Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Visual and Language Arts

Katie and I started our new art class this morning, and the program is fabulous. We are taking an Abrakadoodle class through the City of Temecula at the CRC. Abrakadoodle is a franchised program, http://www.abrakadoodle.com/ , and I was very pleased with the lesson structure. Our young teacher, Miss Megan, had just the right pacing and tone, transitions were smooth and quick, and art history and storytime were integrated with a kinesthetic laboratory situation for the children. The class is a small class of six.

Today our focus was on Van Gogh. The lesson began with "circle time" in which Miss Megan introduced the children to Van Gogh and her helper doggy named Splat. The children then learned a little about Starry Night, and Miss Megan demonstrated the project the students would then complete. The multi-step instructions were so clear that, once we had our aprons on, Katie went over to the table and began using her paints in the method instructed to create yellow and silvery white stars on her black paper without needing me to re-tell her the instructions. We then glued rectangles and small squares together to create a city scene. When the project was finished, Katie took it to the teacher to be framed, and all the students created a gallery by the circle time area.

Miss Megan then read a touch and feel book about Van Gogh which featured many of his works, and the children were able to touch different parts of his paintings, like "sand" and the fur of a peach.

After storytime, each child was called up to get his or her work of art and show it to the class.

I am very pleased with the class, and Katie really seemed to enjoy it. And it is really neat that she will be getting systematic instruction in many of the classical and modern painters.

After our morning class, we went over to Amie and Boppa's, and my dad and I left early for the library in order to meet with Marie, the VP of Toastmasters membership. She has asked me to help draft some materials for potential new members and also for members once they commit. I will be working on the first half of the project this week, and we sat down for a confab about what that should entail. We had six guests at our meeting today, and I hope we are able to retain them and build our club's membership.

Toastmasters was really fun today. My dad gave the impromptu topics, and our Toastmaster John really led the meeting well. Daryl, in making a metaphor for his speech, showed us how to peel a banana upside down like monkeys do, and this entertained us all to no end. I am sure it will be an inside joke with our club. Steve J. gave a remarkable presentation of Brutus' speech in Shakespeare's Julius Caeser and then used it for dissecting some of the speech's rhetorical effectiveness. I served as the General Evaluator today, a role in which I manage the evaluation team and comment on the overall flow of the meeting. I absolutely love Toastmasters and building connections with these awesome people. It is a beautiful gift my mom has given me, to watch Katie for part of every Tuesday, so that I can keep myself in balance and open new opportunities to myself. And I love spending that quality time with my dad so much. I know we will never forget this adventure we are having together.

Katie is snoozing right now...in a totally new place. Aunt Diane and Uncle Brad Lambert gave her a sleeping bag with a water bottle and flashlight for Christmas. We were trying it out before bath and she LOVES it. She was talking about how safe she feels in there, all zipped in. She told me that she likes it because if she hears a noise, she can hide in there. Because she knows that Aunt Diane and Uncle Brad are Skya's family, she also was saying how Skya the doggy gave it to her also. So after our bath just now, and after getting all cozy in jammies, Katie begged for me to alter our routine (which is me taking her downstairs for time with Daddy) and to zip her up in her sleeping bag. She said something amazing, "I want to sleep in there, please." She said she likes it better than her crib, because if she hears a noise in her crib she can't hide herself. She has never asked to sleep anywhere other than with me and she usually doesn't fall asleep without a cuddle session. So now she is sound asleep in her sleeping bag on the playroom floor. I zipped her up and she fell asleep all by herself. I am in awe of this sleeping bag!

And Bill will appreciate this: as she was climbing in and getting her cozy blanket, she also reached out for her nearest Rubik's cube and said, "I want this in my sleeping bag, for comfort." Seriously. Our daughter is cuddling with her Rubik's cube. :-)