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Monday, January 09, 2006

What's the time Mr Wolf?


Week one at the primary school and today we started to make out life sized jumping jacks. Very hard to get the kids to shut up long enough to listen to instructions. Tried my best. Stood with arms and legs outstretched like a demented starfish saying 'children, when I need you to be quiet I'm going to stand like this'. I could have stood like that till hell froze over but quiet wasn't going to happen. So resorted to screetching at the top of my voice.

Instructions for drawing round your partner's body were largely ignored so some weird and wonderful shapes resulted. By the time we reached the collage stage they were into it and glue brushes had to be wrenched from their frenzied fingers come home time.

I was rather astonished at their lack of general craft skills. Didn't expect to have to explain that to make the paper stick down you have to paint glue underneath it first. Was also pretty amazed by the child who completely obliterated her drawing with newspaper strips. Pointed out that the name of the game was to stay within the lines. Have these children never coloured in?!? Well, no, probably not.

Despite my cynicism, I was pretty impressed with their imaginations once they got going and I loved the oversized watch. Not my idea, all their own work. Another pair decided to make their figure a kiltie. Hadn't quite grasped this and spent some time explaining that sticking small pink strips horizontally across the centre of the legs was not the best way to fill them in quickly. 'But we're only doing the knees' came the reply. Kilt about and kilt socks below. Ah, kids....don't ya just love 'em?

6 comments:

Helen Suzanne said...

Lool @ you being a starfish! Did you ever see that film with Arnold Swartsniker being a primary school teacher... Aaaah yes five minutes given over to squad drill and a piercing goally whistle and you'll have em eating out of your paws... The film proves it... honest ;))

Helen Suzanne said...

paws?? sorry too long with silly mother daughter conversations and nothing else... i meant hands!

Sue said...

This rings bells with my last Big Arts Week experience: on previous occasions I'd worked alongside the teachers in their classrooms but in this situation they put me in a separate room with a classroom assistant to provide insurance cover but working on a different activity with a different group and for only some of the time (different school, too!) Very little got achieved because of the difficulty of keeping the kids on task and "policing" their behaviour, which I found most frustrating. Sympathy, my friend.

Grumpy said...

Thanks Sue

the teachers tell me that I just wasn't waiting long enough for the children to be quiet. I'll try again next week, explaining to them in the relative calm before the art materials come out to play.

MargaretR said...

Things have changed a lot since I retired(early) 18 years ago. They changed even then, I found I could not fit in time for craft because the curriculum was overloaded. College taught us how important it was for children to learn how to use scissors etc. I don't want to get on my hobby horse here though Sally. Loved the photo with the watch.

Liz said...

I help at church with a few craft-related activities with kids and I've found there's a huge difference in kids' craft abilities - you can usually tell who gets to do it at home. I agree - some of them don't have much idea! Although you'd think they would do quite a lot in school...