Saturday, April 16, 2011

I can't wait to get back there!

I have to say that I am really, really enjoying my elementary school student teaching experience. I am learning so much and I feel more confident in myself than I ever have. Thursday, my cooperating teacher was at a meeting, so there was a substitute... who was wonderful! He gave me some tips on what has worked for him and also what hasn't. It was great to share stories with him and get some advice. I had a great experience at what it feels like to have a full course load at an elementary school. It was so exhausting, but I felt like I was very prepared and did the best that I could. :) It's also even more exciting when your ideas for lessons come to life... even if it doesn't go exactly as planned. I think I learn more when they don't go right and I can figure out what I am doing wrong. I love it even more when the students get excited. :)

I started a project with the 4th graders; they have been talking about Op Art. I had them doing "Line Designs", in which they would start off with a center line on their paper. Next, they have to make a line that follows the center line. But, the trick is to make that line touch in at least three spots on the center line. Then all of the lines after that follow the second line we made. When that side is done, they flip the paper over and do the same thing on the other side. (I have them turn their papers to avoid smudging) When they first came in, I had them do a couple of practice designs on an artist trading card. They were so focused and working really hard! (that is until we had the severe weather drill) Then, they moved onto the final paper. One student worked so quickly that I challenged him to do another one and make two center lines and he was excited to try it. :)

One of the things that the substitute and I were talking about was how to get the students attention without losing your head or your voice in the process. So, now I'm thinking about what would I do if I actually do lose my voice? What are some non-verbal ways of getting your students attention? One thing that he mentioned was to clap a pattern and have them repeat it, or raising your hand and others will follow suit. So, my question is for anyone to answer... what are some ways of gaining your students attention that have been successful for you?

From the always learning, soon to be art teacher. :)


  1. Awesome blog! I saw the link from your CT's blog (Mini Matisse) and had to check it out! To get attention in the Art room I use "Give me 5," or say "Eyeballs!" and the kids all know to look at me. I am in my third year teaching and had laryngitis for the first time in February (made worse by a sinus infection at the same time and the snowboarding lessons I took in very cold, dry weather). I use a lot of nonverbal cues in class, too, so I hardly have to say a word during clean-up. I don't want this comment to become a novel, so I'll try to post about my clean-up routines on my blog soon if you'd like to take a look:) Keep up the great work!!

  2. this looks a lot like my Line Design lesson...very fun.

    I've thought about leaving them black/white..but just can't help myself..gotta have color :)
    -Mr. E

  3. Mr. E, I've seen it on a couple of blogs and it was very fun! I think the next time I do it, it will have color. I like the way it looks that way too!

    MJ, Thanks for the advice! I have been finding that saying in a soft voice, "If you can hear me clap once, if you can hear me clap twice"... and so on until I have everyones attention, works pretty well for me. :)

  4. I say "RED, YELLOW, BLUE" and the kids respond "I HEAR YOU!" They respond with the same rhythm or loudness as my mine - whether a shout or a whisper.

    By the way, count me in as a new follower. I take it you were student teaching. What happens next for you?