I teach an exceptional group of Pre-K students of many different ethnicities and diverse backgrounds. The majority of my students are immigrants or come from immigrant households. We have over 8 languages spoken by students in our classroom including Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Polish, Slovak, and Uzebek.
Despite, English not being their first language my students come to school each day eager to learn and experience new things.
As Pre-K students, the majority of their learning comes by way of play and hands-on activities. Through play, my students learn to socialize, develop literacy, mathematical and critical thinking skills and learn to explore the environment around them.
Art is a big part of our everyday lives in a Pre-K classroom. I encourage my students to use their imagination and creativity when painting and drawing. My Pre-K students love to paint and create beautiful works of art, however, our classroom easel and drying rack have seen better days. I would like a mobile drying rack with easels to enhance our art center in the classroom. After all, I may be teaching the next Frida Kahlo or Pablo Picasso!
Fostering creativity and art in my classroom doesn’t just increase my students’ chances of becoming the next Picasso, it’s also helping them develop physically, cognitively, and social-emotionally.
The benefits of art in the classroom, are seen way beyond the art center. Many of the skills involved in making art, such as holding a paintbrush, are essential to the development of fine motor skills in young children. Well-developed fine motor skills help children complete everyday tasks, such as buttoning and zippering. For children, making art and talking about it provides opportunities to learn new vocabulary words. Creating art helps children to develop analyzing and problem-solving skills. Art also helps develop critical thinking skills, like when children make a mental plan or picture of what they want to create and then execute it. Additionally, creating art helps children develop math concepts like size, shape, counting, comparing and spatial reasoning.
However, perhaps the most important benefit of art is it's a confidence booster. When kids create, there is no wrong or right way, so it helps boost their self-confidence. Art lets children use their imagination and engage in experimentation. When kids enjoy experimenting they invent new ways of thinking and doing, which extends well beyond the art center in a Pre-K classroom.
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