MAKE YOUR MARK! International Dot Day @ Rooftop School

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September 15th marks the anniversary of the publication of best-selling author/illustrator Peter H. Reynolds’ The Dot, a “story book for all ages.”

Author Peter Reynolds told School Library Journal. “I pinch myself, thinking that four decades ago I was being told to stop drawing in my classes and pay attention, and here we are in 2016 with a school sanctioned day to celebrate creativity.”

The Dot more than anything celebrates the power of creative teaching,” Reynolds explains. “Despite the test-centric world we live in, creative teachers know how to find those aha moments — much the same way that my 7th grade math teacher Mr. Matson ‘connected the dots’ between math and art, which changed my life.” To honor that moment, Reynolds dedicated The Dot to Mr. Matson.

Rooftop School is joining the The Dot Club fun & inviting you to read-alongdraw-along, and even sing-along!

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To get things started, Rooftop librarian Tamra Marshall will be reading THE DOT with all K-2 classes.

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#DOTDAY LIVESTREAM

On Tuesday, September 13 at 10am, we’re connecting the dots via Skype and Discovery Education in the Burnett MPR. #CelebrateWithDE 

Author Peter H. Reynolds travels to the place where Dot Day began with Dot Day founder Terry Shay, a teacher at North Tama School in Traer, Iowa. Reynolds, Shay, and the students of North Tama will come together to celebrate creativity, courage, and collaboration on the 7th Annual International Dot Day. http://www.discoveryeducation.com/Events/monthly-themes/dot-day-2016.cfm 

#ArtIsAtTheCenter: DOT CENTRAL

Be sure to sign your work and share your dot art on International #DotDay – Thursday, September 15, 2016! Let’s fill “Dot Central” – aka the Burnett MPR – with some fresh art!

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THE PALE BLUE DOT & COASTAL CLEANUP DAY

Then, help us to take care of the most important dot of all — “The Pale Blue” Dot! In celebration of Coastal Cleanup Day 2016, Rooftop School will hold a Schoolyard Cleanup on Friday, September 16.

Pale Blue Dot from ORDER Productions on Vimeo.

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The trash gathered at school will be weighed and our information will be entered into the official International Coastal Cleanup Day database.

WHAT IS COASTAL CLEANUP DAY?

Every year, on the third Saturday in September, people join together at sites all over California to take part in the State’s largest volunteer event, California Coastal Cleanup Day. In 2015, more than 68,000 volunteers removed nearly 1,143,000 pounds of trash and recyclables from California’s beaches, lakes, and waterways.

Families, friends, coworkers, scout troops, school groups, service clubs, and individuals come together to celebrate and share their appreciation of California’s fabulous coast and waterways. The event is part of the International Coastal Cleanup, organized by the Ocean Conservancy, which is the largest volunteer event on the planet!

California Coastal Cleanup Day 2016 is Saturday, September 17, 2016

 

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“Positive Impact” – Teaching the World To “Live Blue” https://issuu.com/positiveimpactmagazine/docs/full_pim_magazine_book_2012_digital/38?e=2938531/2717353

Happy Lunar New Year!

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The terms yin and yang originated in ancient Chinese philosophy. Yin and yang mean literally the “dark side” and the “sunny side” of a hill. In Chinese and much other Eastern thought, they represent the opposites of which the world is thought to be composed: dark and light, female and male, Earth and heaven, death and birth, matter and spirit.

Yin yang drawings created by Ms. Hamilburg’s 5th graders at Rooftop School.

 

A Poem Lovely as a Tree

The Family Tree

Visual artist FLO OY WONG loves poetry. At the age of 75, Flo set her sights on becoming a poet, and she has worked diligently to master the art of writing poetry. To quote the National Center for Creative Aging, “There is no doubt Mrs. Wong will carry out her plan to keep working as long as she is able to do so.”  A vibrant elder, Flo dives into new challenges with whole-hearted gusto.

Last November 2013, the students of Rooftop School received a very special present from Flo — their own art show. Rooftop Art’s “A Slice of Life” at the Luggage Store Annex was a companion show to Flo’s 75th birthday show, “The Whole Pie.”  As a nod to Flo’s interest in poetry, visitors were invited to stroll through the Tenderloin National Forest to read poems written by Ms. Woo’s 4th graders.

This year, as Flo celebrated her 76th birthday with family in New York, Flo revealed that she was working on a new project with her granddaughter Sasha. As a visiting artist in Sasha’s classroom, Flo used visual art to help children to see the poetry in trees. At home, Flo and Sasha worked together to make a very special tree box.

We thank Flo, Sasha and Ms. Robin Farrell’s 3rd grade class at Hillside Elementary School in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York for sharing their process, their art, and their mutual love of trees.

Seeing Trees

FLO: My tree project with Sasha started when I was home in Sunnyvale.  I took pictures of these trees when I was going on daily walks.  I sent them to Sasha after she asked to see the tree trunks I was talking about.  My husband Ed knew about my tree-sharing and he began to point out trees to me.  There was one, in particular, which inspired me to write my poem, Tree Trunk.

Fast forward to mid-October when I taught a tree-drawing lesson in her 3rd grade class.  The day before the other lesson her teacher selected, Sasha gave me input. She told me she didn’t want me to repeat what I had taught in her 2nd grade class.

Flo suggested that the class learn how to draw trees, a spontaneous decision that met with Sasha’s approval. Flo discussed trees, focusing mainly on color of trunks.  After demonstrating how to draw a tree Flo told the 3rd graders they could draw either realistic or fantasy trees.  The criteria?  They had to fill their paper top to bottom, side to side. She introduced them to non-dominant hand drawing and requested one tree be drawn with their non-dominant hand.  Then, the students needed to create interest in the negative spaces. They also wrote tree stories.  One boy, a ballet dancer at the Met, drew a dancing tree.  A girl created one with swirling energy in the trees and the surrounding environment. The hour lesson turned the students into vibrant and energetic tree detectives.

When the class was through, Sasha conducted an exit interview with her grandmother about the lesson. Sasha’s critique: She would have cut back the drawing time so more artists could share their work with her grandmother.

FLO: What I liked so much about the lesson was this – I integrated my love of poetry and art for this eye-opening, heartwarming classroom experience. In the evening at home Sasha and I memorized Joyce Kilmer’s poem.  We recited it around the dinner table.

Sasha memorizes Joyce Kilmer’s poem Trees, just as her grandmother had done when she was a young student at Lincoln School in Oakland Chinatown. Flo learned and recited Trees for a tree planting ceremony. She recalled, “We buried a time box with the tree. I wonder if our box has been uncovered. I have remembered Trees for over 60 years.” Sasha and Flo also listened to Louis Armstrong and Paul Robeson sing their musical settings of Kilmer’s poem.

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Trees drawn by Ms. Robin Farrell’s 3rd grade class at Hillside Elementary School (Art by Andreas, Andrei, Aynsley, Bianca, Bruno, Clara, Dominick, Erin, Graham, Hamilton, Joshua, Leo, Luke, Max, Mia, Michaela, Nathaniel, Paul, Salett, Sasha, Yogev & Zev)

Flo and Sasha’s TREE BOX

When Sasha and Flo find a 1930s box at the local antique store, they decided to make a box tree art project. Sasha includes Joyce Kilmer’s poem (partial) and her Paw Paw’s poem.  Flo adds some color atop of the colored pencils Sasha used to render the tree.

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Sasha includes two blue porcelain miniature birds that she has purchased from the antique store.

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Sasha makes a tree out of a paper bag fragment to add to the tree box.

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As a surprise, Flo adds a bird to the lower right front of the box, while Sasha is away at school.

When the box is finished, grandmother and granddaughter take some time to reflect on the process of making The Tree Box together.  Flo and Sasha use Flo’s iPhone to record their shared memory of three and a half weeks of bonding and intergenerational learning.

The Fundred Project

Artist Mel Chin’s The Fundred Dollar Bill Project invites children to create their own Fundred dollar bill to symbolically raise $300,000,000, the estimated cost to treat New Orleans soil to create a lead-safe New Orleans. In New Orleans alone 86,000 properties are estimated to have unsafe levels of lead in the soil. At least 30% of the inner city childhood population is affected from lead-poisoning. Operation Paydirt provides the science to transform lead so that it is no longer harmful and a citywide implementation strategy with the potential of creating a model for all cities facing a similar threat.  http://fundred.org/

You are invited to contribute your own original Fundred to the project.  Start by downloading the Fundred template, and get creative!  http://fundred.org/get-involved/

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Preparing for the Second Line

The Second Line parade is a New Orleans tradition that arose out of the two parts of a jazz funeral. The second line is a celebration of the life of the deceased, typically held by Social (Aide) & Pleasure Club of the neighborhood. Once a funeral service was over, a procession would travel from the church to the cemetery.  Led by a “Grand Marshal,” a brass band would play slow sad music representing the struggles, the hardships, the ups and downs of life. On the way back after the burial, the music would become more joyful. A Main Line is the “main section or the members of the actual club, that has the permit to parade. The “second line” refers to the group of people following the “main line.”

In the “Crescent City,” there are dozens of different second line parades put on throughout the year, held in neighborhoods all across the city. Each second parade has its own style and character, but there are the basics: a brass band, jubilant dancing in the street and people all decked out in colorful attire: sashes, hats and bonnets, parasols and banners.

“Oh Lord, I want to be in that number when the Saints go marching in…”

 

The Mask, The Umbrella  & The Song

Ms. Sugawara’s 7th graders made masks featuring a symbol designed by each student to represent their family’s cultural heritage.  The teachers decorated second line umbrellas for their classrooms. Louis Armstrong recorded “When the Saints Go Marching In” in 1938, and the song has remained a tried and true staple of American Music since then.  There are close to 1,000 different recordings of the song by artists as varied as Bruce Springsteen, Ray Charles, The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, James Brown, and even the Beatles, whose version was on the “B” side of the their first commercial release in 1961.  But it’s Satchmo’s version that people turn to capture that familiar New Orleans Spirit.

 

Folding an Origami Butterfly

Teaching Artist Lilli Lanier demonstrates how to fold an origami butterfly. Rooftop’s 6th grade students collaborated to make hundreds of yellow, gray, and black origami butterflies that were used to create a silhouette portrait of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly.  6th graders learned about the characters of the opera — Cio-Cio-San, Pinkerton, Sharpless, Goro, Suzuki and Trouble — in advance of their invitation to attend the final dress rehearsal of San Francisco Opera’s 2010 production of the operatic classic.

Students learned about the Japanese art of Origami (from ori meaning “folding”, and kami meaning “paper”).

Origami is the traditional Japanese folk art of paper folding, which started in the 17th century AD and was popularized in the mid-1900s. It has since then evolved into a modern art form. .

Link to San Francisco Opera’s Education Program’s classroom materials for Giacomo Puccini’s Madama Butterfly

Link to Origami Club website, featuring lots of simple origami folds, unit folds and printable origami paper designs.