Thursday, October 15, 2009

Process over Product: Portraits

Sorry, I haven't been able to blog lately... Fall Little League is winding down and with 2 of my 4 boys on different teams, we have been very busy after work and school each night. Plus, we have to keep up with Karate... Oh, sometimes I can't wait for winter to come. Time inside, reading, playing board games, soup... oh the joys :) But I veer off track...

Process over Product

I was able to jump online and read Annie's Blog, which you can find at the link below...

She talked about the projects the kids create being done by them or the teacher... I struggle with this sometimes too, but feel like I provide a lot of open ended/child directed projects, that the few times that I do have a teacher directed craft it's ok. Sometimes the kids want my help to make it "perfect." As long as they create and don't always want my help, I feel it can be a learning moment. Learning that certain techniques do help, and when they get bigger some tasks will get easier. Keeping the idea of process over product in mind each day and when your planning will help keep your environment child centered rather than teacher directed. The way it should be.

We had our own little experiment with this issue recently... We had our All About Me theme week recently, we made portraits or our faces and cut outs of our bodies. It was an interesting lesson for the kids. They spent a lot of time looking in the mirror and studying their features. They knew they had eyes, nose, mouth, ears, neck, chin, hair, etc... but to actually draw those things were hard. "How do I do it Miss Michelle??" "Where do the eyes go??" "Do I smile?" It was so hard to not just say "PUT IT HERE!!!!" We talked about it being where THEY wanted it to go, we looked in the mirror and thought about where the top of our heads were, eyes, and so forth... and some of them got real serious about it and tried to put everything where it was "supposed" to go and others just loved the large movement of coloring green hair with sweeping motions on the top of the body. It was great!!
We moved onto clothing the next day. After talking to a parent, who is a kindergarten teacher, she had said her kindergartners were having trouble tearing paper. HUM.... what a great activity to do for the clothing for our bodies. They loved it too! Some did have a hard time with the concept of tearing without pulling the the paper apart. I even had a hard time explaining how to do it... so I just showed those who didn't "get" it over and over again. They all eventually "got" it. I realized we will have to revisit this often though, it was such a cathartic activity and great for those fine motor skills. (It IS interesting they have no problem tearing the pages of some of the books in the book corner, but had a hard time tearing paper specifically for the purpose of tearing... Huh)

Here we are deciding what should go where...

Ahhhhhh... like this right???!!!

I wish I had the finished picture.... She really loved ripping the paper and gluing it on to herself. She was very proud of the finished body.

Here is when I really love my job. The kids took what we learned inside and brought it outside and ran with it. I had outlines of little people all over my driveway. Some were just the outlines and others were colored in and names written next to them. They looked at them, talked about the different sizes and shapes... "My head is bigger than yours" "Look at my legs, one is longer than the other" and the giggles were delightful.

I am so glad the kids enjoyed this unit. We learned so many things, not just body parts. They worked together at times, talked, socialized, and most importantly laughed. They thought all the bodies were great. No one seemed to care that one person had green hair, or another put his ears on the top of his head. We're all different, for real, on paper, and with chalk. Each child worked through the process his/her own way and came out with a product they were proud of. As an added bonus... It was fun!! It was a perfect intro to our Family & Friendship Unit and then our Community Unit. I will post more about them as soon as I can upload the pictures from my camera.

No comments:

Post a Comment