Thursday, August 28, 2014

Kindergarten Colors, Color Mixing and Procedures

Kindergarten is a busy group, but so much fun! There is so much to learn the first few weeks of school! As a mommy of 4, I can see my own children settling into their school routines and getting comfortable.  In the art studio, our new friends are learning a lot.  We began the year with modeling clay and working on Ceramics Studio, where we focus on building coils (snakes) and working with our hands. We had tons of long coils!

Now we are talking about primary colors, secondary colors and even tertiary colors!  We focused on the book White Rabbit's Color Book.  A sweet story of a curious little rabbit that jumps into bowls of paint. It opened discussion for color mixing! Each child was given three pieces of clay, red, yellow and blue. It is so great to see the children explore with the clay and see what their experiments of colors created. The sounds in the room were magnificent with "I got green", "look at my purple",  "I made brown!"

We experimented with a little bit of blue, and a lot of yellow, then a lot of yellow and a little blue, then even amounts and saw that all made different shades of GREEN! After the students achieved one piece of green, orange and purple, they were free to create whatever they wanted. Many children were hard at work, excited about their discoveries and diligently creating. I LOVE seeing children create.  These kindergarten hands amaze me!

Drawing Studio Skill Sets and Skill Builders

Grades 1-5 have been working on Drawing skills. Each mini studio in Choice Art has a checklist of skills we call Skill Builders. Some skills are simple, such as getting into the habit of putting your name on your work, and others are how to use tools. Specifically we have been working on creating value with hatching, cross hatching, scumbling, and stippling. In the process, we have looked at many samples and artist's work from Rembrandt and Seurat.  Skill set handouts remain in the student's portfolios that are organized in the studio.  Portfolios will document your child's growth as an artist and demonstrate mastery of our skill builders. If you want to see your child's progress, please come visit!
2nd grade Value Scale Skill handout

All class portfolios are easily accessible and organized.  Each child has their own hanging file folder with hand drawn self portrait on the cover. At the end of the year we will draw another self portrait and compare the two to compare, contrast and observe growth in our skills.

Monitoring Artist Behaiors with Class Dojo!

In the art studio, as we transition to Choice Art... we will be monitoring student behaviors using ClassDojo! It is an online tool that gives students points for positive behaviors.  Points may be deducted for negative behaviors.  It is a fun tool that engages the students and keeps them aware of their actions in art.

We will build our token economy together with awards like sitting at Mrs. Lynn's table, using teacher's supplies, extra time in the studio, coming in at recess, lunch with the teacher. Parents can check in to see how their child is doing by emailing me and requesting an invite to view their child's dojo points.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

What to Look for This School Year! Transition to Choice Art in WB's Studio

Welcome Back Wildcats! I hope everyone had a great summer break! I have been researching and working on how we will transition to Choice Art this school year! The concept is from the book, "Engaging Learners Through Artmaking" and is also known as TAB or Teaching Artistic Behaviors.  This approach to teaching art is near and dear to my heart. When reflecting on how my own children learn at home and create; I don't instruct them how to make a snowman, but I do teach them how to make a circle discussing shape and form. 

The school year will begin with lessons that focus on skill sets and art processes, preparing us for Choice Art.  Grades 1-5 will transition into Choice Art later in the year, and the focus will no longer be on projects. Students will create art based on the studios they select and goals they create for themselves. Focus is placed on thinking like an artist. The art studio will be divided into 4 studio centers… We will begin with painting, drawing, collage and sculpture.  More centers will be added as we become comfortable with Choice, such as fiber arts and printmaking. TAB fosters differentiation, student responsibility, problem finding/solving, self-reflection and assessment, goal setting, ownership, and engages the students with what they are excited about!  What resonated with me most, was the mental image of a classroom filled with 8 year old versions of painter Monet, architect Frank Lloyd Wright, photographer Ansel Adams, sculptor Rodin and a young Marie Curie, Steve Jobs, and Maya Angelou!  What single lesson could I deliver that would meet the needs of these varied creative learners?

This year we will display students working in the studio, mastering our skill sets.  Time will develop art pieces that are representative of our students√≠ personal aesthetics.  I can't wait to see what our WB children create!

Learn more about TAB here or check out the organization's page here.