Wow. Thanks for all the help. Cathy, I found out, is an art teacher at a
middle school in my home town, so I am looking forward to meeting her and
checking out her art classroom. I don't feel quite so alone, thanks to all
of you!! But let me know your opinions about clay...especially for
classrooms where there is no expert around.
As to "self-hardening clay", do you do any painting or coloring to it?
Any type of sealant? (I'm such a basic-Betsy about this topic.)
I have been teaching art for 3 years and I do think clay is important.
Some children express themselves better in a 3D form; for those who don't
they need to have the experience. It works and uses different muscles.
In my experience, working with clay also seems to calm angry/stressed and
Last year I did Mexican clay suns out of terracotta with first grade.
This year first graders did beautiful clay leaves. I try to hit third and
fifth every year as well. Last year third made white clay pinch pots with
black Freemont designs. Fifth made Japanese tea bowls and had a tea
ceremony. This year fourth will make red clay cave paintings on a slab.
Fifth will make handbuilt autobiographical boxes. I haven't figured third
out for this year yet. Before Christmas, I let kindergartners press their
hands into a slab and cut it in a circle. We paint and glaze and date
them. Oh, we also make funny little faces for third and fifth before the
State Exams - CSAP. We call them CSAP buddies. The teachers let them sit
on their desks during the tests.
Umm, so lets see... clay management. For kindies, I work with them
three or four at a time while the rest of the class works on an independent
lesson. For First grade, I ask for three or four parent volunteers per
class. It helps the kiddos who need someone on one attention and to get
names on pieces. After that, it's just me and them. They do really well.
I use a power point demo too.
Hope this helps,
Jill in Colorado ---