I asked my students what makes a WOW (Wonderful Original Work of Art) work of art.
I felt that if I set the criteria for WOW works of art, only my personal aesthetics and preferences would be recognized. I wanted to make sure that this doesn't happen. So, I wanted my students to create the criteria for WOW art.
As a class we looked at student work, and discussed what makes it WOW? They came up with a list of criteria. We discussed each point and came up with a final list.
The top item was UNIQUE! All the students agreed that a WOW work has to be unique. It has that a special element that you have never seen before. They also realized that a can look and mean something different for each artist. So, we added that WOW works CAN have these items.
I even have different displaying options for my students on where they want their art to be displayed. They can pick art show, displayed in school, and community show. I feel that children usually do not have a opinion in where their art is displayed. I wanted to make sure that I am honoring their decisions and feelings with their art. It is important.
Technology can be a useful tool in the TAB classroom. Generally, there are two strategies to implementing technology through blended and/or flipped learning.
Flipped learning occurs when the learning happens outside of the classroom. Students may watch videos, read material, or listen to a podcast to receive background information and knowledge before entering the classroom. This allows for more class working time. Students can spend more time creating, making, or engaging in an activity related to the learning.
Blended learning happens in the classroom. It can take learning from passive to active. The teacher will set up an interactive environment for students to be in charge of their learning. The environment should contain one element of technology to be considered blended learning.
So, how do these models work in a TAB environment?
The use of technology should not impede the students’ voice, style, and purpose for art making. The students' ideas should still be honored and recognized. Technology is meant to help guide their process.
Here are some tips and ideas:
As the new school year begins, I keep thinking about how I can refine the classroom studio. One of my concerns is how I present art experiences and opportunities to my students. I started processing this after the Colorado TAB conference in January. Julie Toole was our keynote speaker and she said, “A mirror is something like an artifact or a work of art that reflects our own culture and builds your identity in a positive way. A window is a resource that offers you a view into someone else’s experience.” This quote was the stem of countless questions that I had about my practices. I categorized these questions from into mirror and window types. I asked myself the following questions about experiences:
I asked myself the following questions about opportunities:
During the same conference, Cynthia Gaub spoke about her experiences with a student. Gaub (2019) stated “I gave him time, space, and the opportunity”. Gaub (2019) was speaking about her experiences with a student that was talented in painting landscapes. It makes me wonder how this student’s art experience would have been if Gaub (2019) did not provide him with this opportunity to develop his own style.
Art experiences and opportunities…I thought these were the foundation of the new school year. I find myself creating and focusing my lessons on the Studio Habits.
I keep asking: What can my students tell me about the Studio Habits? It occurred to me that I had it wrong. My question should be: What can the Studio Habits tell me about my students?
If I want to grow my students as artists, I need to build my relationships with them to better understand their artistic voices and styles.
I intending on making this my mission this year.