Friday, September 30, 2016

Primary Pedal Update

As teachers, we can have the most amazing, well thought out plans for our classes... but when it comes down to it, it never goes the way we had imagined.  So here is the real deal... how it all went down for the first couple weeks of school.

Here was my plan for this lesson (click here).

I have nightmares of start of the year kindergarten.  There is so much training to do.  We have to teacher them such simple things like sitting, lining up, waiting for their turn to talk. These babies come into school with such different experiences.  Some have been in pre school for 3 years and other have never left their mom.  So they are bought into their new classroom on the first day, they are scared but by half way through the day, they are feeling better.  They are comfortable, they are starting to feel safe with their teacher... and that's when it happens... They are brought to the specialist.  This is in a new room, new teacher, their teacher leaves...  I hear, "Will she ever come back?",  "How long are we in here?", "I lost my tooth.", "I miss my mom", "I have a dog", "I have to go to the bathroom". So, now I get to teach this tiny little tribe of individuals.  What am I going to do with them?  I have them for an hour!!

This is what I choose to do this year.  I had one station where I was working on the Art to Remember project and the rest of the tables were packed with play... Blocks, paper and crayons, modeling clay, things like that.

Day 1:

In the first 3 minutes I show them on the board what I'm going to have them do when they visit me.  Then I quickly go around to the other tables and tell them what they can play with when they are not working with me.

Day 1:

In this lesson, I showed them they are going to trace around a vase, draw the table line, and then the water line.  When the kids come to my station by name, I get a chance to write little notes about some of them as they are starting to work. I also have a small white board that allows me to demo the instructions again.

On the first day, I never take up the whole hour.  I have books ready to go for the end of the hour wrap up. It works really well (well... I mean, I get though the hour :) )

Day 2: 

Already there is a huge change in my little kinders.  They know what a line is and they know what I mean when I say have a seat on the carpet.  It's been 6 days since I have seen them and they call me Art Teacher and I call them 'little buddy'.  We are working on each others names :) 

Again, I demo the lesson on the board.  This time, I show them how to use the play colors, how to make a swirl (and layers of swirls), how to add the stems into the vase. I also show then how to color the table.  They used color crayons for this portion. This time I have a swirl challenge for them. They are asked to work on drawing, cutting and building swirls at the other stations... This is the video I showed them. 

The are ready to go after this... I love watching these little hands work.  By bringing them to me in small groups, I'm able to get to know each little person, have a short conversation with them, see what kind of an artist they are right now.  For example, this little guy was working beside me.  I complemented his swirls, and he looked with such confidence and said, 'Well, I'm kind of an awesome Artist'. Duh, why didn't I know that. I had to stop and take a picture right then and there.

The rest of bees in the beehive were buzzing around working on swirls, trying new skills, and just having fun. 


If you are wondering, I did use this challenge for other grade levels as well.  The first and second grade loved it as much the K's.

Day 3: 

The homeroom teachers have done wonders.  These kid have been in school 12 days and they are little rock stars.  They are learning how to share, how to raise their hands. They can go to the bathroom with out me in a panic that they will be lost in the 10 feet it takes to get to the restroom and back. It's getting easier to teach them with every visit.  

The station is easier to explain this time.  They get to use liquid watercolors to paint.  They paint everything that is white... They can use the colors they want to (they are controlled colors, only colors that will look good with each other).  I have increased the station to 6 students at a time.  Kids love to paint so they have been taking a little more time at this station.  The rest of the kids are working on the circle challenge (more to come on that in another post).

I think this lesson really shows the Kindergarten-ness in each of these little guys.  It still looks like a great product that I think parents will enjoy for the Art to Remember project. 


  1. I feel so much more confident that I am doing the right thing with my Kinders when I read about you using play in your room like I do. I'm always afraid admin is going to come in and think they are "just playing" and not doing Art.

    1. Yep, I feel play is the best form of learning for all ages. I keep advertising this and sharing it with parents and admin to help other understand what I know to be true... they are learning in leaps and bounds!