I teach art in an inner city elementary school that services preschool through sixth grade. The students are sweet, energetic, and eager learners. Art is an integral part of their development. For many kids this is their first opportunity using scissors, glue, paints, tape, pencil sharpeners, etc. They learn through art while exploring with new materials.
When the students enter the art classroom they scan the area looking for clues of what they might be doing that day.
They are excited to learn new skills and how to implement them into their art work. The atmosphere is vibrant and electric. Students often don't want to leave their unfinished work for their next session!
Our school is 100% free and reduced lunch. Students often come to school in survival mode and need a place to leave their reality, even if only for an hour a week. Students see school as a safe place they can go to learn many academics as well as life skills, with teachers they trust. Children come to school seeking routine and familiarity, so having art twice a week is a highlight. This is their chance to be seen and heard through a creative avenue.
I am asking for a rug where the students will be able to sit on a specific square assigned to them. I have a tile floor in the art room which is perfect for spills and messes; however, when the students to come together for whole group instruction, the floor can be cold and uncomfortable. Currently, to prevent this they stand around a demonstration table, which can cause small children to lose focus quickly.
Having a place to gather helps students know where they will go over classroom essential agreements, receive directions, have moments for collaborative peer sharing, and creative brainstorming.
Time-efficiency is of the utmost importance In the 30 minutes we have together twice a week. This carpet will shave minutes off of our precious time together by creating an automatic place for every child to sit upon entering the classroom. Once they are in, instruction can immediately begin. Not only does "criss-cross applesauce" helps with spatial awareness, students will also feel safe and secure in their own space, which will also give them ownership in their learning. This project will encourage collaboration in an effective and time efficient way. These are imperative factors for students success. We will be forever thankful.
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