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Re:[teacherartexchange] short, fun projects for kids who finish early


Date: Sat Oct 08 2005 - 04:32:04 PDT

Hi Gail,
     I am the queen of long projects and come up short with a list of
short projects that I can really involve my kids in. It's almost like
they think, "if it's short it's just to give us something to do."
Consequently I have a LOT of self directd activities for kids who finish
early that involve modeling clay, working with scraps to make "scrap
monsters" or anything else, calligraphy, mirrors handy to do self
portraits, magnet sculpture, an architecture magnet board, my "who what
where" drawing game, a book with cool ideas for drawing that kids enjoy
(Adventures in Art??), free draw paper, books to read about art/artists,
a box of ideas on little slips of laminated paper to give drawing ideas
that I call Art Starters, string to make bracelets, origami paper with
instructions in several books that stay with the origami box,
construction paper crayons, gel markers, watercolors, a box of seashells
to draw, a box of small statues from the dollar store (wizards, horses,
cows, fanciful creatures, etc.), how to draw books for animals,
architecture, perspective, people, etc., a box of shape maker templates,
texture sheets, texture rollers, perpendicular rulers, compasses, and
protractor to make mandalas for the older kds who have made them as a
project (many want to do more), and a computer with lots of art links in
the favorites.
     Despite ALL of this, I still have some kids who just don't want to
be busy during this time. I always manage to get them motivated
FINALLY, but they just want to talk and pretend to be busy without
really being engaged in anything meaningful. I find that the younger
children have no problem with free time for the most part, it's the 5th
grade social set who wants to just feel "FREE!!!!!". Maybe I should
assign something short to them more often to keep them engaged. This
group of 5th graders has some incredible kids in the class, but overall,
they are not as hard working as my last year's class was (sigh...).
     Bye! and thanks!

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