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Teaching young artists- Art week in my class

Mondays is a hard day, the children and I  are tired and  we have work to do! This week is our ALL SCHOOL ART SHOW, and I love art and feel children need to value art so….. Today, I read and talked about, Rene Magritte, a surrealist. I told the children about how he often painted  silly mixed up things , dreamlike  pictures, that had meaning to him. We  talked about one of his pictures in particular, “Son of Man”.  We  talked about being tired on Mondays, sleep, dreams and mysterious ideas. The children paid attention looking at the book and immediately interpreted so many peculiar parts of the paintings. I thought it was interesting that they saw silliness in the paintings I didn’t have to say anything. They loved the LARGE birdcage with an egg in it they asked “How big would the bird be Ms Robin”, they loved the fireplace with the train, “Look the smoke goes up the chimney”. I though about how easy that had been for them to see all the ideas without me saying a word.  I could see they thought about the paintings too. Next was the art project, well see for yourself. IMG_2852 IMG_2853 IMG_2854 These children are mostly four years old, they are learning about faces, form and how to connect shapes into people. They can put ideas together, they can draw without my help. I simply plant the seed and they build ideas. Who knew the painting  “Son of Man”  could help get a teacher through a sleepy Monday with 14 children! First they drew people from shapes they knew, what people looked like. Then they connected the idea from Magritte to have a face with the apple- suddenly all children wanted to do the same project. Some faces were blue, some had features, some more definition, but all had a black hat, apple, and face like shape.

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New teacher Tools – Portfolio and Brain Train tool box

IMG_2797 IMG_2800 IMG_2798 IMG_2796 IMG_2793I made a tool boxes and portfolio packets to help new Preschool teachers in my community, it comes with a BRAIN TRAIN booklet full of cheap and simple ideas. It all seems so easy to me , but these teachers use it as it relates to their teaching ideas, it is like being in a teacher support group.  The PORTFOLIO is full of teaching lesson plan ideas that relate to early learning standards in Arizona and NAEYC. The Brain Train booklet is a booklet of fun ideas for parties and holidays.  All are supplemental pieces for your classroom. With the certification of Early Childhood teachers   state standardization, teaching preschool  has become more developmentally appropriate and difficult. Between assessments, academics, developmental ISSUES, the preschool teacher is often overwhelmed.  We need tools that help us focus on teaching the young child NOT mastering paperwork.  Teaching the young child, if done correctly becomes a satisfying achievement.  I put a couple of example pages, the children can see the pictures and understand the task. They think they are reading, and they are- from pictures. I put fill water bottles with colored water and let the children make their own imagination bottle- pipe cleaners, beads, glitter, sequins, and so on- then the children color copy it into the portfolio.  It is an easy science experiment- the children often pour colors together to make  new colors with funnels. It can be extended for several developmentally tasks and learning concepts.  The portfolio is a progressive sampling of the child’s work throughout the year.

Best book to read to understand child development, milestones and  early childhood education:

“DEVELOPMENTMENTALLY APPROPRIATE PRACTICE”, in Early Childhood Programs serving children birth through age 8

third edition, by Carol Copple and Sue Bredekamp

Every preschool teacher should use this book and understand the developmentally milestones.

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Mentoring other preschool teachers

DSC00409I want to help other teachers understand the importance of teaching young children. Most people just think it is baby sitting, but teaching little children is so important because it is building a better world- if children learn early to be kind, understand their emotions and  recognize others have feelings too, without discrimination, from an  untarnished perspective. Perspective taking from the child’s point of view is an interesting way to teach and understand children. Valentines day is coming and most children just KNOW its about CANDY- I love that simple thinking. Let children view the world from their own perspective then understand and teach.

These two pictures were done by a 5 year old and a 3.5 year old- they tore the tissue paper, glue the paper and came up with their own concepts. I just gave them the art supplies and said make a colorful painting. These are really nice process ART pieces.  I supply the art bags to different New Preschool Teachers , who need help getting started . I give them an information art booklet,  How to help the child think creatively, how to LET the child work through the process- this allows them to THINK independently. Teaching like this lets the child SEE what he/she wants to make-their own perspective. Let go and get the best results, you can follow NAEYC, Eccers or whatever your school program uses for accreditation as a high quality school.


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