I am so thankful for those few (and I mean FEW) kindergarten students that come in having already gone to pre-k - they're used to a structured school setting and help to create the illusion of some control and order in my classroom. I'm going to be honest with you.. beginning of the year kindergarten is CHAOS. Fortunately for me no one has peed in my classroom yet.. though some of my specials teacher colleagues have not been so lucky.
Many times it is the issue of students not having experience in a structured setting and/or not being able to adequately communicate their thoughts/needs because of limited English-proficiency (and with that cannot understand what I am asking of them). There is also the issue of class size; whoever said that class size does not impact the teaching abilities of quality teachers must have been inebriated because it ABSOLUTELY does. Every single student that is added to a class means the teacher must spread him/herself that much thinner. As class sizes go up, the ability to provide individualized attention and differentiation goes down. Case in point - I had 31 kindergarteners (with all the qualities listed above) in my classroom last week with no additional support (i.e. no parapros). Because of the size of my school, not enough specials classes, and split classes during specials - this is the norm for kindergarten.
Perhaps this would be more manageable if most of my kinders had gone to pre-k and could understand what I'm saying.. but alas - that is not my situation. Okay.. done with that little rant.
Basically what I'm getting at is that I needed some lessons that I could do with my kinders that would be manageable for the first rotation in art (remember.. I see the same group for a week straight).
So I was so excited when I saw this lesson on 'Shine Brite Zamorano'. "I'm the Best Artist in the Ocean" by Kevin Sherry is a book that I already use to start of the year with kindergarten.. so it was great finding a project that I could use along with the book!
After reading the book on the carpet with my kinders we talked about how the illustrator of the book is an artist. Then we looked at the expressions of the characters in the book and talked about what mood they were expressing and how the artist was able to make the character express that mood (happy, sad, angry, etc.). We mostly talked about the shape of the eyes and the lines used on the mouth.
Then students set out to draw their own giant squids with whatever expression they'd like. For this first drawing we drew together step-by-step - students told me what shape I needed to draw to create certain features on my squid, then they recreated it on their papers as well. The next day we either used watercolor paints to paint their squids in or if I didn't think the class could handle painting yet... we just moved on to the next project.
I'm hoping that the next time I see each group of kinders, we'll be able to move onto using scissors.. but I just didn't feel like we were there yet.
I only have two eyes to patrol my classroom; they have 62 hands collectively capable of scissor catastrophes - not particularly enticing odds.
|How fabulous is this?! :)|