STEAMed Magazine January 2016 - Page 18

tornadoes” while a female student noticed that the stars “were circles and not pointy.” The classroom teacher and I chuckled quietly that a student was rather disappointed to hear that the dark towering object in the front left foreground was a cypress tree, and not the “top of a volcano” as he had predicted. Overall, the students enjoyed the painting’s “swirly sky” as one student offered, and found this piece of art very visually appealing. Thus, we were not surprised at how thrilled the children were upon hearing that they were going to create their own Starry Night. With van Gogh’s art still appearing on the whiteboard, the kindergarten teacher and I passed out a sketch of the starry masterpiece and asked the students to use van Gogh's art for inspiration as they colored their own starry nights using crayons. When the students finished coloring, they were given several different colored foil star stickers to adorn their night skies (figure 2). Figure 3 Figure 4 Next, with their “math goggles®” on, students created bar graphs depicting the number of each of the colored star stickers decorating their night sky (figure 3). This required them to count each individual colored star used, and to then represent this number on their bar graph by shading in the correct number of individual bars. After completing their bar graphs, students were required to identify what color stars they used the most of and least of, and to record the total number of stars stickers used (figure 4). Figure 5 Using their masterpieces, we also challenged students to find a classmate whose Starry Night bar graph was similar to his/her own and to articulate why. For example, one student noticed that she and a classmate used the same number of gold stars because “the bars are the same height.” This short observational time gave the students an additional opportunity to interpret their graphs by comparing and contrasting. The students were so proud of their artwork and delighted in picture-taking (figure 5). A teachable moment arose when we asked the students to count the star stickers appearing in their art and to compare this number to the number of colored bars on their bar graph. Students yelled out jubilantly, but were a bit perplexed that these two values were equal. Then one girl explained, “I counted all my star stickers and I got 11. Then I counted all of my red, silver, and gold bars and I got 11 again because all of these stars are in my night sky.” By having students count and verify that the STEAMed Magazine 18 January 2016 Edition