Monday, October 14, 2013

Art Assessment

As most art teachers might agree, there is never enough time. In my classroom, I have struggled to find a way for students to share their artwork and receive feedback from other students about their work. I have also wanted to create some authentic motivation for students to complete projects in a timely manner. This year in my older grades we are experimenting with an event called a "Critique/Share Party." Students have a due date by which they must complete at least one work of art and complete an artist statement about the work. Titles, artist names, and statements were typed out and posted along with the artwork in a gallery (i.e. the stairwell). At the end of the term students came to class, received critique sheets, and wrote about the work of their peers. To complete the event we had refreshments (snacks are a big deal to kids, let me tell you...). 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Art Sharing on the World Wide Web

Sometimes the limitations of space, size, fragility of media make it difficult to display kids artwork at school. Sending artwork home with kids can also be risky. It's hard to know if it ever makes it. In a choice-based art classroom, I think that it is especially important that families support and encourage their children in their creative pursuits. This year I have decided to use a website called ARTSONIA as a way to display and share artwork with families. The teacher can take photos or make scans of work as the students complete it. I have instructed my students to complete artist statements complete with titles so that I can enter those in along with their images. Granted, this process can be very time-consuming, but so far I can see that the benefits outweigh the drawbacks as students seem excited to participate. As an added incentive, parents can purchase products with their child's artwork printed on it and 20% of the profits go back to the school in the form of gift cards. Not bad!



Thursday, September 5, 2013

My favorite part of the year is after all of the initial instructions and classroom guidelines. After they finally get the hang of the class order and my expectations of their behavior, I finally release them to their own ideas. What a joy to see the variety of interests, invented techniques, and ideas.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

We bought a zoo!

As an artist I see drawing as one of the most vital parts of my artistic process. Drawing also seems to be the hardest and most rewarding part of what I teach. For this reason I am always looking for ways to keep my students excited about it. To me, the art room seems like a pretty sterile environment when it comes to visual stimulation. The great outdoors, the clutter of a home, or new places seem like more ideal settings for discovering objects of interest for drawing. I do know, however, that children adore animals. For this reason I have invested in a set of realistic animal figurines. They still encourage the student to draw from a 3D object, but especially for the younger ones it stirs their imagination to create wonderful, inventive drawings. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Way to go, 6th grade boys!

Congratulations to the fourth semester 6th grade boys who successfully completed their 3D town sculpture! The work paid off for them when they were able to share it with the student body at the end of the year art show!

100 Color Challenge

I don't like to use up much time in class explaining things. I just don't. I would rather a mad frenzy than a bunch of yawns. I find it tricky to gets kids warmed up to the art classroom at the beginning of the year. At the grand opening of the Painting Center this year, we began work on a 100 Color Challenge. My hope is that by working with a partner in this color exploration my students will discover new ways to create colors and use these in their paintings throughout the year. So far they are having a blast!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Share Station

This is one of the new additions to my classroom this year. After continuing to refine and enhance my choice based classroom and reading up a lot more on the TAB resources, I have but together an area in the classroom for the purpose of encouraging students to share their classroom experience.

The "Share Station"

This station contains charts with lists that correspond to all the classes I teach. There is also a file that contains stickers that correspond to the centers. Students mark their progress from week to week, allowing us both to see a rough picture of their interests and work in the centers. 

There are also artist statements for students to fill out once they have completed a work. These are then attached to their piece and submitted to the teacher to be photographed and placed in the "W.O.W Student Art Gallery."

The Start of the 2013-2014 School Year: Centers Get a Makeover!

As an teacher I see the importance of arranging spaces in a way that make materials appealing and accessible. For this reason I try and make sure that I have rearranged my classroom in such a way that students can start start fresh and new. I am also a minimalist when it comes to visual in the classroom. I want my students to have as much seeing and breathing room as possible. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Never Assume...

I posted this sculpture a while ago. I had assumed that this boy had completed his work and that he was ready to move on. The next week he found his robot and proceeded to add a whole manner of embellishments. This is the joy of allowing children to take charge of their own creations; they will exceed your expectations time and again. 

Monday, May 20, 2013

More Sculptural Creations

These are some of the sculptures that students created which were showcased in the end of the year art show. 

3rd grade tent

6th grade view from a submarine

"Fancy Pagoda" 3rd rade

"Bird's Nest with Eggs" 1st grade

"Hotel in Tropical Resort" 5th grade

"Little Girl" 2nd Grade

"BFF'S" 3rd Grade

An alien creature, 3rd Grade

Friday, May 17, 2013

Art Ideas

This year I have posed a question to my students. Where do art ideas come from? I started a bulletin board where children could write an answer and tack it up for all to see. At first most of the answers were things like "my imagination," "school," "my art teacher".... I started to ask them to be more specific. Are there things in your life, your own unique experience, that would be good ideas for art projects? After they cleaned up their work at the end of class the children began to flock to the board to see how many creative sources they could come up with. It only took a few more specific comments to set the display ablaze with creative thoughts. Now things like "milkshakes," "dinosaur roars," "mermaids," and "the Empire State Building" have found their way into our art room. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Children and Series

The more that I work in the classroom, the more I realize that children naturally work in series. Working in a repetitive and experimental fashion is necessary for learning and discovery to happen. Once a students finds an activity or process that they enjoy, they have no qualms about repeating the activity in various fashions until they have mastered it. Interestingly, this behavior is also present in the processes of professional artists. It is a wonderful thing to camp out on an idea for an extended time, such as Picasso's infatuation with a single color during his blue period, or Lee Bonticou's fascination with black holes...

Under the leadership of one first grade student, three boys create a series of thumbprint and stamp drawings. The subject is, of course, aliens. The variety of forms invented by these young artists is marvelous. 

This is another small series by a 5th grade students who got her inspiration from Japanese writing she found in a book. She responded be creating works with her own made up symbols. She also requested that the three works be displayed together since she saw such an important correlation between all of them.