Friday, September 30, 2011

First Meeting

It's a jungle in Ms. M's class!

Today was my first pre-teaching experience! I drove over to the elementary school for the afternoon and observed three classes in Ms. M's art room. The first class was a group of first graders, then sixth, then fifth grade. It was a great experience today, even though my partner and I were just thrown into the mix. Ms. M set up a project for all of her grades to follow. They were taking a trip through the jungle and exploring everything that lives there. When walking into her room, she had projects on every wall, and one very large wall full of different two-dimensional works of art. It said "Take an Adventure in Art!" There were paper monkeys, flowers, spiders, lions, and vines on display.

The first graders were working on crocodiles today. They had painted parts of the crocodile in previous classes and were in the middle of the project. They cut out and pasted their paper pieces diagonally on another paper in the thirty to forty minutes we worked with them. They had to concentrate on the scissors, which reminded me of one of the Wisconsin Teacher Standards: Teachers know how children grow. It reminded me that certain ages can't do as many things with fine motor skills. I was impressed with a lot of the students, but also helped some who asked for assistance and how to get certain angles. The class had about 18 students, and all of them seemed to stay on task. Only a few had to be asked to keep moving, which was not too hard. My favorite part of the first graders was when a little girl gave me a hug goodbye.

These were the carton crocodiles the students were cutting out while we were there. This is the finished product!

The next half hour was a prep hour for Ms. M. We were able to ask her a few questions about the way she runs her classroom and what she does on a day to day basis. I will save those responses for a post of its own! That way I can really dive into how her class works and why she does certain things!

The sixth graders had about twenty five to thirty students, which was very overwhelming. Ms. M had a drawing project already started with them. It was their first project of the school year that was a jungle themed landscape. They were drawing trees, animals, flowers and vines and coloring them with colored pencils and crayons. Their final step was to paste on painted vines on to of their drawings to make it look like the viewer was looking through them. Ms. M warned us that these students were all on different stages of their projects, some just starting to color, others pasting on painted vines, some painting, and others still drawing their pictures. The first thing Ms. M did in the class was to tell them that they needed to work on their pictures and that the next moment was going to be the most chaotic in the history of her classroom. She said, "Go work on your projects!" and let them loose. The entire class went up to the same place, to grab their pictures. It was actually comical. Once everyone was set, the radio went on and it was a pretty fun atmosphere. However, this class was harder to keep on task. They kept asking questions about why we were there, if I could draw well, if I was going to be an art teacher or a regular teacher, and so on. One girl told me I was pretty, and another boy wanted to ask me if I was German. It was very funny, but a little weird! I would say that the sixth graders could have used another fifteen minutes to work on their projects and to get a little more in-depth with what they were doing. It was definitely the most difficult class of the day because there were so many children to keep track of, and they were all pretty absent-minded and easily distracted.

These are examples of the sixth grade student work

The last class of the day was a fifth grade class. They had about twenty students, a very relaxing size! These students were working on beaded necklaces made out of paper beads. They had created their beads in past classes and were stringing them together today. The students had enough beads to make two necklaces, one to give to Ms. M for grading and display and another to wear home. This class was so easy to work with. They were all interested in the project, they were on task the entire class, and many of them were truly sweethearts. When my partner and I plan our own lesson, we want to work with this class first! It will definitely be a great experience.

These were the paper beads the students colored, cut and rolled into art!

I loved my first day at the elementary school! I can't wait to go back, and I'm very excited to keep this blog updated on everything relating to this experience.  One thing today taught me is that I am going to love my job.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Art Education 208


My name is Andi W and I am an undergrad student at UW Stout. I am currently enrolled in the Art Education Program. I am taking a class labeled ARTED 208, a Preteaching Observation course required for graduation. It is the second in a series of three courses for Art Education students. In this class we are paired with a classmate and a cooperating teacher in order to visit/observe/teach students in a school around the area! I have been placed in a small school just a short distance from campus, and cannot wait to blog about my day to day experiences in the classroom.

This blog is part of an assignment (and final exam) for my class, but it is also a way for me to share my experiences with others, as well as to keep a record for myself. I cannot wait to post videos, pictures and other thoughts on my experience!

I will be posting after each day that I visit my cooperating teacher. I will be writing about my thoughts on my experiences, information and tips I find helpful from my CT, and inspirations for lesson plans, projects and other fun ideas regarding Art Education.