Sunday, July 21, 2013

I wanna toot my own horn.

Andy Warhol Project- Grades K-6 Emotionally Disturbed and Autistic Population
 It's very rare that I feel like I am good at my job. I definitely have my moments where I feel like I can toot my own horn, however, this summer I'm working really hard because I have a new responsibility. I was placed within my building as the Art teacher for grades pre-k through sixth grade. The populations I have this summer are students with Autism/Spectrum Disorders to students with Emotional disabilities, which if you aren't familiar with what this means, it includes but is not limited to students with Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Bi-Polar, ADD, ADHD, Various Learning Disabilities, Social Anxiety, along with various Neuroses. (They are generally real tough kids, feel free to email me if you have any interest in knowing more). I don't like to talk about work, or the kids I teach because I want to try to completely respect their privacy. The way I work is simple, I try my best with what I have. My first goal was to do projects with the kids that maximize my 40 minutes of time with them. I also love making an artistic mess! Our students really need fine and gross motor skill work, as well as sensory skill work. Art is great for these kinds of skills. I love being dirty everyday, covered in crayon, paint, glue, and glitter. Thanks to Pinterest and the glorious pinners, I was able to adapt and modify various projects to suit the needs and skills level of the students that I have the opportunity of playing and teaching them. I like to focus on the ability to follow multi-step directions, how well they play, socialize and explore what I put down in front of them. For the younger kids I chose to read a picture book and then create a project based on central theme of the stories.

Pre-K various special needs- "Rainbow Fish" project and "We make our own spray paint"

Pre-K-2 "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" project, Autistic Population

"Good-night Owl" Pre-K-2 Project, Autistic Population
For the older kids, I have chosen to look at different Artists, and different textures to explore their imagination. Unfortunately, the older kids often lack imagination or at the very least don't know how to tap into the exploration of their imagination. By giving them parameters to follow but to instruct them to use their imagination, they are able to move about the room, and socialize unlike the regular school year, or regular school day. something they are working on getting used to.

I'm going into week 4 of summer school and I'm feeling pretty good about my projects. I'm hoping the next 3 weeks goes as well as the first 3 weeks. If anyone has any other ideas for me feel free to pass them along- I have the students with Autism pre-k through 2 everyday! It's a lot of work, but I'm loving every minute of it! (toot-toot-toooooot!)