Solving The Unsolvable Problem

In conjunction with my one word goal, I really have been trying to “hear” more. This includes hearing students, colleagues, and myself. In the past couple of weeks, part of this goal has included really looking closely at a problem of ours, listening to our kids, and trying to develop a solution. Overall, I think that the students have settled into the classroom routine, made gains, and are really starting to learn together. Then Day 1 happens. While we have very few transitions for the rest of the week, on Day 1’s, we have many more. Our prep schedule includes moving classrooms Period 2, and then transitioning to another room Period 5. With our Free Exploration times and Outdoor Learning time, it feels as though we are constantly moving … and I think that this is causing stress for both us and our students. Is everybody bothered by the additional transitions? No. Many students have become accustomed to them, and they just know that this is the one day where things will be a little bit different. But there are about six students that really struggle on this day. Transitions are hard for them, and additional transitions cause stress. It makes them feel dysregulated. And when children or adults feel this way, they start to act out. Maybe it’s in their words, maybe it’s in their actions, or maybe it’s in both. We can say that this is just one of life’s realities. We can expect children and adults to just “deal” with this. But maybe it’s not as easy as that … And the more I watched, the more I listened, and the more that I really heard what these students were saying, the more that I believed that something had to change.

Last Friday was a PA Day, so as my partner and I worked together in the classroom, we talked about this problem. First, we looked at the prep issue. Now it would seem as though nothing could change in this regard because the prep schedule was set, and it was, but then we wondered if the teacher delivering the prep might change locations. Instead of our students moving up the library, he could bring some books down to the classroom, and extend the learning that’s already happening there. Students could choose to gather around and listen to a story or look at some books with him. They wouldn’t have to tidy-up at 9:40, or leave their work when still immersed in it. We could eliminate one transition altogether. We spoke to the teacher, and while I think he worried if I would still get my prep (and I definitely do), he agreed to give this a try.

The second issue was our transition during Period 5. We head to the gym for an additional phys-ed class. Our students love phys-ed, but at this time of the day, many of them struggle in this loud, shared learning environment. We have come up with some different possible solutions:

  • To create more gross motor learning opportunities in the classroom during this time (and not go to the gym). Many of our students also love yoga, and we have individual mats to use, so students could do this in the classroom as well. They’ve also developed movement activities and obstacle courses that they do during the day, and we could look more at these options during this time.
  • To have a more gradual transition to the gym. The students that struggle with transitioning, could go a little earlier with one of us to help set-up. Then they could get accustomed to the environment before the other students join us.
  • To only take part of the class to the gym, and create some gross motor learning opportunities in the classroom for the other part of the class. We could let students choose the gym or the classroom, so that all of them could get that calm learning environment that they need. One of us could go with the gym group, and one of us could stay back with the classroom group. Our numbers are not too large, so this splitting option could work. 

For our first week attempting this, we decided to try the first option. It worked wonderfully! Students that needed and wanted to move, still did so, but we didn’t have to go to another area in the school. All day long, the room felt so calm.

I share this because when I first considered our Day 1 problem, I really thought that there was no solution: the kids were just going to have to adapt. The thing is, they weren’t adapting, and their actions were impacting on the learning environment of others and the feeling of “calm” for teachers and students. Looking back, I can’t help but think of this tweet that Raffi Cavoukian shared recently.

I think that I initially saw the students’ actions as “behaviour,” and so I responded accordingly. Now I’ve started to see things from their perspective, and realize how much they are struggling with the transitions. My response is different now as a result.

I’m so glad that my partner and I sat down to problem solve what seemed to be an unsolvable problem. Earlier this week, a teacher asked me if I wanted to make a change based on one — or even a handful — of students. After Friday, I can say with certainty that I do … and am so glad we did. When we change for “one” (or even “some”), all kids benefit. When these students felt calm, the environment changed, and the other students and adults felt calm as well. The learning wasn’t negatively impacted. The quality of the program wasn’t sacrificed. But now we have a real opportunity for student success.

Have you had a similar problem before? How did you respond? What impact did this have on the students? I hope that we can all share our problems and solutions. It’s great when we can learn together and solve more of those “unsolvable problems!”

Aviva

Would You Sing In The Hallways?

As a Kindergarten teacher, I’m ridiculously happy that this winter has been a mild one. Getting dressed for the outside is a long and stressful experience for many students … and I think, as a result of that, for many teachers. Today was a fairly mild day, and most students only had a coat to wear outside. Usually, as is the case during dressing and undressing times, some students are faster than others, and then there’s wait time. We get our students to sit down against the wall. This is for a couple of reasons:

  • Standing in a line can be stressful. Many problems happen in line-ups. It’s easier to not lineup until we’re ready to head outside … and then we usually just sing ourselves into a line.
  • We share the hallway with another Kindergarten class. If that class is ready to leave before us, we’re not blocking the way. The students can walk by, and then we can follow.

Students love to whisper and/or chat quietly to each other as they wait, and they were doing this today. With less winter gear though, I decided to try a little something different this afternoon. I sat down with the students, and I started by getting students to do what I did. I tapped different parts of my body, and quietly, they followed suit. This was a quiet activity, and it seemed to settle the class. Once everyone seemed calm, I quietly started to sing a rhyming song. Most of our students are still developing their rhyming skills, and music helps. The children helped me with the song and with generating different rhyming words. We only sang for 2-3 minutes, but we quickly got to review some rhymes (which aligns with our primary phonemic awareness goal). 

This experience got me thinking: are we under-utilizing our time in the hallways? How could we use this time differently? Yes, we are right next to the office, and yes, we are not the only class in the hallway. I’m not suggesting that we scream through the halls, but the students sang so quietly today, and our songs are helping the students develop their rhyming skills. Would using our hallway time differently impact on student achievement? What would you do?

Aviva

Could All Of Our Classrooms Be Innovation Centres?

Every Friday morning, I start my day by reading Doug Peterson‘s This Week In Ontario Edublogs post. This week was no exception, and I really enjoyed reading all of the included blog posts, but one in particular inspired this post of mine. In this post, Kristy Luker, an educator at the Enrichment and Innovation Centre in Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board, discusses the impact that the physical environment can have on learning. Included in her post is a link to the video (shared below), in which she gives us a guided tour of the Centre and the thinking behind the different components.

Reading Kristy’s words and watching her video leave me with many wonders. My post is definitely more about questions than answers.

  • I wonder … what makes this learning environment ideal for students identified as gifted?
  • I wonder … are there any students that struggle with this classroom model? What might their challenges be? What strategies have worked to address these challenges? 
  • I wonder … in this more specialized program, what role does the curriculum play, and does it play the same role in a regular classroom setting? What impact, if any, might this have on the teacher’s ability to be more flexible in classroom design and/or programming?
  • I wonder … what impact does the environment have on self-regulation? How do all students in the program respond to this space, and would the response be similar if a regular classroom teacher adopted a similar style? Does the age of the student matter in this regard?

Maybe my ultimate wonder is … if this physical environment and program design have such a positive impact on learning, then what ideas can we take from here to help in our classroom designs and programming? How might this vary from grade-to-grade? What might this mean for all kids? I’m left thinking. What about you?

Aviva

Contemplating Collaboration: What Made Today Different?

Today has given me a lot to think about. During our Phys-Ed period, the students were scheduled to attend a 45 minute assembly on the safe use of electricity. This is the longest assembly that our class has attended, and as I heard from everyone, they did an outstanding job of sitting and listening. That’s a lot of sitting time though. We knew that after so much sitting, the children would need a chance to move around and get some fresh air. This weekend, we made some outdoor learning plans, but the temperature warmed up today, and all of the snow started to melt. We had to change our plansWe decided to bring out some new sidewalk chalk and encourage the children to create using this tool. They love to draw, and are taking a recent interest in writing, so we thought that they might like a different canvas for their drawing and writing. I went out on my prep today and did some experimenting on the blacktop: the chalk worked well on the wet and dry areas. Perfect! There were all kinds of possibilities. This is when our students surprised me.

Initially, the exploration began as I anticipated. Some students drew. Some wrote. One student suggested to another one that she trace her body, and this led to much interest in body tracing and drawing people on the sidewalk.

CZlfa9vWAAYEJoBBut then, students drew somewhere that I didn’t expect. Near the front gate of the playground, we have a pile of snow and ice that’s starting to melt. Last week, the students loved to crawl on the big pile. They tried to stand up. They felt down. They worked on balancing themselves. They decided to crawl around on their knees. A couple of students with shovels, even tried to hit the ice to break it up. The students were fascinated by this pile. With the warm weather, the pile of snow and ice has shrunk significantly, but one student in our class was drawn to it. He took a piece of chalk and started drawing on it. Pretty soon, other students joined him. At one point, about ten students surrounded this pile, drawing different lines and designs. They saw me taking photographs of their work, and they loved looking at the pictures and seeing the impact that the sun had on the colours. When the snowy ice pile looked like a colourful rainbow, one JK student in our class said, “Can we jump on it?” And that’s exactly what they did.

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While in retrospect, I wish that I stayed quiet longer and listened to more of their conversations, it was actually my partner’s comment that inspired tonight’s blog post. She spoke about the “spontaneous” learning. For all of our planning, it was the unplanned results that were most spectacular.

What’s incredible about what happened today, is that for months, my partner and I have been looking at ways to help the children collaborate more. Many of them are still focused on “me,” and when it comes to creating artwork, their most frequent question is, “Can I take it home?” We wanted our students to see the value in working together to make something that is not just for one person, but can be shared and enjoyed by many. This is what inspired our collaborative art piece at the beginning of January. While the students worked together for this project, they didn’t initiate their own collaborative piece until today.

  • Maybe today was different because their canvas was a piece of snow and ice. They knew that they couldn’t take it home.
  • Maybe today was different because the art unfolded organically. We weren’t involved, so the students could really take ownership over their work.
  • Maybe today was different because the children could contribute to the project in different ways. While some students drew on the snow, others jumped on it, and others did both. Everybody had an entry point. 

Seeing what happened today, I wonder what could happen in the future. 

  • Maybe we need to explore more natural mediums.
  • Maybe we need to take more art learning outside.
  • Maybe we need to “let go”: providing more blank canvases, stepping back, and seeing what happens.

What do you think made today different? How might we create the conditions for future collaborative learning opportunities? When amazing happens, we want it to happen again.

Aviva

Colouring: Taking A Risk And Seeing The Benefits

At the beginning of the month, I wrote a blog post contemplating the use of colouring in the classroom. This post led to a couple of interesting things. I had some wonderful conversations through my blog post and through Twitter with Lori St. Amand: a Grade 1 teacher in our Board. Lori decided to give colouring as an option to her Grade 1’s to help them get their “brains ready to learn.” She noticed some benefits when she did so, as she shared in her blog post hereHmmm … is this something that I would also be willing to try? I then read this blog post by Doug Peterson. He commented on my initial post and mentioned that maybe I was being too hard on colouring. It was during this time that I spoke to my teaching partner, and while we were both skeptical, we decided to get some colouring books, and put them in the Cozy Corner to see what happened. What happened was actually quite remarkable.

For the first couple of days, nobody even looked at the colouring books. We put them in the middle of the area. At one point, we even laid them out, but they just stayed there. Then one day, at the end of a nutrition break time, my teaching partner noticed that the students seemed very up-regulated, and she went into the Cozy Corner and pulled out some of the colouring books. Students saw her exploring them, and they also wanted to do so. Pretty soon, I came back from duty, and over half of the students in the class were colouring. This didn’t last for long, but for the students that chose to colour, it helped them calm down. Since then, there are usually only 3-5 students that choose to colour during the day. While we thought that students might like this option at the beginning of the day to get their “brains ready to learn” (as Lori noted in her post), we actually noticed that colouring is more popular in the middle or later on in the day. The students that choose it are usually more up-regulated, and they colour to calm down. They can’t always express this to us, but we’re trying to help them label what they feel. One student actually brought in a colouring book from home, and when he feels really up-regulated, he gets the book, colours for a few minutes, puts it away, and re-joins his peers. Sometimes he asks a friend to colour with him, and this provides an opportunity to socialize while also calming down.

Many of our students never colour. Even those that do, don’t do so at the expense of Art. They still engage in Visual Arts opportunities where they experiment with the elements of design and create artworks. Despite all of our reservations, in the end, colouring turned out not to be a problem, and in fact, to benefit some students that needed a different way to self-regulate. It’s strange to think of allowing colouring as “taking a risk,” but based on our beliefs, it really was that. This experience has been a good example for me that sometimes we have to try things that scare us because they could be best for our students — a few, some, or allWhat scares you? How might you give it a try? Maybe we all need to consider some risk-taking opportunities.

Aviva

Looking At Classroom Management Through A Self-Regulation Lens

Sixteen years ago, I was in the Faculty of Education and doing some of my first teaching placements. In each of my placements, I still remember the importance placed on “classroom management.” What did a well-managed class look like and sound like?

  • Everyone looked at and listened to the teacher.
  • All students sat properly and quietly on the carpet.
  • Nobody spoke out.
  • The volume in the classroom was never too loud.
  • Children never wiggled in their spot or moved off of the carpet without permission.
  • When the teacher gave an instruction, it was always followed right away.

I always tried to have strong classroom management skills. I heard that many first year teachers struggle with classroom management (I’ve been involved in the New Teacher Induction Program (Mentorship) for many years, and I still hear that), and I was determined not to be one of those teachers. I’m not so sure that I met that goal, but I definitely improved in classroom management over the years.

Then, in the past couple of years, I started learning more about self-regulation. I read Stuart Shanker‘s book and Ross Greene‘s book, and this new learning eventually led to me taking the Foundations Self-Regulation Course through The Mehrit Centre. I just started Foundations 2. These courses are making me think differently about classroom management.

I am not suggesting that a classroom should be chaotic. In fact, I believe strongly in the benefits of a calm learning environment, but I think that how students get to that calm level may vary child to child. For example, in the past month or so, I notice that as we regroup on the carpet at the end of the day, one of my students often gets up, walks away from the full group, and goes to sit on a chair in our Book Nook. He quietly flips through a book or two, and then joins the full class as we get packed up for home. The first time that this child moved away from the full group, I told him to come back to the carpet. The second time, I did so again. But the third time, I let him stay. I watched him. He’ll often join in with our songs and phonemic awareness games, but he does so with a book in his hand. He can’t quite tell you yet that he’s self-regulating, but this is exactly what he’s doing.

There is another child that comes in every morning, and often starts her day at our Free Flow Snack Table. She spends a long time there. She opens up many of her containers, eats some of the food, has a big drink, and talks quietly with the students that sit down. Usually then, after about 30 minutes, she packs up, walks away, and finds a place to learn. For a long time, I tried to get her to clean up earlier. I encouraged her not to open her entire lunch. I even tried to get her to avoid the snack table in the morning, with the hope that she would join a group sooner. But just like in my first example, I think that this snack table time is actually an opportunity for her to self-regulate. She comes in, almost every morning, very down-regulated. The food gives her energy. The small group discussions also help. She’s getting herself ready to learn.

My classroom management learning from the past has me doing a lot of thinking recently.

  • In a “well-managed class,” would a child leave the carpet area, without permission, and make another choice?
  • In a “well-managed class,” would a child continue to sit there and eat if the teacher asked her to pack up long ago?
  • What about in a self-regulated class? What would happen then? 

There is a part of me that wonders what educators and administrators would think if they came into our classroom. Would they understand? Would they support these kinds of decisions? I wonder though, as we gain a new understanding of self-regulation, do we need to start shifting our thinking? What might this shift look like? As an educator, administrator, and/or parent, how do you feel about this kind of shift? Let’s start this very important discussion.

Aviva

I Thought I Knew, But Now I Don’t. What Counts As A Shape?

On Wednesday, I saw a tweet from Santina Fantetti: a Kindergarten teacher with the Toronto Catholic District School Board. At the time, the tweet seemed like a straightforward question to me: is a piece of paper 2-D or 3-D? I was staring at some photocopy paper at the time, and it certainly seemed flat to me, so I was sure that it was two-dimensional. Little did I know that I had a lot of learning to do. Between the time that Santina sent the tweet on Wednesday until late in the day yesterday, the Twitter conversation kept going (as you can see in the Storify Story below).

These past couple of days, I’ve realized what this discussion really means.

  • If you can’t hold something that’s 2-D, then what does this mean in terms of manipulatives?
  • I like to think of math in terms of real world applications (thanks to one of my previous vice principals, Kristi Keery-Bishop). What are the real world applications then for shapes? I’m thinking of Visual Arts, blueprints, and maps, but is there anything else?
  • For many reasons, I struggle with the value of worksheets. Seeing the connection between “shapes” and “paper,” I wonder if a worksheet will become even more tempting as the best way to teach this concept. How can we move beyond the worksheet and make this learning more concrete for students that need it?
  • I look now at the Ontario Curriculum expectations for Geometry and Spatial Sense. In numerous grades, the specific expectations discuss using “concrete materials” to sort and classify shapes. What would these concrete materials be, if shapes technically can’t be held? Is our curriculum in line with the mathematical definition?
  • Anamaria Ralph‘s comment about 3-D solids and exploring faces, made me wonder if we really should be teaching 2-D shapes in the context of 3-D solids. Then we can use manipulatives while also exploring the concept of 2-D. What do you think?

Days later, I continue to think that I owe many students an apology. In my fifteenth year of teaching, I’m gaining a new understanding of 2-D versus 3-D. For years, I’ve told students that two-dimensional shapes are “flat?” Now I’ve found out that I’m wrong. But what are they then? How would we define them for our youngest to our oldest learners? This multi-day discussion proves to me that we really are life-long learners. What have you learned this week? How will this learning impact on your practices? Let’s celebrate some new learning together!

Aviva

What if your homework was to make a snow angel?

When I come home from school, one of the first things that I usually do is finish writing our Daily Shoot Blog Posts. After our snowfall today though, I decided to shovel the driveway first. I’m glad that I did. As I was outside shovelling, I realized how much fun it was to be out in the snow. I kept thinking about the fantastic time that our students had outside today … and even though they were playing, they were also learning.

Thanks to our School Climate Consultant, Aaron Puley, we always include an extension activity at the end of our daily blog posts. Usually this is an open-ended activity that aligns with the learning from the day. Many students today loved creating with various classroom materials, so initially, our extension was going to align with that. Then I thought of the snow.

Today was one of our first big snowfalls of the year. The fluffy, light snow is perfect for shovelling, fun to create with, and calling for some snow angels. I must say that I resisted the urge — just barely — to lie down and make my own snow angel outside today. :) How could our nightly learning extension not involve the snow? This is when I wrote this:

Enjoy the snow tonight by going outside to play together. Children can create snow structures (Science), count piles of snow that they make (Math), or even try making letters, numbers, shapes, words, or various objects in the snow (Math and Language). Even try singing and making music as you move together through the snow. Building together is a great way to develop oral language and gross motor skills. Being outside and moving also helps students with self-regulation! Children are welcome to talk to their friends tomorrow about the different things that they did in the snow.

I can’t help but think about some conversations that I’ve had in the past about homework.

  • Does homework need to be a pencil/paper task?
  • How can we make homework open-ended enough to meet the needs of all of our learners?
  • If all subject areas are important, how are we including subjects like Phys-Ed and The Arts in homework suggestions?

While our at-home learning extension is not required homework, I still think about my answers to these questions as I determine this nightly activity. How would you answer these questions? What impact does this have on your home learning options? When it comes to homework, I see the potential to engage parents in the learning process. How do you do this? I’d love to know!

Aviva – Happy to spend a little extra time outside tonight! :)

Contemplating Equity: Seeking Advice For When Others Want A Chair Too

The other night, I had a very interesting Twitter conversation with Lori St. Amand: a Grade 1 teacher in our Board. Lori contributed to the discussion on my last blog post about colouring, and then, decided to make a change in her classroom: providing colouring pages to students that expressed that this might help make their “brains and bodies ready to learn.” As we were discussing this change, we got to the problem of students that started changing their minds because of what others were doing. Our conversation began to link what Lori noticed about her students (this time in regards to the desire for fidget toys) to how adults might react in similar situations.

As our conversation evolved, I thought about how I’ve taught students about “equity” in the past. I always explain that I give everybody what he/she needs in order to succeed. We’ve talked about how these needs may be different, so what’s required may also be different. This makes sense to me.

But then I started to think about times in the past, that as an adult, I’ve felt left out.

  • Maybe others got to attend a conference, inservice, or school visit that I wanted to attend.
  • Maybe others have received a tool for their classroom that I also wanted to receive.
  • Maybe others received a note of thanks or a showing of appreciation that I also hoped to get.

I can usually rationalize why things may have been different, but there’s still a part of me that may feel hurt, angry, upset, and/or jealous. And if I’m an adult feeling this way, how does a four-year-old feel?

This week, I’ve spent a lot of time watching, listening, and “hearing” our students. While we really don’t teach lessons to the full class on the carpet, during transitional times, we often regroup as a class over at the carpet and sing some rhyming or counting songs or play some quick phonemic awareness games. This is only for a couple of minutes, and the students gradually join the group as they complete their play and finish tidying up. A couple of students really struggle with sitting on the carpet, but are successful when sitting on a chair. They pull a chair up to the carpet in order to join the group. Since returning from the holidays, my partner and I noticed more students choosing chair options. At one point on Friday, there were about eight students surrounding the carpet on their chairs.

  • They weren’t causing problems.
  • They were participating.
  • But they don’t all need chairs … or do they?

Does it matter how many students are sitting on chairs? If they’re still participating, do I need to tell them to move? These other students that have chosen chairs have expressed a desire to “sit the way their friends are sitting.” I’m trying to see things from the student’s perspective. If I saw my friends sitting on a chair — a far more comfortable option than the carpet — would I also want one? Now replace the phrase “sitting on chairs” with …

  • writing using computers or tablets.
  • choosing an alternative seating option.
  • listening to music while working.
  • using assistive technology.
  • colouring in order to calm down.

These are often options that only tend to be offered to some students. Experience has shown me though that often what works for our neediest students, may benefit a lot more people than that. As educators though, what do we do? Do we stand by our decision to say, “no?” Do we evaluate on a case-by-case basis? Do we see what happens and then make changes as needed? Life isn’t always fair, but could it be more fair? Are we the ones that could make it that way, and if so, how? During transitional times this week, I’ve stood on the carpet, watched the students, and wondered, what should I say? What should I do? Am I making the right choice? I’m hoping you can help.

Aviva

Who Is Colouring For?

I always start off my day reading through tweets, blog posts, and newspaper articles while enjoying a morning coffee or two. This morning, I happened to catch this tweet from fellow educator, Doug Peterson.

I’ll admit that when I saw the title of this post, I thought back to a Staff Meeting that I had at my last school. In the meeting, our principal, Paul, talked about colouring. He specifically spoke about colouring in maps — the bane of my elementary school existence — and the value in doing so. He got all of us thinking about richer learning opportunities beyond colouring … and I’m grateful for this.

In the last few years, I’ve had a “colouring awakening.” Have I had students colour before? Yes. I’ll admit that it was usually a time filler. For example, the student would cut out the coins for the math worksheet, and then colour them in. An activity that could take two minutes could now stretch to 15 or 20 quiet minutes. Quiet can be a wonderful thing. But Paul’s Staff Meeting conversation and my evolving learning has made me start to question this kind of colouring. Why not create a store and let students purchase items with toy coins? What not photograph student work and/or record student thinking versus filling in a worksheet? What’s the reason that students are cutting out and colouring in coins, and do they really need to do this to show what they know? Does a worksheet meet everybody’s needs, and what might be a better option?

Now while I stand by and believe everything that I’ve shared so far, I’ve also been doing a lot of reading, thinking, and conversing about self-regulation in the past three years. This article is not suggesting that colouring helps develop fine motor skills or artistic abilities, but instead, looks at the benefits for self-regulation. Colouring calms some people. It calms some adults as well as students, which Laurel Fynes alluded to in her tweet this morning. This is likely the reason that I always found colouring to be a “quiet activity,” as for those that it benefits, it’s probably helping them self-regulate.

This was never my colouring experience. I couldn’t stay in the lines — ever. I had more maps and worksheets thrown out by my teachers because they were never good enough, and just the thought of colouring now, causes me stress. I think though of a Kindergarten student of mine. Yesterday, she came back from the holiday break, and when she walked in the room, she saw a table of empty water bottles and two bins full of Sharpie markers. Our class was inspired by Darla Myers and the chandelier that her class made out of recycled water bottles. They wanted to use our empty water bottles in a similar way.

Screenshot 2016-01-05 at 20.09.43

This student went over right away to the table, sat down, and focused intently as she coloured the bottles. She used various colours. She tried going around in a circle as well as up and down. She was calm and quiet, and this is a student that often appears up-regulated. During the day, when she was feeling stressed, I noticed her go back to this table and colour another bottle or two. It calmed her down. 

This wasn’t a colouring page, and students were encouraged to experiment with different types of lines and designs, as well as create patterns, but in many ways, it was just colouring. For this child though, it was a fantastic option for self-regulation. Did it work for everybody? No. But I think that Peter McAsh has the best response to that.

Screenshot 2016-01-05 at 20.18.57

Maybe with colouring, we just have to stop pretending that it’s Art, and instead, explore its potential for self-regulation. Maybe those students that need it most will choose a colouring option when they need it, and for others, it doesn’t have to happen at all. What do you think? Am I being too hard on “colouring,” or is it just a matter of re-purposing it to maybe meet a different need than I intended to meet many years ago? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Aviva