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Middle School ART CLUB?

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  • asmax35
    Hello all, I ve been offline for awhile this fall and am checking in (finally) with you all. I work as the art teacher in a K-8 Catholic School in St. Paul, MN
    Message 1 of 3 , Oct 21, 2008
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      Hello all,

      I've been offline for awhile this fall and am checking in (finally)
      with you all.

      I work as the art teacher in a K-8 Catholic School in St. Paul, MN and
      am in my 7th year there. My school added on to the old structure, and
      with construction finally complete, this year I have a great new art
      room--(basement still, but LIGHT, SPACE and STORAGE!)--now I have room
      to think, move around, create new lesson plans, etc. I definitely
      feel the difference, and the kids must too. Anyways, I have been
      wanting to create an after school, elective Middle School ART CLUB,
      probably one day a week, only I don't know how I want to "shape" it.

      What are your experiences? What works? What doesn't work? Do you
      have pieces of advice for me? What questions should I ask myself
      before I construct this ART CLUB? Any and all help would be great!

      You can email the group back or email me directly, off-line, if you
      prefer.

      Thanks!
      Andrea in MN
    • aliteachesart
      HI Andrea, A new studio is a great inspiration! I do tow art clubs at the el. level, and did a drawing club w/ middle schoolers in the old days. I recommend
      Message 2 of 3 , Oct 22, 2008
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        HI Andrea,

        A new studio is a great inspiration! I do tow art clubs at the el.
        level, and did a drawing club w/ middle schoolers in the old days. I
        recommend keeping the numbers low- I do 16 kids max. I also limit the
        weeks by dividing the kids into sessions of 5 - 10 weeks depending on
        the numbers and how many days I'm staying after. My letters home
        explaining my clubs are in the files to share folder. Art club is
        extra work, but worth it! Kids, parents and administration appreciate
        it. ALi
      • Liz Egan
        I do a Middle School Art Club and have for a few years.  I do Art Club every Tuesday after school for about an hour and fifteen minutes or until the late bus
        Message 3 of 3 , Oct 23, 2008
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          I do a Middle School Art Club and have for a few years.  I do Art Club every Tuesday after school for about an hour and fifteen minutes or until the late bus comes.  Even though we have a late bus most of the kids get picked up.  There is no sign-up, any student can come when they are free on a Tuesday.  Since we are a small school (300+ in grades 5-8) this means they can freely participate in Sports or other activities and come to Art Club when they are free.
           
          Generally I tell the kids that I will be certifying them as experts.  The first day they get a complete orientation or the room and rules, whether or not they are currently in my class., since they rotate by quarter and semester.  Then they are mostly on their own and free to make anything or use any materials they want to explore.  About once a month,I advertise and initiate activities as "special events", for example in October we did carving pumpkins and just before Christmas break we will do gingerbread houses.  Next week we are having a Halloween party and making decorations.
           
          I usually have my "regulars" and then have spikes in attendance on the special event days.  One year the gingerbread house, I had 40 kids!  Luckily, i had used a sign up and got parents to help out.  A big thing in my group is making gifts and toys.  We usually have snack -- I make popcorn or cut up apples, but the parents help out on the special event days by baking.   
           
           generally I have about 20 regulars of which there be 12-14 on any given art club day.  we have a dropoff in the Spring.  I reformat Art Club for 8 weeks in January and February and we make sets for Drama Club (which I also coordinate) on Fridays, since the Tuesday conflicts with rehearsals which are 4 days a week.  Spring sports are very popular with our kids and 20% of the school participates in Drama.  i do receive a stipend, but it has been discretionary up until last year.  Hopefully it will get put into our new contract currently under negotiations. 
           
          Hope this helps.  good luck.  oh, I also have a webpage for art club on my teacher pages - www.westbrookctschools.org/wms/teachers .
           
          Liz Egan
          Westbrook Middle School, Westbrook, CT
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