Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Ideal Houses Update

Sixth grade will be finishing up our school year working on their ideal houses (or models of their ideal houses). I first wrote about this project here.  As I suspected, it's more of a process-rather-than-product sort of lesson.  

Case in point: I really believe he's learning a lot about constructing his
ideal house, but I don't think it'll be all picture-perfect and Pinterest worthy when he's done.
One class is doing amazing things, and there's such a great energy in the room as they work.  They're all really engaged and trying things (takes me back to my art school days).  The other two classes, not so much.  More discipline problems (throwing modeling clay, for example), more "Get to work, please" (looking at you, student just sitting there with no materials like I'm not going to notice), more vegging-out-and-not-being-productive (isn't that how lots of us are the last few weeks of school???)  
I do love how each structure is different and shows what's important to them:

Nature lovers.  These are girls with a PLAN, always.

Collaborative house with a definite LEADER, she knows what she wants
and expects perfection.  Look at the water slide!  She added plants
and fish that are pretty awesome.

Football, anyone?
And they snagged some fuzzy matboard so their house
could have "carpet."
But going back to the disparity in work ethic between classes: what is it? Is it the mix of students? They way the classroom teacher sets up her class environment?  The way I'm presenting the lesson?? If it was not the end of the year I'd be more apt to work to correct this.  But for now, I'm TIRED, friends.

Working with modeling clay to build their houses (and one who
tried modeling clay and switched to a box when he didn't like
how it was turning out).

The Lego crew.  They've rebuilt their houses several times when
they got dropped or knocked off the table.
They're now gluing the bottom layer to cardboard.

Craft sticks, Easter grass and more cardboard.
Today a student asked "Where's yours, Mrs. Fresia?" and I said "My what?" then I realized he wanted to see my ideal house model.  It gave me an interesting perspective on what they think I'd do when I listened to their conversation about how they thought mine would look. It also made me happy I didn't have one at all because I love that they only have ideas in their mind and no idea of what I'd be expecting from them.  I don't usually go example-free, only for certain "special projects".  (ie ones I don't have the time or space for).
Press on, art teachers, the end is in sight!

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