SchoolArts Magazine

MAR 2009

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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Meeting Individual Needs Partners in Art William Wolfe (age twenty-nine months) with Dr. Mary Patton. Ashley Stock (age twenty-one months) with mom, Christine Stock. Ranella Franklin o nce a year, the National Association for the Education of Young Children designates "The Week of the Young Child." This past year's theme was "Bring Communities Together for Children—Children Bring Communities Together." As the teacher in a class full of toddlers ages eighteen months through three years, I decided to invite parents to come in and participate with their children during one of the month's activities. Because my school is a laboratory school on the campus of Texas Christian University, I also extended an invitation to our College of Education. It is a preschool primarily for children who have Down syndrome, with a few typically developing children and children with other disabilities also enrolled. Inviting Parents Prior to the celebration, I sent out an invitation describing the activities planned for each day. As parents indicated which day(s) they would be attending, I sent them a follow-up note about the specific activity for that day, time to arrive, and suggestions to make their participation more beneficial and fun for themselves and their children. On the special day for art activities, areas for both painting and drawing were made available. I also arranged some floor activities in case children needed to wait their turn to paint or draw. staff member put the picture on the drying rack and another moved the paint and brushes off the table. As one child finished painting, we taped the corners of another sheet of paper down for the next child. A large paper for drawing with markers stayed in place for everyone to take a turn. The entire experience lasted about an hour, but parents and others were talking about it for days afterward. Art-Making Watching preschoolers participate The children eagerly sat down at the in art with parents and professors was individual spaces to paint. I barely such a joy—the enthusiasm they all had time to give the parents a big shared made art day during "Week of towel for their the Young Child" laps before their I decided to plan one of our a huge success! children had When the love of activities each day during reached for a art is witnessed this year's celebration to paint roller loaded firsthand in this invite parents to come and kind of learning with bright blue participate with their child. partnership, the paint! In addition, the children benefits speak appropriately used bristle brushes and for themselves. Including parents, sponge tapper brushes, placing the administrators, and others as active paint just where they wanted to on participants in art is a wonderful way their paper. to bring communities together. Cleanup was simple: Each Ranella Franklin is a teacher at Kindergrown-up used a dampened washcloth Frogs, a laboratory school on the campus to wipe their child's hands while a of Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. r.franklin@tcu.edu 14 March 2009 SchoolArts

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