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RE: Kids teaching kids

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lindwood_at_TeacherArtExchange
Date: Wed Jul 23 2003 - 13:38:37 PDT


I use the charts only when I notice or decide that we have a LOT of
skills to acquire for a given project. For example, when I'm teaching
our stuffed animal sewing project to third grade, I have the following
skills in a chart for kids to sign off on: threading a needle, using a
needle threader, sewing a button, sewing an end knot, blanket stitch,
cross stitch, french knots, sewing on sequins with french knots, chain
stitch, back stitch, daisy chain stitch, beginning and ending each of
the above stitches, stuffing. I level with the kids on day one, telling
them that I am going to introduce a LOT of stitches to them, how to sew
on a button, etc. BECAUSE I want them to have all of those choices
available to them, and I don't want everyone's to look alike (as in
follow the leader, now we will chain stitch, etc.) I have about 3-5
moms in the room to help, so it's not total bedlam. I also ask how many
kids already have some of the skills we will be learning. Those kids
help the others to see that it's all learnable, and help them to see
that "If they can do it, so can I!" Anyway, as soon as they learn a
stitch or skill, they put their name up. Then when someone needs help,
if I or the other moms are busy, they can go to the list, or they can go
to the list anyway. The only rule is that the teachers can only
demonstrate one or two stitches, and then the student who is asking for
help must show the teacher that they can do it too. If possible,
explain without actually stitching for them. You can see our sewing
projects in our archive folder on our website at www.sjs.org, click on
Fine arts, click on LS art gallery, look in the archives for sewing
projects.

I also use the kids teaching skills when I teach drawing. I have a lot
of drawing tricks that I teach kids. I have them write down the names
of those tricks and tips across the very top of their paper, very
lightly, as a reminder of ways to help them when they run into trouble.
For example: what's above/below/beside" what you are currently drawing;
"clock face" (imagine a clock or compas around what you are
drawing...when you change directions and need help knowing how to
translate that to your paper, imagine that where your pencil stopped is
the center of a clock, what time on the clock would the new angle lead
towards?), "proportion" (how many eyes wide is the head, etc.), "angle
transfer" (sighting angles with a pencil and transferring them to the
page without twistin your wrist). These are all drawing on the right
side of the brain ideas, except for the clock face idea, which I THINK I
made up, but maybe not. That seems to really help them. Anyway those
tricks and other techniques might be written very lightly across the top
of their page (eraseable later) or I might have them on a table stand
for their viewing. They are things I expect them to try, and when I'm
not available, they are to ask someone else who gets it for help.

There are other projects where I do this too, but these are the ones
that come to mind immediately.Is this what you meant by your question?

Linda

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