I really like working with 5th and 6th graders. They 'get' my sense of humor much more than my little baby kindergarteners ever did....(technically, these are the same kids I had in kindergarten, now they are just older and with slightly more refined sense of humors).
Always when I give instructions, I model what to do, I walk to the material and point it out and I say loud and clear where to put the project when finished. I also write it on the board, underline and circle the really important things.
I try to keep the instructions simple.
Put your name on the FRONT.
Color the frame BEFORE you cut it out.
Put it in the clip OR the drying rack when you are finished.
The first day of art I show everyone where to get a fresh pencil if their lead breaks,
I give them a tour of the room and show them where to find paper towels, kleenexes, rulers, crayons, paper pal, glue bottles, dry erase boards, origami paper and trash cans.
I also go over every procedure imaginable and I try not to move stuff unless it is a special case and we need that stuff on the table for the day.
Always at about this point in the year, I start to lose my mind.
85 times a day, someone asks: "where do I put this?"
They ask: "where's the pencils?"
They ask: "where's a kleenex?"
85 times, or more, I tell them that pencils can be found at the art supply store at the back of the room. Origami paper can be found in the activity cart.
I get it that kids forget.
They don't have art every day....only every other day....but for pete's sake, it is a small room.
There are only about 2 places those things could be found!
And I really want to have the energy to help them if they sincerely need my help.
I am a pretty patient person, but I can only say the same things over and over and over and over and over that I start to lose it just a little bit. I feel like I am always on repeat!
Yesterday, by 6th hour I was starting to feel like a broken record. I kept skipping between the same responses over and over. Asking, 'is your name on that?' Saying 'Put it in the drying rack.'
I told a class that I needed to make a cardboard cutout of myself. It would have a voice box with preprogrammed responses to these questions and statements.
I could keep a remote control in my pocket and if they asked the cut out, then I could hit a button and the correct response would use my voice to tell them, while I could be working one-on-one helping someone with their drawing or some other essential task.
Most times, the student could just look around and figure it out or ask a buddy, but they ask me.
I try to remain calm and repeat myself again and again and again and again.
Creatively, I used a picture from 'lunch with a teacher' to make a mini cardboard cut out...the kids were amused...and it helped them remember the answers to the questions. Now if someone could just invent me a programable voice box with a remote control, I'd be all set.
This is my 'slice of life' blog.
My Art Teacher Blog:
This Little Class of Mine