Sunday, August 10, 2014

First Two Days

The first two days of school went great. I have been feeling unprepared but I am not sure why - there is no reason. It may be because I have so many new faces. My classes are bigger than last year, but still a good size for art. They range from 13 - 21 students. I have a half size classroom, with seating for 18 if we are crammed shoulder-to-shoulder at the tables. I do have some counter space to spread out my large Art II class, so that will be good. I also have a study hall with 24, but I have made arrangements to send students who need quiet to work to another teacher's room, so that I can fit the rest in my room.

Since we are on a modified block schedule, I meet with each class every other day. I have first block planning, second is Art II both days, third is Ceramics I & II both days, and fourth block is Animation & Video Game Design on A days and Study Hall on B days. We do team building and getting to know each other activities on the first day, so I have done that for two days nonstop!

Our school is starting its second year of a mentoring program. We call it Connect. It is similar to what some schools call Advisory. I have 15 sophomores that will be mine for the year. Only one is an art student (last year I lucked out with three). Since we meet every day, I needed a different activity for day two.  I pulled out bamboo skewers, string, tin foil, aluminum pans, and scissors. With three tables of kids, I told each table to build the tallest tower they could in 15 minutes.

This team (with the Boy Scout who had experience) eventually won.
All but two of the 15 kids participated, and the two that didn't participate made lots of comments (mostly negative or funny, but at least they were a little involved).
This group used the tin foil to add height once their structure was stable.
We gave a round of applause to the winner, but they were all taller than I expected, so they all earned a prize. Now I just have to figure out what to get them - I had better think fast, because I'm supposed to give them their prize tomorrow. Unfortunately, it has to come from my pocketbook.
This team did well despite having two of their group not participate.
Now to spend the rest of the afternoon planning and gathering some supplies from home.  One week down, 38 (I think) to go!

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