Tuesday, June 7, 2011


I've had a blast working with these kids in Arts & Crafts the past six days. Today, in many ways, I felt I hit my stride.

The girls came today, and outside we had the station where they worked on painting their major project. Inside, though, I had stations for pom pom creatures, legos, beads, draw your favorite counselor, and face paint, which my junior counselor and I did.

What was neat about this is that a lot of my education training came into play. For starters, the room was set up in stations, but more than that - there was a lot of choice involved in what campers could do. There was no defined product at any station - they weren't copying things so that each product looked the same - they could go with it any way they wanted to. Counselor help was where it needed to be - with the stations that required assistance. I set boundaries - no more than four at face painting at a time, and also a clear awareness from the beginning that there was no way we could paint all faces, that they would have to prioritize what was most important to them; and finally, I positioned myself so I could keep an eye on everything at once.

From a teaching perspective - I had:
Self Direction
Engaged workers

From a camper perspective, they had fun. The sound of arts and crafts was happy, with quiet talking between campers, and at no time was the chaos anything other than controlled. It was awesome.

A friend/former student of mine commented that she just couldn't see me doing face painting, plus all the crafty things I've got going on. I told her to reframe it - to think of how I often structured classes for them, and encouraged them in their teaching. If she could do that, then she could picture it.

This experience really is good for me - it's a different setting, certainly, but in many ways it's giving me a chance to practice what I preach. I like that.

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