The buzz in the classroom during lesson 8 is almost tangible as the children prepare to set up for their “Mini Exhibition”.
Children are all at different stages. All have finished creating their piece of “Art” to express an idea, experience, emotion or their culture. Some are writing their artist’s statement, two are drawing a plan of where the children would like position themselves tomorrow.Two boys would like to laminate some of their thinking and the girls are moving desks and looking for book stands to prop up their pieces.
The sense of excitement mounts as children come to ask me to sit with them to expand their ideas, edit their statements and discuss final thoughts.
Then, Sally comes to me with tears in her eyes. Her anthology of poetry “is gone”. She is distraught. It is a collection of poems that she has found that she loves, some that she has written on her own and a couple that collaborated with peers to write. Each one was hand picked and not all are saved. Her artist’s statement took a great deal of thought. She described why she chose each piece. Suddenly, Tom and Ella call her. “Come, Sally, we will help you”. Off they go and a few minutes later, Sally is beaming, ready to claim her spot to exhibit her piece.
Daniel, who has located two You Tube clips that display amazing creativity that he wants to share comes to me. He is ready to move on. AT the same time, Allan (who has decided he no longer wishes to co-operate with his aide idles out of the room). I ask Daniel how he would feel about helping Allan think about the content of his artist’s statement. He readily agrees and Allan is ecstatic to have the input from his peer. Allan’s aide is drawn in to to chat with Darren about his artist statement. The camaraderie in the room is bouncing off every wall. No one is alone. Everyone is busy with something that they feel is important.
The exhibition will be the culmination of an amazing unit. It will be the smallest part of the children’s learning – about creative expression, collaboration, self motivation
and reaching their goals.
The next unit glimmers in the horizon. Monday is the start of a new week.