I was introduced to this idea by Dale Zalmstra. Dale's tool ring version included Elements of Art, Principle of Design, and techniques. I plan on including those on my version as well. I added the component of self-tracking and reflection. I believe that if I am giving my students choice they need to be responsible for tracking what they are doing and reflecting on their progress.
Here is how the tool rings work.
1) Artist Tool Ring Center
I created a center in my room to store supplies and each classes rings. I keep copies for the tool rings and extra rings here. The white baskets hold each classes tool rings. I like that the tool rings are smaller compared to sketchbooks. Makes it a bit easier to store.
2) Class Procedure
Usually I will set out the classes tool rings like this, so that they can find them a bit faster. I have students visit their tool ring every day. I tell them that if they are still working with the same project they just add the date to the top. If they are working on a new idea they get a new paper. Here is a 2nd Grade example below:
3) Filling Out Tool Rings
It can usually take 5-10 minutes or faster for students to fill out their plans. It does take some practice. My students are improving at it. I keep this picture on my whiteboard to help them remember how to do it. There is a video below of students working on their tool rings.
*I debated on putting Express along with Observe. We have been working with Observe this year as a class. So, I decided to leave it. I am sure that there can be many different ways to create this type of tracking.
This tool ring has a big purpose! It helps us reflect!
I decided to create a Google Forum for 3-5th grade students to fill out to reflect on their tool rings. They reflect on successful project, what they can improve, effort, what centers they used, and studio habits used. I typed comments back to them on the spreadsheet and print those. I staple them to their tool ring papers. Click the picture to go the forum.
CLICK HERE TO GET A PDF of the Tool Ring Pages
The best part is I made them so six fit on one paper.
Watch for the next post about Perspective and Space on tool rings!
k-5 Creative Design Teacher
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