Unity School - Ms. Cara, Kindergarten & Mrs. V (TA in Elementary Art Room)- 18.5 hours
I took full advantage of my time off on Spring Break and spent 4 days at Unity. I moved around some this week. I started in my usual Miss Cara's class and ended my week in Mrs. V's Art Room. I also taught my lesson this week to Miss Cara's class.
Monday: (3 hrs) Miss Cara's class. It was business as usual this week. They started a new unit on planets and the solar system. We had an interesting discussion about whether Pluto is a planet or not. Some of the books we read said there were 9 planets and some said 8. In my world, Pluto will always be a planet.
Tuesday: (1.5 hrs) TEACHING DAY!!!! I was sooooo nervous about today and unfortunately I think my nerves got the best of me. I appreciate that we were thrown into our lessons without many pointers and tip because after teaching I could list multiple things I would have done differently. I know I learned a lot by experience!! My lesson was making 3D maps of imaginary planets. I was taking too much on with this project. I was so worried about teaching them the core information of planets, I kind of skimped on teaching them about clay. They ALL had a great time making their planets and I loved seeing how invested each kid was! They worked the entire work time, and all were proud of their finished planets.
Wednesday: (7 hours) TA Mrs. V's Elementary Art Room. It was an interesting week to choose to be in the art room because she set up all the classes a little different this week. Mrs V teaches the entire Elementary starting with preK all the way up to 5th graders. The classes are typically on a three day rotation, so the kids she saw today, she wont' see the rest of the week. Because this is the week before Spring Break, the kids often have a hard time focusing so adjusts her classroom for their behavior. She set up multiple stations(centers) around the classroom and divided each class up evenly. The kids got to rotate to every center, and do multiple activities. This helps with their short attention spans, because they get to move throughout the room multiple times(3 or 4). For the most part every grade was doing the same centers but we did make a couple of them different for the smaller kids. One station was making a circle drawing with oil pastels and then using their finger they got the blend the colors. Another station was playing art apps on the ipads. There were 5 different art apps to choose from that either had them draw or sculpt with their fingers. The last station was radial designs. Using a coffee filter as a base, they folded them 3 times and used markers to draw a design on two sides. After their filter was covered in color(ink) they got to use a sponge to get the filter damp. Then after unfolding their coffee filter they got to see their design bled together to make a radial pattern. All of the kids enjoyed each station, they were short enough exercises that impressed the kids! It also gave a chance to walk around the room and had multiple things I could talk to the kids about.
Thursday: (7 hrs) TA Mrs. V's Elementary Art Room. Since today was all new kids, we stuck with the same stations as yesterday. Today they were just as successful as yesterday. Another thing that was nice to see is every time a new class came in Mrs. V had to demo and describe each center. I got to see her demo the same projects 14 times!! There were things she forgot to say to some groups because she was thinking she already said it. It was nice to see that an experienced teacher still messes up. This was especially nice to see after teaching my lesson. I think I am so worried about everything being perfect, I need to just relax and let things flow naturally.
I also got a chance to go back to Miss Cara's for a half hour to paint their planets. I just used watercolors because they are experienced in watercolors so it was easier. I did prep them for the day and told them if they use less water, their colors will be brighter and if they do two coats it will be even darker. I also reminded them to use light colors first and work darker. They all enjoyed painting and the watercolors worked really well on the clay. One thing we found out was we couldn't hang them on the wall. Because they used the extra clay to build up their planets, they were TOO heavy for the clips and the clips fell out. I told Mrs. V about my problem and she suggested that next time if I make a hold, I can hang them with wire. NOTED!! All in all, I think it was a good first lesson. I am glad I started with Kindergarteners because to them it was an awesome day, they have no idea I messed up. I think when I go to fourth grade, I will be better.
Next week Unity has their Spring Break so I get to take a week off. I will start back Monday morning in fourth grade. Using the break will be a good way to transition for the kids. It will mark the beginning or the end for them mentally.