Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

My students earn "free art" days based on their behaviors during class time.   A well behaved class can earn their first free art in just 9 short weeks.  Today was the earned free art day for one of my first grade classes.  It was their first free art day.  This is a tough class.   As I sat preparing for my day this morning I felt the dread building at the prospect of managing a free art with this class.   Free Art is very loosely structured.  Students have complete choice of what activities they can participate in and this class really needs structure.  
I had prepared a variety of colored papers for the students in 4th and 5th grade who had completed projects as a treat so they could make valentines.   As I cleaned them up, it occurred to me that maybe the first graders had not yet learned to cut out valentines.  The light bulb went off and a creating valentine's activity was born.   I approached the "free art" as a fun new activity for them and only touched on the fact we would be working with symmetry.   I wanted to really stress that we were going to have fun.   Structure and fun so that could be free art, too.  I was really delighted with their creative results so wanted to share them here with you.


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