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re: kindergarten (long, sorry)
[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]Teri Sanford Mason
Thu, 17 Jun 1999 09:30:11 -0500
Never, I say NEVER, give up the extra time in art!! I've done K with
25 and with 50 min. 50 min does seem REALLY long at the beginning, but
you would be running around crazy in 25 min. Just be over prepared for
them, esp at first. Someone recently posted here about letting kids
explore with a media before expecting a product. I agree! They will
want to play with a media before you expect them to create something
"real" with it.
I always start with the elements of design. Line is first because it
is everywhere. On the first day, go over your expectations for your
studio (be firm, but brief...my main expectation is to USE SUPPLIES
APPROPRIATELY...as in HOW I SHOW YOU, not your own way). <There is time
to experiment with brushes and color mixing when you've learned a little
about it, right? In the beginning, they will tear up your supplies>
After studio rules, we talk about line. Most likely, they've heard this
in their classroom, getting in a straight line. So I reinforce that,
then we talk about where you might see lines and practice making lines
in the air with their "magic pencil" (which we pretend to sharpen and
blow the shavings off the tip). We talk about different line types
(straight, curved, spirals, zigzag, etc). I try to have names with
examples for lines posted, so that we all have the same vocabulary (I
mean "squiggle" can mean anything, right?) so I use wavy, curved, arc,
Then we go on a "line hunt" (take your imaginary spy glass or real
magnifying glasses, if you are up for the hassle of passing out supplies
to small children on the first day!). We find all kinds of (mostly
straight) lines outside: between bricks in the building, on the
sidewalk, on the ladder going up the slide, the curve of the slide, the
arc of the jungle gym, the zigzag of the school steps, etc.
This all seems like a lot of time, but it will be about 30-35 min. We
come in and draw different kinds of lines that we saw, using crayon,
then practice clean up.
For clean up: I say the magic words, "show me you are ready" (others
use artist names, like "Picasso" means put away supplies, "Matisse"
means stand behind your chair, etc.) which means put supplies away and
stand behind your chair. I call one table at a time to line up, at
which time I give them a colorful stamp on the hand (they put their hand
on top of their head as they walk to me, and I stamp it). If a table
doesn't get cleaned up, they don't get a stamp. I start clean up at 5
min 'til. If the 5 min runs out, they don't get a stamp because I have
another class coming and I won't take extra time to give the stamps to
folks who weren't following directions.
I know this sounds like a lot of information. Some of it builds up over
time. But it is important to teach the Ks exactly what you want them to
do, because I've found that however they learn in in K, they do it until
5th! I start out giving Ks only a tiny bit of responsibility, doing
most of the supply stuff (passing out, collecting papers, etc) myself.
I gradually add responsibility as I see fit for each class (some classes
can refill their own paint water cups sooner than others!!). Always,
ALWAYS have a procedure developed, with a catchy way to remember it,
before teaching it to K. For example, with brushes: I tell them to
pull and lift. I show them how it's like follow the leader with the
handle going first and the bristles following, or like pulling a wagon.
Then I do it several times saying, "Pull and lift" I go all different
directions with the brush, but I keep repeating "Pull and lift." I tell
them it's not like a crayon, where you go back an forth, that it is
special and you have to "pull and lift." I also relate it to their
hair, that they wouldn't want to brush back and forth or it would get
tangled. They have to pull the brush through their hair, then lift back
to the top and go again.
I'm sorry this is so long, I'm kind of rambling. If you'd like any more
specific info, let me know. I've been at this for 9 years now, so I
feel pretty comfortable with Ks.
teri s. mason