Sunday, May 9, 2010

2, 4, 6, 8, Who do we appreciate?

Moms, and teachers!  Lucky me, I happen to be both! 

We celebrated my son's teachers with flowers.  In fact, we took lilacs in to school not one but two different days because I saw the Teacher Appreciation email and swung into action.  Many thanks to Arlene's mom who saw me with flowers in the parking lot and told me that I was a week early.  But you can never have too many lilacs!  And you can never appreciate teachers too much either!

And we also made them some homemade artwork.  I let Sawyer take the lead on this one.  This is where not minding having an easel and art supplies and paper all over my kitchen pays off.  He wanted to do a box painting which we've done before at home (I wrote about it in one of the early Mess Fest posts!) and they have done it at school as well.  So I grabbed a box from the laundry room and we got started.  He found the objects to "paint" with, a potato and a rock from the kitchen counter.  He chose the colors of paint, rolled it around, and told me which teacher each painting was for. 

Then apparently he wasn't done because he picked up the strips of paper that I had trimmed off in order to fit the papers in the box and started making prints on them off of the original paintings.  Then we went with that idea and put some paint down on a new sheet of paper in order to print on the other strips. Which with a little lamination became bookmarks for his teachers.  Thanks Kinkos!

Two more ideas that came from The Children's Studio!  My darling mother's day gift from Sawyer was a portable hug, created by tracing his arm span on paper, cutting it out and rolling it up.  It was packaged with a ribbon and a tag that said "Happiness is unexpected hugs."  And it was delivered with a real hug and chocolate kiss.

I think I might make two more for the grandmas to go with the rainbow handprints we made.  A week or two ago, one of the teachers at school was doing this as a project with one child at a time.  Sawyer, as usual, was not interested in doing an art project at school, with so many other cool things to explore.  But a couple days later, at home, he decided he wanted to do rainbow handprints. 

When I do handprints, I always have babywipes on hand because they wipe the paint right off when you finish.  I painted each finger and the palm of his hand a different color, then asked him to spread his fingers wide, and pressed his hand down.  Then pulled his hand straight up.  Presto!  We reapplied the paint so we would have one for each grandma, then we switched hands and repeated the process.  He also enjoyed doing several prints without reapplying the paint.  That made a cool banner that I am keeping for myself!

Although I never got around to actually writing a love letter to his teachers, I did manage to put my thoughts together in a poem for them.  We put the poem on the back side of the bookmarks, and he was super excited to show it off to each of them. 

Here it is, my poem celebrating Lindsey, Linda, Rebecca, and Kim!  Inspired by the growth I've seen in Sawyer this year in his imagination, memory, speech, silliness and confidence.  And by the way that his teachers let the environment of the school do the work!  They provide what the kids need.  And the kids grow.


preparing soil
planting seeds
sprinkling water

letting the sun shine
the plants grow
always watching

deep roots growing
strong stems shooting up
turning their true leaves
             toward the sun


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