Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Art Teacherin' 101: Episode 23 KINDERGARTENLAND

Ah, yes. Kindergarten. If it's one group of people that have my complete respect, it's the kindergarten teacherin' crowd. K-town comes to us all over the place: some have been in school, others have not; some know how to follow directions, others would rather roll around the floor (I mean, who wouldn't). You get the idea, it's a Big Ole Mixed Bag o' Fun. Ish. Ness. So I thought we could talk about that herd of cats we call Kindergarten in this week's 101. AND I thought I'd give you a sneak peak into a 5 minute chat with a group of 'em: 
What works the best for me: Call and Response. I use that trick with EVERY grade level, kindergarten up to fourth. It really works wonders for grabbing attention and getting kids to remember vocabulary, directions and steps to follow. Here's how I introduce it to the kids:
With kindergarten, I really like the happy/sad board. It's an instant visual and it's something easy I can keep up with. Again, I use it with everyone...but I notice I reference it most with the littles. By the time they are older, I hardly use it unless one of them reminds me. And then I'm all, "sure, would you mind keeping track of it for me?" I'm all about the distribution of power (aka, getting someone else to do my job). Here are the deets on that:
Another method I use with the wee ones is palming. I mention this in the video but you can see it in action here: 
Because we're chatting about kindergarten in this here post, I thought I'd share my most favorite lessons as well. If you've been around here long enough, you've heard my Larry the Line poem that I start my kindergarten school year with:
Larry the Lines leads us to our very first art project: Line Sculptures. From there we continue with a unit on line. You can find that entire unit here
I love using books with kindergarten, as I know many of us do, and one of my favorites is Mouse Paint. It's a great way to introduce color theory...and review lines to create shapes like these sweet mice! 
I love to introduce a unit on shape as you can see here. One of my favorite self portrait projects come from the artists in kindergarten land and you can see more of that here. I almost always do a variation of this landscape lesson each year
When it comes to clay, I LOVE introducing textures into clay creating. Check out these fun birds! We also had a lot of fun creating these clay butterflies

I'd love to hear what some of your favorite kindie lessons are. They are a group that is NEVER short on excitement...and if you can harness that, you've got gold. By the way, I often update my YouTube account before I share here so if you subscribe, you can get the latest, if you like! 
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2 comments:

  1. Love your videos -- totally inspiring... Just got done with Kindergartenland ...hilarious. Do you have a video that shows how you teach your routine for shopping for supplies... I would love to see this in action. Do you send student in groups or do they line up and wait? So many questions... thanks again for all you do for the art teachers out here... we appreciate you.

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    1. After I give instructions, I have call the kids to go shopping by the rows they are seated on the floor. For example, I'll say, "first row, stand and get ready...now follow the person in front of you". This way they shop in a semi orderly fashion. Sometimes, I'll tell the girls to form a line at the store and go shopping first while the boys get their aprons. Then they flip flop. I hope that helps! I'll work on a video :)

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