Thursday, December 20, 2012


Today it was time to get down to some happiness and glitter.  I am of the belief that glitter makes everything better, and better is what we just really need right now.  Inspired by Stephanie over at Teaching in Room 6, I decided to create some winter scenes using glue/tissue triangles.  Unlike Stephanie, who expertly integrated this lovely project into her Geometry unit here, I just have no good reason other than a need to let my kids relax, chat, listen to holiday music, and make something nice to give to their families (Yes, I also had them make one for the classroom, because hello?  They are beautiful and sparkly.) 

I have a writing situation in mind to hang them up with before I leave for break tomorrow, so I'm getting some skills layered in there.  However, I won't lie, the joy of just allowing my kiddos to enjoy a creative project is more important to me at the moment. If you want the super-smart geometry/protractor version, you now know where to go. I'm jealous of you, because if we were doing geometry right now it would have been 50K times cooler.  If you want my hot, glittery mess, read on.  

I cut the tissue up with my paper cutter and each table had a supply:
Each student had a sponge brush, a piece of white construction paper, and a shared supply of watered down glue:
They layered and glued and layered and glued until their construction paper was covered:

When they were out of the room, I showered these tissue collages with clear glitter:
Once they were dry, they moved on to cutting out triangles, choosing a background color, making trees with stumps, and gluing the whole situation down with some construction paper snow:
Some of the trees could even fly:
and some were monochromatic:
Sigh...I was an art major in college, so I was in heaven. They worked really hard, though they were beyond full of holiday energy.  Not these two though--just right with the energy level here:
Before I left tonight, I added in more glitter action in the form of background snow to each and every one.  I cannot wait to see their little faces in the morning.

FYI--What you don't see are the children who took motor breaks at this moment, because the glue and glitter were about to take a turn that my custodian would NOT have appreciated. Where are they? Well, one student used my iPhone to time the other while they took turns competing to see who could run up and down a small set of stairs outside of the classroom more times. Of course I gave them all sorts of time limits and safety tips and told them to stop whenever they wanted, as long as it was within 3 minutes. Oh my word-- they LOVED it.  It's my new favorite thing.  They came back into the room and were much more chill.  I'm on a mission for creative motor break ideas, so bring it on if you want to comment.  A colleague shared this one with me:

If you start it at about 30 seconds, you can pretend you have Just Dance going on the Smartboard, just without the points and stuff.  Line those kiddos up and practice these moves, which I am told have a chillaxing effect :) My point? We can all relax, have fun and do the occasional wonderful project like this if nobody eats or throws glitter or glue. Since they're 5th graders, ostensibly this should be doable, but you know, it's good to have a plan.

I'm guessing that if you aren't already on break, you will be by tomorrow afternoon.  My goal is to take deep breaths and enjoy their exuberance and general kid-ness, rather than let my need to control take over.  We have another craft planned with our 2nd grade buddies, and the thought of spending 45 minutes watching my wonderful 10 year olds creating with a room full of 7 year old munchkins makes me teary and happy all at once. Part of what we'll be doing is making snowflakes to send to the Sandy Hook community for their new school building. Thank you to Melissa over at The Teaching Fashionista for reminding me to spread the word about this simple, lovely gesture that so many are participating in:

Snowflakes for Sandy Hook: Please help the students of Sandy Hook have a winter wonderland at their new school! Get Creative--no two snowflakes are alike :) Make and send snowflakes to: 

Connecticut PTSA
60 Connolly Parkway
Building 12, Suite 103
Hamden, CT  06514   
*send by January 12, 2013  
No words just glitter & sparkle! (my kind of project!)


  1. Hi Heather! I love that you just made the project for the sake of the glitter happiness--I can't think of anything better at this point in the season :)

    I love the Just Dance idea for a break, definitely something to think more about over the holiday. Are you on break now? Happy Holidays!

    1. Right?! We never get to do that anymore, and it was just so special to just BE together and make something pretty. Break is excellent so far--Happy Holidays and enjoy your time off :)

  2. Oh my gosh! I LOVE the black background on the trees (even the flying ones ;)) They came out so good!

    Have a fabulous, well-deserved break!

    Teaching in Room 6

    1. You are my inspiration. When I was feeling down and wondering what I could do to make the classroom pretty and happy this week, I thought of your lovely trees.

      You have a wonderful break yourself--so well-deserved. -h

  3. I really like you artwork - It's a cool style. Its also pretty simple for the children to carryout. As a trainee teacher I cant wait to teach creatively and imaginatively and you have definitely inspired me with an idea to be like that. Thanks for sharing.

    It would be great if you could visit my blog too,
    All the best

    Ben :)

  4. I really like the style of the artwork its so cool and I think it would be a simple technique to use with the children. As a teacher I want to take a creative and imaginative approach in my career and you have definitely inspired me to be like that.

    All the best
    Ben :)