Buy Local: Geneseo

Although this is my first blog posting, it is by no means the first activity related to the Geneseo Buy Local project.

May 10, 2010

Glenn, Amanda Offord, and I met for our lesson planning meeting, and we got not only a lot of work accomplished, but we also got each other very excited about what our unique project will be with our students.  Amanda teaches 4th grade in Geneseo Central and has 17 students.  They have already begun talking about how the many levels and generations of educational institutions in Geneseo have greatly shaped our town as well as beyond our borders nationally and internationally.  It is within this context that I will be working with the students to create a ceramic tile mosaic with each tile focusing on a particular subject within the “Education in Geneseo” theme.  We talked about several different ways of approaching the theme and decided on having the outline of the finished mosaic be a clearly recognizable symbol  of Geneseo and/or education.  Nailing down what the outline should be will be our first task with the students.  As it is late in the school year and tests, field trips, etc. are blanketing the remaining school days, we had to be very careful in getting enough contact time in early for me (so that I can then bisque and fire the tiles) and late for Amanda in order to give the students enough time to do research on their topics.

May 11, 2010

My first meeting with the students.

Glenn and I went in for an hour to brainstorm with the students about the mosaic shape.  Everyone was excited and had lots of idea.  Although Glenn and I were trying to steer the students toward finding a symbol of education, it only took a few nanoseconds for it to become clear that the bear on our fountain would be the outline of choice.  I had the students draw pictures of what they thought should be the icon we use and almost all of them drew the bear.  (This even after a half hour of brainstorming beyond the bear.)  That said, I think the bear is actually a great choice since it is so unique to Geneseo and can be recognized by anyone from the area at any distance.  I loved taking the drawings home and looking at them again admiring all the talent and passion the students put into the work.  If this is a sample of the quality of work they will put into the tiles, we are in  for a great treat and  a wonderful finished product.

May 12, 2010

Amanda and I “announced” the results of yesterday’s outline project.  Yes, the bear will be our shape, but the students were not able to fully understand that we are not going to create the bear in tile, rather it will be  a collage of many individual pieces of art when, put together, looks like the bear.  Glenn and I had tried to get this idea across yesterday, and I think we were much more successful today because of the slightly different angle Amanda took in explaining the idea.  I was very relieved once the students “got it” and were still enthusiastic.  The rest of our time was spent creating 17 subjects around the theme of Education in Geneseo.  The first few were easy:  The College, The Normal School, The Cobblestone Schoolhouse etc, but getting 17 took us most of the hour.  In the end, we came up with, what I think, is a great list and a list diverse enough that there will be something for everyone.  We then had the students pick which of the subjects they wanted to research.  I am really impressed with the students and how nice they are to work with.  When the picking of the topics began I envisioned people being unhappy that they didn’t get the one they wanted, but none of that happened.  We drew names, the students picked a subject and then we moved on…a great group of students.

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