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Re: [teacherartexchange] Irene needs help with elementary after school groups


Date: Thu Sep 20 2007 - 10:50:53 PDT

-----Original Message-----
From: Judy Decker <>
To: TeacherArtExchange Discussion Group
Sent: Thu, 20 Sep 2007 1:19 pm
Subject: [teacherartexchange] Irene needs help with elementary after
school groups


I observed numerous after school groups who used my art room over the
years and here are my general observations:
1. little kids have had a very long day already. they probably have
had to Stay In Their Seats. No Talking. Do Those Papers. For six
hours. So they really need an opportunity to move around! Can you take
them out on the playground to run off their steam at the beginning of
each class? Then perhaps a little singing or movement? Then a snack?
Your after school organizers need to provide that, or the parents, but
it is very appropriate and a normal part of after school.
2. Little kids are not going to want to hear too much more Teacher Talk
after the above mentioned six hour day. I would start with open ended
collage type things that do not need many directions.
3. How many grades in each class? How many kids? that will make a huge
difference. If you have mixed ages it can be a plus, as older can take
care of and coach the younger. make that official.
4. If your art experiences are open ended enough they should work well
with the range of ages. Make sure your materials are really engaging.
5. Being a choice teacher, of course I will recommend that. simple
work stations or centers for drawing, watercolor painting and collage
can be alternatives to the Great Lesson that you want to teach. That
way you will end up with a group of interested kids. I think choice is
necessary; these kids know this is after school and they aren't going
to be forced to do anything and no report cards are hanging over their
heads. I heard a story at a local college last night: a community
based art ed group tried to run after school and it was not going were coming and going and teachers could not get the kids
to "listen" and be quiet. A switch to independent centers based
options solved the problem big time.

With after school the time allotted is not really for educational
reasons but for daycare reasons. A relaxed, cheerful, open ended end
of day experience for these little guys (thnk nice music, good snacks,
open windows, big kids helping little kids) can really make a lovely
end to their day. Good after school programs are so important for
little children whose parents are trying to keep it together working
long hours. It is a wonderful thing that you are doing.

Dear TeacherArtExchange Members,

I am posting this for Irene....Her post won't go through.

Subject: Needing elementary suggestions for after-school groups

I am newly retired after 30 years of teaching art at a middle school
and now I will be working with very young children in after school art
classes two days a week in a different district. Each class will be
an hour and fifteen minutes in length! (Isn't that long for
kindergarten and first grade???) The students will be grouped by age
from K-5.

I have never worked with such young children, even when student
teaching! Any suggestions? Any dos and don'ts? Any projects that
have been definite "winners" in your classroom? I really feel like a
first year teacher!

My interests are in painting, collage, stitchery, dolls, altered
books, illustration, and drawing. I was thinking of doing altered
books with the oldest group (I have five weeks per session), but did
not know if this would be of interest to them.

When I retired, I gave away all of my School Arts magazines, books,
etc. I could sure use them now!

Thanks for any help!


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