Monday, October 24, 2016

Not Just Another Pretty Pumpkin

I'm in love with these sweet pumpkins... K's and 1st grade have been making them this week and I can't get over the new skills of these young Artist and the amazing creativity and individuality of each of these wonderful works of art.  But these are much more than they appear.  I have been moving closer to choice based art this year but I'm playing a balancing game.  I'm asking students to create works of art every now and then that are a little more structured.  There are many reasons for this.  It's a way for me to talk about craftsmanship.  It's also a way for me to appeal to all my stakeholders (parents, administration, and teachers) who are used to seeing 'pretty little art' come out of the art room.  Most of all this was a way to train my students on the glue choices I have available to them.

In this lesson, the kids used the glue sticks, glue sponges, and glue bottles.  I played small clips of this video and asked them to participate.  Then I would show a bit more and give them more work time. Actually, all the kids loved creating this way on this day.  Here is the video I have been playing for the kids. 

No, these aren't just another pretty pumpkin... but they are pretty cute!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

WAEA Conference Reflection

Here is a quick recap of the weekend events. I was so impressed with the WAEA conference.  There was an amazing team that put this conference together and I was so honored to be a part of it.  It's always great to network with other Art Educators. I was able to meet many people from my #PLN (Professional Learning Network) and got lots of great ideas from the presentations that I attended and the conversations that I had with the Art Teachers and vendors at the conference. Please take a look at the Google Slide below to get a good feel for some of my experiences at the 2016 WAEA Conference.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

WAEA- Flipped Classroom

I'm presenting today at the Wisconsin Art Education Conference. What an honor to be here and I'm so excited to meet and share with my #PLN!  This is an outline for the presentation. It's a living document so I will be adjusting it as conversation and questions come to me.  This will be a great after session resource for all to use in the future.

Join the conversation below by adding your 'shares' and questions to the Padlet below. 

Made with Padlet

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Careers in Art- Medical Illustrator

Here is another 'Career in Art', Medical Illustrator.  This video is the introduction to the career that my students explored for the last week.  It's been hard to keep them focused on the task at hand while entering the room.  There were so many amazing specimens displayed around my room this week. 

After the intro., I do a quick explanation of the stations.  I walk the room pointing out all the wonderful activities they have to choose from.  I also learn from the first class the expectation reminders that need to be made before the class starts to work. 

How did I get the bones?? Great question.  I put an all call out there for my staff and these are the amazing resources that came my way.  WOW!! I'm a lucky gal to have so many great Art supporters in my school. 

I provided some small magnifying glasses for the students.  They were able to examine the bones but not touch them. 

Students had the opportunity to sculpt tthe bones being observed.  They loved doing this.  I was shocked at how accurate some of their sculptures were. 

They also had the choice to draw from observation. Many of the students chose to use dark paper and a silver sharpie.  This ended up looking a little like an X-ray.  It was a cool effect. 

Some students looked at the artwork of Steven Jenkins from his book Bones.  It is a very beautiful book that I was happy I had to offer for this lesson.

In the video, you heard me talk about the rubbing plates.  I asked my husband at the middle school who has a laser printer in his classroom to burn me some plates.  You can do this for any subject matter you want.  I would love to do different bones so that students could put together their own skeleton with rubbing plates. I encouraged all students to both do the rubbing and a drawing to practice a different form of observational drawing. 

Another station was this 'throw away' item that I picked up in the staff lounge one time.  Students used an iPad to help them discover all the names of the bones in the human body.

My 3rd grade is LOVING this series!  I can't wait to continue sharing the other Careers in Art that we cover. 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Balance: Choice-Based Learning and the National Arts Standards

After posting about my 'Careers in Art' series recently (click here). I received the following comment below from Kellie Determan.  
It sounds like Kellie is exactly in the same place I found myself about two years ago. Two years ago I started watching the posts from TAB teachers and loving the concept of an Art Studio versus an Art Class.  I would offer a little choice in my class and post it to the TAB groups on Facebook.  I would get comments from teachers suggesting that what I was doing was not TAB... not even close. I was trying but I was taking baby steps... such small baby steps.  I would allow my students to choose the color of paper, or between two mediums but we would still all do the same lesson. Sometimes I would let them each choose their own subject, but make sure that they were still doing the same process. I think this is great.  It's a way to give choice in your classroom at some level.

Here is the deal... it's all TAB... check out the bold comment from the TAB website

I don't consider myself to be TAB.  I might call myself Directed Choice-based.  I'm totally seeing the benefits of choice as also suggested on the website under 'what is TAB'. One of the big ones is this approach to teaching has allowed me to be available for individual and small group teaching and support (see previous post). When I'm instructing, I teach to the masses, not the student. In this choice-based learning, I 'm available to the students as a resource. 

So back to Kellie's question, how do I explain what I'm doing to others who come into my classroom and see the 'fun' happening?

There is a structure to my class.  Yoga Calm calls it Calm>Active>Calm (see more on Yoga Calm by clicking here).  This is the format I have been using in my classroom for years.  I bring students into class and have a class meeting for the goals of the day.  We usually watch a flipped video and then they are asked to go make their choice of how they meet that goal. There is great activity in the classroom, we will end with a gallery walk, clean up, and a Bit-O-Bio so kids are back to calm again.

I have an 'I Can Statement' posted on the board... but instead of calling it a "I Can..." I call it a challenge or a goal.  The kids look at my classroom as a puzzle to be solved... I love this because it allows students to understand that there are no 'right' answers... They get to solve the problem in the way they choose for the day.

My goals given to the students are developed from the National Standards. Let's just look at the Architecture Lesson I recently posted on.  I'm doing the 'Careers in Art' series with my 3rd grade.
This whole series highlights the 'Create' standards above... Generating and organizing artistic ideas using a variety of processes and materials. These first two standards are covered with this one lesson.  I will be focusing on 'Refining and completing' in an upcoming lesson that I will have every trimester where they do a little reflection on the careers learned about thus far. So no... each standard is not met with every lesson. 
Again, present is not covered as much in this one lesson. This will be a focus for a follow-up lesson when students reflect on the process of being an architect and the other careers covered in class. 
Connecting is the main reason I'm covering 'Careers in Art' with my 3rd grade.  These broad standards are so big for my brain to wrap around.  I really focused in on the personal connections, the observation of surroundings and relating ideas and work with society.  This strand of the standards is why I have developed this whole series.  

As art teachers we tell our students that Art is all around us.  But do we show them how? So by giving students Careers in Art, they can see where, how, and who are the creators of the Art that is all around us. They can also relate that back to themselves.  A student might not feel they are an artist if they are not 'good' at drawing, or painting, or whatever is being taught in your Art classroom... If the definition of what an artist is broad, they might find a place where their skill set fits best. They will walk away from your class knowing that everyone has Artistic skills and it can be developed.  

Is this the 'right' way to reach the standard of Connecting?  It's one way. Teaching is just like a TAB room... there are so many solutions to the same problem even if our administration would often want us to be uniformed.  There MUST be fluidity to teaching in the Art Studio. 
Finally, responding.  I have the students do a 'Gallery Walk' almost every class period. This is an informal way to start the conversation of responding to art. We celebrate how we each reached an answer to the problem. There will be a separate lesson where interpreting and evaluating is the focus.  These were not the goals of this lesson at all.  

By the way, if you love this format of the National Arts Standards above, click here for the previous post of where I got this and so many more amazing resources for this year.  It's from Laura Lohmann's Art Teacher Planner.  That is a solid resource for sure! 

This is how I have found balance.  I still believe that students in elementary school are developing the building blocks to creating art.  This is why I give students a focus, allowing them to build their skills.  By 5th grade, most are actively applying their knowledge and the problem solving is much more evident in their creations.