In my k-5 school I am very fortunate to work with extremely supportive
teachers. If the materials lend themselves to this, I ask the classroom
teacher if the student can use his/her free class time to finish his/her art
in the classroom. This might mean snacktime or DEAR (Drop Everything and
If the materials are too vast or messy I schedule a finishing session every
once in a while for anyone on the same grade level who needs to finish a
project. I schedule this during one of my preps. I also have an agreement
with the music teacher. Before concerts she often needs to see the kids a
little more. She "borrows" them during art. I, in turn, get to have them a
little extra before an art exhibit, if they have work to finish. These
responsible and serious students work quietly and independently on their art
in the back of my room while I'm teaching a different grade level.
I've also packed up little containers of paint and/or other supplies for my
artists to take home in order to work on a project. However, in this case,
the student must request this. I don't want the kids to feel burdened,
overwelmed, or pressured.
One last suggestion: Sometimes at the end of a marking period, or semester,
I will have a Potpourri Class ( I actually call it that). Anyone who was
absent or has anything unfinished has a whole class period to finish it.
Everyone who is completely caught up goes to "On-My-Own", a version of Free
Art. I set up a shelving unit in my room with a variety of art activities and
materials that students may select to use once their work is completed. When
I worked from a cart I had a "On-My-Own Box" on my cart. The next question,
of course, is what does one do with the students who finish BEFORE everyone
else? "On-My-Own" is my answer to that one.
Hope these ideas help a little. Susan
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