Monday, August 26, 2019

In the Art Room: Taming the Kindergarten Beast!

 Well, today was my third art class with my kindergarten friends. If you wanna see what my first day looked like, you can visit here.  I always start my school year with kindergarten the very same way: get 'em in my art room, get them to learn the "cmon in and sit down on the floor" procedure and GET THEM TO MAKIN'! On that first day, they are just too young and curious and excited and afraid and ALL THE EMOTIONS (same for their art teacher!) to be learning rules and routines. So we save that for the second week of art. Instead, we begin our line unit with our line sculptures. You can check out our first day here: 
The second day looks very similar but I introduce how to make a zigzag and a spiral line. On the final day, I start learning a little bit more about the class and how they work. I learn the names of the students by the third day and start easing them in to our routines. One of the things I introduce them to are our Quiet Critters. This idea is from my amazing art teacher buddy Mia! Give her a follow! 
You can read more about Quiet Critters here (not my original idea!). They really do work...if you "believe" they work. Meaning, you gotta sell 'em hard to the kids so that they'll believe in them too. I use these with my kindergarten kids but even my first and second graders dig them. Shoot, even my fourth graders ask about them! They are a great way to help me establish the calm and kinda-sorta-quiet classroom I strive to have. I mean, I love for my students to chat with one another...softly. I want them to be engaged in conversation...without shouting. It's a skill that has to be taught and learned. And these wee friends do the trick!
Quiet Critters come in all shapes and sizes. In fact, these little guys are just made from extra large glitter pompoms (found at the craft store), felt for the feet, googly eyes and pipe cleaners. But even a collection of stuffed animals found at the thrift store would do the trick. I mean, really, anything you can hot glue a pair of googly eyes on will work. I'm not kidding! But remember, it's all about how hard you sell it. I also tell my students not to touch them. They are SUPER shy, you see. Because so many of my kids have an Elf on a Shelf at home, they are used to that concept. 

Here's a video of our third day of art. On this day, we are finishing our line sculptures to take them home. We review the word sculpture, the ways we learned to create the lines and were introduced to our Quiet Critters.
Now that we are finished with our introductory art's time to start sharing with my small artists the art room rules and procedures. Next up we will be learning how to play the Clean Up Drums and Clean Up Gong! I'm ready for that excitement and so are my students. More to come on that!

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