Luther Memorial West Campus Visit

Wow! What a great school with such a diverse population. I got to observe Julia Van Wagenen at Luther Memorial West Campus. Another West Park school that provides in school Urban Bright programming for their students.

Today, October 30th 2018 Julia was working with oil pastels and scrap magazines. The project was simple; draw the other halves of the magazine picture.

Walking into the 3rd and 4th grade class the kids were deeply engaged in their projects. A standout to me was one student who was working on the left side of a cat’s face. He had layered black, brown and grey to match the magazine image. He then proceeded to match the background color which was mustard yellow. Overall the student’s work was pretty amazing, especially for someone in that grade level. Another really BIG shout out to Mr. McDermott who was not only a hands-on teacher throughout the class but actively kept the students focused on the project. Offering insights, encouragement and discipline as necessary. When class had finished the students assisted in clean up and formed a line quickly before heading out.

The second classes that I observed were a bit older. Julia started off by asking the class if they had ever worked with oil pastels before. Majority said yes. She then described the project and that they were going to practice first: blending colors, layering and how to mimic their image. After they felt good about their practice time they were allowed to go and pick a magazine clipping. There were all kinds of images such as: a dog and a soldier, fields, mountains, people and underwater scenes. Each student chose something different and it really showed the diverse personalities and processes. Some chose an image that did not require much detail so that they could focus more on blending colors, others because they liked to draw or thought of themselves as good at drawing they chose more ambitious projects such as: a car driving fast or a person’s portrait.

This class was a bit more rambunctious but Julia had excellent classroom management and kept them focused on the project. The projects turned out great!

Great job Julia! And thank you as well as Luther Memorial and Mr. McDermott for making this experience great for all those involved.

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