little mysteries

Lola went to art today, on Black Day, to draw pictures with white crayon on black paper.  I had stencils for city buildings with window cutouts, so she made a lovely picture with lots of buildings.  Then she cut it into lots of small pieces.

Was this frustration?  Boredom?  The joy of cutting paper?  I have no idea.  I can’t speak Spanish and she can’t speak English.  I wished I had the time to get an interpreter, but this was right after David had been carried from the room and kicked Alice in the head on the way out, and I just couldn’t take the time.

Speaking of Alice (named for Alice the Fairy),  she said, “hey, he kicked me!” and then continued making her night time picture.  When it was clean up time I found her at the sink washing glue off her hands and then saw that at her place at the art table there was a huge puddle of white glue.

So Alice, who too had made a lovely night-time city picture, not only also took scissors and cut it up, but she then took glue and poured it all over her picture.  And the table. 

I had her dry her hands, then had her clean the table, and then modeled with scrap paper how to use the glue with just little dots (she speaks some English, but I said “Chiquita!” and hoped that made sense).  I may have called myself a good teacher in my last post, but at this point in the morning I was unable to keep the exasperation out of my voice.

I wish I had been at the art table with the girls to watch them make their pictures, and to help them, and talk to them.

Instead I was doing assessments to get ready for conferences.  With the David chaos I’m a week behind, at least. 

Note to self:  when things calm down, hang out at art with Lola and Alice.


5 thoughts on “little mysteries

  1. That’s precisely why my scissors are kept up high where only I can reach them, and I only allow glue sticks in my room. I know, I’m a big meanie, but I can’t take the messes!!!

  2. I definitely don’t think I’ve done an adequate job of setting up and organizing and labeling the art shelf. I’ve always let my students have access to glue and scissors, but maybe we need to backtrack and have some more controlled exposure to those items before they are freely available again….

  3. We use Creative Curriculum for most of our art. Which means the students can create whatever they like, however (within reason) they want to create it. So I have a lot of snipping, paint mixing and glue spillage, but I limit what is available, so it isn’t a total mess. They experiment a lot. However, I’m beginning to see results through the repetition that they do, and I see a sense of satisfaction in their creations. I give them simple guidelines, and I think they are finally getting it. I’m adding more to the art cupboard on Wednesday, and we’ll see what they create, or what they can’t handle just yet.

    This doesn’t mean I don’t have projects with a set result in mind (more like a crafty type thing), we just choose to do a lot of open-ended art. I demonstrate things at group time, and those who are ready follow my example, using their own creativity. It really can be an eye-opener for where a child is developmentally.

    As for the Lola who snipped up her picture. I had a little guy do that today. He took the time to draw a picture, glue on a couple of fun items and then he totally snipped it apart in teeny, tiny bits, and showed me the pile with a big grin on his face. He’s ESL too, and hardly communicates with me verbally, so I have no idea why he did it, but I concluded that he’s pretty darn good at using the scissors, LOL. Great fine motor kiddo! Answered a question I had on his assessment, LOL.

    Anyway, I think you are doing a terrific job as a teacher, you are alert and aware of what is going on in your classroom, even when things are crazy busy.


  4. I had not planned to post this anywhere as posting it makes me look racial – but I have to after reading your post. You said two key words. Spanish and Black Day. ( Ok three!) We had black day one day last week . I noticed one little girl was dressed approp. except on black day but many of the little girls had no black. She is in a spanish speaking family. Her dad came in yesterday and asked how to get access to my site I upload daily news and pictures to. As I used the lap top to show him his little girls picture popped up and it was a day she had about 15 little braids in her hair all over. He smiled and said – that was the day we dressed her as a little black girl. I didnt know what to say. I just said oh….. Remember this is not my words but a dads but it is a little humorous how the translations get all mixed up.

  5. Debbie, I was thinking it looked a little weird when I wrote “Black Day,” but really, we’re just trying to learn about the colors. Today is “White Day” — snort! (I don’t know what I’m going to wear; my favorite white shirt is in the laundry! And I REFUSE to wear white socks….)

    Tomorrow is Purple Day, and then we’re done. I haven’t done nearly as much color curriculum as I usually do, but that’s because I’ve had no time for planning or preparation in the last two weeks.

    Mrs. V., I like the way you talked about your art center, and I may have to ask you for advice on how to organize and run mine.

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