Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Art room post #1

This is the first official art room post of the year. Because of how late Labor Day is this year we don't start school until September 8th. So in 21 days school starts for the kids. I won't have any students in my classroom for the first week to week and half but I will be responsible for doing assemblies and such around the school.

Each year a great construction company donates backpacks and school supplies to ALL of the students in our school. Yes all 537 of them. The music teacher and I are responsible for getting the assemblies to pass these out all set up and moving all 500+ packs around the school to the right locations. Its a lot of work.

This year we have a special event the third day of school. The new Max (light rail) line is opening up right outside of our school. The people at Tri-Met have offered to take all of our students on a free ride the day Before the official line opening. I for-see myself going on a lot of short rides that day and walking a lot of excited kids back and forth from the school to the Max.

On the art room front our theme for the year is "Art around the world and through time." It is what is sounds like. Basically a crash course in ancient to Renaissance art across the world. This is year two of my three year subject rotations. Year one is "Art and Me," where we explore the elements and principals of art and then go in depth in how to correctly use all the types of art media that I offer, from printmaking to painting, sewing to "stone" carving. Year two we get into some art history. Hopefully, by this point the students know how to correctly use all the materials in the art room and are feeling more confident with different art methods. So we start looking at how people around the world and through time have used the materials and methods that we learned about the year before. Year three we look at specific artists and the art movements from the Renaissance onward. This year has less focus on the country of origin of the artist and more emphasis on the art style/movement that they were part of.

I should also mention that all Kinders and 1st graders are in their own two year rotation where we focus on making art that relates to picture books. This is my art in literacy rotation. We really focus on learning how to use our materials such as scissors, glue, crayons, makers and paint during these first two years.

To start off the year we always do getting to know you activities and try to get a self portruite from the younger kids so that we can compare their work from the start of the year to the end of the year. This is what the first few weeks of art class will look like for my students:

K-1: Welcome to/back to the art room. Basic procedures (where we sit for story, where we sit to do our work, how to safely sit on the chair, how do I get help, how do I go to the bathroom, what materials can I use, how do we correctly use the materials, what dose sharing sound and look like in the art room, clean up procedure, voice level, chill zone/time out, what if I get done early...) and a self proiturate, a print out of their name for them to decorate to go on their work folder and a "scavenger hunt" for colors to help build the color wheel.

2nd-3rd: Welcome back to the art room. Basic procedure (same as above), what the four school expectations look like in the art room (Safe, Responsible, Respectful, Kind). Explain that our theme is Art Around the World. Pre-view the countries we will "visit" and make our "passports". We will also make a big scavenger hunt color wheel and then make our own colors with paint and put our hand print on the color wheel in the correct space.

4th-5th: Same as 2nd-3rd ( I like to do the same project with all grades levels for the first week just to keep things consistant. There is bound to be "issues" that first week and so the focus needs to be dealing with the students not the project)

6th-8th. Now we are into the meet of the issue. This group comes to my classroom every day of the week often for the entire school year. Aside from students who are new to the school, I will have had all of these students the previous year. I lay it down pretty hard and clear for this group concerning what I will, and will not, tolerate. We talk a lot about a student and a teacher's rights and responsibilities. Although it boils down to this " You have the right to learn, your classmates have the right to learn, I have the right to teach. If you are impairing my ability to teach or your classmates right to learn then you either stop or you leave. It has taken me four years to be able to say THIS is MY Classroom, take it or leave it. I am caring and fair while I enforce this but in the end that is the fact. I am there it teach, keep the kids safe and nurture their growth. I can not do any of those things if my classroom is out of control and the students do not feel safe or like their are boundaries.

So we have a lot more set up to with this group. We need to make a large portfolio for each student. We need to need to set up our stab bound sketch books. In these we have several sections: Lined paper for notes, recycled paper to glue the Wednesday watercolor too, newsprint for practice sketches and good sketch paper for Friday draw. The stab bound books will be any type of school appropriate drawing the students want but it has to incorporate the line, texture, color and movement of the Austrian artist Hundertwasser that I mentioned in several posts back.

Our next project is a accordion fold book with each students name as the feature. On the cover will be the student's name. On each page will be one letter from there name. That letter needs to be accompanied by a drawing, or a collage, or whatever of a person, place or thing that starts with that same letter.

This project has several ideas behind it. One I get time to look at the kids name. Two there is a wide range of techniques the students can use therefore I can see what they naturally lean to and get an idea of their art style and skill. Three there is enough structure to keep the kids moving along. Having to find something that starts with the letters of their name gives each student a starting point. Depending on the group I may ask them to stick to a theme for their pages. Animals, extreme sports, food, celebrities, clothes, cars...not sure yet.

Mine according fold book may look like this Mrs. Bauer M: Married (I got married this summer) R: Reading (I love to read) S: Sewing ( obviously I love to sew) B: Bike (I am going to ride my bike to work each day...I hope) .... and so on.

THEN we will start with our art around the world unit about a week to two weeks in.
Why wait this long? Students are going to transfer in and out of class. They will come back late from summer vacation and being in Mexico. It will take them a while to get used to being in a mixed grade level class and settle down enough to start on the major project.

wow long post. but you can see how much thought goes into planing just a week of teaching:)

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