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I Painted A…

February 2, 2022 | Kate Streelman

First graders spend time in the Studio creating amazing paintings of what they are studying.  In the classroom, they make labels for these paintings to let viewers know more about the work of art.

First they brainstorm ideas.  Sometimes this is just thinking of words everyone will need to use like “made”, “has”, “painted”, and more. They also look in their research folder to find other important words to spell, including the name of their vehicle and the type of power source it has.

Second, they write their label with pencil, erasing if they make a mistake. At this point in the year, the students are writing a main idea and two detail sentences in their artwork labels! They are becoming aware of mistakes in their own writing and also seek out edits from a teacher. When they’re spelling words that they can’t find in the classroom or in their research folder, they often use “invented spelling”. Invented spelling is when students “invent” their own spelling for the word based on sounds they hear and spelling rules they know.

Finally, they cover the pencil writing with flair pen to make it stand out on the white label from far away.


Kate Streelman

Lead Teacher, Fourth Grade

Kate Streelman is passionate about teaching. In second grade, she decided that when she grew up, she would be a teacher and she has written proof of this goal! She is a graduate of Eastern Christian Schools and Calvin College. Ms. Streelman grew up in suburban New Jersey and has greatly enjoyed moving closer to New York City. Prior to teaching at Mustard Seed, she taught in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Kate joined the staff as a first grade teacher in 2017. Every year brings new experiences, excitement, and challenges, and Ms. Streelman looks forward to them all. A shy student growing up, Ms Streelman loves the community of Mustard Seed and how easy it is to be a part of it. She also likes to find ways to help all students feel like they are a part of that community.

Outside of school, Ms Streelman loves to read, doodle and paint, and spend time with friends and family. She enjoys exploring the area, finding new places to eat and relax, and just going for walks.

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