Our Cloud Gallery

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

This post highlights the celebration of our Cloud Inquiry as the school year came to a close and how our students helped transform our learning space into that of a Cloud Gallery! 

The inspiration for this idea of an Art Gallery came from when my wonderful grade partner, Melanie (@mela4education) and I had the lovely opportunity of visiting another amazing educator Robyn Ecclestone (@robynecclestone, at Wendat Village P.S. in Stouffville. It was there where we were introduced to one of her fabulous grade partner's Hallie Montreuil (@my_wonderings). After discussing with Hallie how her class presented their various art pieces (e.g. drawings, paintings, etc) in the form of an Art Gallery, I immediately presented the idea to my DECE and we were sold! The exciting part of this process was taking the inspiration and making it our own to ensure that it was unique and meaningful for our students.

Considering our Cloud Inquiry was reaching new heights with the integration of various art techniques inspired by the Group of Seven, Heidi and I wasted no time in presenting the idea of an Art Gallery to our students! With the use of acrylics coupled with various painting techniques, our young artists truly embraced every ounce of learning that occurred throughout the process and we couldn't be more proud of all that they accomplished!

To recount the exciting preparation of events that took place over the course of the final two weeks of school, our students had a number of fabulous ideas:

1. Students created announcements that they read over the P.A. system to advertise and invite other classes in our school to come down and visit our Cloud Gallery.

2. Students created posters that were displayed around the school letting students, parents and staff know the title of our event, date, time and place!

3. Students created personalized tickets for their family members to attend the exciting event that were then sent home!

4. Students decorated Cloud Cookies to be given to parents on the day of our official Cloud Gallery opening! (Thanks to our good friend Joanne Babalis for the idea!)

5. Students fully embraced the role of an Artist as they explained to their family, friends and staff the techniques they learned and how they created their masterpieces!

On the day of our "official" Cloud Gallery opening, words cannot even begin to describe how proud Heidi and I were of our students and how truly humbled we were to have seen such an overwhelming amount of support from our parents! Their enthusiasm, participation, feedback and support was a true testament to parent engagement at its finest and we couldn't be happier! This event will be one that we'll always remember and look back fondly on as a true highlight in our careers (which have only just begun)!
Our model airplane to signify our connections to our Airplane Inquiry.

Paintings created by myself and Ms. Theis that helped inspire our students.

Official Cloud Gallery cards - every students' masterpiece was showcased.

The following are a list of events that took place during the "official" opening of our gallery:

1. Students and parents watched a surprise video that documented the entire process behind their masterpieces!

2. Students each had a special "Artist Station" that they led their parents too after the video that helped begin our interactive gallery approach. Each station contained the following: Cloud Cookies, "Ask an Artist" card, and official "Gallery Program" that included a list of the artists as a memory of the event.

3. Students, staff and parents contributed towards a collaborative cloud painting that will be hung in our classroom in memory of this event! (Thanks again to our good friend Joanne Babalis for the idea!)

4. When other classrooms visited throughout the afternoon, our artists became ambassadors and led their peers in a Scavenger Hunt (K-3) and an Artist Critique (4-8) around the room that incorporated elements of their masterpieces.

5. Parents, students, and staff also signed our Gallery Guest Book to act as a memory of this event!

The following pictures are of the incredible artwork created by our students and we hope you feel inspired by our young artists, their efforts and their undeniable talent!  

I apologize for the long post, but feel that in order to give our celebration justice, all of the above needed to be included. Thank you again to all of our wonderful parents who came out to this special occasion and we are thrilled to have ended the year on such high note! We hope you have a restful, relaxing and enjoyable summer and we look forward to seeing you in September!


  1. Wow! How cool, a true inspiration to take in and see if I can fit some of these great ideas into my summer program or new year ahead. Once a class inquiry is started - I will be looking to see if we can make an interactive presentation for family and friends as you did.
    Really beautiful - thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Kim,
      Thanks so much for the comment and kind words! This whole process was such a great experience for my DECE and I that we are already looking forward to new ways to share our inquiries with other students, staff and our families! The opportunities are endless! I look forward to reading all about your experience with BBFK this summer :)

  2. Jo,
    Finally had a chance to check out this post. You have so much to be proud of!! The art gallery turned out beautiful!! Children can be such wonderful artists! If you didn't tell me, I wouldn't have known many of them were painted by kindergarteners! That must have been such a wonderful learning experience for them and they each had an end result they could be proud showing off to their parents and peers. Great work!!! xoxo

  3. Fabulous classroom, fabulous inquiry and fabulous documentation! How many children did you have? Your room looks amazing and the learning that is going on is a testament to FDK and an inspiration to teachers like me! Congratulations!

    1. Hi Suzy!
      Thanks so much for taking the time to read my blog and comment on this post! I always love hearing from other educators! My DECE and I had 24 children in our class last year! Even though it was big, it made way for lots of insightful conversations and learning! I'm so beyond thrilled to hear that we've inspired you - that is the reason why we share our learning journey!
      Where do you teach? What grade?
      Keep in touch!

  4. Thanks for sharing - I was wondering how did you get the painting on clear plastic/laminating sheets/overheads transparencies?

    1. Hi Louise!
      Thanks for your comment! We actually purchased special paint made for transparencies...I can't seem to remember the name of it but will find it out and get back to you! I think it was fluid acrylic based but I'll have to double check for you! Thanks for the question!

  5. Hi Jocelyn,

    I am so inspired by everything I'm seeing and reading on your blog. This September is my first year teaching kindergarten after teaching Grade 1 and 1/2 for the past few years. I love the photo documentation you use and was wondering what kind of observation recording logs/sheets you use. Documentation has always been something I need to improve and any suggestions would be appreciated.



    1. Hi Amy,

      Thanks so much for taking the time to check out my blog and I'm so thrilled that you're feeling inspired! That is truly way I enjoy sharing my journey. That's so exciting that you'll be teaching Kindergarten!

      Documentation is still an area of assessment that my DECE and I are continuing to learn more about but I'm so glad that you love what you see so far! In terms of recording logs/sheets, we mostly document using technology (iPads in particular). Both my DECE and I have our own iPads that we use daily in the classroom and the apps "PaperDesk Pro" is one that is most used for documentation. This app allows you take photographs/videos/notes, etc all at once and we have folders in this app organized based on each inquiry, content area, etc which helps show the learning visually for us to which we can then use for future planning/learning opportunities. We then print the photos for documentation panels, for student portfolios, and/or upload on my blog & class website!

      Before we had our own iPads, clipboards were our best friends. A simple template with the focus at the top and participants names written underneath (we would write the students' names that we were documenting) and then notes/transcriptions followed on the bottom. These were then stored in our Assessment binder.

      I hope this provides some clarity and if you have anymore questions please don't hesitate to ask! My email is: if you would like to shoot me an email! :)

      Wishing you a wonderful start to the school year and all the best as you begin your Kindergarten Journey!



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