My students struggle with the traditional classroom. I see a wide range of students who have minor to serious disabilities. Some face learning disabilities, Autism, Dyslexia on a daily basis and they all struggle in school. One positive thing they have in common is the passion to create! Some of my students are incredible artists, have amazing crafting abilities or simply love to roll up their sleeves and make a big mess!
The students I work with are all very positive but do become overwhelmed with the high expectations at school which is why I feel self-expression through art is such a necessity!
Testing, safety drills, continuous academic assignments can be frustrating for them and discourage participation in school. I love to allow them free time and learning opportunities that involve arts and crafts. Some struggle with maintaining their focus and require extra patience and innovation.
My students love and I do mean love the art supplies I have now. They adore time to delve into them and express ideas and feelings with their creations. From my first graders to my fifth all of them ask on a daily basis if I will let them create!
My students are highly motivated learners when they know an art project is coming their way! One student was insistent they were not going to go to class and sat in the middle of the hallway. I squatted near him and quietly said: "There is an awesome art project if you come with me!" He got up, ran and participated intently while he patiently waited for the art project! Planning a learning project comes with double the benefits. I often incorporate an art project with a phonics lesson or math lesson.
The students are able to recall what they learned and have a fantastic time tweaking the art project with their own personal style.
I also intend to give away some art supplies for rewards for excellent participation. Students love to take art home and often will bring back to school what they made to show me!
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