Wow! Spring fever is here! I am sure that most teachers have heard or used this phrase. We all know what it means!
During this special time of the year, my students seem to become scatter-brained. They run out of ideas and develop a “creative block”. (I am not saying that this is true with all my students.) It also seems that most of my classes have field trips or classroom events that interrupt the schedule. I only see my students about once every week and a half. So, I have developed a few classroom strategies to get through May. This will also allow me time to close and clean centers around the room.
Pop Up Center or Art Traps
I like to go through all my cabinet and find any leftover supplies. This will usually determine what I will use to make a “pop up center” or “art trap”. I like to find things that are not to messy for the last two weeks, so that I can still close centers and clean. Some popular centers are usually origami, bracelet making, playdough and fibers. I try to think of materials or techniques that will be new and interesting to my students, but really it depends on what I have left. I had plenty of craft sticks and toothpicks left this week. So, I got out the hot glue guns and let my students build away.
Pick 3 Charts
Last year, I developed a “Three in a Row” or "Pick 3" idea. I created charts that offered different ideas for students to explore in the art studio. Some students loved these so much that they worked to do all the squares. I tried to pick some ideas that we spend the year, so in a way it was an informal assessment. I had the students log the date they completed the art project and take a picture for Seesaw.
WHAT TO DO IF STUDENTS ARE DISENGAGED IN A TAB CLASSROOM?
I usually get this question from teachers that are transitioning to TAB. I offer these three ideas. I think that the first idea, Offer Variety, is essential in a TAB class. If students are having a difficult time connecting in class, try finding out what they are interested in and gear your centers to their interest.
Consider the options that are available in the classroom. Are there a variety of 2-D and 3-D options for students to pick from? It is important to remember every type of artist in a TAB setting. Try to offer centers that will appeal to sculptors and drawers. If your students are disengaged, I recommend trying a new center and re-evaluating centers that are currently offered.
How is seating arranged your room? You might consider some new seating options for your students. What about letting them work on the floor? I know that I love to work on the floor as an artist. Also, consider letting students that are working on clay sit with the students that are drawing. Mix up the media! Maybe just offering students a different seating choice will get their attention.
Refocus on Ideas
I find that occasionally my students need some inspiration. So, I will do a day lesson on Studio Habit of Mind: Envision. We spend some time as a class doing research or listing out different ideas. I sometimes show them images of art or ideas. It seems to help get them motivated.
Participating Art Teacher Blogs:
k-5 Creative Design Teacher
Kids Art Links