Monday, March 20, 2017

Finger painting as fun, learning and an act of resistance. | Fred Klonsky

Finger painting as fun, learning and an act of resistance. | Fred Klonsky:

Finger painting as fun, learning and an act of resistance.

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An old photo appeared on my Facebook page this morning. It was a picture I took of my students finger painting in 2012.
I reposted the picture and wrote:
“Looking through some old pics of student art work I am reminded that one of the things that drove teacher-hating trolls the most nuts was that I, an elementary Art teacher, was paid a full teacher’s salary for “finger painting with kids.” So I always made sure that during the school year that is exactly what I did. And post it. Kids love to finger paint and it is messy! And I was paid in full.”
It is true that we finger painted as an act of resistance to teacher-bashing.
Well, at least I did.
I’m pretty sure that my kindergarten and first grade students did not follow the latest debates about standards and outcome-based instruction, PARCC testing or guided learning.
They cared less about where I was on the salary schedule.
My art room had large formica tables that sat four kids, two on each side. I would walk around with a bottle of laundry starch and pour a puddle in front of each student directly in front of them and then repeated the walk with colors of poster paint.
A piece of paper could be pressed against a final picture making a print. But I liked the fact that the image was temporary and changeable with the wipe of a hand.
An observation about art in elementary school Art curriculum:  We don’t have our students draw enough.
Sure. They draw what they are directed to draw: Flowers, landscapes, houses, people. That kind of thing.
What I found was that my students in kindergarten and first grade didn’t really draw from observation and less from direction. And no matter how often I would point out that eyes were not circles with dots in the middle of another, bigger circle, that was how they drew them except to satisfy me.  They drew from stuff that they saw in their Finger painting as fun, learning and an act of resistance. | Fred Klonsky:

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