Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Looking Ahead

Hooo Boy, I made it through another year.  This year had challenges because I came back into the school year balancing being a mommy with being a workaholic art teacher.  But, it was a good year, filled with fun projects.  As I look ahead to next year ( I did say workaholic, right?) there are new things  I'd like to try, and some things I already do, that need a little re-vamping.
1-There's a lot of conversation out there about "Choice Based Art Education".  Now, I haven't done all the research, and I firmly believe that my role as an elementary teacher is to teach a skill set, which includes a variety of supplies.  And, I don't think you can introduce choice without a strong skill set.  And, I do try to offer some choices within projects.  Not much cookie cutter art going on here.   However, my principal is supporting my goal to continue to add choice to my lessons.  My classroom is going to have a "demo" table next year, where 4-5 kids can sit and work with me as needed. 
2- Grouping.  Most of us have the tables broken up into groups of 6-8 kiddos.  I noticed this year, with an especially large 2nd grade, that while some kids loved being elbow to elbow with their besties, others needed space. ( I had one artist who would always come up and sit on the floor- he needed the space).  So, instead of making my tables into equal groupings, I'm going to explore some combinations in which some groups are not made up of as many tables.  so, one group may have 6, and another may be a single 2 seater table.  Still gotta look at lay out on that one.  
3- I have always had a "meeting spot", where my K and 1 meet up with me, and we intro before we hit the tables.  When I move to the new art room, I added bookshelves, and tried for a reading corner.  And, it's ok.  But, here's the dream- and if you can help, or you know someone who can, I'd love it. I put in my first ever Donor's Choose request.  My ultimate dream would be to have a large carpet, with a couple of bean bags and pillows, and a sturdy shelf to organize the books.  I envision a space where we can all meet, but more importantly, where students can generate ideas, read for enjoyment at the end of a project, meet with a small group, etc.  And, I think it's important to have it be a warm and inviting comfy place to sprawl.  Any donations made in the next 7 days, and using the code 100WOMEN at checkout will get their donation matched up to $100.  How cool is that! 

Anyway, those are my thoughts for next year.  If you are anything like me, you've got some of your own reflections- and I'd love to hear them. Until then, HAPPY SUMMER!

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