How do I keep it simple?

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by Shiloh17, Nov 23, 2014.

  1. Shiloh17

    Shiloh17 Companion

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    Nov 23, 2014

    Hi,

    I am in my second year of teaching pre-k. I am struggling on keeping projects simple for the children, my assistant and me. I tend to over think, over due and over plan. I'm tired of always trying to be super creative or cute. I put so much stress on myself with projects. I need advice...I spend way too much of my own time planning and using outside resources. For example, I always think that for every holiday I need to send home a gift for the parents. I put so much pressure on myself and I've come to my breaking point. I also feel like I have to send something home with the children everyday...Any advice? How can I stop over thinking.

    Thanks,

    Shiloh
     
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  3. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Nov 23, 2014

    When I taught pre-school the only time I sent a gift home that the students made was for Christmas, Mother's Day or Father's Day. We were also play-based, so nothing was really cute & I didn't spend a lot of time planning.
     
  4. LouiseB

    LouiseB Cohort

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    Nov 23, 2014

    I don't teach lower grades so doing "cute" things and parents' gifts are things I just don't need to do. I think that when doing a project regardless of grade level, you need to think about what do the students get out of it. What are your objectives? Does the project need to be cute? Do parents really need gifts all the time? Do you have the budget for all this extra stuff or is it coming out of your pocket? Sometimes we have to do what really needs to be done and forget all the frills.
     
  5. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Nov 23, 2014

    It sounds like you may be doing a lot of crafts - product-oriented crafts instead of process-oriented art. It is the act of manipulating the different materials and tools which is important, as well as their own creativity, not the cute craft which all look similar. I bet you are doing a lot of cutting out shapes and supervising kids doing it the "right" way.

    Much of my art is probably tossed in the trash. That is ok. I rarely cut anything out or spend time preparing any craft except for the collection of the materials we are going to use. The goal isn't to impress the parents with cute stuff - it is to get kids using fine motor skills, expressing their creativity, and experiencing sensory materials. The cute stuff can be once in a blue moon.

    By projects, do you mean more than art? Please give an example. I have done many projects and games throughout my career. It will take you awhile to build up a collection. The first couple of years are always harder. It will get easier, but I think you need to be reflective of what you are doing and why.

    Good luck.
     
  6. Shiloh17

    Shiloh17 Companion

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    Nov 23, 2014

    Thank you so much for taking the time to reply to me. I think you basically nailed it. I NEED to do more process-oriented art more, less cute stuff. You're right I am ALWAYS busy pre-cutting things. I am going to work on providing projects that require more creativity and sensory. Yes, projects I mean art. We do worksheets that follow our Christian curriculum, letter of the week hats, and a find the letter worksheet. The projects are art. We do play games such as alphabet bingo, roll the dice etc. I cannot worry about making crafts cute. How often do you send things home? I also have to realize, not everything we do has to be proven on a piece of paper... Being a new teacher, I think I finally am realizing that simple is more effective.
     
  7. melnm

    melnm Companion

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    Nov 23, 2014

    You might want to check out Teacher Tom's blog. He is really good at letting the kids have experiences and not worrying about the cutesy stuff at all.
     
  8. Shiloh17

    Shiloh17 Companion

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    Nov 23, 2014

    Thank you! I will do that now. :angel:
     
  9. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Nov 23, 2014

    Teacher Tom is great but is blog has turned too political and not enough fun art or projects lately, imo. You can look back in his archives, I assume.

    The Artful Parent will probably be more useful to you - she has lists of activities to do with different art materials which are very useful.

    http://artfulparent.com/2014/11/kid...ign=Feed:+TheArtfulParent+(The+Artful+Parent)

    I assume you probably know about Pinterest. Just do a search for process-oriented art.

    I send art home every day - some look amazing, some not, but I clearly educate my parents on my philosophy and what process art is about.

    Here is one of the links I give my parents which also has links that are great, too:

    http://fun-a-day.com/process-art-for-kids/

    If you need more help, let me know.
     
  10. msaly

    msaly Comrade

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    Nov 24, 2014

    I agree, you need more process art! Check out pinterest, I've found some great new ideas (this year I was sick of doing the same things evert year so I wanted to find some new ideas!)

    I do a "cute" craft once and month and by cute I usually cut out some of their process art painting into whatever shape, like a turkey. I send home gifts for Christmas, and mothers day (we are not in school for father's day). We make cards for Valentine's day.

    I send home artwork and anything else that needs to get sent home once a week. I also print pictures of projects/experiments/group activities and post them the parents can see what we do during the day!
     
  11. wyvern

    wyvern Companion

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    Dec 9, 2014

    I can't imagine why you would do that to yourself, your help or your kids!
     

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