Urban Arts - Katie- 3 hours

This week was my teaching week! I was looking forward to it since the time I started working at UrbanArts and I'm so happy with the way it turned out. I was happy that I had help from both Lynda and Katie, as well as I got to see other teachers like Nickie interact with the students. These interactions knowingly or unknowingly have a great positive impact.

I arrived early to set up. Katie was already there ready, and waiting for me. I told her the exact plan. I am glad I experimented with the sample materials for the activity in advance. This made the process easier. I think got the printer, and the computer ready. By the time we set up tables, Lynda and the students appeared. My activity was to make road signs with the students, as an introduction to graphic design class.

I noticed the excitement of the students reacting to having so many changes today like: I was going to teach, there was a new teacher in the classroom (Lynda) and there was a camera! They are always full on energy but days like these when they notice new things they are even more excited. After their snack time, and after they settled out a little bit and shared their everyday school stories we got ready to start our activity.

As planned, I started with the game. I told them to pretend that the classroom was a street. Asked them who wanted to play what role. This part could have surely used more instructions like dividing the exact location of the classroom, assigning more characters and being clear with what the game was about. But they had fun, and it got the point across so I was happy. But this was my first lesson to be learned. After that we sat down and spoke about Graphic Design, Road Signs etc. I agree I should have had more examples other than just one because this gives them options, as well as increases their creative possibilities. Then we moved on to the sketches, after I noticed them drawing smileys and other details I started telling them about solid shapes, and using just visual language to get the message across. I had not thought of them making so many text heavy imagery, so I should have made sure to discuss methe text in the activity - this is something that can be improved as well. Then we slowly started one by one moving to the computer. This part was SO exciting for me to see! I was thrilled to see them SO engaged in the process. None of them even mentioned games or other things they generally associate with the computer, they were all such fast learners, and they were asking great questions. The smiles were priceless on their faces after they saw their work being printed! 

We could not complete the whole project, as some students got picked up early. Some students are still in progress of making the signs after they were printed from the computer. I'm excited to see everyone's completed signs as well as to play a game to totally finish the activity. Teaching was such a great experience and I'm looking forward to having many such experiences in my future!

Community Arts - 2 hours

Krista had this event on our calendar, and so I went to it this Saturday. I am so glad I went! I had never imagined the having these kind of community events , and having this well attended with about 200-300 guests. It was also my first time in the Minneapolis Convention Center which is such a great place for events like these. 

It was a well organized event with different learning labs, along with that they had the 'village' area that consisted of different exhibitors. I was just walking around, talking to people, asking questions and observing. I some to meet some different teaching artists working in organizations like Juxtaposition Arts, Springboard for Arts and spoke to them about their work. I think its so important to get out of the classroom, and other regular setting to try and connect with the community, these are great chances to get a little sneak peek into different communities.