Jenny Kraft’s 5th-grade classroom at Whittier International Elementary School - 2 hours

Lesson planning for Whittier - 5+ hours

Jes Reyes and Spectrum ArtWorks, open studio hours -  3 hours

I stayed back from Whittier on Tuesday this week to spend more time on my lesson for Whittier that is taking place on the 17th. Ms. Kraft’s input and requests shaped the content of the lesson, so I feel comfortable not having a specific strand of academic curriculum that the lesson fits into.

The current description of the project is:

“Students will collaboratively rewrite their classroom agreements/constitution using ink-lettering techniques that connect to various historical skills and trades involving hand-lettering text. This is a chance for students to simulate the creation of the founding documents or other curriculum relevant texts. Students will individually work to hand letter or illustrate sections of the class document that can be assembled into a collective manuscript”

In this case, the students will be working on a set of principles they agreed upon as a class at the beginning of the school year and wrote out together to post in their classroom. Given that many of the students will be using nib pens that require dipping in ink, I am terrified that I will cause a mess in the classroom with highly concentrated and permanent ink. I have procured some alternative non-permanent ink and wrote up permission slips to warn parents and provide them the opportunity to opt out of their child using the dip pens. Hopefully, everyone will be well behaved and have permission to use both. I want everyone to at least get to try the dip pens. Luckily, Ms. Kraft’s expectations of this lesson are less a concrete curriculum benchmark and more an indulgence of the student’s curiosity, so we should be able to have fun and let the students try an art material they have probably never been exposed to.

Friday morning at Whittier was spent mostly in an assembly meant to reward students for participating in a month-long drive to fundraise through student reading goals. The 5th graders escorted their Kindergarten reading buddies again, and watching them transform into serious caretakers in the presence of smaller children was miraculous as usual.

Thursday at Spectrum found the studio understaffed, but luckily very quiet. I got to meet a couple new artists and pitch my workshop idea around. Everyone was intrigued by the idea of learning the basic of digitizing artwork, but it’s such a utilitarian subject that I hope to do an additional workshop on something a little more fun later in the year. Next time I’m there I will bring in my portfolio to show everyone some of the skills I have to offer.