You know how Mary Poppins floated into the story on a very breezy day? Well, I think Murphy blew into mine with the rain yesterday. My morning homeschool class went without unusual incident. I’m not saying there weren’t incidents, because after all, I work with children. I’m just saying none were beyond the normal hiccups. Then I went home to prepare for my school first and second graders, and the kinders following. I had lunch and watched the skies open with rain, calculating how long I had til I had to be at the school for my 1:55 class. I’m gathering up to leave, planning to stop and cut roadside cattail, when the school calls. Where am I? they want to know.
Why oh why did I think my class started at 1:55?! KINDERGARTEN does, but it is my second class! What a nut! My class time was half over when I ran in, no time to run through the Powerpoint, not much time for anything. And who would have guessed so many first and second graders would find scratch art frustrating, not fun? Well, obviously not me. It started with a few who had a legitimate problem: apparently they didn’t lay oil pastel down thick enough, and the black paint adhered to the paper more than not. A toothpick was not going to scratch that paint much! Those few tried scissors, but one couldn’t use a light hand, and pretty much tore up the paper. Really, though, that wasn’t too many in the class, but once they started grousing, it spread to those who didn’t like the tedium of little, repetitive scratches, and those who expected brilliant color to pop out clean from their black paint. I didn’t meet the expectations of either. Still, we got about 8 really, really pretty spider webs from project. I’m still glad I did it, but I need to rethink how for the future.
So I sailed straight from there to the kinders, stopping just long enough to cut paper for the project (I SWEAR I counted! I don’t know HOW I came up short one!). As I passed out their fairly complex little salamander templates, I realized the Post-It glue to secure these on their papers was on my kitchen counter. ARGH! This is a difficult template for little kinders to hold down while tracing, and the results are varied and unique as a result. But perhaps they learned more doing it this way; I don’t know. They’ll be cute regardless. The rest of the lesson went ok as we introduced complementary colors and they selected their pair. The watercolor wash and salt “spotting” for the salamanders will be next week. I hope they remember the story we read, The Salamander Room, as we paint. We’ll get to talk about salamanders as water-born animals as we watercolor. See?