Collaboration Between Two Teachers and an Octopus

Mrs. Berry and a Student

This past Friday, Mrs. Dunn (first grade teacher) and I teamed up with an octopus to teach the students about the short “o” sound. Mrs. Dunn introduced the class to the short “o” by hooking the students with a short clip about an octopus. She found one that showed the suction cups of the octopus. Afterwards, Mrs. Dunn reminded the students about the sounds the different vowels make and how the letter “o” sounds and looks when you say that sound. Students then learned that an octopus has eight tentacles and lots of suction cups to grab onto their prey.

After Mrs. Dunn’s introduction I showed the students how to draw an octopus. I reminded them that these are art octopi and if theirs looked different or had extra things that was ok. (You will find that there are additions, such as a tie, buttons, hats, and extra suction cups.) I also demonstrated how to use multiple colors for their octopus and how to color slow. Finally, adding in a background and plants.

Mr. Schrock (principal) even helped out with our lesson. On the backboard there was an octopus draw for reference for the students. Mr. Schrock added his artistic flare for the eyes and mouth. (The first grade students didn’t believe that he drew the eyes and mouth.) Students could reference this giant drawing while they were creating their own octopus. The class drew their octopi together. Once they were done as a class, half worked with Mrs. Dunn and the other half with me.

While Mrs. Dunn helped students write an acrostic poem about octopi (she had words samples for each letter), I helped students add color with color sticks. We then adorned smocks and painted our suction cups with a styrofoam ball. Students who finished early helped other students either by coloring, holding the door open for students who had paint on their hands, or helping clean up. (First grade students are great helpers.) I have attached a video about our Friday morning activity.


Mrs. Berry

Bay City Academy Chicka Chicka Boom Boom!

“A told B and B told C that kindergarten students at Bay City Academy were making Chicka Chicka Boom Boom trees this week. Students created amazing artwork for their cover of their own ABC books. This week the artwork is on display near the kindergarten rooms. Please stop by and see all their hard work. Students used several different skills and vocabulary words this week. We also acted out different types of lines with our imaginary paint.

Some of the skills and vocabulary words we used were:

  • Perimeter
  • Vertical
  • Horizontal
  • Diagonal
  • Zig-Zag
  • Circle
  • Letter recognition
  • Gluing (a dot does a lot)
  • Cutting (one hand is the crab claw and the other one is the chicken wing)
  • Using scissors safely
  • Counting to twenty
  • Fine motor skills (taking off stickers and putting them on the paper)
  • Looking at three different colors of green
  • Drawing lines
  • Visual Placement of objects
  • Sharing supplies with others
  • Helping each other by passing out supplies or helping one another
  • Being responsible for cleaning up our messes
  • Using kind words (please pass… and thank you)

All this in one week during art. We have been very busy learning and having fun while being safe. Thank you to all the kindergarten students who made this week lots of fun.  I made a short video clip about our week.


Mrs. Berry

Mrs. Berry’s Adventure: Open House

Mrs. Berry

Our story begins on August 1st of this year for our art teacher. Mrs. Berry found herself with a new crew of wonderful teachers and staff at a new school. The building was in rough shape but with a lot of tender loving care from a dedicated construction crew this new school had been dusted off and polished, transforming from an old church building. The knights and horses in our story couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty back together but they were successful in putting the building together with natural lighting and paint that was best for learning.

So while there was hammering and taping, and a whole lot of sweat from sticky summer days the staff bonded together over Choice Theory and curriculum days. Mrs. Berry enjoyed the field trips to the planetarium and the county fair with delightful teachers and staff. An escaped balloon even made its way back from Canada. After all of the hard work there was even a feast where the knights and staff enjoyed a delightful pot luck. Mrs. Berry’s stuffed jalapeno peppers were devoured like a dragon’s maiden.

A couple of days before the opening of the new school the doors were opened and soon boxes upon boxes were carried in. Working together like no other crew; teachers, knights, and family members helped each other move and arrange the new learning environment. The staff then faced a hardship of outhouse proportions of a new building. But never fear the principal came to the rescue with two rolls of toilet paper and soap.

Over night the cleaning crew added their magic and made the building sparkle like never before and swept away all of the construction dust. As the morning went on teachers and staff pulled together to put in the final touches. The big moment was upon them.

Outside families and students were gathering to see the new school. A few words were said and then 1… 2… 3… the ribbon was cut. The doors were open to all who entered. Many smiles and laughter already filled the halls. Down in the art room artists were hard a work creating works of art. Some drew snakes, others drew cats and dogs. A few cars and marks made it onto the white board. Human shapes were also taking place in this room of creativity. One student even brought in pictures as a gift to the art teacher. Those were promptly hung upon the wall.

The night drew to an end as the families said good night and headed home. The school is now ready and waiting for September 6th. Mrs. Berry is waiting on pins and needles for the first day of learning. Thus this ends our little tale of the last month of summer for Mrs. Berry

The End

I hoped you enjoyed my little tail. I haven’t written a post in a while due to setting up my classroom and attending my two graduate classes this fall. I am learning lots of new ideas for the classroom; which I will be sharing later. If you would like to visit my new school online please click here. I am excited to share this new experience with you.  Here is a YouTube video about our opening day.

Have a wonderful school year!

Mrs. Berry

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