craftivities and a freebie | Teaching in the Tongass

Thursday, October 8, 2015

craftivities and a freebie




First of all, because I realize not everyone knows what on Earth I'm talking about...

So, now that you know WHAT a craftivity is, you may be asking yourself,
One thing I've learned over the last 3 years with craftivities, is that parents can be super helpful!
Lots of parents would like to volunteer, but having a job doesn't really work with helping out in the classroom.  So, I like to offer parents the opportunity to volunteer at home (blog post on that is already n the works!). One way to cut down on the prep with craftivities is to ask parents to cut out the template pieces (the ones students will be tracing onto construction paper). Depending on how many volunteers you can wrangle up, you could send home enough so that each student has their own pieces to use (or have them share with one another). Which leads me to...
Yes, kids can share. If you can't get a parent volunteer to do the cutting and your students will be cutting the templates themselves, there's really no need for them to each cut each template piece. They can share the workload. So, if each kid needs a head piece to trace, I only copy 6 of those and they share them (once they're done tracing, they place it back in the middle of their table group or on the counter or on the carpet---wherever you designate).  Another way to do it is to just pass out enough for the table group (usually about 4-5 kids) to use. Meaning if we are doing a craftivity with a kid, one student gets the head, another gets hair, another gets a hand, another gets a foot, etc.  Or you could just plop down the necessary pieces in the middle and let them divvy up the workload (real life skills, people, real life). Yet another way is to leave the copies in a central location that they can get when they're ready (those fast cutters will be more than happy to finish cutting out all the extra pieces while Mr. Slow Joe is still finishing up cutting a foot) and put them back when they're finished. 
This probably goes without saying, but just in case! I always create a sample one. Not only is it helpful for me to know what to anticipate I'll need to say, but students need a visual that they can follow.  Make yours ahead of time and leave it where they can all see it for reference.  
You have 2 choices here. You can cut the colors you'll need to size or your students can share. I always find myself running into the work room to grab construction paper at the last minute, and our school has those giant pieces of construction paper. So, I figured out that students can put template pieces near the edge (train them on this of course) and then another student can use the same piece of paper. I show them how to put it back in whatever spot I designate so that another person can use it, as well as what might just be garbage (you can only trace so many heads on a piece of paper before it's not useable anymore).  You might also hear a voice saying, "Does anyone have a yellow big enough for a ponytail?" in my room. That works, too :) 
I touched on this earlier, but rather than pass everything out for them or spend your recess/prep/lunch getting their desks/tables all ready, make them do it themselves (#lifeskills, again).  I use supply tubs, and I also have a counter with scissors, glue, sharpies, etc. I don't really have a system that I stay with (keeps 'em on their toes haha!). Here's what my counter looks like before we begin. I keep the teacher sample their so they can see what piece will go where (otherwise..."what is this thingy?" is the question of the day).  Once all the template pieces are cut out, I move the teacher sample to the front of the room on the white board. 

Students will most likely finish at different times. Those first few kids that finish early are handy to have help with cutting for someone who came back from Speech after we started (or whatever). And if you don't have tidy tubs at table groups, your floor may need a quick pick up from a couple of kids. 
I prefer to use a clothesline with student photos/names laminated and stuck onto clothespins. I use it all year long and it doesn't take up any wall space, but to each their own, right? I ask students to learn where their "spot" is and when they are finished, they stand under their spot with their finished craft. As I'm roaming the room helping, if I spot someone patiently waiting under their spot, I hang it up. I'm one of those people that hates dealing with bulletin boards, so this was my all time favorite method for displaying student work. Then, when it's time for the work to go home, I pull them off when they're in line and pass them out. Boom. They proudly carry them home on their way out and the other kids in the hall stare with wonder (and a bit of jealousy, I like to think). **Note, I don't make the boys do "boy" versions or the girls do "girl" versions or choose the skin color they have themselves when it's a "kid" craftivity--I tell them to make it how they want, and they don't often stick to creating themselves, which is FUN! 
So after you've completed your teacher sample, you don't want to throw that beauty away if you know you'll ever do it again. Here are all of my teacher samples. Not all of the pieces are glued down, which allows me to not have to cut out head, hair, hands pieces each time. I can just show the class what it will look like.

 I keep template pieces in a gallon size plastic bag for future use.
 So I just have 2 pieces of large poster paper taped around 3 edges to hold it all (fancy, I know).
Here's what they look like all inside. Any time I create a new craftivity or sample, it goes in here. 
So, that's it. And if you haven't already downloaded my FREEBIE Telling Time clock craftivity, you can grab it here!
And if you are ready for more, check them out below:
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