Teachingartonthecheap's Blog

Archive for the ‘Organization’ Category

I volunteered 51 hours in December (down a few from the norm since I took a week off before break to visit my family), for a total of 292 hours in the classroom, and about 438 hours total. I spend a lot of time gathering materials, writing lesson plans, scouring SCRAP for supplies, writing letters to businesses to ask for things, and setting up displays at various locations.

I really like the 5 grade levels all working on different art themes, integrated into their curriculum. It makes for more interesting teaching and I can see it resonates with the kids a little more.  I’m glad I made a push for the elements of art at the beginning of the year, but this feels more like a “groove” if that makes any sense.

I wrote the Dreaming Zebra Foundation here in Portland to ask for some brayers, more white glue, and stamp pads for upcoming projects. They said yes to everything, so I’m excited to try printmaking with the kids in early March.

Woodstock Ace Hardware, Home Depot on 82nd, and Bi-Mart on Woodstock all made generous donations during the holiday season. I made a glass jar candle holder with every student, and we wrapped the presents and made cute cards so they could all take something handmade home to give their families for the holidays. Bi-Mart donated tealights so all the kids could give a candle in their candle holders, and Ace and Home Depot donated frosted glass spray to finish off the jars in style. I didn’t post the lesson plan or take photos since it was fairly exhausting, so here’s a link to get the idea if you want to try it:

For Kindergarten- Third grade:

http://www.highlightskids.com/Express/Crafts/Decorations/C0998_tableLantern.asp

For Fourth and Fifth Graders:

http://www.zimbio.com/member/WeddingSavvy/articles/1984385/DIY+Luminaries+Votive+Holders

Okay, after a wee break, I am back and ready for more art, more kids, and more trash becoming treasure.

This trimester, each grade level’s art unit corresponds with something else that is already part of the curriculum to help support standards that are already being taught during class. I gave teachers a list of options culled from each grade level’s year long plan, and then picked the most popular topic for each grade. Fourth and fifth grade classes are all mixed at this particular school, so their unit will be the same.

Kindergarten: Plants (science)

First grade: Families (social studies)

Second grade: Letter writing (literacy – and it’s mail related, not forming text)

Third grade: Measurement (math)

Fourth/fifth grade: Colonial America/Revolutionary War (social studies)

Now to plan art lessons that touch on these ideas, along with incorporating creative reuse…

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At different points during the year certain classes will miss their art lesson due to school holidays, assemblies, field trips, etc.

Every so often I take a week to catch all the classes up so I don’t have some classes trailing behind, using materials I could have finished using and put away weeks ago.  During those weeks, I devise a broad filler lesson for the classes who are completely caught up, so we can expound on a topic we have already discussed during an earlier lesson.

I will write up the plans for the other 2 filler lessons I have used so far; the important thing is that they are easy to do (stress free for me) and can be applicable to a wide age range of students.

I will eventually cycle back around to these topics so all classes will have learned about, say, warm and cool colors at some point during the year, but approaching vocabulary and concepts several different ways never hurts.

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So far, so good.  I’d like to thank Georgie’s clay and Art Media on 82nd in Portland for donating clay for projects later in the year, and the Mill End Store for donating several yards of fabric so we can work on a quilt.

My current total number of hours spent volunteering (just time spent in the school, not gathering materials, writing lesson plans at home or anything else): 162 hours, as of 10/31/09

I looked at all the year long curriculum plans across all the grade levels, made lists of potential unit topics for the second trimester, and have asked each teacher to turn in their top choices this week. I’m trying to piggyback art onto another topic to support the content the teachers are already teaching in their classrooms.  Then I can start making plans and collecting materials for the next chunk of the school year.

Students and staff continue to be excited about art and supportive of the program I’m cobbling together, so it’s great to feel like it’s “working”. I will do a second assessment soon, so I can see what ideas have changed or blossomed since the beginning of the year.

Also, the school has Student Recognition assemblies several times during the year, and they

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I recognized 4 students for their creativity; I look forward to recognizing many more.

allowed me to create and distribute a few special art awards recognizing specific students and their creativity. The kids I chose to receive the certificates seemed very pleased, and many students expressed hope that maybe they could be chosen next time!

I found that having the K/1 kids paint and the 4/5 kids use paint during the same week is not a good idea. It makes so many “dishes” to wash between visiting each class! I will modify my future lessons so paint is only used by one of the three groupings each week. I spent 45 minutes after school catching up on all the rinsing of little palettes.

Bonus scrappy tip: the operating room scrub nurse sent my husband home with 12 free sterile towels, they are about the size of cloth napkins and will make wonderful clothes for cleaning off painty little hands! They usually just throw them out if they don’t get used, for some reason.

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Bins labeled with old sprinkler system tags to keep track of prep materials for each classroom. The star curtains get pulled closed to make it less appealing to kids using the computer lab.

Bins labeled with old sprinkler system tags to keep track of prep materials for each classroom. The star curtains get pulled closed to make it less appealing to kids using the computer lab.

Materials are sorted by type into bins, like collage materials, paints, other media, stamps, etc.

Materials are sorted by type into bins, like collage materials, paints, other media, stamps, etc.

Here is my collection of organizers (like bins to put materials in when I'm setting things out on tables for kids to use) and all sorts of papers gleaned from the best leftovers at SCRAP!

Here is my collection of organizers (like bins to put materials in when I'm setting things out on tables for kids to use) and all sorts of papers gleaned from the best leftovers at SCRAP!

Close the doors and suddenly it doesn't invite anyone to shuffle up the finely organized supplies!

Close the doors and suddenly it doesn't invite anyone to shuffle up the finely organized supplies!

The closet is filled with clear bins with class sets of all sorts of materials; just grab and go! The large unsightly xerox box is full of fabric pieces cut into squares and triangles, just begging to be used to teach radial symmetry through "quilting".

The closet is filled with clear bins with class sets of all sorts of materials; just grab and go! The large unsightly xerox box is full of fabric pieces cut into squares and triangles, just begging to be used to teach radial symmetry through "quilting".

Here's the space where everything's stored for 6 grade levels of art.

Here's the space where everything's stored for 6 grade levels of art.

I'm trying to set up all the needed paperwork for the year ahead of time.

I'm trying to set up all the needed paperwork for the year ahead of time.

Here is the cart, ala carte. Yuk yuk yuk. I used bungee cords to help contain all the supplies on the bottom level, and check out the sponge bin to make cleanup easy and sanitary!

Here is the cart, ala carte. Yuk yuk yuk. I used bungee cords to help contain all the supplies on the bottom level, and check out the sponge bin to make cleanup easy and sanitary!



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