Sunday, 17 July 2016

Our Workshop Day !!!!

We arrived at Red Gates School for our workshop on a Friday.
When we arrived at Class 7 our teacher have received our lesson plan and had gathered a wide range of  materials which was really helpful she had created a box for each activity. We had a look through the boxes and found all the materials we had asked for as well as large trays to roll the balls in which saves us having to clear up the floor as much.


Before the children arrived we decided to set up as much as possible. Myself and Mia laid the two large trays on the ground before we taped a few sheets of different coloured paper on them. This was pretty much all the preparation we could do as if we brought all the paints out the children would get distracted.

When the children first came in they completed their normal routine the morning hello, when this came to a finish it was our time to step in. The children were quite hyper and were ready to get involved in a activity.


The teachers sat all the children down while we got two mini trays out of the cupboard ready to begin a demo for the children. Myself and Mia prepared a small tray with paper in an another one with paint in, we then dropped the ball in the paint tray before rolling it around on the paper in the small tray. We showed the children and let some of them have a go. By doing a demo for the children it really helped them later on when they were completing the task.

The Workshop

The teachers helped us to split the children into two groups myself and Mia worked with the separate groups to complete the workshop. We had three trays each filled with paint and we separated the different sized balls between us. In my group we got all the children to sit down around the large tray and I began by dropping and ball in paint and rolling it around the large tray. The teachers helped me to get the children involved handing them the ball and really getting the workshop going We spent a good 10 to 15 minuets helping the children to roll the balls around. Some of the children needed help holding the ball as their grip wasn't as good. The children began to print with their hands so we decided to bring in the second task Mark Making. We bought in some foam stamps and rollers which the children responded to very well they used these over the top of the marks make by rolling the ball covered in paint. A couple children watched but did not get involved as they find it difficult, I helped one boy who needs routine for everything an soon enough he got really involved in the workshop. Once we finished up with the workshop we let the children play outside while myself and Mia cleaned up. We spoke to the teacher afterwards she said that the workshop went really well and it was good to do something with the children that they had never done before. She said that it might have been easier it put the big trays up on the table but other than that the teachers thought the workshop was very successful.


Overall I thought the workshop was very successful it ran very smoothly and I feel that it was stimulating and exciting for the children, I've really enjoyed planning this workshop and getting to know and work with the children. Helping at Red Gates School I've learnt about teaching children with severe learning disabilities, and how challenging it can be, but also how rewarding it is. Planning a lesson suited to your pupils its difficult but it really benefits them in the end. I learnt a lot while doing this project and how helpful art can be for all different people.

These are the large trays with paper before the workshop.

Here is a photo of the work during the activity.

A ball covered in paint.

                                                 These were the stamps the children used.

Class 7 Workshop Plans

This is our lesson plan which we emailed to the Art Coordinator 

Activity 1 - Rolling Ball in Paint
For this activity we could tape down large sheets of paper to the floor in the classroom. We would then make up paint pots in different colours and get different sized balls so the children have a choice between what size they want to use. We will get aprons out of the cupboard. We plan for this to be a whole class activity rather than small groups but if needed we could split them up. We can play music in the background of this task as we know that they respond well to music.

Before the children do the activity, we will do a quick demo so they have an idea of what to do. As we had already prepared the classroom we could start the activity straight away. The children could drop the balls into the paint colour of their choice and then onto the paper and roll it to create different marks and combine different colours. It is all about the movement, expression and keeping them engaged with the activity. We will clean up as the children play outside/listen to music.

Materials List:
-Large sheets of paper (can be coloured).
-Paint (around 4 colours)
-Selection of different sized balls.

Activity 2 - Mark Making
For this activity we would use the box of different painting tools for the children to choose from and set up the tables so that there is two children per table with one large sheet of paper. We will put a tool basket on each table.

We will bring the paint out and we and the TAs can hold the paint and the children can use it when needed. We will guide them into creating different marks will he tools and their hands if they wish. This helps them create different marks they’ve never done before because there’s a large range of tools to choose from, as well as their own hands, that create different marks. Once again, we will clean up as the children play outside/listen to music.

Materials List:
White paper
Paint (mixture of colours)
Tool box (which is kept in the cupboard Class 7)

Finalizing Ideas / Meeting with Art Coordinator

After reviewing all the ideas myself and Mia had come up with we made our decision based on three points.

It needs to be engaging as the children loose interest very quickly.

As they are a very sensory class the activity has to be sensory based.

The art activity should be expressive and something they have never experienced before.

From observing their lessons and studding art for autistic children we came to the conclusion that marking making and ball rolling (rolling ball covered in paint ) would be the best activity's for class 7.
The next step was to bring our two ideas to the head of art at Red Gates School to see if our ideas worked well, we also discussed materials and how these activity's benefit the children.

We had a meeting with the art coordinator and presented our ideas. We talked about how we create two simple very free expressive activity's as the children are so sensory. The teacher agreed with us and really liked the fact we had taken the classes ability into account. The teacher liked the ball rolling activity as the children had never done something quite like this before. Once she gave us the all clear with out activity ideas we then went on to discuss what materials we needed. We talked about paper a mixture of paints trays and different tools for mark making and stamps.

At the end of the meeting she told us to write a lesson plan and a materials list to be emailed to her so she could send it on to the class teachers.

Observing a Second Lesson

Myself and Mia when back to the school on Friday to observe another lesson, this time we met a different teacher as they change throughout the week, it was good to see how the children interacted with a different teacher. The children had different subjects to the last time we observed them this day had a session in a sensory garden and a English lesson.


Once all the children were settled after playing they began the hello. On this particular day they had a colour and a smell to associate with that day. As it was Friday the smell they had was lavender and the colour was purple. This routine helps the children learn the days of the week by associating senses with words. They carried on with the same routine where each child had an individual hello like the last session.

Sensory Garden

After we finished the hello session we helped the teachers and TA's lead the children into the sensory garden. The sensory garden is a great place for the child to explore and feel different surfaces and textures like tarmac, AstroTurf, brick walls, chrome dome and wood foundations. Using board markers we helped the children draw the first letter of their name onto the chrome dome, some of the children really benefited from this task as it gets them to understand writing, Although some of the less able children found this difficult and lost interest quickly. The children spent a lot of time running around and touching as many surfaces as possible. Once the children found a texture they liked they spent most of the lesson feeling it. The children were given large chalk sticks which are easy to hold as they have limited grip, they used these to draw on the tarmac. The teachers created these plastic sheets which held paint between to sheets. This meant the children could move the paint and make shaped in it without actually getting covered in the paint itself.


For this lesson the children were split into two groups of four. One of the groups stayed in the classroom while the other along with myself and Mia headed of to the library. They split he children up and some were very hyper and needed to relax. The children that were hyper came to the library with two teachers myself and Mia. In the library they split the children up again so there were two children per teacher. The teachers read them stories using sensory books with lots of different textures so that the children could read and feel the textures at the same time. The also had a box with toy animals that made noises these tied into the stories.
It was very helpful to observe another lesson it really helped me to understand that the same children can react very differently depending on their mood. We found that the children were happier and move engaged on a Friday it was great to see them do different activity. Seeing how sensory the children were it has helped me understand that this we be a major factor we need to consider when planning out lesson.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Generating Ideas for Workshop

The next step if to begin thinking of what art workshops would work well with the children. Class 7 are a very sensory class therefore there ability limits them from completing complicated tasks, I have taken this into account as well as their p levels when generating ideas for Class 7.


Using paper and either chalk of graphite we could then take the paper into the sensory garden over different textures so that they children could feel them, place the paper over and using the tools create rubbings. The only issue is that not all of the children have good grip so they might find this activity challenging.

Rolling Ball in Paint 

For this activity we would tape down large sheets on paper to the floor in the classroom. We would then make up paint pots of different colours the children could drop tennis balls or ping pong balls onto the paper and roll them around creating a large piece of abstract work.


Using Red Gates collage materials we would let the children feel different textures and then they could stick them down in different shape.

Using Their Body 

For this activity the children could use their hands and feet by putting them in paint and printing onto the paper.

Teaching Children with Autism

I have taken a look at these websites to help me create a really successful workshop I want the children to have the best possible experience and be engaged with the artwork.  Looking at these websites one realised that the lessons need to be simples and engaging. The children need to have a choice of materials but not be overwhelmed by the range of materials on offer. Its very important for these children to have a short demo so they can have an idea of what to do.

The lesson should be very free and expressive and many of the children can't follow difficult instructions. Many of the children struggle with their grip so working with paint and rubbing can't be a great way to get them involved.

The workshop we create should be something brand new to stimulate the children so they can learn new skills and have new experiences.

Communicating with the Outside World

Discuss within your group and complete this sheet as an individual.

What have been the barriers to the project so far, please describe in as much detail as possible?
First of all our original placement pulled out so as a group we had to find a new placement which is now the Red Gates School.  Due to working with autistic children who also have other learning disabilities and observing their lesson it's clear that when planning a lesson we have to take into account all the children's personalities and their abilities the hardest thing will be planning their lesson as we can’t be sure if they will cooperate or how they will react to us being their new teachers for a session.  
How can you overcome these barriers, what have you done so far?
We have spend a morning with the children so they can become familiar with us, we are also planning to email and find out the children’s levels. Spending time with the children has relly helped to understand then and how they react in different situations.
What are the themes and issues surrounding your community group?
i.e: disabilities, attention constraints etc.
All the children have learning difficulties with many also being autistic, due this this our particular class are non verbal so the teachers communicate using macaton a sign language but depending on ability they don’t always respond and some get irritated by noise so their our headphones to cancel out noise they also don’t have  very long attention span they need to be constantly occupied.
How does this affect your workshop and do you need to explore further?
Our workshop needs to be engaging and very interactive as the work needs to be sensory. We need to have backups and be quick on our feet no matter how much we plan the children constantly change and so do their interests and reactions. We are going to email the teacher as she knows the childen best to see what would be the most effective as some and more physical than others.
How do you think this will shape your workshop?
The workshop with be split to the different children and will consist of mainly marking making and feeling different textures as the children really respond to it we plan to play music throughout the activity using lots of music.