One Sunflower

journal entry

on September 16, 2010

I’ve thought long and hard about the journal work I want to do with my students this year.  Last year was a “mess around” year for drawing and writing with my students and I experimented a lot.  I want and need to be more intentional this year.  I thought a lot about how I was going to model using a journal and about what my first entries would be.  I am really pleased with how these lessons went.

I bought a large sketch book from Michaels; it just happened to have a yellow cover like my student books.  So I reinforced the cover with yellow poster board and created a portrait spot and title just like the student books.  I remembered what David Matteson said about making sure that the models I draw in each quarter are exactly what I want to see my students achieving.  I only have 3 returning students this year and they were my youngest students last year.  I used their work to guide me in creating the self portrait I modeled for my class on Tuesday.

I emphasized starting with the head, drawing the body and arms and legs.  My returning students reminded me to add my glasses and told me to draw fingers – to the glee of their classmates.  After drawing, we spent some time reviewing my work orally and then I got everyone started on their own journals.  I only had two students that needed me to draw a circle to focus their work and get them started on making self portraits.

When I reviewed the journals after school, I put them into 3 piles.  The first pile shows people with body parts in correct positions and relationship to each other, the second pile has the heads with legs and arms sticking out of them and some facial features, the third pile has circles and sticks but are not especially identifiable as figure drawings.  Luckily, most of the drawings correspond to the ages of my students.  I only have two students that aren’t quite drawing at their age level but both of those students are on IEP’s for speech and perhaps I will find they have additional needs or concerns.

I waited two days to continue my journal work.  In between lessons, we’ve been singing songs about our bodies and I’ve been drawing faces on the board as I sing, If you’re Happy and you know it (- just like I did last year which you can read about in my early blog entries.)   Today I continued with my journal by opening it up to the first page and drawing a picture of my family – basically a lesson reinforcing how to draw a body and naming the people in my picture.

I made a mistake of not preparing the student journals by turning to the first page to get them started but once Maestra and I got everyone on the first page, we went around and supported the children in beginning with a picture of themselves and then adding at least one other person from their family.  The success rate was about the same as the cover was but this time I noticed more peer modeling happening at various tables.

So I’m really psyched about the work!  I’ll be drawing my family for a long time adding just a few details with each entry.


One response to “journal entry

  1. Kim Walbeck says:

    Hi Amelia,

    Thanks for sharing this


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