I wish I could describe the excitement of my students as they entered our new classroom this year. The "oohs" and "ahhs" as each class crossed through the door melted my heart. I have taught fifth-grade science the last five years and made the change to art teacher this year. This is the first time in years that our students will have a full-time art teacher. Now I have all of our students Kindergarten through Fifth grade. So far, they have enjoyed getting to explore our new space, fun seating choices, and hands-on activities.
I wanted my art classroom to not look anything like a traditional classroom so all summer I've been gathering kitchen tables from garage sales and trading posts.
Now my students have brightly colored kitchen tables where they can create their masterpieces. My goal is to provide all my students with an engaging, fun, and safe learning environment. My school is Title I and located in a low socioeconomic neighborhood where 98% of the students receive free or reduced-price lunch. Most of my students are faced with many challenges in the classroom and at home.
I participated in my first virtual modules with The Art of Education and watched a wonderful demonstration with many ways to introduce print making to children of all ages. I am beyond excited to start trying these new techniques and ideas with my students in the upcoming school year.
I'm all about making messes and memories with my students, but was a bit intimated by the concept of print making until I saw how uncomplicated and simple it really can be with the right tools.
The inking plates hold themselves still on the table because of the metal lips so students will be able to use the printing ink and brayer more easily. The barrens will help ensure they receive a more even print because it will help even out the pressure they apply. Most of these supplies are non consumable and will last for years to come. The Gyotaku printing set will allow my students a fun, more economical and less smelly way to be introduced into the art of Japanese fish printing. Traditionally Gyotaku printing was created on rice paper and I would love for my students to be able to feel the texture of this unique medium. Lastly, the bubble wrap and foam sheets will be used to add different textures to the backgrounds of other print making projects I have planned for my younger students.
Next year my goal is for my students to be able to try a wider variety of projects including print making, more variety of 3D and textural art.
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