Thursday, October 1, 2015

In Process

The beginning of this year (even though I'm 6 weeks in) has been busy. The beginning is always busy, but this year has been exceptionally busy. There's a lot of "stuff" going on in addition to teaching. 

My class sizes are bigger than ever. I get a 4th grade class and a quarter each morning first thing. 33-34 kids. I'm just going to leave that one out there. 

I was asked to write an article about my printmaking lessons by Arts & Activities magazine. I was also asked to contribute to a book of elementary art lesson plans. Both of these opportunities are super exciting, but definitely did add to my workload. 

Of course starting new lessons with all five grade levels simultaneously is always a challenge as well. Since many of those projects haven't been finished yet, I thought I'd post a few pictures of things going on around Thomas just to prove that I haven't dropped entirely off the earth.

During my first rotation, I had every single student create a small self portrait and write three goals for the school year. I like that I was able to get a display up relatively quickly and get the students right into art making at the beginning of the year. Each grade level used a specific color in order to create the rainbow effect with the display. 

Photographing printmaking examples for Arts & Activities magazine. 
 
Nope, not crowded at all!

 My school district has rethought the gifted model for this year and there is a strong emphasis on the six habits or practices of thinkers. It really fits into what art teachers do every day, so I'm excited to see a district-wide emphasis on creativity and critical thinking. I designed this sweet poster that is now in every classroom in my building. 

 Another change this year is adding more options for students for free creativity time when they finish a project early. The blocks are a huge hit. There will be more options soon!


3 comments:

jackaaronfleming said...

Hang in there. I can sympathize and know others can too. Glad to see you are writing an article on the printmaking assignment. After seeing your post last year, I had my 4th graders do this assignment and they loved it. I almost always have between 33 and 42 students in my room at a time, so it was a very busy and hurried room during that assignment. I do plan on repeating it this year, but maybe finding a way to slow down the pace.
Having just written an article myself, starting an afterschool art program for the first time, setting up a mural for another school, and preparing for a six hours of training for art teachers in my district, all in the first six weeks, I know where you are coming from. Looks like you are doing a great job.

Jack Fleming
artwithmrfleming.blogspot.com

jackaaronfleming said...

Hang in there. I can sympathize and know others can too. Glad to see you are writing an article on the printmaking assignment. After seeing your post last year, I had my 4th graders do this assignment and they loved it. I almost always have between 33 and 42 students in my room at a time, so it was a very busy and hurried room during that assignment. I do plan on repeating it this year, but maybe finding a way to slow down the pace.
Having just written an article myself, starting an afterschool art program for the first time, setting up a mural for another school, and preparing for a six hours of training for art teachers in my district, all in the first six weeks, I know where you are coming from. Looks like you are doing a great job.

Jack Fleming
artwithmrfleming.blogspot.com

Zach Stoller said...

Jack- HOLY CRAP! 42 students at a time? If you're able to keep up with your classes and all of your extras, you're the man!