Critical Thinking and Collaboration
What color should Meadow Pond’s 50th birthday cake be?
Which tile piece fits best into the center of the school bus wheels?
Why don’t the monkey bars look like monkey bars yet?
Making the MPES 50th Birthday Mosaic
An All-School Project That Develops Individuals
Making the Meadow Pond 50th Birthday Mosaic required constant collaboration, critical thinking, and communication, as well manual dexterity, an eye for color, and tenacity.
“This school-wide project gave students a wonderful sense of pride and ownership,” said Meadow Pond Principal Carolann Castellano. “I saw happy faces and complete focus every time I stepped into the art room. The mosaic was unveiled to our students on Meadow Pond Live—the school’s morning show—on Monday, April 30. Ever since, students have been gathering in front of it, running their fingers over the pictures, and celebrating their handiwork.”
The mosaic, which measures eight by three feet and hangs in the school’s entryway, features dozens of things the students love about their school—the swing set, colorful crayons, an artist’s easel, the school garden, sitting with a friend on the Buddy Bench, the music of the piano and string instruments, recycling, a hot school lunch, and more!
It was created over four days with Massachusetts-based mosaic artist Cynthia Fisher. But the work began back in December.
Each student submitted a drawing that represented something they love and value about Meadow Pond. Fisher created graphic representations of a selection of the students’ drawings and the template for the twenty-four square foot mosaic.
“I’m thrilled with what the children did,” said Fisher. “Nothing was cookie-cutter. However, we could only include some of the drawings of the school mascot, Max the moose.”
She arrived with all of the tiles and tools needed for everyone in the school to participate in the creation of the mosaic.
The youngest students worked on the cobalt blue boarders and different colored backgrounds. They felt each tile, making sure that it was placed with the shiny side up. The sticky backing allowed children to move tiles and find the best placement. Teachers used the mosaic as an opportunity to talk about shapes and how they fit together.
“Don’t use full tiles,” Cynthia Fisher cautioned. Only the older students wearing protective glasses could cut tiles.
Students in grades three through five were able to fully participate in the putting together of the mural. They learned to nip the tiles and make decisions about color.
Because the mosaic was worked on continuously throughout the day, it seemed to take shape before the students’ eyes.
“This was one of the only projects that students have worked on where the result wasn't something that they would take home or where the source image wasn't their own work,” said Amy Stockfield, the art teacher who spear-headed the project. “It was an opportunity for children to see the work that goes into a larger scale project, the importance of following the plan for the work, and that even though their idea may not have been selected their role in putting the work together was equally important.”
“This type of school-wide project is always on a condensed schedule,” said Fisher. “That’s a lesson In and of itself. Set yourself a goal and work diligently.”
Be nice, be kind, and have fun!
thank you MPES PTA and KLSD Foundation!
The Meadow Pond 50th Birthday Mosaic was funded through the generosity of the MPES PTA and the KLSD Foundation.
All students were an integral part of creating it with the support of art teachers Amy Stockfield, Chris Eckler and Spencer Eldridge