I like your suggestion for organizing instruction around an art theme- the time line sounds awesome! Since I am also teaching computers, I have been thinking about working in Internet research- and integrating it with my art curriculum- Now I am thinking I will find out what the classroom teachers are teaching in history/social studies and science, and focus on those ares for my art and tech. lessons.
I am stealing your master artist idea- what a cool way to reinforce positive behavior and let the parents know- I was thinking of making some sort of award ribbon or something- but I like the bookmark idea too! I love the "Love and Logic" principles- how I parent, and I am reading Setting Limits in the Classroom by Makcenzie right now which is very similar to Love and Logic, and a bit enlightening- talks about various management styles (with examples), and illuminates how what is said, or how it is said can really effect how a drama plays out, or power struggles begin in the classroom. Not very art-room oriented, but still helpful- one of you guys should write a specials classroom management book! There is definitely a need for it :)
I am facing a different sort of dilemma in my planning: I have pre-school- 8th grade to teach, so 9 levels (if I combine K and Pre together) but there is only one class of each grade (thankfully). The way I am thinking about setting up my lesson planning is dividing the school into levels (beginning, intermediate and advanced). The Catholic school curriculum strands are divided- K-2nd, 3rd-5th, and 6th-8th. Do you guys think this is a logical breaking point to keep my sanity this first year- I will teach the same set of lessons to the beginning (K-2nd) level students, intermediate (3rd-5th), advanced (6th-8th)- with some modifications as it seems necessary.
I get sort of panicky remembering how different 3rd graders are from 5th, and how sometimes 2nd graders seem more similar to 3rd than K. Ahhhhh!
Thanks for all your help!! And Sue, I'm glad we are sort of in this together :)
Emmy in Colorado
Subject: RE: New teacher Units advice needed!
From: Cheryl Lloyd
Date: Thu, 30 Jul 2009 18:15:07 -0700
Hi Sue and Emmy,
Sue, I did the same thing that you are doing (I taught third grade for seven years before art), and I don't think you will regret the move! Congrats to you both.
I started out teaching the same element or principle of art for all my elementary grade levels. I have learned to think about the prep of the lessons. I tried to keep a few of my classes with easy prep and a few with more time consuming prep. If at all possible, keeping grade levels back to back is very helpful in planning.
When I started teaching art, it was the first structured art class my students had and the elements were very important. Now, I am finding that they are getting very strong in the elements and need something different. So this year I am going to be teaching a movement in art per month and creating a timeline with all my students. I now plan to have a rotation every few years. Elements of art, Art Movements, Artist a Month, etc. This was an AH HA! idea I got from the national conference. I haven't tried it yet, but I am very excited to try it out this year, especially with the King Tut exhibit in San Francisco that I hope to take a few classes to this fall.
Ultimately, classroom management is the most important part of teaching in my opinion. Harry Wong's book is great. Procedures are key! I give each table a name (line, form, shape, etc. - this year it will be Cave Artists, Gothic Artists, Impressionists, etc.) I also pick one student at the end of class to be my Master Artist the next week. This student has show exemplary attitude and effort. I give the student a 'Master Artist Bookmark' to remind them and to show their parents. The following week that student is my helper for the day (passes out sketchbooks, materials, demonstrates techniques).
I realize this post is probably scattered. I am certainly not back into school mode yet, but I hope it helps a little.
Art Teacher/ Beginning Teacher Mentor
Whitmore Charter School of the Arts and Technology