Saturday, October 24, 2009

This the season to get sick.

We've finished our line drawings and I can't wait to finish scanning them and posting some examples. I encountered a bit of an interruption: the flu. Kids in my school are dropping like flies. Recently, one of my art classes had only 8 students. And even though I wash my hands constantly, the germs found me and knocked me off my feet. I missed about a week of school and am just now getting my full strength back. Oh the joys of teaching.

In the past two weeks the kids have been engaged in various activities in centers I've set up. Around Halloween I set up some drawing activities I call "Drawing with Ed Emberly." Emberly has some excellent step by step drawing books that are centered on the Halloween theme. The kids draw bats and cats, ghosts and goblins, skeletons, haunted houses and many other spooky things.

Another center is really quite simple. I drew some Halloween pictures on 9x12 tag board and then traced the lines using glue. After the glue dried, they made excellent crayon rubbings. I have rubbings for ghosts and bats and pumpkins and cats (and others). I use this activity to expose the kids to the effects of using complimentary colors. I instruct students to choose a color for the rubbing (using crayon), and then using the color chart, find the colors complimentary color for the paint wash. It's pretty simple and they won't win an art award. But the kids have fun and it gives me another opportunity to talk about the color wheel.

I also set up two tables for painting where kids can free paint (painting whatever they like just for the fun of painting!) or they can choose the crayon rubbing activity. Also, I provide orange construction paper and have step by step instructions for drawing Bert and Ernie pumpkins. Other students use the Orange paper and draw a large pumpkin on it.

When I set up the clay center it's always a big hit. I usually need two tables for clay (non-drying kind) and just let the kids create. We have a display table with the following rule: When I need more clay, the older clay forms on display get "smashed." I try to take pictures of all the creations and run a slide-show of all the work the following week. The kids always love this part.

I'm always glad when the Halloween season is over with. The kids are always a bit pumped up during this time and the final few days before Halloween can be very challenging. During this crazy time of year I focus mainly on routine (how to manage oneself during center time for example). I do however manage to slip in some skill/concept teaching when their not looking. ;)

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