Today I was able to share the power of choice to my co-workers today. I presented with an awesome 5th grade teacher. She has been using more choice in her classroom and was excited to share her experiences. We discussed choice ratio and continuum. We looked at various strategies to introduce choice through instructions, assessment, objective, stations, etc. There are so many possibilities.
I am starting work on my second units of the year. 2nd- 5th Grade will begin work into how artists use their minds. During this time, I open the reflection center. The reflection center is a place for students to complete artists statements, add to portfolios, finish art to be displayed, etc. I have found that it is best to keep a center like this open so students can complete these activities when they are ready and independently. I usually like to keep this center close to my desk. (I am not in my classroom yet due to construction! I will post pictures of this when it is set up.)
We will also talk about using artists language- so I will have a word wall and questions about art. I will get in the Elements of Art content that need to be covered during this time.
We will also cover how to plan. I don't expect younger students to create a sketch to plan. I want them to think about next steps. So, when we cover the envisioning skill it will differ from grade-to-grade. I have my 4th & 5th grade scope and sequence for Unit 2 posted.
I work harder to create classroom structures, routines, and management.
When I was a DBAE (Discipline-Based Art Education) teacher, creating and prepping for lessons was incredibly easy. It was a recipe. I set up all the materials for my students and steps were pre-planned. The lesson objective was centered around an element of art, technique, artist, or art movement. The lesson objective was met by my students creating with only the materials provided to them. For example: If I wanted my students to know warm colors, I only left warm colors in the table boxes for them to use. Because, it was easier! Did my students truly know the difference between warm and cool colors? Nope. They knew how to follow the recipe I presented before them.
My classroom was a factory with disengaged minds.
When I made the transition to TAB I had no idea how difficult it was going to be. I remember having moments of feeling defeated. I felt that I have failed with lesson plans, classroom set-up, assessment, etc. It was being a new teacher all over again! But my students kept me going. They had a spark of excitement when they came to class. They were no longer robots moving through the motions of recreating a work of art.
I realized that I had to become an expert at teaching my students how to work in the studio. This included making routines and structures. I also learned that I had to create lesson plans that encompassed all types of artist and apply to everyone in the studio. (I found the Studio Habits are amazing for this!)