Saturday, October 19, 2013

High School Art Club

Each week I panic, what are we going to do!?
What materials do I have? (not too much in terms of extra. we have no budget.) What do the kids want to do? Will they like what I decide?

And for the last two weeks, things have gone so well that I have to remind myself that this is really my job... or my volunteer work, as I am not being paid for my after school time.

I have been so fortunate to have a decent amount of prep time to prepare lessons and actually assess student work while in the school building. I have gotten into the habit of not bringing work home! Unheard of in all five years I have been teaching! So planning for Art Club has fallen by the wayside due to my laziness...

Three weeks ago we had an interest meeting. I had about thirty students signed up (or were signed up by friends). We discussed fundraising and community service. In addition, we brainstormed a list of materials we wanted to use and a list of ideas we wanted to cover. Students spent a little time getting to know each other and those who were interested in the fundraising committee, met to discuss ideas.

The following week, we had fifteen students. I gave them a few options: independent projects (NOT assigned classwork), planning a bulletin board/ white board mural for the month of October, or using the available materials to complete the demonstrated activity or otherwise...

I provided students with red, yellow, blue and white tempera paint, as well as oil pastels. I demonstrated how to create a print of the materials, on the same page. My goal was to create a mono print, like the fall reflections I did with sixth grade last year. A few kept it to the fall trees, while others experimented and enjoyed designing their own images. Aside from the demo, there was little I had to do.

Same thing this week, with twenty students. I decided at the last minute to briefly talk about Dia de los Muertos and sugar skulls. I put a few images up on the screen, provided students with a handout if they needed it, and again, there was little I needed to do. In addition, about four or five students started planning the white board mural and began drawing while a handful of others worked independently.

Knowing myself, I will continue to panic until I solidify some funds and an outline of activities. In the meantime, I will marvel in the independence and focus high school students can display. This experience has (gladly) reminded me of how much students grow and mature between middle and high school.

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