Wednesday, February 2, 2011

"This isn't my project..." (Oh, Kindergarten...)

I'm doing a project based on each basic geometric shape with my Kindergarten students this year.  For "triangle," I put together a PPT with images of Egyptian art, architecture, plants, animals, etc.  Here are some things that have happened with this project so far.  The youngest students are usually the most entertaining.  

Monday, Week 1-
During the introduction, one of my little friends kept interrupting me with questions.  Sometimes simple questions are hard to answer!

Student: "What's a river?"
Me (no one has ever asked me what a river is before... if he has to ask I should keep this super simple): "Um, it's a big stream of water."         

Student: "What's a camel?"
Me: "Look at the picture, it's that animal.  They do really good in deserts."

Friday, Week 1-
Gave several reminders about not touching supplies, listening, keeping eyes on the screen.  Found out after my presentation that two students decided to scribble and practice their "ABC's" on the table with crayon instead of paying attention.  Talked to them about choices, took picture to show their teacher, told their sub.  Students came up to apologize to me.  Told them they should really be apologizing to our custodians.

We talked about the shape of the pyramids.  Each student drew a big triangle and turned it into a pyramid.  Next, they used their imaginations to create a landscape.  Some added the Nile, crocodiles, camels, palm trees, even pottery with heiroglyphs like I showed a picture of!  Drew in pencil, traced with black crayon to be painted over in class 2 for a wax-resist project.

Monday, Week 2-
Students who drew on the table were sent to my room with "I am sorry" drawings in the morning.  Teacher wants them to scrub tables sometime.

During one of the Kindergarten classes that afternoon, I rearrange a few seats to make sharing paint easier.  I pass out drawings from week 1.  Made a deal with the students that if they did a really good job cleaning their brushes before switching colors, I'll let them use the nice, new watercolor trays.  Students do a good job!  As I'm collecting wet paintings to put on the drying rack, I compliment a little girl on her artwork.  She looks up at me and says,

"This isn't my project."

Seriously?  I hadn't learned all the Kindergarten students' names yet before maternity leave and I've just gotten back from missing 6 weeks of school.  I accidentally gave her a drawing by an absent student with a very similar name.  Wish she would have told me before she painted it so I could have given her the correct drawing!

During my plan period, I go pick up my graffiti artists from their classroom and make them clean the art room from floor to ceiling.  Just kidding.  They spend 5 minutes of their indoor recess cleaning tabletops with clorox wipes.

Student: "Wow, this is hard!"
Me: "Will it help you remember to make better choices?"
Student: "Yes!"
Me: "Good!"

5 more classes still have to finish the project.  2 will finish this Friday, 3 will be rescheduled for a later date because of snow days.  I'm sure the other classes will keep me on my toes as much as the first two to finish!

Oh, Kindergarten...


  1. I both dread and love Kindergarten... They never sease to amaze me by what they say and do. I constantly get asked by one Kinder... "What are you going to do to us today?"

  2. What are you going to do to us... Haha!

  3. I am the WORST with names, even kids that I have had for three years. And my kinders are not so great at writing their names legibly. I have a sheet of paper with the kinder's school photos (the little one inch photos). I write their names with my hand writing AND I have the KIDS write their name under their photo so I can look at the "name" on the art and the "name" on the list and see a photo of who it goes to. It makes it so much easier to decipher kinder hieroglyphic handwriting.

    P.S. do your custodians clean your tables!?

  4. Yes! At least at one school the custodian cleans my tables. I think it's mostly to disinfect them. If they are really messy and we have time I'll have the students wipe them down at the end of class.

  5. I had a 6th grade student hand me a piece of art work, and when I looked at the name, I said, "This isn't yours." She looked at me and replied, "Yes it is." I insisted that it wasn't. She pointed out the name to me and said, "Yes, it is. That's me." Whoops. Hopefully by June I'll know all their names. And then in September I'll have to do it all over again.

  6. It is hard to learn names. Well, except for those students that you learn QUICK! I'm hoping eventually I'll just have to add Kindergarten and new students because I'll already know the other names from the previous year! I have their names on my seating chart but I sometimes hesitate to call them by name because I'm afraid of saying the wrong one! The older kids are harder for me to learn since I see them half as much as the younger students.