Sunday, September 5, 2010

Friday Electives

What are Friday Electives?? They are another one of my bright ideas that puts a ton of work in my lap, but other wise I would be bored. I have a knack for coming up with ways to stay busier. Last year I started an elective program for the 4th and 5th graders. My principal supported and participated in it all the way and has made it possible to offer again this year. Here is how it works...

BlackJack & Gromit, my four legged sons got
to be guests in the Animal Science class.
We combine the 4th and 5th graders and they get to select options from a list. They get 4 choices and get to change each quarter. Each session lasts for about 6 classes and they attend the class only on Fridays of a full week. Last year the class was an hour long. This year we had to stick to the encore (that's what we call Art, Music, PE, Computer) block of 40 minutes but it is the last block on Fridays so I think it will work out ok.
We already had art, music and PE on board but we needed enough classes going on to disperse 8 classes worth of students at one time. This year that is 225 students!! Enter parent/teacher volunteers. We put the word out and got parents and classroom teachers giving up their planning time to run several sessions such as: chess, a newspaper, graphic design, Spanish, book club, gardening, animal science to name a few.
5th Grade Still Life from 2D elective Session
I have been working on the packet and hope to get it out to students this week. My plan is to start the electives on Sept 17th. Then each of the four quarters works out to 6 Fridays and I think they fall pretty close to when report cards come out.
Some grade levels are on a four day rotation and some are on a five day. PK/K and 3rd are on a five day rotation so we see one of the five classes on the same day every week. Then 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th are on a four day rotation. So with 4th and 5th having electives on Friday we needed to do something with the 1st and 2nd graders. They will take turns coming to each of the four encores at their normal time. So for the first quarter I will see my Monday 1st and 2nd graders on Friday, for the 2nd quarter I will see my Tuesday 1st and 2nd and so on. So for those 'extra' 6 days we see 1st and 2nd I usually do something special with them that the other classes are not doing. Of course they will do it eventually but I like making it like it is a special extra lesson! Last year I did Deep Space Sparkle's Royal Pooches lesson with the 1st graders. Here is a link to my students' puppies on Artsonia. It is a great forum to try out new lessons since I am only doing it with one class at a time and can edit and change it with each class. I think I will do Chinese Brush painting with 2nd (last year they had 5 classes so did not get the extra Fidays)
5th Grade Faerie House from 3D Elective
So now that all that is worked out I was trying to decide what classes I wanted to offer. Last year was 2 sessions of 2D and 2 sessions of 3D. This year I would really like to add a technology component. I want to teach an art photography course. Last year the computer lab teacher offered photo but I never saw anything that was produced. I think it was more informational - here is how to use the camera hers is how to upload it kind of thing. I want to do more of a point of view, composition, rule of thirds kind of class.
Does anyone have any good basic photography lessons or resources for 9-10 year olds ??
Thanks for any ideas on technology and/or photo...

5 comments (+add yours?)

Mrs. Argueta said...

Can I just say that I also own 2 black labs (mixes), love classic mustangs, and met my husband in middle school!?!? Oh, and teach art, career changed 3 years ago from Interior Design- kind of freaky really...

tishalou said...

Not as freaky as the similarities between me and Mrs. Smith ( whose first name is also Tisha and her maiden name is Burke. Just goes to show we are not as unique as we think we are, huh?? Welcome to the Art Ed Blogging community!

Erica said...

Oooohhh you should look into getting I Wanna Take Me A Picture by Wendy Ewald (for you photography thing). Her book The Best Part of Me also is a great easy project to incorporate literacy too:)

They are all on but I can't paste the link here!

Erica said...

Thanks for your comment on my blog about the journals. That's a great idea that I'll try!

tishalou said...

Thanks Ericka - perfect timing I have some PTO funds to spend - already ordered the books! Yes our PTO is awesome - they reimburse all teachers some of what they spend at the begin of the year. I used it to by some posters from - they had a great sale!

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