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artadventurer artadventurer is offline
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 16
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Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 16
New Member
Maybe too much info :)
Old 07-24-2012, 04:39 PM
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Hi Magnificent1!

I am an art teacher as well and planning my procedures and curriculum for this upcoming year in an ECE - 5 school. I remember my first year and would love to share some of my techniques with you.. take what you will! My past experience of teaching in an ECE - 12 grade school (yes!!!! 14 different grade levels) has greatly influenced how I plan my year and the importance of procedures.

I, also, get the awesome challenge of designing my own curriculum!! This year I have the luxury of having a clear and well thought out schedule... meaning I see everyone the same amount and in a logical rotation (in the past, I've seen certain grades daily and others only once a week, with no logical reasoning... it's so hard to plan a new 1st grade hour long class for every single day!)

I start with the big picture and work my way down... identifying key concepts to explore within the big idea and then lessons/artists to support those. Choosing common themes or "big ideas" to run across grade levels is huge! The big ideas are enduring themes that are common to all humans regardless of age or status. For example, we may focus on the big idea of "emotions/feelings" for a month. Depth can be adjusted according to grade level as well as the projects. I plan 3 - 5 lessons and include various artists for students to explore this concept. While the theme is the same, every grade has different art making activities to support the theme. There are a few great books and internet resources... google "art big ideas" or "art lessons enduring ideas."

As far as procedures go, sometimes I feel silly for planning so much, but this is what makes class run smoothly so that you can teach and children can learn. And kids this age love to please, esp if you make it into a game. Reading the "First Days of School" book has helped me a ton... I don't necessarily organize my procedures the same as Harry Wong, but as I read, I can realize things that I forgot to plan for. From day one, I teach the procedures.

I post a class schedule for each class including the time frame for art making, clean up, and discussion. This way no one is asking when all of the time. I also set alarms... a two minute warning until clean up (to start winding down) and a clean up alarm. I play the same motivating song during clean up. Students are assigned jobs, i.e. rather than everyone running to the sink to clean brushes, one person at each table is assigned this.

For early finishers, they must check their work against a rubric to ensure that is is quality work rather than a rush. After that, I have a station or two set up with supporting art activities (drawing, weaving, friendship bracelet braiding, etc....).

I clearly post my rules. I have tried to collaborate with students to form these but that has not worked for me personally. Rather, I state expectations all based on respect (for self, classmates, teacher, art room) and we discuss what is respectful behavior vs. disrespectful behavior. I clearly post these expectations as well as consequences and stick to them from the start. If a whole class seems to be having a certain difficulty, I will focus on that behavior. For example, I may put a sticky note on everyone's desk and say that their goal is to keep that sticky note all class by following a particular rule. For their first warning, I fold it, but then beyond that, I remove it... and the student is moved to work individually.

Sorry this may be overkill! But I wish someone would have given me something to start from when I was in your shoes. I hope this helps! You will do great! Just remember that while art should always be fun, children need structure!
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