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Fieldnotes 2/28

Two year olds with Ms. A

Color: Green

Ms. A giving me more responsibility, suggesting I do gluing demos, give out materials, work more closely with kids and moms/gmas

Only 2 pairs today: S and mom B, B and gma E

O worked closely with S and B, while Ms. A was with B and E

Ms. A gave each child a tupperware with green beads, yellow squares and a green pompom. asked them to shake the tupperware, then try to open it.

S: with encouragement, was able to open (practicing dexterous skills)

B: couldn't do it, gave to Gma to open.

S: lined up all beads one-by-one, really taking her time, 

Today she was not wanting much help from her mother. Kept asking her to sit farther away. She seemed happy to have me close. Mother mentioned S going through phase of wanting Dad for some things, mom for others. Learning more independence?

Ms. A gave out pipe cleaners, encouraged them to bead onto the pipe-cleaners. 

B: Happy to do it

S: didn't want to continued  to line up her beads.


B could not sit still, ran around table over and over and over

Ms. A suggested that E let her run herself tired, rather than scold her.

S did not want to leave at the end of class time

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Fieldnotes 2/22

Modern class with Ms B 9:00-11:45

Matisse cutout shapes

not much of a plan, plan to cut shapes out for/with students

Ms. B assumes that the project prob won't take the whole class time, wonders what we'll do when they finish. I suggest making a second piece?

The project: talk abt Matisse, look at two books with images of his cutouts. Ms B had drawn some examples of shapes on a paper (asks me to do the same before class starts) to give students ideas. Give them one large sheet of paper and two smaller ones. two smaller to be glued into the middle (as a background) wiht leftover border available to decorate later. (sketches)

As the kids glued the background rectangles, some were not perfect (sketches) Ms. B wanted them all to have a border, so we both went around helping them re-glue their pieces of paper. 

Then, cutting out shapes: provided a lot of different colored paper. When they needed help cutting specific shapes, we would help: sometimes fold paper with them, sometimes draw the shapes, sometimes cut it for them.

At some point, we both began cutting out new and different shapes outselves, offering them out to kids. "who wants a leaf?" "who wants a spiral?"

I was a bit uncomfortable doing this much in terms of cutting out shapes from my own head and just giving them to the kids. 

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Fieldnotes 2/21 (2nd class)

After school art class 4:15-5:15pm

I arrive at 4:22 (coming straight from BMC, which Ms. A is okay with, because she is thankful for the help)

8 students present (ages 6, 6, 7, 6, 6, 5, 7)

(sketch of table, students names, seats)

Clay Turtles: example turtle, components (shell, head, 4 legs/feet, tail), demo, then back to spots at table

T and R: brothers. T is very talkative

Demo: "this is the time in the class when everyone has to listen really carefully, and watch really carefully." 1 ball of clay, break in half. 1st half smush (sketch), press over crumpled newspaper, shell! (sketch). Clay tools, v special, v careful. Score the shell: a little "x" for each spot, dip fingers in water, get the shell a little wet, not super wet, just wet enough. 2nd half: break into 6 pieces, big head, medium legs, small tail

I was really happy that Ms. A asked me to join in her helping the after school class. She clearly appreciated having another adult in the room (and I appreciate being useful) but also she must have valued my presence in her clasroom. 

The afternoon class was definitely a more hands-on class that wanted/required more adult attention.

Splitting the class between the two of us meant that we could work more closely with each student and give EACH one more attention than they would have received otherwise. 

This class is with older studnets and therefore they are wokring on more challenging projects and learning to work more independently.

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Fieldnotes 2/21

2 yr olds class

[She's starting a new 5 wk session with k-2nd grade this afternoon, afterschool, could use an extra pair of hands!]

This class is more about the basics, materials, less important about leaving with something finished, not as concerned with putting things together. 

last week: clay, pinch pots, tools

This week: ORANGE, possibly glaze pots at the end of class


Sl and mom C arrive (first time meeting them): drawing with crayons on orange paper. C observes and comments on what Sl is doing. Asks her questions. Can you ssee orange crayon on orange paper? You can if you press really hard. I like how you press really hard to make the colors show up!

Sl: I made a leaf! mom C: You drew a leaf!

Ms. A hands scissors to Sl, remember we tried scissors. 

Sl: a little tentative, unsure about scissors in her hand. Ms. A grabs another pair and demonstrates: "open" "close", practice cutting papers. "I did make 2!"

9:37: down to the floor, carpet squares

Sl sees pink paint on floor, "look!" she says. She gets up, sits back down, notices the pink again. "look!" She sees an ant on her carpet square.

B and gma E and S and mom B show up while were on the floor

9:45 back to table, we're going to make orange today. Yellow paint, add red to it. Kids stir it up with stick. Big piece of paper to paint on. Sl uses pieces of paper she cut earlier to paint with. Mom: "Leave it to Sl__!"

Adding water to paint

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Fieldnotes 2/7

First Day

One of the classes I'm placed in at this art center is for two year olds and a parent or guardian. 

9:15 Arrive to get oriented/help set up. Ms. A gives me a little intro to how she sets up the class. 3 students (and 2 moms, 1 grandmother, so 6 altogether). Small for this session. Usually around 10 (or 20). 

She works in 15 minute intervals, progression of materials; if kids are focused, can be longer than 15 min. If restless, shorten the time.

Ms. A works through colors: Session 1 - black and white, 2 - white add blue, 3 - yellow and circle, TODAY 4 - Red and heart. TODAY: paint --> story (Shapes), cut and glue, model magic

Kids show up "preschool time": 9:25-9:45 (class is from 9:30-11)

9:30 S and mom B show up, we'll wait until 9:40 to start. Comes in and draws on paper that set out for her.

9:42 come to the floor. Ms. A asks S: what color did we work with last time?

B and Grandma E show up

play game on floor (to practice fine motor skills) pass pom-poms around using coffee spoons

first show shapes book (circle, square, oval, triangle, star, HEART (todays shape))

9:50 back to table to paint, S is SO excited (squealing), painting with Red, free-paint, watercolor brush or stubby brush (S and B both know the names of the brushes)

1st half of ten weeks: more PROCESS than PRODUCT, getting used to materials

B: lots of faces, her and Gma holding hands

S: stubby brush, try pouring cup of paint, when she was running low

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Fieldnotes 2/8/13

On Fridays I work with a 2hr long class with 4-6 year olds. Usually, the weekly projects correspond to modern artists, but this week they worked with the Valentine's Day theme. There are 9 students in the class (8 girls and 1 boy), in the full age range. 


During this class, something that stood out to me was Ms. A's helping the kids with many of their projects.

Cut-out hearts: fold square paper, draw half of heart, cut out along line. Some kids needed/wanted more help with this process than others. Ms. A would fold and draw for many of them, I was trying to show them how to do it by example, then see if they could do it on their own. Maybe this was a little too challenging?

Much of my experience has been with slightly older children and/or in more "educational" environments (schools and a museum that was all about educating children through creative projects). But should this placement (an art center) not be as challenging as a school? It's always still a learning experience. Also, because I am working with younger children (4-6), where is the line between encouraging challenging learning experiences and helping out with things that might be too advanced for a certain age group? Especially for young childred, there are certain developmental ages that really dictate what a child is capable of doing (i.e. scissors with the 2 yr olds).

Maybe I should read up on these stages...any suggestions?

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Fieldnotes Post #1

Once a week I work at an art school in Philadelphia. I monitor a 3hr long Open Studio Figure Drawing class for Adults. Every week there is a model who poses while the students draw.

3rd session of this class


6 students

male model, looks around room, assessing his options, undresses

(drawing/sketch of model stand with black table/desk sitting on model stand)

The first student that arrived, I asked him his opinion about the high black table/desk on the model stand

I'm struggingl with what my role is in the class. What is my role as a monitor?

I am not the class instructor. When students ask, or talk to me about their art, I am eager to give advice, feedback, encouragement. But I try my best to sit back and not interfere. They signed up for a class with no instructor so I don't try to be an instructor. But its very hard not to teach. I want to teach. I try my best to let them dictate the structure of the class, the poses, the few things that I do have some control over.

Model today asked whether we should keep the black table on the stand, I had already spoken to one student about keeping it as an option/something new, different. I referred the question back to the students. (The table was already on the stand when I arrived that morning.)

10:07 - 10:27    4 5-minute poses

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