Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Mrs. R is Back in Action...with the Arts

It is INCREDIBLE the amount of thought I have put into this blog. The past 2 years were filled with cute stories, adventures of interestingly named students, moments of vulnerability and vented frustration, and memories of times abroad and times in classroom P104.

I can't tell you how many blogs I have begrudgingly perused in haste as I try to find the latest and greatest way to teach or introduce new content. I think there are a lot of people with great ideas out there. But more times than none, I would browse until I was blue. "How do other teachers REALLY do all of those incredibly time consuming, high-preparatory activities with many, many 6 year old children, and still have their sanity?" I would ask myself.

Nevertheless, I love all the ideas that people have and share so openly and freely with others. I knew I wanted to do somewhat of the same, but still maintain my blog as more of a confessional space than one to post freebies (yet, who knows, maybe one day this will lead down that road!).


I don't mean have a full day of 15 art activities and get no instruction taught. The trend that education is taking under its wing is to only look at the Texas Essential Knowledge Standards, known as the TEKS, pick and pull them apart until you are sweating about each verb and description in each standard and figuring out how you are going to assess that standard, then planning out learning activities along the way.

It's all about planning with the end in mind. The end is the standard being met through a means of testing or assessing that the children know it. But...what about the stuff that gets you there?

This is what I'm talking about. I was that kid who really, really sucked at soccer. I couldn't dribble a ball, and anything coming at me whether thrown or flying was automatically ducked. I still get pretty bothered with myself that my 3-year-old nephew can swing at a golf ball and actually make contact with it, where I still swing and get air. *sigh*

But what I DID do well were the arts. Art. Drawing. Painting. Sculpting. Oil pastels and colored pencils were my loves. Singing. Music, beats, rhythms, rhymes, poetry, playing instruments, reading notes on a page, making melodies. Dance. Movement, rhythm, ballet, tap, spinning, twirling, you name it. Dramatic play. Acting, being dramatic, playing house and coming up with Barbie doll scenarios and full-on performances a little too well.

Kids love these mediums and can learn through these mediums too. We don't need to ban them from schools or be told that they are a waste of time and don't correlate with curriculum. We need to find legitimate ways to integrate them into the content we are teaching to reinforce the skills that need to be taught, learned, and mastered.

Let the artistic flair begin!

1 comment:

  1. I have been a fan of your blog for a while and am so excited for this new chapter. I just started teaching second grade in January and feel the exact same, spending hours on other people's blogs only to feel inadequate comparing myself to their creative, engaging, and totally idealistic lessons! Can't wait to see what you have to share and to use some of your ideas to integrate art in my own classroom!