Preparing to teach my first card class
For the final challenge of the Altenew Educator Certification Program, I will be teaching a 2 hour card class full of techniques to 4-10 people. After the class, I will be blogging about how it went but I wanted to do a post before the class to discuss building an idea, setting up for a class and figuring how to break down ideas and make them accessible to others. Please read on for how I plan on teaching this class.
The main idea
In teaching, it is best to start with the end. What do you want your students to walk away with knowing or being able to do. Recently I had been making some cards using the Altenew Watercolor Brush Markers and thought they were a convenient way of using watercolor. I then thought about my audience. Every year for over 15 years, I have been getting together with a bunch of girls and we scrapbook. I figured that this scrap retreat weekend would be a perfect time to teach a class because I would have a captive audience, people who knew me and would support my first time teaching. But how to make card making relevant for scrapbookers? Well, I figured I would teach the techniques of water coloring but instead of making card elements, we would make scrapbook elements. So the main focus of the class is for the students to learn an easier way to work with watercoloring and walk away building four elements for a scrapbook layout.
So what are you going to teach?
Lesson planning for me is a detailed outline of what I’m going to teach and in what order. I include the time it will take each segment, transitions and any specific things I have to remember to say. In this class I will be teaching four different techniques which means four transitions. As it is a two hour class, each technique has 30min for me to instruct, hand out supplies and allow students practice time. Each technique will build on the other starting with an easier technique and then using those skills for the final technique of coloring an image. The first technique is building an ombré watercolor wash. The second technique is to ombré watercolor wash over a heat embossed background to show emboss resist. The third technique is stamping with the watercolor brushes and the fourth technique is coloring in an image that has been heat embossed. Each technique uses the watercolor brush set and builds from the simple skill of using one brush to lay down color to complex of blending colors on an image or on a palette.
How are you going to teach it?
Teaching is not about you. It is about the students and what they take away from the class. Every class needs adequate time to allow students to process and understand what is being asked of them. I follow the rule - 10:2 which is 10 minutes of instruction, 2 minutes of processing. Papercrafting classes are typically about learning a new skill which means it needs to be broken down into steps and each step needs practice. For the class I will be teaching, I am teaching about watercoloring. Each 30 minutes, I will be instructing the students for about 10 minutes, then they will have 20 minutes to work on the skill and ask questions. I also pair students up so that they can ask a neighbor before asking me. This is particularly helpful in larger classes where you may not be able to check in with every single student multiple times.
During instruction, it is a good idea to have an exemplar for students to envision where you want them to go with the skill. I like to have a few different exemplars using different color schemes or ways to step up a skill. I also keep the directions short and repeat them all the time.
The class I am teaching is also allowing students to build upon the initial skill they learned so they can continue to practice and also see how to step up the skill. I would like the students to continue to develop the skills they are starting to learn after the class. I hope the class gives them a base from which they can continue to practice and improve.
How will it be provisioned?
When teaching, it is best to make sure that you have all materials that students need to use ready and in front of the students. It is hard to cut, measure, and pass out items to students during the class because this can stop the flow of the class and take time out of instruction or practice. Make sure all items students will be using are out and set up for them.
For the class I will be teaching, I have used my Cricut Explore Air to make gift bags. Inside of the gift bags will be all the materials that each student will need throughout the class to complete the scrapbook elements. On the gift bags I made tags from the Hero Arts My Monthly Hero November 2017 kit which has three gift tag dies.
Here is what is in each gift bag:
3 pieces of watercolor paper
1 palette (I made this by laminating a piece of white cardstock and cutting it down)
1 waterbrush (this is an item I am gifting to the students)
1 piece of watercolor paper with an embossed background
1 piece of watercolor paper with an embossed image
For the other items that all students need to share, there will be cups or trays that will contain those items. Stamps needed for technique 3: using watercolor markers to ink up stamps, will already be mounted to the stamping platforms. Watercolor brush markers will be in cups within reach of students so they can decide which colors to use. Other items will be in trays that will be shared by a trio of students.
Here is what students will be sharing:
Cup of water
Stamps mounted on stamp positioner
Altenew Watercolor Brush markers
Altenew Bold Alphabet Die Set
Coordinating dies to cut out images
Die Cutting machine
What if things go wrong?
The best thing to do is prepare as much as you can ahead of time. I try to teach with as little technology as possible as typically technology is going to mess up. I also bring extra set ups and extras of everything just in case. I also will have exemplars that students can take if they are unable to build their own elements.
Have a great time
Teaching is about building relationships and genuinely enjoying helping others. If you are having a good time and not stressed, your students will have a good time, too. With preparation, forethought and a bit of good luck, your class will go great. Everytime I teach, I learn something new. I am looking forward to teaching my first papercrafting class for Altenew and I hope it is the start of a new venture for me. If you have ever taught a class or have a tip or question about teaching to share, please leave a comment. Thank you so much for reading and I hope your class goes well.
Welcome to Seven's Crafts and thank you for stopping by. I am a mom, teacher and avid paper crafter. I hope these posts will leave you feeling inspired and ready to do some crafting.