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.
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.