Sunday, October 14, 2012

My Favorite Class

R is for Rabbit
J is for Jellyfish

P is for Peacock

In Specially Designed Art, I have the amazing opportunity to work with a great group of kids, once a week, for 30 minutes. We've got ten kiddos from grades 1 through 6 and we've got 5 Instructional Assistants to help out. The students are part of our Early Childhood and Cognitive Disabilities programs. While some of the kids also attend their regular art class, most of them come to my Specially Designed Art class so regardless of their age/grade/skill level, they can experience success in Art.

I'm a big fan of organization (DUH!) so I plan out most of my SDArt projects well ahead of time. While it is my favorite class, it is pretty prep-intensive. It's a lot of prepping, planning, labeling, cutting, template making, supply stacking, etc… because the second I don't have something prepared, there is the possibility that I could lose the attention and focus of any or all of those ten kiddos. Our Instructional Assistants are top-notch so if a student is having a rough day, they'll know what to do, but if I've got everything more organized and ready to go, I feel like I've done my part to help prevent any potential meltdowns.

Each year, I change the projects up a little bit and the last two years have been really successful. During the 2010-2011 school year, we focused on animals (because it went with our all-school theme) and while I wish I could take all the credit for the great projects, I have to give props to a coworker of mine: Marnie Phillips. She does an amazing alphabet book with her kindergartners and I saw tons of potential in using that idea for our S.D.Art class.

HERE is the chart I used to keep track of each project. Each assignment focused on a concept, a process and an animal. Also, I found a technology tie-in to each assignment that we showed on the SMARTBoard at the end of each class. Please use this as a starting point if you're looking for a great way for all of your students to be successful. And you can see all of my students' past projects in our Artsonia Gallery: Animal ABC's - Specially Designed Art

Need more ideas? I'll give you even more next time - stay tuned!


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