forest in Northern Victoria, Australia. The trees are River Red Gums.
The great thing about a challenge is that it encourages you to try something you might otherwise put in the “too hard basket”. For some months I have been intending to put a series of my photos together in Animoto so, as part of Activity 5 of the Teacher Challenge , I finally gave it a try. I hope you will be inspired to give it a go if you haven’t as yet. I used the Basic level which is free. The most difficult part was finding 10 images which told a story and then deciding on suitable music from the hundreds available. The music on these presentations can often be surprisingly loud so it might be a good idea to set it a little lower before you view.
Our second task in the Teacher Blogging Challenge is to refer in a post to some posts by other bloggers which we have found interesting. I have chosen Larry Ferlazzo and Rod Lucier as my Rolls Royce bloggers because of their “overall excellence” as writers, the “build quality” of their blogs and the lasting impression they have had on me as an educator. Their posts are effective because of the thinking they encourage and because of the practical help their links provide. I liken their consistent excellence to that of Rolls Royce cars. I took the photos at the RACV Great Australian Car Rally last Sunday. The well recognized statue on the front of the Rolls Royce is the Spirit of Ecstasy.
Lion Mask by Tahlia Grade 6 2009 at Taylors Lakes Primary School
8.Blogging creates a picture of what we’re about…… from the smaller parts to the “bigger picture”.
Grade 6 Mosaic, designed by Erika (pictured) presented at Graduation to Acting Principal Chris Sevior
9.Blogging fosters creativity…….. and also allows for our individuality.
Junk Sculpture by Mariam of Grade 4, Taylors Lakes Primary School.
10.Blogging is the creation of an Art form…… it allows us to appreciate, celebrate and embrace the learning fostered by the Blog’s existence.
Screen Capture of Visual Arts @Taylors Lakes Primary School Blog hosted by Edublogs.In conclusion, I highly recommend Blogging as a learning experience. It has enhanced my learning and teaching and, in so doing, enhanced my life.
Best Wishes on your own Blogging journey, Yvonne Osborn, Melbourne, Australia firstname.lastname@example.org
Over the past few years Mosaic art has become a special interest area of mine. I had the opportunity to take part in Mosaic Workshops run by Nola Diamantopoulos of Sydney and Deborah Halpern of Melbourne. Nola’s horse, Enoran, was one which was simple in its design and coloring but which has emerged as a favourite of mine. Deborah was photographed while polishing her work after she demonstated the grouting process. Australia Artist Jane Byrne visited our Grade 6 students in 2008 and inspired our work on the Year of the Rat mosaic. Jane showed us how extra interest can be added to a piece by adding cup handles and pieces of old mugs, plates etc which have different textures. I have a lot to learn about mosaic art but I look forward to continuing to be inspired.
Among my daughter Kate’s photos from China were some of sculptures in which she knew I would be interested. The ancient Terracotta Warrior and his patient horse and the modern junk sculptures of resting Kangaroos are hundreds of years apart in their making. However, they still allow us to appreciate the artists’ skills in capturing their mood and expression. There is an exhibition of selected characters from the Terracotta Army at the New South Wales Art Gallery in Sydney until March 13th 2011.
Last year my older daughter, Kate, and my son, John, visited China. A highlight of their trip was seeing the endangered Pandas at the Panda Research Reserve in Chengdu. A lot closer to home, I visited Ballarat Wildlife Park and was pleased to be able to get up close to a Koala which is one of Australia’s endangered animals. It was a very wet day at the Park but that didn’t daunt the enthusiastic Kangaroos (from Kangaroo Island) who love to be hand fed and didn’t mind me patting their soggy fur. Wherever you are in the World, Ballarat Wildlife Park is worth a visit next time you come to Australia.
Digital photography has enabled us to keep a comprehensive record of where we go and what we do. Slide shows of our enormous photo selection bring us a lot of joy (and a little embarrassment) as we recall the places and occasions. Today’s selection is a set of two flowers from the UK and a wombat from Ballarat Wildlife Park here in Victoria, Australia.
The folder these three photos were in was entitled “Flora and Fauna” so I made that the title of the post. The fascinating passion fruit flower was on a vine in a lane off Portobello Road in London. The holly berries were in a lane near Castlegregory, Ireland and the photo of the tiny bird was taken in St. Fiachra’s Garden, Kildare, Ireland.
Looking for some images for today’s post I came up with some from a Melbourne Zoo visit several years ago. Taken several cameras ago, the feathers don’t show up as well as they would if I took them with our current Canon 5D but they show expression in their eyes and they would be good inspiration for drawing. The head only shot is of our flightless bird, the Emu.The bird which seems to be without a tail is a member of the Kingfisher Family and the third photo is of our Australian Pelican which is the largest of the World’s seven Pelicans. All three are timeless images which I hope you will enjoy.