I have also tried the forms, the meetings, etc. but never went as far as
(WOW!) getting subbed for a planning period. I think part of the problem
is classroom teachers can't/don't think very far outside the box and
have trouble envisioning what we could possibly do for them. That's why
they ask us to do snowflakes. They KNOW snowflakes!
So, what I have done is coordinate my lesson planning with their basic
curriculum and cover ideas/concepts/subject matter that I know they will
be covering. I try to do these lessons AFTER I think they've introduced
their lessons. If I'm not right on target, so what! The kids still have
the basic info to hook into when they get the art perspective of it from
me and are able to make their own connections. I can tell by their
questions, comments, and the aha!s, that these connections are being
After two years of this method it's beginning to pay off. Since I
stopped asking the teachers and just started doing it, I've had more
teachers ask ME about coordinating things. The ones who always hesitate
to actually set foot in the art room for fear of getting a fleck of
paint on their silk shirts are the funniest..."Do you have something to
go with Hawaii? (pigs? planets? fractions?)" Since I know 4th graders
work on fractions, today I took a class to the computer lab and talked
about quilt patterns, showed them how to construct a square then divide
it into quarter triangles and squares, and they took off with the idea.
Next week we'll use light, medium, and dark colors to make a contrast
pattern within the square, then copy and paste the square to construct a
paper quilt. They really love this because they can actually APPLY their
understanding of the fractions to DO something beautiful. I also have
them name their quilt patterns (like the colonial ladies did) - my
all-time favorite was an acid green and black number called "Santino's
Quilt of Doom."
Guess that's enough rambling for one night.
Linda in Michigan (where the sun does too shine. Why, I saw it for
several minutes this morning on my way to school! AND daffodils are
peeking through the dirt!)