I'm presenting this weekend at the Colorado TAB conference at Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design. I usually get asked to talk about TAB with younger students. I LOVE my kinders! I created a guide on how to start TAB with Kinder and 1st grade. I am working on more unit guides that look like this to share.
A few tips that I want to point out, I always recommend to anyone who needs more ideas or management support to go observe a preschool teacher. Preschool teachers are masters at running centers. I taught preschool for a year and have some education with early childhood. It really helped with my transition to TAB. There are very similar philosophies and ideas like Reggio Emilia.
My schools ask to show what standard I am focusing on for the day. I try to write my plans and guides with a focus.This guide focuses on the creating standard but I know there are other standards tied in. If you are not in Colorado, our standards are pretty close to the national standards. I know that when they rewrote the national standards they used ours as a guide. I did put a note for the anchor standard.
I included a book list with idea on how to tie into the curriculum. I almost always use "Giraffes can't Dance" as a first day book. I talk about how we are all going to learn something new together and to be helpful to each other. It sets a good tone.
I even put some of my phrases that I use with the kids. It's good to know a few of those as an elementary teacher.
Share ideas with me, if you are looking for something specific. This is a how to get started and beginning of the year guide.
Get the guide on the Curriculum Page.
Opening a sculpture center with primary grades is probably one of my favorite parts of the year. It’s amazing to see my students’ imagination and creativity with sculpture.
I have a rule that minimal is best with elementary. That is why I keep a very small sculpture center. I also like that the box can easily be transported. I love the marker and colored pencil classroom set boxes. I spray paint them and reuse in my centers.
Here is a list of my usual sculpture center supplies:
I teach kindergarten and 1st grade a few basic attachments using the item in my attachment box. Developing artists have a difficult time understanding how to make items stand. I focus on giving items “feet” or using no glue. I teach them stitching, tabs, zip ties, and using the hole punchers.
Attachment Box Supplies:
I want my younger students to understand why sculpture is different from other centers. We discuss three-dimensional verses two-dimensional art. We also talk about how clay can be sculpture too. I found this awesome “Sesame Street: Word on the Street Video”. My students loved it.
INFUSE TECHNIQUES IN THE TAB CLASSROOM
“So, you don’t teach techniques or skills?” “There is no demonstration in your lesson plans.” I have heard this quiet a bit from other art educators. It’s not that I abandon skills and technique, but rather that I have a different perspective about them. I feel that techniques are infused throughout the room and process, but do not sit at the why or purpose of art making.
"Techniques are infused throughout the room and process, but do not sit at the why or purpose of art making."
“Develop Craft Days”: I teach techniques of “Develop Craft Days”. I pick a few techniques at a center and demonstrate those at the beginning of class. I try to pick something that my students need extra help on or maybe it’s a new material in the center. I don’t like the boot camp idea for elementary students because it can be lengthy. I don’t get to see my students that often. (Do what works best for your students!)
Artists teaching and observing other artists: The art studio is a place to learn from each other. I have learned some amazing techniques and skills through my students. For example, I have had students show up with new origami folding techniques they discovered. This student gave a demonstration to a small group of students. I believe that we tend to forget that art is universal. I shouldn’t be the only person in the class giving all the demonstrates.
Techniques can be personalized: I believe that students should refine techniques with mediums they are interested in. I know what materials I love as an artist, so I continue to develop with those. I should let my students do the same. I am there to guide and facilitate for them. This will allow my students to find their style and interest.
Techniques are meant to be discovered: There are plenty of artist that use materials unconventionally. I feel like I see new techniques all the time on social media. A recent example was, Amy Shackleton, that uses gravity to paint. This is one of the reasons I let my students experiment. I had a student create a clay pot by using different extruder shapes this year. I didn’t teach him this technique. He discovered it! Allowing students to discover techniques is part of the creative process.
What is your perspective on techniques?
I hope you check out my new curriculum page. I have been working on a few projects for this part of the website. I have these fabulous one page guides on implementing the Studio Habits of Mind. They will give you quick ideas on how to use that habit in the classroom for k-5. I do think that these would work for any age, but I try to include what is grade level appropriate for younger children. I am also creating a standards made simple section. This is a spot for the standards explained and made easy!
After two years of hard work, I have my Masters Degree in Art Education. I was relieved and happy to see this message from my professor. My thesis work was implementing technology in a TAB classroom.
Here is the deal. I am going to be focusing on curriculum development for TAB.
The first unit currently in the works. I plan to have everything aligned to National Visual Art and Colorado Standards. Every crucial part to building a lesson and instruction will be a part of this curriculum too!
I have posted my next few units under the curriculum TAB. These units work for any grade. Check it out!
I have been making flip rings of the Studio Habits for my students. These are the lifeline of my class. I have been using this method for years with my students. I even used it when I taught middle school, and had great success. I have created two rings for my elementary kids 2nd-5th. One ring is used for reflection. So, to write artist statements, assessments or quick checks. The objective rings are for setting goals and personal objectives. Yep! Students writing their own objectives. I have had students doing that for some years. It works great aligned with the habits. Plus, their reflections seem better when they set goals.
Here is my video. Don't mind my boys in the background!
Remember I have been working with habits for over three years with my students. I stress that this is the culture in my classroom. My students and I model, discuss, practice and point out habits everyday. It is a common language. I have the students create the description and symbols for each habit. This is not something that I just give to them.
I shared copies below. We are starting Express this week, so I will soon add it to the Google slides.
It's almost Halloween! I was noticing all of the glow sticks on sale at the store, so I decided to do some light painting with my students. I bought the app "Slow Shutter" for $2.00. It was well worth the purchase. The settings were fairly easy to use with some practice. I just showed the kids how to turn up the light sensitivity and blur adjustments. My plan is to have them practice in my room, and then we will go to the gym on an overcast day to light paint with the Sphero. I haven't had the students save their images yet. I will share when I do, but they loved this project.
I showed them this video to get them excited about it.
My school has school wide rules. They are be respectful, responsible, and safe. This year we added two additional rules of be kind and a learner. I saw Tricia Fugelstad's lesson "How to be kind". I knew I had a prefect integration opportunity. I had 1st & 2nd graders do this project to introduce them to the green screen.
I explained that we were creating hearts for the green screen. One boy said, "So, we are cutting them out for our video". Using the green screen is really like magic to them! Here are two results for this project.
I had students draw their own hearts. I encouraged them to be creative with their designs. I helped them use the Do Ink Green Screen app to get their images on the screen for the video.
We used the Do Ink Animation App for the animated hearts. It was really easy for the kids to do.
k-5 Creative Design Teacher
Quotes from students about TAB
Kids Art Links