Friday, January 21, 2011

Twas a Bleu, Bleu Day

Every month or two I get a request to supply teach for a friend of mine who teaches French immersion to Grade 2/3's.  A French teacher I am not.  Actually I am absolutely amazed how many days I get called to teach French, solely because there are no French qualified teachers left on the list for days when there are French workshops or professional development days.  If only they knew how woefully inadequate my French is!  I'm from the era when there was no French taught in public school.  You also had a choice whether or not to take French in high school.  Being the son of a not-so-pro-French parent, and just being a boy, who didn't tackle things he didn't see as important, I did not parlez-vous Francais.  So that leaves me about as unilingual as is humanly possible.  I did take a conversational French course at the local college last winter, but again, all my classmates were starting out with at least some high school French, so I quickly got lost in the shuffle.

But I am far off topic.  Back to yesterday's class.  Madame called me the other night to confirm the day plan for the day.  "I just want them to have art all day.  I can't wait to see what you come up with." - end of day plan.  Now it is actually two different classes, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.  The challenge was to come up with something to keep everyone occupied for about two hours (and not run over that limit), come up with an idea that did not cost me money (ie all supplies are available in the school supply room), and result in a product where the other teachers go "ooh" and "aah".  Well maybe the latter is not a necessity, but a nice little perk if it happens.

I went on-line and looked for inspiration.  I found a google image I rather liked of a winter scene with a cabin all done in various shades of blue (or should I say bleu). I quickly checked the missus' art cupboard to see what she had in store to take as backup.  And I should have made an exampler, just to get an idea of time and materials.  However I did not do that..... it is a far, far better thing to fly by the seat of one's pants!

I arrived in good time to see what supplies were available and to get some photocopying done ahead of class entry.  Fortunately, the art cupboard at school was well-stocked and I was able to save our personal materials for another day.

I quickly took attendance and we started in to work.  I explained methodically that they would have to listen and follow my instructions very systematically.  And really for the most part they did quite well.  Well Ben, was a bit of an exception.  "Ben you're not listening, Ben I didn't tell you to glue anything yet, Ben did I tell you to cut yet, Ben, I'm talking, you're not.............."  I like Ben, but my, my he tries my patience!  Eleven o'clock rolled around far too quickly.  I had major hustling to get the last limbs pasted on the trees and cleanup completed, before they had to transfer to their afternoon class.

At least I had lunch time to prepare, a bit, for the afternoon onslaught.  I realized from the morning session there were a few corners I could cut, and have a few more items cut out and ready to hand out initially.  I think I was a little more patient with the afternoon group, but even with the extra prep work, we did not have much time to spare for clean up at the end of the day.  I found myself sweeping and wiping tables down, after the buses had departed.

But all in all, although it was a lot of work for me (and the kids), I'm generally pretty pleased with how the art turned out.  The afternoon sessions' were better, because I had learned from some mistakes in the morning.  At the end of the day, I remembered that I had forgotten (is that an oxymoron?) to discuss the idea of monochromatics (since that was the concept I was endeavouring to teach) with the class.  I know you are always supposed to be able to tie your lesson in with the curriculum expectations.  In my mind I could, but I guess I failed to impart that particular nugget of wisdom, in the process.

Now my only fear is that Madame will want me to come back and give each masterpiece a mark.  That would require a rubric and a whole lot more thought, and I guess I'd have to revisit the curriculum.  Oh the heck with it -- they may not have learned anything they should, be we had a good day, and the pictures are sure pretty!

note upside-down trees or are they hydro poles?

And that is about all I have to say for today.

Musings and meanderings from the Musical Gardener.

1 comment:

  1. If you get in a tight spot, you can always say "Aidez-moi, je suis perdu!" or how about "C'est l'heure du dejeuner." :-)


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