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RE: [teacherartexchange] 1st year teacher in elem.- how to make up my curriculum without running myself down!?


Date: Mon Sep 17 2007 - 13:12:50 PDT

When I started teaching at the elementary level, I got all the books I
could on E-bay targeted at the grade levels, then picked and chose
lessons from each of them. To make it all mesh together, I chose certain
topics, media, and artists I wanted to cover each year, so they would
have things that were similar, but learn new things as well. The art
elements are a great place to start, build on each element every year.

I also highly recommend "An Survival Kit for the Elementary/Middle
school art teacher" by Helen D. Hume. It's a fantastic resource! Lots of
great projects and information. Another one that I found very helpful
was "An Art Teacher's Book of Lists" by the same author.

Another possibility is to get an elementary book series, and adapt it so
you can use it for several years. You don't want to be doing "book work"
all the time, but yet you do want some information that they learn, not
JUST "making stuff." The projects in books I usually find to be quick
one-day things, I prefer projects that take at least a week or so.

Finally, my big challenge has always been what to do when students are
done early, to keep them busy and in their seats. I had lots of word
finds, art puzzles (take a picture, divide it equally, then make a the "draw by the grid" things in the old Fun books) I mix up
the squares, number them, and they have to copy them square by square
onto the grid in order to make a picture. These are so easy to do, and
they love doing them. The one caution is to make the grid a different
size then the one that is out of order, or they will trace to get it put
together right.

The main thing to keep the big picture in focus is that this IS your
first year. I don't know of anyone who was perfect the first year. After
8 years, I am finally starting to feel comfortable with my teaching
ability. (And part of that is due to entering a school with a
well-established art program...I don't know if I'd be there yet if I'd
stayed at my previous job.) Just hang in there, you will learn what
works for you and what doesn't! Also, don't be afraid to reach out to
other teachers, if you can, art teachers. Some may even be willing to
share exactly what they teach and the resources they use.

Laura Drietz
Art Teacher
Brookings Middle School

Hello to all,
This is my first year teaching. I have a position in an elementary
school, I am teaching Pre-K to 5th grade and would really appreciate
your help on how to create a curriculum for all these grades with out
running myself down. I have been told that working in the same medium
with all the grades is a good place to start and also working on the
same topics/themes but of course scaling the topics up and down and
making other adjustments is a good way to go. I just feel that I am
going to run myself down and feel completely overwhelmed if I am working
on many different topics and with many different mediums at once. I
teach all the grades in a day and in a row generally- for ex: Pre-K to
a 4th to 1st to 3rd, etc. I do not want to limit the art experience I
will be giving my students by offering a curriculum/lessons that are
similar to each other. I want to make the lessons fitting for each
grade with regard to topic and medium but on a personal level, I just
don't know if I can handle it and would love to hear how you all handle
it and also if you are a 1st year teacher or remember when you were, how
did you handle the 1st year. Thanks so much. The support I receive
here is the best support I am getting right now. Thanx. Tanya,
Brooklyn, NY.

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