The Art Room has changed into the Art Studio!
This year students will have choices about what they want to say and how they want to express it. If your child has older brothers and sisters many of the projects will look quite different this year. There will be six different media centers for your child to choose from: drawing, painting, sculpture, digital imagery, collage and fibers. Students will choose where they work based on their interests. Homework will be making sure they come to class bursting with ideas.
Why the change?
The 21st century needs skills that artists display every day. According to research the artists possess certain habits of mind: they develop craft, engage and persist, envision, express, observe, reflect, stretch and explore, and understand art worlds. In a choice-based program students can take risks with ideas in a safe environment. They learn responsibility by maintaining each media station. Collaboration happens naturally as they share stations. They practice evaluating their own work and that of their peers. Most importantly, they solve problems independently and express their own ideas.
What about grades?
Grading will also be different. Student reflection on his/her progress will become part of the grading system. Projects will still be required, but students will have more say in how they fulfill those requirements. This program allows me to tailor instruction for the gifted student, the struggling student and everyone in between. Every student works according to his/her strengths and interests.
I am excited about this change. There are ways as a parent or caregiver that you can help. To start with when a student brings home artwork instead of simply praising it ask the student to tell you about the piece. You may learn some amazing things! The second way you can help is by donating stuff to the collage and sculpture areas. Been meaning to throw out those wood scraps. Send them in. What about those half-finished craft projects? We will put them to good use. Odd scraps of wrapping paper and wallpaper? More treasures. Wire hangers, corks, straws and even worn out panty hose have their uses. I will leave a box in the office for donations or simply send them in with your child.
Feel free to contact me with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about a choice-based classroom go to teachingforartististicbehavior.org.
This is going to be an exciting year!