Thursday, 3 April 2014

Art and Design

We all know that the National Curriculum places a heavy focus on science, math, computers and literacy.  Whether in the classroom or at home, parents are always looking to reinforce and expand upon these concepts.  Often, the connection to these subjects is missing a connection back to art and design.  This void presents an opportunity to reinforce how art and design are core to all subjects.  Tying art and design to these subjects creates connection, otherwise you end up with subjects in silos that do not correlate with one another.

Montessori education is dependent on experiential learning.  Students don’t just learn concepts by repetition or book learning, they work with them.  Use art and design to tie concepts together.  As an example, assume the discussion of a Fibonacci sequence in math.  In an integrated classroom children would draw it, identify it in nature and in famous paintings and sculpture.  Students could draw it in pencil or by designing/utilising a simple computer program.  Students could also explain or express it through a poem or an essay, art and design has the ability to express complex concepts in a visual manner. 

A fundamental aspect of this is through literacy activities.  Words are symbols that when combined, communicate a concept to the reader or the listener.  Just like a Fibonacci sequence, words in their application are art and design.  Not only in typography but in the message, feeling and logic they convey in their use and application. 

Use art and design in conjunction with literacy activities to improve your child's vocabulary, phonics, sentence structure, grammar and comprehension.  Additionally, they reinforce all other aspects of the National Curriculum.  How?  Here are two examples:

The Golden Ratio
The Golden ratio is a math term, found in nature that describes a ratio, 1 to 1.618.  Leonardo Da Vinci uses the Golden Ratio in the Mona Lisa.  The painting of the Mona Lisa is also a story.  What of?  Children of all ages can craft one and their friends and classmates can read and discuss each other’s story.  Has your child been to the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa?  Encourage her to share this experience.  Does she want to learn more on the subject?  Take a trip to the library and encourage her to read about Leonardo and the painting.  Good readers make for good writers and speakers.

Problem Solving

The Genuflection of the Bishop by Jean Dubuffet
Consider The Genuflection of the Bishop by Jean Dubuffet.  It is a crazy, chaotic design of just about anything your imagination can conjure.   It is mathematical in its geometry and almost fractal in its construct, it is quantum physics on canvas.  Show children this piece and guide them through problem solving what this piece is all about and what it represents.  Have them verbalise or write a poem or story, design a computer game, or discuss it mathematically.       

Art and design need not be a separate subject in your child’s curriculum.  Use it in infinite ways to develop educational skills beyond the common curriculum.  Encourage your children to pull disciplines together into a cohesive system of comprehension.  After all, they do not exist by themselves, alone in a vacuum.  Art and design can be the glue that holds the concepts together.  By doing this, their skills, knowledge and comprehension will accelerate.   

This post is brought to you in conjunction with Pencil Street.

             
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Thursday, 27 March 2014

Book Review:Mamoko

We recently received a book for review which has instantly become Derin's most popular book :



 Mamoko is the kind of book that has no words in it but lets you get interactive.You are supposed to pick up a few characters and follow their story. The illustrations are quirky and interesting. Mamoko is the name of the town where the events take place.
Below is the first two pages of the book that introduce the characters.
 Sometimes it happens that the two characters we have chosen come across and help out each other or go somewhere together. It is a good book for developing the children's language in a fun way. Both Derin(4yo) and Defne (7yo) love this book.



Mamoko is published by Big Picture Press and they have very interesting books that you can check out here.

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Friday, 21 March 2014

Sponsored Video:Samsung Dream the Blues II

It is the Sports Relief Week and at my children's schools the children are encouraged take place in various games and sports.  Derin loves ball games but he is still a bit too young to be a fan of football clubs. I know from my friends' sons how passionate they can be about football.
Samsung has recently launched the second season of its ‘Dream the Blues’ campaign, which aims to encourage football-loving youths from age 9 to 13 to reach their football dreams. 
The new campaign, spanning three countries including China, Vietnam, and Colombia, aims to inspire kids who love football by offering an opportunity to learn how to play football with Chelsea FC youth coaches in a fun way. Doesn't that sound exciting?
I am pretty sure some children would be so happy about their dreams becoming true! The most passionate kids selected from each local camp will be given a once-in-a-lifetime chance to play with great Chelsea players such as Fernando Torres, Eden Hazard, and John Terry in London.

During the campaign, Dream the Blues football training sessions will be held in local youth football camps in every country and the final camp will take place in London in May.
The children will have an opportunity to learn how to play football and develop their skills.
You can read more about the campaign here.
This post has been sponsored by Samsung but all thoughts are on our own.
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