It’s Friday – are you trying something new?

goldfinchThis summer I thought I’d try to write, read a book, and draw a little picture everyday.  I love art, but I don’t feel super confident about what I can do.  I take a long time to sketch because I try to make it perfect; except there is no such thing… so all I really end up doing is using a lot of time.  I thought practice more.   The 3E motto: Practice Makes Progress popped into my head.  My daily drawing goals were to practice contour drawing – to speed myself up a bit – and to try to find a way to put light into my pictures to make them more 3-D.

tufted titmouse

Here’s some of the drawings I’ve done so far.  After working in a little sketch book for a while I thought of putting them in my calendar.  The first two days were fine, but the third one – the second hummingbird – made me feel like quitting.  I thought about getting a new calendar and throwing this one out.  (“Silly!  That’s what learning is – making mistakes.  My class knows that.  I should too.”) and about covering it up with white stickers.  Finally my feathers calendar artMrs. Eaves side won.  Check it out.  I didn’t want to make a unicorn-hummingbird.  But I did!   I’ll be trying again…and again…and again.

Do you have a summer goal?  Maybe you’re practicing to so you can swim out to the deep dock.  Do you have a surfing goal?  Maybe you’re trying to write poems, a story or a series even.  Are you trying something at camp?  Maybe you hope to grow vegetables to enter in a fair.  Maybe you’ll invent a new cupcake recipe.  If you’re working toward something, make a post, or leave a comment and tell us how it’s going.  Summer is a fun time to give different things a try.  Hope to hear from you!

It’s Friday – here’s something you might like to do

fox and black bearMy mom is an artist. When I was growing up she challenged me to see the world with “seeing eyes,” meaning to look for details and differences. I loved being outdoors in the fields and woods around my house. I explored the brook and the marsh. I loved the flowers and the birds best. That’s how I came to know about John James Audubon.

rabbitsLater, I learned more about him and saw his work with new eyes. When I read about the current exhibition at the Currier Museum of Art I wanted to go. I did.  ” From Birds to Beasts: Audubon’s Last Great Adventure” is terrific.  It is set up so that both kids and adults will enjoy it. The exhibition shows Audubon’s artwork of the quadrupeds (four-footed animals) of North America – there are a few birds too. Eight of the animals our class chose as important in our states are on display and they are stunning! Make sure you grab the free Art, Nature and Adventure Journal, designed to help you use the exhibition to learn characteristics of different animals and discover more about Audubon’s artistic process. Use the second part to do some outdoor sketching of your own.fawn

These books, and others, helped me learn more about Audubon and his life. Did you know he was the first person to learn that some birds come back and use the same nest year after year? Did you know he was the first person to band a bird and that before he proved birds migrate, scientists believed “small birds gathered themselves in a great ball, clinging beak to beak, wing to wing, and foot to foot, and lay under water all winter, frozen-like”?

young Audubonin the frontier







The way Audubon collected animals for his work would seem unusual today, but the accomplishments of his work and the legacy he left for those who love nature remains important. This exhibit is wonderful.  I hope you’ll be able to go. Kids under 13 are free and if you go between 10 and noon on Saturday, the museum is free to NH residents.  When you go, let me know what picture stands out to you. The ones I shared in this post stood out to me, but there are others too – the armadillo, the lynx, the polar bear… Enjoy!buffalo

It’s Friday – here’s someplace fun to go!

museum adI’m excited.  I saw this ad in the newspaper and now I’m going to see Sue tomorrow.  She is the largest and best preserved T-Rex dinosaur fossil in the world.  She is usually housed in Chicago, but is just over the New Hampshire border in Norwich, VT. for a few weeks.  She made me think of Jake from this year and Trevor from last – two dinosaur lovers that I hope will be able to visit the exhibit too.

I’ll post more about it when I return.  I am hoping for pictures and more information.  I’m thinking I might be able to make a paper bag scrapbook.  We’ll see.

What kinds of things have you seen or done during your vacation?  Leave a comment to let us know where you recommend we visit or things you think we should be on the lookout for.  Have fun this Friday and every day!

Friday Fun – a writing idea – Poetry Presents

collection in a boxCollection In A Box  found on


  • paper or card stock
  • small box with a lid
  • scissors
  • glue


  1. measure and mark a long strip of paper or card stock whose short side matches the long side of the box
  2. accordion-fold the strip and glue the first page to the inside boxes lid and the last page to the inside of the boxes bottom
  3. add your tiny treasures to the pages and label to cover with the name of the collection

I liked this idea when I saw it but realized that I didn’t have a collection that would fit inside a box like that.  They were too big or fragile or bulky so I began to think.  Inspired by Lily’s wonderful Christmas gift I decided I would combine these ideas to make Poetry Presents.  Follow the same directions up above, but instead of adding a collection, write a poem.  It could be an original poem or an old favorite that you want to illustrate.  Have fun creating and writing.

bookmarkpoetry presentsHappy Thoughtsummer

Friday Fun – Happy Independence Day!

We are off to one of our favorite summer places – Mooselookmeguntic Lake in Oquasic, Maine.  We camp on Students Island.  We’ve been going most summers for 28 years.  Here are some of the pictures from our early years about twenty years ago.


















Here are some of the pictures from last year

20132013 sunset










What are your favorite places of summer?  Maybe you always go camping at the same place like we do or spend the 4th of July together at a parade or the fireworks.  Maybe you swim at the same special lake or beach or celebrate your birthday in a special way.  Tell your story.   Write it down, or share your story in a comment for all to read.  Summer is a time for memories – hope you’ve got some terrific ones!  Enjoy them all!

Friday Fun!

Incredible InformationYour magazine is in the mail and on its way to your home.  Enjoy reading and learning from everyone.  You worked hard to draft and revise, create interesting leads and craft informational narratives and descriptions.  Thanks for all your effort.  Leave each other comments if you have the chance.  Remember, if you ask questions at the end of your comment, you might be able to get a little conversation going.  What a great way to celebrate our first Friday fun with your great work.

Happy Reading!

Friday Fun – hope your day is great!

Last weekend I went to The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Northampton, Massachusetts.  I went to see the three galleries, explore the studio and listen to Lita Judge talk about how she makes books.

eric carle sketchOne gallery has an exhibit sharing a biography of Eric Carle in both photographs and artwork.  It was really fun to see how his art has changed, but also stayed the same.  I liked seeing the lobster poster that Bill Martin Jr. first saw and caused him to ask Eric Carle to illustrate his first book.  That was Brown Bear, Brown Bear.  I also liked seeing how Eric Carle used foam core and colored dowels to make a model of a sculpture that he later made out of steel.

pigeon banner Another gallery was full of Mo Willems’ sketches, plans and final artwork for all his books.  It is Pigeon’s 10th birthday and so the museum was highlighting his work. (He is from Northampton too.)  The gallery was full of pigeon, Gerald and Piggie, knuffle bunny and Leonardo.  There is a Gerald inspired sculpture in front of the museum too.  It was installed earlier this year.  sculpture

The final gallery displayed all 26 pieces of art work that had been put into an alphabet book called A Garden of Ordinary Miracles.  I wished that I’d be able to share it with you all – you would have loved the art work.  The colors are richer that what shows in the book and you’d have love the way the the author/illustrator, Robert Zakanitch played with handwriting and alphabets almost as if the final artwork were part of a sketchbook for practice and experimenting.  If you click on the links you’ll see some of what I mean.







Lita Judge is from from southern New Hampshire.  She grew up in Alaska and she shared some photographs taken there of bears and eagles, owls and seals.  She uses those images in her book illustrations and in her story ideas.  She also went in dinosaur digs for several years starting at 14.  It was fun to see how all the things she loved growing up now show up in what she does and loves now.  She shared a video of her parrot and her cat – and then shared the draft of a books she is in the middle to creating right now.  I wish you were there – you would have been amazed at what she shared.  You would have been inspired by what you saw.

I hope you get to go to the museum some day.  Make sure you check out the schedule so you can choose the just right day for you!

Friday Fun – a bit rainy right now so that means it’s a great day for making!

This summer I’ve been s searching for some interesting sites to learn new things from.  Some are for reading and some are for making.  Here are a few of my recent favorites. I think you would really like them too.

baby elephant born in the Netherlands  The first one is Zooborns – you guessed it, that’s what it’s about.  The site showcases all different types of animals born in zoos.  It show pictures and tells how the animals are cared for and important things the babies do.  Yesterday’s post was about a new baby elephant born at the Emmen Zoo in the Netherlands.  The baby weighed 220lbs when it was born.




Another site I think you’d like is a current events magazine.  It’s called Youngzine and its subtitle says “news and more for the young.”  It has a lot of interesting pieces of news.  Of course this issue has a story about the new Prince George, but there is also new about animals and science.  One article tells about the two new moons that have recently been identified orbiting Pluto.



squishycircuits_003-580x375.jpgThe last site I have to share with you is Sylvia’s Super Awesome Maker Show!  Sylvia Todd is 11 and she shares some amazing things.  I like clicking on the Episode tab so I could watch her how-to videos.  She an incredible maker!   So far my favorite is “Squishy Circuits” episode, but I haven’t watched them all.  She teaches you how to do some pretty amazing things.



Have fun on this rainy Friday.  If you check out any of the sites, let me know what you think.  If you have other suggestions leave them in a comment so everyone can explore. Enjoy!

(I took the pictures shown here from the sites mentioned in the links.)

ps – I got the other five Captain Awesome books.  I’ll let you know my favorite on Monday.  Have a great weekend!

Friday Fun – hope your day is great

It’s starting out a little rainy, but maybe that’s not so bad.  It might mean I get a couple more books read to share with you on Monday.

rounding first This week I got to see Joe play in two different baseball games.  It was fun to watch him play because he was having so much fun.  Tonight he is playing in the final game for the championship.  Let’s send him great winning vibes!

One of things I have been working to learn more about this summer are ways to reach out to other classes in our country and across the world so we can learn together.  I have been using our blog, twitter and other digital tools more and more.   And because I love books and reading (you may have noticed) most of the teachers I have been learning about and with do to.  That is how I found Jarrett Krosoczka’s, The JJK Blog and on it there is a link to a lunch lady video game where you get to use the fish stick nunchucks and catch the bad guys up in your hair net, among other things.  I gave it a try – but was defeated in about 5 seconds.  I know that won’t happen to you.


If you have a chance to check it out, let me know.  In the meantime have fun playing, building, creating, imagining and enjoying SUMMER!