Sunday, June 13, 2010

A Project Like That

This year, the one of the PE coaches who took some fine arts courses as an undergraduate was assigned to teach some pre-school art at my school this year. I'm sure this sounds kinda wacky, but schools actually pull teachers out-of-field all the time. . . While I was sad I didn't get to teach those cuties this past year, my plate was full with teaching everyone else Art, AND teaching the middle schoolers basic Technology courses (out-of-field for me too).

Everybody punts.

So, at the end of the year the PE coach was reflecting to me about some of his favorite/least favorite projects he did with the kiddos. He mentioned a project wherein they made masking tape men and said just how taxing the project was for both them and him. He continued by stating that while he loved the project results, he wasn't sure if would do it again.

I totally relate. I laughed along with him and said: "Yeah, there are projects like that. The ones that look so cool when finished, but just about half killed you to to get there. Those are what I call the 'every two years projects.'" He looked a little quizzical so I explained: "It is like childbirth. You only do them every two years so after you've forgotten how painful it is!"

Do you have a project you do like that with your students?

Mine would be papier-mache cathedrals. I did this project for the first time when I worked in a class of 35 students at an at-risk middle school south of Atlanta. For nearly 8-10 kids in every class this was there only time out of the Special Education Resource classroom. So, if you know what off-the-chain means, you know what those kiddos were like. But, those stories (and they are hilarious) are for another time. Essentially, after we studied medieval and renaissance cathedrals the students had to apply what they learned about this architecture to creating and completing a large, cardboard version of a cathedral. I sorta made some rookie teacher mistakes in this first round of the project. . .I was only a 2nd year teacher, and a 1st year public school teacher. . .So we had a lot of scissors and sharp tools out for kids who are/were active gang members etc. etc. No one was hurt (only because I was so so so so super scary frightening to them about safety and my fury lol) and they had fun. But, wowee, this project exhausted me.

My favorite cathedral is the one posted at the top!

And, I'm all revved up again to do it this fall.

What's your every-two-year-only-please! project?

1 comment:

  1. Boy, you have a lot going on (just read the post above...busy girl!
    My every-other-year project:
    HUGE Jackson Pollock style paintings with 4th graders, on rolled out brown kraft paper. The kids love it, the results are spectacular, and it looks great hanging in the hall. HOWEVER - it uses a LOT of paint, and the kids spend as much time cleaning up the floor as they do painting.