We are in our third week back to school. It has been wonderful getting back into a routine. During the first class I went over the class list, introduced the kids to new items in the room (mostly in my free choice corner) and explained what students have to do to earn free time, as well as going over my classroom management plan (ARTrageous). After a small project the students earned some time in my free choice corner. Here are some photos of the new items at play. :)
After reading the Art of Education's post regarding how to get boys to participate more in art class, I took Jessica's suggestion and added blocks to my room. You can read the article here: http://www.theartofed.com/2012/08/16/the-best-way-to-engage-boys-in-art-class/
I decided to purchase KEVA planks for my classroom, after having previous experience with them in a 4 year old kindergarten classroom. I bought them through Nasco, a education retailer. If you have never heard of or seen these block I encourage you to visit their website; http://www.kevaplanks.com/ They are absolutely amazing and so engaging!! I purchased a 400 piece set and only put out half of them. I keep the extras set aside for days when we need more blocks. All of the blocks are exactly the same size which allows you to build these super cool, creative architecture!
I had games in my room last year, but rarely took them out. This year I decided to try something new and set them out. I put out my Pictionary boxes as well as my new game Palette. Palette is a really cool memory game that teaches students to remember certain tints or shades and identify those colors from a palette. I found it on clearance last year for a few dollars. The game is for 4 players, ages 6 and up. It's very easy and very fast to play which is helpful because some days we do not have free play, and other days students only have 5-8 minutes of time.
|Students playing pictionary|
|Palette, the game. 2 more colors and we have a winner!|
|Student checking her tint against the palette to see if she was correct.|
Modeling Clay!Last year I had play-doh in my room... big colorful buckets of Crayola play-doh. I hated it! It was so messy, so crumbly and so difficult to clean that I hardly ever let the students play with it. This year I filled two small containers with modeling clay, took all the play-doh and tools away, and let the children be 'sculptors'. I am amazed that they love the modeling clay just as much, if not even more despite it being only one color. YAY! I love when things work out well. :)
And a new change for me...
I have my children in my school with me! They are with me for the 35-40 minute commute to and from school and are with me in my classroom before and after school. My twin girls are in two different Kindergarten classes, and both happen to have art class on the same day. It's been very rewarding having my children in my room with me, but it has been a bit of an adjustment.
I miss listening to public radio on my way home... we watch movies to help the girls from falling asleep on the commute (made that mistake too much the first two weeks). But I love seeing their smiling faces around my building and seeing them interact with their peers and teachers. It's such a wonderful change for me from last year!
|Melanie looking at a book|
|Amelia posing by my Van Gogh bulletin board.|
Happy back to school to you all! I hope it is going smoothly for you!