Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Heart Mess

So yesterday I mentioned in this post that my week last week was not so good.  
Valentine's Day and all of it's crafts are to blame for this. 
The previous art teacher at my school had done this Valentine's Box lesson for 20+ years.  It is the most anticipated project of the year. 
The students use boxes and construction paper to create an character, animal, person, whatever their little hearts' desire.  Then they cut slots in them and use them to put Valentines in at their party. 
You can imagine the pressure I was feeling since these boxes are known for being "adorable".  If they suck this year then people are going to think that I suck.  That is what I was thinking.  Not to mention my stress that we are getting ready to spend a month on a project that meets absolutely no state standards, or any other kind of standards for that matter.  GASP!
We started this project at the end of January.  The first day was utter chaos.  I had no idea how to handle the passing out of boxes, storage of boxes, how to arrange construction paper and other materials so that it was easily accessible (I for sure wasn't letting them in my storage closet that I had just organized!), and I only had one bottle of tacky glue and two hot glue guns for 25 kids. 
Most of them were working really hard and were only a little bit driving me crazy. 
Then....I found out that the Valentine's Day parties were on Feb. 8th and NOT on Feb. 14th like I had been planning on.  PANIC!  We were no where near finished and they only had 2-3 classes left before then.  So I decided to let them come in at recess and take their boxes home if they wanted to.  This was when the real chaos started.  I thought it was chaotic before but I was completely wrong! 
They 4th and 5th grade have recess at 12:20, which is also the time that I have 1st grade.  I had 22 1st graders plus at least 15 4th and 5th graders in my room all at once.  Not to mention we were painting in 1st grade, which is already crazy on its own.  And of course I was teaching at the same time so I was not able to monitor the messes.  My room looked like a tornado EVERY day.  Then I would clean it up and the next day the exact same thing would happen. 

This is after I had cleaned up/

The area next to my desk.

The area behind my desk.
There were kids in my room at all hours of the school day.  From the moment I got there, until the moment they left. 
"Can I have some of this?" 
 "Do you have any of that?"
"I need..."
"I need..."
"I need..."
I even tried locking my door during my lunch and my plan periods so I could attempt to get some stuff done. 
Don't worry, they just knocked on the door. 
I was really worried when I left on Thursday night because the boxes that had been turned in thus far were how do you say..."not so good".  I won't even show you pictures.  Just to keep myself safe. 
Friday all of the good ones started trickling in.

And I was pretty pleased overall. 
Despite how they turned out, I am putting this lesson in a file cabinet.  In the very back.  Under a bunch of other papers. 
Adios boxes. 
See ya in 20 years.


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