Friday, June 19, 2015

Earthenware Explortions: A STEAM Unit Overview

Last summer I applied for and won a License for Learning Grant. The STEAM Lab was a fine art classroom before, so it still has a kiln. Last year I did projects with my kindergarten and fifth grade classes.  My goal for the year was to be sure that all my classes got to participate in a ceramics project. Thanks to the grant funds each of my 18 classes got to do a ceramics project related to math/science concepts taught in the regular classroom.

Here is an overview of the projects that we did:

Kindergarten: Ladybugs (insects)
First Grade: Shape bowls (geometry)
Second Grade: Footprint Necklaces (measurement)
Third Grade: Bells (sound energy)
Fourth Grade: Owls (heat energy)
Fifth Grade: MC Escher hot plates (area)

I consulted with an art teacher I worked with at summer camp who talked me through the ordering process. Each student started with clay and formed their project. We waited for the pieces to dry and did a bisque fire.

This was the first time I attempted using glaze. I was nervous, but it went well.

I managed to keep everything organized. This cart was my organizational crutch. I sorted the projects by class/grade. That being said, we *might* have finished the fourth and fifth grade projects on the last full day of school, but it all got done!

Grades 1-5 took pictures and posted about their individual projects using Padlet. This was a great way for me to remind students to focus on the classroom math/science content.

I plan to post about each of the projects over the next week or so. This was one of my very favorite projects. I'm already working on finding funding to continue next year.

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