Friday, May 18, 2012

Fun Drawing With Little Kids (Part Two)

These funny clowns were done by Kindergarteners. I taught the lesson step by step, drawing one shape at a time with a black crayon. Ovals were traced first.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Fun Drawing With Little Kids (Part One)

Drawings by Gianni Villa ages 5 and 6

My son made these drawings when he was 5 and 6. I taught him how to draw a clown face, and he did the rest by himself by following steps in a book. It's fun to teach little kids how to draw by using simple shapes, one step at a time. Right now I am teaching Kindergarteners and 1st graders how to draw a clown face, based on my own step by step instructions, and will be posting some pictures here at my blog. My son does not draw too much anymore, he's more into baseball and piano, but I treasure these drawings he made when he was so little. They have a linear quality that is so innocent and expressive. Drawing reinforces what kids are learning about shapes, develops fine motor skills, but it also teaches kids how to express themselves through lines, color, and subject matter. It gives them a sense of accomplishment and joy.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Save Our Social Studies, Save Our Democracy!

How on earth could people be "divided" over the importance of social studies? See this article in our "newspaper" Allentown Divided Over Eliminating Social Studies There should be no debate here. Allentown School Board and administration are actually considering eliminating 6th grade social studies, and blending it in with Language Arts, so they can increase Math time, to improve test scores. Math test scores tank in middle school because kids aren't retaining what they have learned due to teaching the test and failed data driven education policies. (See FairTest for the truth about NCLB- a failed experiment on our children) Hey geniuses, let the teachers teach to their strengths, address the real problem- POVERTY, then students will succeed. A further narrowing of the curriculum is not going to help! Social studies is essential. Here's why:

Tim Slekar, professor of Education at Penn State sums it up nicely with this comment:

"Any move to diminish Social Studies and History should be viewed as an attack on democracy. These are the only subjects that specifically ask students to engage in learning that prepares you for life in a democracy. It specifically asks students to question social, civic, and economic conditions. They are the study of and should promote active citizenship. Anyone or any group that calls for limits on Social Studies and History teaching is calling for an uneducated population without the ability to question power. For those in Allentown that are "divided."  WHat in the world are you divided about?  Allentown citizens! This is an attempt to create an obedient citizenry.  Don't roll over.  Your children will remember these days.  Hopefully they will remember this time in history as the time average citizens took a courageous stand against people of power."

Social Studies is a broad subject which includes history, anthropology, archaeology, political science, law, economics, geography, world cultures, current affairs, even psychology. If we want our children to grow up to be informed, humane, and caring citizens who are active participants in a democracy, then we should never deny them exposure to the study of the social sciences. This is outrageous, and parents must speak up!! Cut the useless and expensive testing that is harming our children, not the subjects that they need most. Wake up Allentown!