Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Working From A Variety Of Activity Centers

These past three weeks our kids have had opportunities to create work from several activity centers. They accessed materials at the drawing center where there are a variety of pencils, colored pencils, water base and permanent markers, drawing books and crayons. Materials at the painting center include watercolors and india ink. The computer center has been used to create drawings on Microsoft Paint and a few have begun electronic portfolios on PowerPoint. I did a little experiment with our 2nd graders today. I set out a large piece of bulletin board paper on a sheet of sturdy compressed cardboard about 7' x 3' and told them we now had a "mural" center. I had 4 to 5 kids per class working at that center and they were "going to town" with "automatic," self-directed experimental ink drawing. We now have 4 centers to work from within the room. Drawing, painting, computer and mural center. I also converted an old mobile book shelf into a collage center which the 4th and 5th graders have been visiting with regularity. I have introduced the artist Jaune Quick-To-See-Smith to 3rd, 4th and 5th graders and talked about the way she combines graphics, collage and other materials to create bold, expressive works of art.
So far, I am very pleased with the production and attitudes of our kids. 99% of them are into working from the centers. My younger kids really get into it. One of the problems we are having is they do not want to clean up. I give them a 5 minute warning, then a one minute warning....they are oblivious to my request to clean-up. They are so caught up in "flow," they can't stop what they are doing.....
I am getting requests to open up the sculpture center. I think I am going to start small again and go big. I am going to buy a bunch of toothpicks, cut a bunch of cardboard, and get my glue containers ready. It would seem a good thing to intoduce Louise Nevelson at this juncture. Check back later, Clyde

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