coloring within the lines

Discussion in 'Early Childhood Education Archives' started by diggerdeb, Oct 18, 2004.

  1. diggerdeb

    diggerdeb Comrade

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    Oct 18, 2004

    I would like to take a poll of public opinion:

    Is coloring within the lines...

    A) Not developmentally appropriate for 4 yr. olds
    or
    B) A lack of practice

    Of course additional comments are always welcome.
     
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  3. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Oct 18, 2004

    I don't quite understand your question. Do you mean "not" coloring within the lines?
     
  4. mbt

    mbt Rookie

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    Oct 19, 2004

    I think it is something a four yr old is just coming into...I know my some of my girls are capable.....and one of my boys. I think that small muscle control is practiced.....
    mbt
     
  5. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Oct 19, 2004

    dang I had trouble coloring within the lines when I was 6... lol. But it is a task they are just learning. Unless they've been coloring while they were 2 and 3 and have practice, then they may not be able to color within the lines.

    THAT made me think of something... I had a professor in college making a comment about coloring sheets... and I've heard other make comments about coloring sheets and within the line and such... well.. it IS important... this guy I just started dating is taking an anatomy class and they have a coloring book that they have to do... muscles, bones, etc.... so COLORING IS IMPORTANT... LOL!!! It IS something you will need later on in life like algebra and geometry! Just had to throw that in! :)

    Lori
     
  6. hometeacher

    hometeacher Companion

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    Oct 19, 2004

    In montessori we have metal insets . which are direct approach to writing.
    they are metal plates that are geomatric shapes. the child uses different colours of pencil crayons to trace and then fill in with lightly strokes of the desired colour pencil.
    building concentration and taking a pencil for a walk.
    the younger ones not all ways in the lines or able lightly stroke with pencil but it will come.
    not a big deal.
     
  7. mommaruthie

    mommaruthie Aficionado

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    Oct 19, 2004

    in montessori, the coloring is also supposed to be continuous strokes up and down, not scriblly circles- its a definitive way of determining eye hand coordination. Most kids I see from age 6 are doing a great job on coloring in the lines.
     
  8. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Oct 19, 2004

    Interesting article on this:


    http://www.scholastic.com/earlylearner/experts/learning/3_5_colorinsidelines.htm

    I'm one of those coloring inside blacklines is not art people but I do see benefits to the practice- It develops good hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, fluidity of motion, etc. And yes, Lori-special preschool is right! Lots of coloring goes on outside of preschool environments! Math bar graphs, scientific diagrams, pie charts, etc! Color makes a statement!! I have a few 'scribblers' in second grade when it comes to coloring curriculum activities. I think at this point they should know better-
     
  9. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Oct 19, 2004

    When I teach my Preschoolers to "color" within the lines, I start out by holding their hand in mine and coloring in circles, very tiny circles. It gives them a measure of control until they develop their fine motor skills better. They find that if they do this slowly, they are able to stay in the lines...round and round and round. No, "coloring" is not "art", but children just love to color and a bit of it is good for them. Let them color away...in the lines or out. The "scribbling" is the early stage of cursive writing.
     
  10. bijansmom

    bijansmom Companion

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    Oct 19, 2004

    In my opinion, telling a child to colr in the lines not only contains their coloring, but it contains their spirit as well (I heard this somewhere and I believe in it wholheartedly).

    In my classroom, we do not use coloring books, coloring sheets, or workbooks. Parents can do this at home --my job is to stimulate them using other mediums. Their are MANY ways to develop hand0eye coordination --fun ways --and many ways to strengthen fine motor skills (I posted on a thread earlier many ideas).

    In my opinion, please understand this is prely MY opinion (I believe NAEYC's as well), there is little benefit to making kids color inside the lines.
     
  11. bijansmom

    bijansmom Companion

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    Oct 19, 2004

    From NAEYC:
    Limit the use of coloring books. Preprinted coloring books may keep children quietly occupied, but they block creative impulses and do not teach fine motor control. It’s better to have children draw their own pictures and color them by staying within their own lines.

    http://www.naeyc.org/resources/eyly/1998/04.htm
     
  12. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Our center has been accredited and we went through the whole thing with not having color books and run-offs. Soon , the children started bringing in color books and wanted pages run off to share with their friends. What I found to be the case was that we could easily offer both the free art materials and the lined color pages and they can choose whatever they want to do. It's all about choices in my classroom. This is what works best for our all day program. They are very pleased with the many choices and none of them are ever criticized.
     
  13. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Oct 20, 2004

    Hey diggerdeb! As I posted above I think coloring has benefits in terms of developing fine motor skills, etc. It's all practice, practice, practice (just like neat handwriting) and as long as a teacher is providing a variety of fine motor and art activities coloring is cool. :cool: As for developmental appropriateness I think how well a student colors depends on both interest and past experience. Those who have developed some fine motor skills and fluidity of motion will be better at it. I wouldn't require it as a 'litmus test' of how well a 4-year old was doing but would consider it as part of an overall picture of the kid....My second grade scribblers (notice I said my second graders-this is not a general statement about all kids) either have no interest in producing neat, careful work or poor motor skills-either way for an 8-year old that's a problem.
     
  14. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    bijansmom, Coloring within the lines can be taught to a child whose small motor skills are sufficiently developed. I see this year after year.
     
  15. Robin

    Robin Rookie

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    Oct 30, 2004

    Not DAP. Incidentally, I had a child who never drew within the lines, hated art, and anything crafty, and now he is a talented artist. Let kids do what they do. I don't want to live in a world where we all draw within the lines! *smile*
     
  16. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    A little drawing within the lines is good for everyone now and then. That's the way life is....We all have to draw within the lines "sometimes." There are plenty of opportunities to be creative. You have to discern who is pulling your leg...being lazy, "hurry up and scribble", get done just to be done. Coloring within the lines is one way to see how their small motor skills are progressing. I am sick and tired of people being so caught up in letting children do their own thing all of the time. That's what's wrong with students today. Oh, let Johnny stand on his head while he does his math. That is how he is and god forbid we teach him any self control. I am a mother of 2 grown children and needless to say they are both 2 of the MOST creative children anyone has ever seen, in more ways than one. I have been a Preschool Teacher for 14 years and have tried a few years of the totally "creative curriculum' and believe me, it is not the way to teach kids. They need to have specifics in all areas or they will grow up thinking that they can always free float around school/work and do things just as they please. Start with some very specific lessons for life when they are little and let one of those lessons being self discpline...starting with coloring within the lines.
     
  17. diggerdeb

    diggerdeb Comrade

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    Oct 30, 2004

    Thank you everyone for your opinion.
    What we are expecting from these little ones is just blowing my mind.
    When can we let them be kids?
    My students are 4 and are already consumed with dance classes, soccer, singing lessons. Let's let them be 4!
     
  18. Lanie

    Lanie Cohort

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    Oct 30, 2004

    Diggerdeb, I think it is developmentally appropriate. However, maybe instead of lack of practice coloring inside the lines, I think it might also be lack of modelling. We can't just give our kids crayons and let them scribble for several years and then all of the sudden expect them to know that the lines are boundaries.

    When I taught Kindergarten, I let my kids color inside the lines and outside the lines. Anything that had to be cut out, they were allowed to color outside the lines. It saved time and energy. However, if it was not something that was cut out, I modelled the behavior I expected of them.

    In my classroom I always expected my students best work. I knew when they just did something to be done with it. I never told my students it was wrong to color outside the lines. However, I would ask some of my students from time to time if they thought they did their best work referring to their coloring. Generally, when their coloring wasn't their best, it was because they were in a hurry. I can relate!

    What do you expect from your four year-olds? I'm interested in knowing your responses to your questions?
     
  19. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    The way I teach children to color within the lines is to show them how to color in very tiny circles. They gain control that way. I take their hand and move it for them and talk to them about it. They are pleased with the results and surprised once you show them how it's done. Soon ,they can do it on their own and come running with their papers, very excited to show me!
     
  20. diggerdeb

    diggerdeb Comrade

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    Oct 31, 2004

    I expect to prepare them for kindergarten.
    After several meetings within our primary school, these are now the goals for incoming k students:
    Write own name (one capital letter rest in lower case) on the line
    Draw representational pictures
    Write all digits 1-10
    Count objects and write matching digits
    Color all papers within lines
    Paintings, coloring, etc. need to be representational
    Zipping, buttoning and tieing (Yes, 3 and 4 tieing)

    Now all my children are not ready-some are still in the scribble stage so they have a far way to go.

    I get frustrated because I know they must be able to write their name. But since they do not know how to form letters some of them are making letters incorrectly. They attempt to write their name but are learning bad habits. I liked "the good old days" when writing the name in shaving creme, rice, sand, etc. was how we spent out writing time.

    Remember DAP when process was important? Now it is product.
     

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