All the questions about " Teaching for Artistic Behavior: Choice-Based Art " that have been answered are listed below. To search for specific questions, enter one or more search terms.
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Are there any curriculum based and or developed around art for the younger child say 3yrs to 6 yrs old?
Expert's keyword(s) : early childhoodAnswer : Perhaps the best-known early childhood program using high quality authentic experiences and art making is The Reggio Emilia Approach from Italy. I found a page with numerous resources that you might wish to explore. As I am not a preschool practitioner, you might find better information there than you would from me.
You can find a long list of resources at http://www.emtech.net/reggio.htm
Some of my undergraduate students at Stonehill College recommended THE ART OF TEACHING ART TO CHILDREN IN SCHOOL AND AT HOME by Nancy Beal (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) It is available at Amazon.com in paperback.
In any education for young or old the opportunity to play and experiment and to import personal imagination and interests is key.
I hope this helps!
Answered by :
I will be setting up my room for choice in a couple of weeks. I am concerned about discipline problems and just general difficulties with my middle schoolers who may not be motivated...
Expert's keyword(s) : middle school, choice, discipline, motivationAnswer : Thank you for your great question. We have found that clear expectations for behavior and care of materials are essential for a choice based classroom studio to function well.
You probably have certain behavior rules already in your classroom; the discussion that you have with your students about switching from a classroom to an art studio would include it. Rules need to be very simple: i.e., taking care of people (no put downs, safe environment) taking care of materials (which includes clean up) and behaving like an artist. For some of us, that third component is expressed in John Crowe's behavior rubric of using hands/head/heart. You can read about this at length in his story here on the Loom.
In my classroom the students know that the first five to seven minutes of class belong to me. That is all I use for announcements and a brief overview of new materials, concepts, etc. Each of us has a part of the room where students know to sit for this very brief beginning. I tell the students that this is the most efficient way to let them all know what is going on, so their attention is essential. At the very end of class we also come together for a very brief wrap up and some things to consider for the next class.
In my classroom the new concept or material is usually set up at a table in the middle of the room. Once people have sorted themselves into the centers I end up with a much smaller group to work with there and I am able to give them much more involved directions and information.
Students who choose to work in centers should exhibit focused behavior, which can include exploring on their own or assisting a friend. We do not have a "doing nothing" center. The new lesson or concept can be a "must do" for students without an art idea.
Center cleanup should go more quickly than whole room cleanup, but it needs to be demonstrated, sometimes repeatedly. As each area of the art room is opened (I call it the grand opening?) there are three components: 1. Here is what you will find here, including signage and information 2. Here is how you use particular tools (only general directions of course) and 3. Here is how you put it away. I spend multiple demos on such things as setting up a painting space, for instance, as I observe the need for it. If students in a particular class do not take care of a center it goes away for that class for awhile ("closed for repairs" sign)
John Crowe's story has excellent information on creating assignments using choice. Note his use of drawing portfolios and the balance between play and care.
Lindsay Harden's story is going to be the most useful for you: a close re reading of that will give you ideas about breaking through the fear that many middle schoolers have about failing?accessing our own art ideas takes practice and if students have not experienced this in the lower grades it will take awhile for this to kick in. This is where play/care can help you.
This is really long, but I hope there are some jumping off points for you. Please keep in touch with us as issues occur to you.
We have an online support group for choice based teachers at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TAB-ChoiceArtEd/. We encourage you to join the discussion-there is lots of wisdom there.
Answered by :
Hi Kathy, I read through the rubric you provided in response to a posted question and although it sounds so easy to follow, how do principals react to this? I know that Choice Based Art Programs would not go over well in the town I grew up in...we were always given grades based on our finished product of the assigned project. I would find myself stressing over art class in elementary school because I didn't want to get a B and as a result I wouldn't even enjoy something suppose to be fun. Looking back on my experiences with art is a huge disappointment to me so I am wondering how this can be changed. How do you approach administrators so stuck on the idea of numeric grades?
Expert's keyword(s) : asssessment, advocacyAnswer : Change comes slowly in education. And I think that art presents a special problem, as the creative process and the habits of artists remain somewhat mysterious to many non-artists (many administrators) My efforts to educate school committees, superintendents and and administrators include as much information as I can offer: contextual art exhibits (in other words, with student statements and other supporting information), newsletters to parents, and activities outside of the classroom such as professional conferences, etc. The Internet gives us enormous ability to communicate and advocate for our beliefs, and the research backing that we created under the auspices of the knowledgeloom have proved very reassuring to some administrators. Your art experience is a common one. In my opinion this type of evaluation defeats the purpose of art teaching, putting the stress on a teacher given grade rather than on the ideas of the student artist and the self-assessment which is necessary for any art maker.
Answered by :
I've recently completed my student teaching in a district which I believed to be going above and beyond to meet all of the students' needs. Now that I've been introduced to Choice-Based Art I've realized that this school district isn't following this theory. It is very shocking to me because, as stated before, this is a school system which is very advanced in terms of what they can provide for the students. My question is, How does Choice-Based Art originate in a particular school system? Does the Art teacher decide to do it? Does it have to be accepted by the administration? How does such a wonderful teaching theory come to life? Thanks in advance for reading! :)
Expert's keyword(s) : Choice teaching, learning theory, advocacyAnswer : Art education has often been the stepchild in school systems. When high-stakes testing comes to the front of educational priorities some administrators think of the art class as merely a period of recreation or an opportunity to illustrate such subjects as social studies. So art teaching has disappeared entirely from some schools. Training of future art teachers has not included choice teaching until recently. Some of the teachers who have been using this concept for many years have developed their pedagogy in isolation from other educators, using the habits of working artists in conjunction with ideas from the open education movement. Before the Internet, it was difficult for scattered choice teachers to find each other. Now, through courses at Massachusetts College of Art and our various web presences, we are able to support and reach out to teachers who would like to incorporate more authentic learning into their teaching.
Art teachers usually are the art "expert" in a school. Administrators are varied in their ability to accept and understand art instruction that varies from the traditional, sometimes holiday oriented, art experiences that they had as children. Children are our best advocates; after them come parents who notice that their children are really "in to" their art making and having success in art class.
Choice-based art teaching is somewhat unique in education, having been born and grown in public school classrooms instead of in an academic setting. We like that!
Answered by :
After reading through the theories and methods of some of the most famous educators in history, it seems that choice-based education (not just art) is the most developmentally appropriate. Unfortunately, choice-based curriculum is often looked down upon for not being "challenging" enough or too "chaotic" in the classroom. We know this is not true, and that children are active learners, acquiring knowledge each day through their experiences, but how do we as educators convince others (parents/principals/superintendents) that what's going on is active learning and not chaos? Also, how have YOU managed to convince others that a choice-based art curriculum is better suited for children than more strict guidelines?
Expert's keyword(s) : choice, accountability, advocacyAnswer : Your question reminds all of us in education that advocacy and communication need to be among our daily tasks. In the regular classroom students who are allowed to explore topics, in social studies for instance, independently are taught research skills. In other words, the social studies material would not be taught by the teacher. Instead the teacher would teach the students how to find the information on their own and then suggest methods for sharing the findings with the teacher and other members of the class. The exhibition component of this sort of teaching is the evaluation, the accountability piece. And while this helps the student to reflect on what has been learned, it also allows for shared knowledge throughout the class. The student is the expert on the topic (ie. The mountains of China) but each student will get some of that information at the exhibition. Students can "show what they know" in a manner best suited to their learning style. When students have some control over their topics and the mode of presentation the results can be very impressive and if this is shared with parents and administrators it is a concrete example of the depth and structure of choice-based teaching.
In my case, of course, the exhibition is our art show. Each piece is chosen by the student and accompanied by artist statements and photos. The adults are impressed by the depth of thought and commitment exhibited by the students.
Answered by :
Isn't art extremely important in 1st grade classrooms to encourage creativity & expression? My son's teacher does not do alot of art in her classroom and I am concerned. What should I do?
Expert's keyword(s) : art at home, advocacyAnswer : Dear Shirley,
I am sorry that this answer was delayed. Yes, I believe that most of us would say that good education practice for primary age students should include good doses of multi-sensory experiences: movement, music, making things. I do not know the details of your son's school environment, but in the current educational climate high-stakes testing has changed what happens in classrooms for young students. Many teachers feel obliged to "teach to the test" and this results in the elimination of many other activities in the classroom.
Your interest in your child's work at home can be a great help to your son. A good collection of easy-to-use art materials, a place to store them, a space to work with them and your interest and approval are all components of great home art experiences. Some suggestions are:
A roll of big paper-even brown wrapping paper. Children often enjoy working large, on the floor on big pieces of paper.
Lots of drawing paper; even copy machine paper is great for drawing.
Heavier paper for painting
Markers, crayons, chalk, good quality colored pencils
Watercolor paints are easy to manage at home. Also look for the "cakes" of tempera paint.
Good scissors, a paper punch, some string, brass fasteners, pipe cleaners, thin cardboard, clean Styrofoam trays are great for sculpture builders. Boxes, caps and buttons are great too!
Magazines, discarded gift wrap, ribbon and shiny paper is great for collage?and all these materials can be used interchangeably with each other?painters collage, sculptors need paint and so on. If there is not much room in the house, an outdoor studio can be made on a picnic table in the summertime.
Your interest in the work will encourage your child. "Tell me about that" is the best comment I usually use. Art work at home can be intimately connected with play experiences, which is the best way for art to become a part of your son's life.
Here are some great resources:
BEAUTIFUL STUFF: Learning with Found Materials.. by Cathy Topal, Davis Publications
ENCOURAGING CREATIVITY IN ART LESSONS
FROM PLAY TO ART
Both by George Szekely
These may be out of print but can obtained on Amazon.com.
It is best to avoid kits and art "cookbooks" which encourage children to copy something in the book.
If you are involved in your child's school parent group this could be an opportunity for advocacy. The information here on the Knowledgeloom is often used for such advocacy.
Keep in touch! Best of luck to you.
Answered by :
Now in a 5-6 building, I will be at a newly built school next year PK-6 about 900 students. Unclear now if I'll have PK & K in the art room. THE schedule will most likely be one class of each grade each day.(back to back with no prep time between) This allows for common planning time amoung grade level teachers. I've dealt with this set up before, but not in a choice based program. My main concerns are time and clean up!! When my students are really "into" something I can't get them to stop in time to clean up. I end up picking up all the pencils (for example)! How in heavens name do you teach them to work in 25 minute spurts and do independant cleanup??
Expert's keyword(s) : choice, centers, scheduling issuesAnswer : Mary Ellen,
You have a very challenging year ahead; you are smart to start planning now. It always fascinates me the lengths to which administrators stretch their visual arts staff so that classroom teachers can meet with each other every day. I would be amazed if this actually happened!
I think that one thing will be imperative: keep it simple! Were I going in to this situation, each center would have what Pauline Joseph called "entry level" materials:
drawing: markers, crayons, colored pencils, pencils, erasers, simple still life objects, reference books.
painting: either watercolor or tempera blocks, brushes, watercans, pallets, sponges
collage & construction; colored paper, glue, tape, scissors, paper punches, magazines, some fancy paper, pipe cleaners, brads, cardboard.
I would disclose to the students from the beginning that most pieces will require two art classes. You would need shallow boxes for each class. unfinished work is stored there and the box can be brought out by you or a student helper as each class walks in. You will need a great place to store wet work and a LOT of reminders for students to sign name and room number so that you can sort that work in to the boxes at the end of the day.
Even with my 40 minute classes I rarely speak for more than five minutes at the beginning of class. Students know which four tables are "listening tables" (I do not care which actual seat they choose, as that is time consuming) They sit down VERY quickly and give me their eyes and ears for just that five minutes. Because students know ahead of time what is in each center (you have introduced each center, one per week) that helps them plan for their work before they arrive: another time saver.
If the centers are color coded and well organized it will help with cleanup. Each student can just put away personal materials used. This helps a lot also. Clean up is always a problem and the more children love their work the harder it is. I used to put on a Cajun music piece that was three minutes long. At the end of the piece the room was supposed to be clean. That helped some. I also start cleanup by having them put their work out in the hallway--I put it out for them if necessary. That gets them into clean up.
We tell our students that if they show us a center is "too hard to clean up" then that center might need to close down for a week. One week without the sculpture center usually makes an impression.
When our students try weaving activities I allow them to carry them away from the art room. My looms are all home made out of cardboard, so if one gets lost it is not important. I check with the teachers first and many of them are happy for children to have activities for their free time and rainy day recesses.
I hope that some of these random ideas will get your thinking going...for more nuts and bolts discussions on the real life of classrooms take a look at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TAB-ChoiceArtEd/
I hope that we can continue to offer you help and support in what looks like a very demanding year!
Answered by :
I had the pleasure of meeting some of you at the NEAEA last november and am
trying to begin this transition to choice based art in my classroom. My goal
for the year is to do this with three classes. I teach have 6th, 7th and 8th
graders everyday. I have begun by teaching the kids how to set up their own
objectives and some criteria.
1. motivation - getting ideas started - they are used to being told what to
do and how to do it. I am telling them everyday that they get to make that
choice now ( this is not what they want to hear but I am determined to teach
them to think for themselves! - How do I do this?)
2. classroom space and arrangement for multitudes of students and projects
What is a good arrangement for easy access in the classroom?
I have been throught the website and now I need some practical working
solutions or possibilities.
Thank you for any information you can give
Tyl Middle School
Expert's keyword(s) : choice, motivation, curriculumAnswer :
Hi Bethany: thanks for writing.
It is a real challenge to change your way of teaching; initially it will also be a challenge for your students. The older the student, the more difficult the change. Middle school students often have issues with authority and yet they want very much not to look foolish. Lindsey Harden had just those motivation issues and spent a good bit of the beginning of the year proactively helping students search for their own art ideas. Although you have read her story, I thought I would clip here one or two paragraphs:
She spoke at length with individual students to help them focus on their interests.
She encouraged writing and sketching in journals.
She used examples of other student work.
Harden also found that she needed to expand students' ideas of what constitutes 'good art.' She discussed the many forms and styles that contemporary art can take, which includes, but is much broader than, realistic drawing. She introduced less traditional forms such as found-object sculptures, abstract and non-objective works, costume designs, architecture, and design work.>> Her story continues with more complete descriptions of her discussions and successes. It is worth reading and re reading. Almost any interest that a student has can be levereged into images or structures. Sketchbooks can help and, especially for those who are shy about drawing/sketching, perhaps a scrapbook with images from magazines, newspapers pasted in. Brought to the art room they can become personal resource files. Types of images allowed will of course be in compliance with the standards of your school. We tell our students that artists have intellectual freedom in their own studios, but that our classrooms are public places and they cannot make anything which could cause us to loose our job!
Because many of your students may have decided that they are not artists it can be helpful to go off on some tangents: Older students may be quite engaged by comic art (UNDERSTANDING COMICS by Scott Mccloud is the best reference) Paper divided into panels can be duplicated and available in pockets, along with mannequins, books on lettering styles and comic vocabulary (panels, gutters, etc) A small table with those resources and pencils and erasers could be one center.
Weaving, braiding and fiber arts could contain some work with beads and simple jewelry design. Yarn can be arranged in warm and cool colors and weaving can teach color as well as texture and pattern to students as they work.
Do you have a kiln? That sort of 3-D work, handbuilding will convince your non-drawers that they have ability. Open ended assignments could include, for instance, "create a container using slab, pinch and at least one coil" and so on.
Here, again from the Loom is part of John Crowe's story. He was preparing to teach painting and wanted to open things up. This technique got students thinking about subject matter before the class actually started:
If someone were to ask you to paint something, what would be your least favorite thing/subject to paint? Sample responses were: a boring painting, a fishbowl with no fish, falling off a cliff, Hitler, a well textured animal, a dancer, a picture of someone I know, a one-color painting.
He took the surveys home to organize them; it was easier than he anticipated. The student responses fell into the categories of people, landscapes, objects, and imaginative scenarios. He compiled a list of preferences from each of the four classes and gathered books and resources for the chosen subjects. When he met each class at the art room door, he called out the names of students organized by interest category. Each group was assigned to a large table and asked to look at the material piled in the center. Some students figured out that the resources related to their surveyed interests. After a brief introduction to what he had arranged, he stated, "I want you to follow your interests. Use the resources for inspiration if you wish. I will teach you individually and in small groups what you need to know to paint what you want to paint."
He offered mini-lessons: for example, mixing a variety of skin tones to the figure painting group, the many ways of creating the illusion of distance to the landscape group, the tradition of drawing upon dreams to the imaginative scenarios group. In addition, he honored individual and group requests for instructional topics. >> and so on. There is much more in his story.
Crowe's technique was more focused than Lindsey's and was a more gradual way of putting both him and his students into a choice situation. If you wanted to work with more 2-D media, perhaps you could use his survey, but offer painting, drawing and collage in each of the catagories you identify from your students.
Room arrangement is difficult to coach without seeing your space. Some people set up individual areas which are centers. Students actually sit where the materials reside. In other rooms centers are places to find both materials and information, but the work is actually done at work tables. Students find materials, take them to a work space and return materials at the end of class. That plan would probably have the most flexibility for a number of very different groups. In my classroom if the students can see a material they can use it. Other media are put away and may be requested. Each area of the room is organized and color coded in such a way that it is fairly obvious where things belong.
As you will see in my Loom stories, I am most experienced at the elementary level. We have a TAB/choice listserv with some members at your level. There are many ongoing discussions of strategies and sucesses there, as well as photos from various classrooms. You will find that information at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TAB-ChoiceArtEd/. I hope that some of this is useful to you; we look forward to hearing more about your teaching adventure.
Answered by :
Could you supply me with a sample "Parent Letter" to give to parents to explain chioce-based art program?
Expert's keyword(s) : parent communication, centers, choiceAnswer : Shirley:
It is important to communicate with parents regarding a change to choice-based art teaching. Many parents are used to "foolproof" teacher directed products coming home and may be puzzled by the variation in quality that they will see in some of the more experimental pieces. Because I have been so long at one school (most of the parents were students in my classroom at one time...!) I have been a bit lax about that communication. I don't recommend this! This year I did send home a letter which contains part of an article that I wrote for the Sept 2004 ARTS AND ACTIVITIES magazine. It is longer than what I would normally send but perhaps it has pieces that would be useful to you:
Welcome to the Art Room!
We are going to have a wonderful, busy year. Children will need to wear play clothes on art day as we use lots of messy materials. Artist search will be part of our program: students will be invited to bring "found objects" for their 3-D work. This year we will be working small, so only objects smaller than a small "Kleenex" box should be collected. I include below an excerpt from an article in this month's ARTS AND ACTIVITIES magazine about the Central School art room. Please keep in touch with your comments and questions!
Katherine Douglas, Art teacher
Come in to my art room where the children are busy making their personal artwork. For twenty years the ideas and energy of these elementary students have fueled my teaching in the setting of our choice-based art classroom. Although it might seem impossible, nearly 700 students per week use this studio/classroom and all of them can choose the materials which best express their art ideas! The classroom is a beehive of activity, yet the noise level is conducive to thought and all students are on task, working alone or in small groups. Children know where to find materials and how to set up their own workspaces. At class end each child is responsible for clean up which usually takes less than five minutes. Various forms of sharing, reflection and celebration of amazing discoveries take place at the end of each 40-minute class.
This smoothly operating classroom is the result of a well developed structure: carefully organized centers for painting, printmaking, mask making, fiber arts, collage, sculpture, book making, puppetry, digital imaging and drawing are set up for use by all students. Menus of materials, simple directions, examples of student work and art reproductions are displayed in each area, along with pertinent vocabulary. Each material and concept in the centers has been introduced in a five-minute whole-group lesson/demonstration. All students watch this demonstration at the beginning of class; then they go to the center of their choice. The small group of students who choose to explore the new material or concept work directly with the teacher as needed. After clean up this group shares its progress with the rest of the class. These "experts" agree to coach others who wish to work this way in the future.
There are many wonderful outcomes for both students and teachers using the choice concept of teaching:
1. The choice teacher is freed from trying to think of a "clever" idea that will engage every student. Instead students are told that artists make art about things that fascinate them. When doing the work of the artist students will be expressing their own ideas.
2. When students chose the work they are self-motivated; most behavior problems disappear and the quality of the finished work is quite good.
3. When students are working independently the teacher has time to observe students, determining needs that can be met in future demonstrations.
4. Students can work at their own speed. Some students work on a painting or weaving for four or five weeks while others may use more than one center in a class period. Students have the opportunity to try something over and over again, leading to mastery.
5. The choice teacher can introduce something new every week, even though some art works will take much longer to complete as the students work independently.
6. Students see an enormous variety of ideas and techniques at the end of class when amazing discoveries are shared.
7. Choice teaching encourages independent thinking, persistence and risk-taking, all qualities valued by practicing artists.
8. Where supply budgets are slim, the choice teacher can order just a few of each item. For instance, there are rarely more than 6 students painting at any one time. We can offer these painters 2' by 3' 90 pound paper and better quality brushes. This would be impossible if every student had to paint.
9. Most students choose experiences in each of the centers over the time that they are in our schools; however, even if a child never makes a tapestry weaving, she has observed the teacher demonstration, seen the vocabulary and background material in the fiber area and perhaps watched her best friend creating a piece of fabric. There is a lot of learning going on there too!
10. Time is used very efficiently; the initial five-minute demonstration and the brief clean up time leaves more time for student work. Additional detailed instruction is given to the small groups choosing the demonstrated topic as they work.
11. When students have chosen their work, they can discuss it easily, can describe their working process and false starts and usually evaluate the effectiveness of the finished work.>>
I am happy that you took a look at the knowledgeloom and I hope to continue email conversation if it is useful to you. You might also wish to look at the TAB-Yahoo list group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TAB-ChoiceArtEd/
Answered by :
How to you keep your younger students from being "wasteful" with their art supplies such as paper, etc. I have such a limited budget for my 550 students that I find myself guarding each piece as if it were gold. I am working toward total choice-based art class and as silly as it seems, this is my biggest hangup. My next is how to deal with making it "fair" if everyone in the class wants to paint or do the same thing. I don't have enough paint to allow them to paint everyweek. Thanks. Staci
Expert's keyword(s) : supplies, centers, curriculum, bugets, classroom managementAnswer : Hi Staci,
Thank you for your good questions! They are not silly at all and issues of supply management are important for both choice and teacher-centered classrooms. I remember being in a printmaking graduate course; the professor announced the large price of each sheet of wonderful paper--and that was the end of me! I was _sure_ to mess it up. I guess as an artist I need to know that I can "mess up" a bit without it being a bad thing. One thing some of us do is to add some non traditional papers to our paper boxes: my students use plain copy machine paper for much of their drawing; I also order very cheap newsprint for drawings and rubbings. I have cut brown grocery bags and classified pages from the newspaper into standard sizes to use for painting, printing and drawing. (old maps and sheet music are cool also) I was also fortunate to have a roll of brown butcher paper which I could cut into small pieces. Someone gave me several rolls of adding machine paper and students use that to try out ideas and colors. One of our parents got us large pieces of grey cardboard from a bank and many thick tempera paintings took place on those surfaces. I guess the real answer is to try to scrounge and get donated papers of various sorts and that will help you stretch your good quality "catalogue" papers. The great thing about the choice piece is that not every one of your 550 students needs a piece of that good vellum. George Szekely, my mentor, writes about students searching out all sorts of surfaces for painting...and the artist search can result in more thinking and learning than nice neat teacher-supplied catalogue items. (I strongly recommend Szekely's ENCOURAGING CREATIVITY IN ART LESSONS which is available used on Amazon.com)
When I put out the paints I have three choices: at the beginning of the year the students use the little watercolor boxes...for that I make space at two tables (six students per table) A few classes later I put out "biggie blocks" and then, finally the thick tempera paints which are the favorite. I have space for between six and twelve painters at one time. Because I have a lot of other choices going that is usually enough, and students know that they will get a turn before long. My colleague Pauline had more limited space in her centers; she kept a color coded chart showing what each student chose each week (your students could keep track of this themselves using tiny little colored stickers on a chart) Using this information she could manage turns in centers which were most popular. I have found that this is rarely a problem in my classroom due to all the other choices available. Not everybody will paint every week! You can limit it to half a dozen. In the meantime other students can be working in inexpensive media like papier mache, found object sculpture, hand puppets (from socks, bags, tubes, etc) One of the reasons I started choice in the 1970's was my lack of supplies!
I hope that this helps a little and that it can open a dialogue between us. We have a listserv of all choice teachers on Yahoo. If you are interested in reading postings from other choice teachers I would invite you to join us there. If you are interested you will find us at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TAB-ChoiceArtEd/
Answered by :
I just read the whole down load and watched the video I received at NAEA. I have a tactical question... If you demo and open one station each week until they are all open, how do you accomodate all the students during week one at just one station?
Expert's keyword(s) : centers, curriculum, demonstrationsAnswer : Dear Nan,
When I begin with my students in grade one (and I would do this with every grade were I in a school which was just beginning to use this concept) I begin with the drawing center. I use those shallow "coke" boxes and fill each with the basic entry level drawing supplies that will be available each week: pencils, colored pencils, erasers, rulers, templates, markers, crayons, sharpies, etc. I also put out my still life objects which at my level consist of large toy dinosaurs, horses, fish models and the like. I have enough of these "goodie boxes to put on each of the seven work tables in my classroom. I talk about how some artists draw what they see, some what they remember, some what they imagine, some what they feel and some make marks with an interesting drawing tool; I invite them to show me what sort of artist they might be. Then I put these boxes out on all the tables of the room, so that everyone is drawing in some manner. At the end of the class I show them that there is a center in the room which will contain all the things that they have been using and I talk about how things are to be put away. The next week out come the watercolor boxes and I do the same thing; however some students return to drawing, so I have the tables sort of half and half painting and drawing which seems to work. My now-retired colleague Pauline Joseph did this slightly differently, putting markers on one table, pencils on another and so on and that worked well for her. The third week out comes collage: various sort of paper in the goodie boxes along with two sorts of punches, regular and "edger" scissors, glue, string, etc. My next week's demo is paper sculpture which uses the same materials as collage week, with the addition of tape...in the meantime the other choices are still churning along. It is interesting to see children sculpting with paper which they have decorated with watercolor and then drawing on it, etc.
Thanks for a great question. It was very good to hear from you and I look forward to any communication that suits you!
Answered by :
16/6 Grada Sirena
Sebia & Montenegro
jul, 27, 2004
I am an art teacher in an elementary school. In spite of being engaged with younger students, I have always been interested in whatever has been going on within the overall field of education.
For the time being, I am working on the project named "Art Classroom Designed for Elementary School Students". Lately, I have searched a number of various websites dealing with this topic, but, unfortunately, I haven't found the proper materials. They all deal with art classrooms, but what I really need is information about activity centers, their types, roles and organization within the art classroom.
I will be very grateful if you could provide me with any relative paperwork, textbook, magazine, CD, address/e-mail address which can be of help in this project. At the same time, if I can help you with the material I have in my library, I am ready to do it.
Looking forward to getting your reply at your earliest convenience,
I remain faithfully yours,
Expert's keyword(s) : classroom design, centers, curriculum, organizationAnswer : Greetings, Vojislav,
We are honored to have a reader from so far away; thank you for writing.
The teachers who have posted their stories on the Knowledgeloom are members of the Teaching for Artistic Behavior Partnership or TAB. We are very interested in student-centered art teaching and also very interested in supporting and connecting art teachers with each other. Our Internet writing is helping us to do this.
If you have had time to look at the Loom you will notice that each of the stories has a focus; Diane Jaquith's talks about gathering her children and how she talks to them, Pauline Joseph's talks about how she set up her choice classroom, Lindsay Harden writes about beginning choice with students who had not had it before, John Crowe's story is about setting up a workable curriculum and an evaluation tool and my stories focus on an overview of a choice classroom and a summary of a choice-based art exhibit. Each of the stories has a list of design tips and replication details which are worth reading also. If it is too much reading for the computer monitor it is easy to print the stories you want using the download/print tool on the left side of the page. I find it easier to read, underline and take notes on a real piece of paper!
The TAB partnership also has other web presences. If you visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TAB-ChoiceArtEd/ we have an online group there. You can subscribe to this group by sending an email to
TAB-ChoiceArtEdemail@example.com. As a member you can read over 300 posted messages about our classroom practices. A photos area has numerous pictures from our choice classrooms which might be what you are seeking. I would encourage you to join us in this way. Let me know if you have any trouble subscribing.
We have a web log of inspiring readings and stories about our methods of teaching. It can be found at
http://tabchoiceteaching.blogspot.com/. There might be some useful material there for your research.
We have an article next month in an American magazine ARTS AND ACTIVITIES called "Welcome to the Choice Studio". If you cannot get this magazine let me know; I can probably mail one to you. I also have a short documentary film made in my classroom which might be helpful to you in some way.
We are working on a textbook, but have not found the time to complete it! So for now, your most complete resource on choice teaching is found on the Knowledgeloom.
I hope that some of this is helpful to you. I really look forward to hearing from you again, if you would like.
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I want to thank you so very much for the list of sources. After wading through appx. 800 articles that led nowhere I am feeling a bit flummoxed. My new question is how do I take all of this previous work and put a new shine on it, because that's what this research feels like to me. I'm supposed to be researching something that I am passionate about. After a year of grad classes at an excelerated pace, all I really want to do is apply some of the strategies I've learned, not look for more....And the big question is how do I research something about my classroom without students? I am close to losing it here. A bright note, I did order Eisner's book last night, should have it by thursday. Also ordered one by Howard Gardner on art creativity....
Expert's keyword(s) : research, choice, middle schoolAnswer : Vicki:
Because I do not know the nature of your coursework and its specific requirements my answer may be more general than what you seek. I hope that the actual architecture of the knowledgeloom might offer you a clue to the structure of your study. The Loom is set up to show, in brief, what research says about a particular educational practice. So you might wish to take your most compelling references about how learning/investment/retention improves when students have some control/choice over their learning. Remember that many references may come from the business world or general education--this has not been a common topic for art educators, strange as that may seem. Judith Burton--(Burton, J. (2000). The configuration of meaning: Learner-centered art education revisted. Art Education, 41 (4), 330-345.) has done some writing on this topic; Alfie Kohn (Kohn, A. (1993). Choices for children: Why and how to let students decide. Phi Delta Kappan, 75 (1), 8-21.) has also written about investment and student driven classrooms.
After creating this summary of what the research says to you, you might then write about how you could alter your classroom to build in student choice. How would you present information? How would you re arrange your classroom? How would your demonstrations change? and so on. If indeed you are interested in piloting this approach, this is the sort of thinking and writing you would need to do anyway, so it could be much more useful to you than just another school paper.
As you have already seen, the Knowledgeloom is structured to make this process easier for you; reading each of the teacher stories will give you insights in to how diverse teachers moved to student centered choice based teaching.
I wish you the best of luck. I believe that you have my contact information. If you would like to continue this dialogue I welcome your letters to my email address.
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I am currently involved in doing an action research and must come up with a question that will lead me to become a better art teacher. The problem I face is that I have only three to four weeks to gather data for my question and my students will be gone within two. So...I am looking to research a way to improve my classroom without having to "sample" the students. I have read all of the questions asked about choice-based art rooms and am very interested in changing over to it. I have already made many changes to differentiate this year, very much choice-based. Can you help me clarify how to pose this issue? I have only six week sessions with my middle schoolers over a three year period.
Thanks for responding to my intial query on Artsednet.
I am so grateful to have found you!
Choice-Based is the route to go for me as it is in line with the best practices that our system is trying to incorporate.
art teacher/grad student, mcms, 6-8
Expert's keyword(s) : research, choice, middle schoolAnswer : So many college papers end up in the attic: it is wonderful when graduate school experiences can impact the real world of a classroom. To be in graduate school at a time when you are seeking to improve your teaching for more differentiated experiences in your classroom is very exciting: this is a "teachable moment" for you.
For us, the job of the artist is to have an idea and find the best material to express it, or to find a material that leads to an idea. We attempt to provide classroom experiences which allow students to do the real work of the artist, expressing their own ideas in a manner prosperous to them.
It might be helpful for you to brainstorm with yourself right now. John Crowe started a workshop once with two short fill in the blank questions: 1. I wish my students would??. And 2. In my teaching I wish I could?? The answers to those questions may be very helpful to you. Some questions that we have asked ourselves as we created student choice in our classrooms include:
1. What are the habits of working artists? How can I build in experimentation, risk talking, out of class preparation, peer influence, following a line of thought over time and across media, etc.
2. What do I need to tell students? What do students already know sufficiently?
3. What is the LEAST I can tell my students so that they can begin working?
4. How do I help my students discover what sort of artist they are?
5. How can I arrange the resources of my classroom for choice?
I would recommend a very close reading of Lindsey Harden's story on here on the Loom. She started new in a Middle School setting and dealt with issues similar to those that you will face next year. Could you focus on one aspect of the work she did with her students?
I do not have any answers for you (some Expert, huh!) but only questions. I look forward to hearing about your journey: please keep in touch.
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My question pertains to storing artwork. When students are all doing different things in a small classroom, how do you keep The work organized? I teach K-8 and share a room with the music teacher.
Expert's keyword(s) : independent work, organization, storageAnswer : This is a compelling question for all art educators, choice or not, isn't it! My 1-3 classroom is small to medium in size with little storage. I use 27 shallow boxes that cases of cola come in--one for each classroom. These happen to fit on a rolling cart in my room. Unfinished flat work such as weaving, drawing, collage fits easily in this box. Wet paintings dry on a long table in my hallway; when dry I place them in the class box also. As each group enters it finds its box and each student can find work to finish. Very large paintings (2'x3') are clipped together by class when dry; before each class comes in I lay out the large paintings which need to be finished. Plaster masks are an ongoing project in my room: the masks can be stacked and put in larger boxes by day of the week. These are stored under the large table in the hallway. Larger student sculptures sometimes reside in the students' classrooms with the cooperation of the teacher and I do have a little high up storage for a few large items. A good thing about choice is that not every item is big: many children work small. I can imagine that sharing a crowded art room with another staff member is another challenge for you!
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In my choice-based, art-production centered classroom, I am always questioning myself on how important obtaining knowledge on the history of art is to my students...I not only try to expose them to a variety of art reproductions related to their own work, but also try to integrate local art production into the classroom activities (I live/teach in Perú which has a rich artistic heritage worth appreciating). How important is art history in a choice-based art room? What artists/styles/artistic themes are definitely worth exposing students to? Can an artist/style /theme be in any way a starting point for classroom activities or does this oppose to the choice-based philosophy?
Colegio Trener, Lima-Perú
Expert's keyword(s) : choice, art historyAnswer :
First, I must say that it is so exciting to connect to an art educator from so far away. Thank you so much for writing! You do not say what level you teach so I will try to answer from a few perspectives, which include what I do and what others do.
I teach very young children right now. It is my feeling that the most important thing for all students to know is that artists are always looking at a lot of art! My friend Pauline Joseph used to take her grade one students to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. She would tell them to walk around and find something which spoke to them: not to spend a minute looking at something which did not interest them. What great advice! When a friend and I visited the National Gallery of Art in London I came face to face with a very large Degas drawing done on 9 pieces of paper taped together. I was stopped in my tracks and spent the entire visit with that one drawing, never seeing anything else in that fine museum. I was excited and pleased with all I saw which was just what I wanted at that moment. Our choice classrooms are filled with books and reproductions and sometimes videos of working artists (running silently) and the young children are often captured by work which grabs them and I am often surprised at what that is. I had one very feisty first grade boy who spent two full classes gazing enraptured at a large book of stained glass windows. Now I do something I call the ?five minute museum? for my grade three students when they are offered the choice to work on the 2 foot by 3 foot paper with tempera paint. Each week for three weeks I have poster sized reproductions on my classroom clothesline. One is always a landscape, one a still life, a portrait and one nonobjective work. This reminds the students that there are various approaches to subject matter and they are invited to paint that which is most interesting to them. I expect them to know the names of all the categories and I tell them a very quick story about each artist. Once they get started painting I group the students together who are working on landscape for instance. The students share ideas and reference materials. Of course, at the age of beginners, students also learn to appreciate art by looking at the art of their friends and peers and talking about it. And I find that the painters get the habit of this and of looking through the reproductions to help the solve a problem in their work.
At the other end of the age spectrum I have another story. Last summer I assisted at a summer institute for art teachers. The week long intensive was to help them explore and renew their artist selves. The were assigned to think of three artists in history who they liked/or who had influenced their work. One artist had to be from the 20th century, but that was the only restriction. The teachers were to research these artists and make some art work which responded to the artists in some manner. At the end of the week there was an exhibition and we spent the entire day hearing from each person who spoke enthusiastically about favorite artists (there were no duplications, by the way) and shared art work which had come from their study. Each of the students were ?experts? on famous artists that they loved; all of us in the class (even those teaching it) learned so much about other artists.
So that is how very young and adult students can experience looking at art as an artist. Perhaps there is something that you can use.
I think it is very important for local culture to be a big part of the art classroom. There again is something which students are likely to identify with. It is sort of like knowing your own family history, and if teachers can help the students find connections then it becomes something worth learning.
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I am a Kansas certified art educator with 12 years public school teaching experience. I have a home-based business, Art Education Studio. I teach students ages 6-82, and just discovered your site. I would like to communicate with anyone doing what I am doing. Thanks a million Barb
Expert's keyword(s) : choice, collaboration, private classesAnswer : Welcome to the Loom! One of our favorite aspects of this online project is the ability to communicate and collaborate with like-minded people across the country. You must have some wonderful art teaching and learning stories from your wide range of students! The "Share Your Stories" area of this site is a great place to start your sharing with all of us. You may be particularly interested in Cheryl McCabe's story (Under the Personal Context Practice) She too teaches from her home and has enjoyed primary age and Prime Time senior citizen students for many years.
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Has any choice-based info been published by NAEA? and...will there be a choice-based "representative" at the NAEA conference this year?
Expert's keyword(s) : conferences, resourcesAnswer : Teaching for Artistic Behavior (TAB) has connections to a number of national authors. Our work has been informed by the writings and teachings of Dr. George Szekely at University of Kentucky (ENCOURAGING CREATIVITY IN ART LESSONS and others), Dr. Peter London, emeritus professor University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth (NO MORE SECOND HAND ART, DRAWING FROM NATURE and others. Some of Dr. Judith Burton?s (Columbia Teachers College) writings have focused on the art ideas of students and Elliot Eisner?s (Stanford University) latest book (ARTS AND THE CREATION OF MIND) interestingly, describes classrooms in theory similar to those which we have had in practice for many years.
We are at work on magazine articles and a textbook A documentary film by the Design Management Institute in Boston was made in one of our classrooms as part of a project on encouraging innovation. This can be purchased by writing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Diane Jaquith, whose story appears here on the Loom, and I have written several proposals for the NAEA conference in Denver in the spring. Even if our proposals are not accepted we will be there and will be planning one or more gatherings of people who are teaching in this manner. We invite any interested educators to contact us in advance of the conference for more information!
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This is a question for Katherine Douglas regarding the annual art exhibit produced by her classes each year. Due to the recent fire codes enforced, what types of changes are you going to have to make to your exhibit and how can you adapt to these changes in order to still produce a show that is just as successful as previous years?
Expert's keyword(s) : Exhibits, assessmentAnswer : In Massachusetts stringent new fire codes are being strictly enforced in many towns. Under these revised codes we are unable to display any paper items in the hallways of our school. This has necessitated a reorganization of our third grade art exhibit which we are already preparing. Because repeated viewings of the art work leads to teacher-led descriptive writing and letter writing among students it is important that the show be available for a long period of time. Our plan is to re-create the exhibit on the school?s web page. Our software, called EZ WEBPAGE, will allow us to create a page of small images or thumbnails, for each classroom. Clicking on each image allows an enlarged view. Another component of the software allows lengthy captions to be added to each image. These captions will contain each student?s artist statement.
Working in tandem with our computer teacher we have made a blank disk for each classroom participating. As work for the show is completed I photograph it with the school digital camera. We are using a relatively low resolution setting which still creates a good image. The student?s name and room number are part of the digital lable of each image.
When I have a large number of images I will put them into the pages we have created. Parent volunteers will still assist students in creating their artist statements which will be posted under each art image.
It is our hope that younger students will be able to browse the pages in their classrooms and at home. (We have four internet-networked computers in each classroom) Our computer teacher will also be coaching this process in his computer lab classes. In this way we hope to continue the letter writing projects created by the classroom teacher.
We feel that the disadvantage we face in the loss of a lovely and exciting exhibit will be balanced somewhat by having an interesting web presence to share with others.
In our town there is an arts festival in the late spring. We have always exhibited some work from our school at that show; we are working with the local arts council to increase the space allowed for student work so that we will have a live, if brief, exhibit also.
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Was your decision for the choice-based classroom a result of your art education? How can you tell if your students are getting more out of the choice-based classroom versus the traditional classroom? How do you know when to do what demonstrations and how to arrange the room from class to class or year to year based on your students? Is the choice-based method successful for all students?
Expert's keyword(s) : lesson planning, demonstrations, personalized learningAnswer :
I believe that all of us bring aspects of our history and ourselves to our teaching, whatever sort we do. My art education classes were nothing out of the ordinary and stressed motivating students with great and varied teacher examples. I can remember how all of us art ed. students worked very hard to produce a portfolio of ?examples? to show our future students. In my second year of teaching I worked with another art teacher who had an art school rather than art education background. (this made a huge difference!) We designed a summer program built around choice and it went so well that there was no turning back for me.
I feel that my students get so much more from work that they have chosen; even the youngest students can describe both their subject matter and their art process in some detail. In teacher centered classrooms I find that the students often have little idea why they are engaged in a project other than that the teacher has chosen it. I also believe that, as Peter London says, ?authentic learning is consentual and self-sustaining.? My students can actually make their art with minimal assistance from me, so there is carry over for the future. Often elaborate, teacher-centered art experiences cannot be replicated by students on their own.
My room arrangement has evolved over a very long time. My colleagues and I base our centers on:
1. Major areas of art media (painting, sculpture, drawing, printmaking, collage, etc.)
2. Materials available in a the school (I am not able to fire clay in my school, so there is no clay center)
3. What is developmentally appropriate for the students (we do not carve linoleum blocks, for instance)
4. What can be achieved within my school?s time frame (classes which meet for an hour or more can be arranged differently than my short 40 minute classes)
5. What state standards and school curricula require.
I try to leave the room the same year after year so that older students are already experts on the first day of school. Room arrangement changes when significant problems need to be addressed (difficult traffic patterns, changes in class size, etc.) Choice based teaching is always responsive to the observed needs of students.
My beginning of the year demonstrations are concerned with ?opening? centers as quickly as possible so that there are many choices. Centers open with ?entry level? materials which can be used with little instruction or assistance. Subsequent demonstrations allow for more complex materials to be introduced. Some demonstrations have prerequisites. For example, the plaster on armature mask making is not available in my classroom until I observe that students are using the tempera paints independently without working or clean up problems. I am also able to arrange demonstrations for my own comfort--when third graders are having complicated painting demonstrations, first and second grade demos usually involve dry and easier to manage materials.
Over the years I have found few students who did not find a comfort level in my classroom. Because students are encouraged to work from their strengths and because we are always looking for those strengths we find that students choose to challenge themselves to
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Katherine Douglas' choice based, art center style classroom sounds ideal, however, as a substitute teacher (and parent) several questions pop out for me as to how this works in practice. How do you deal with "behavior" problems. Since there is usually at least one child in a class that is difficult to manage, how does the independent style work in a situation with a behavioral issue? What are some common problems you encounter and how do you resolve them? Since often one child's inappropriate behavior can set off several other students on a negative course, how do you deal with the child(ren) while still trying to keep the integrity of the choice-based center. What do you do about noise level in a class when it becomes too loud and to "social"? What do you do with un-motivated students who are not presenting any behavioral problem, but don't want to "do art"? Do you insist that they do someting? And lastly, how do you handle the student who will give you something, but isn't really connecting with the art experience? What happens when that student "finishes" their art project in 5 minutes and doesn't want to do another?
Thank you in advance.
Expert's keyword(s) : choice, behavior problems, time management, investmentAnswer : Those of us who teach using this concept find that behavior problems can emanate from students who are unhappy with the work at hand. Expanding choice and continually connecting with the personal interests of students generally eliminates that as an issue.
Another difference between this concept and traditional art classes is the lack of "down time" for students. Because students are managing their time and the time they spend on a particular art work, many working styles are comfortably accommodated in our classrooms. When a fast-working student finishes quickly many options remain to engage her attention. Boredom (a frequent cause of student "high jinks") is rarely a problem in a choice classroom.
Because students are choosing their work, the individuality of each child becomes apparent by the second or third class. Because students are working more independently, the teacher has a lot of time to observe and make notes for future classes. When I observe a student who seems lost, confused, unhappy or disengaged (all reasons for poor classroom behavior) I can usually spend one-on-one time with him without problems from the other more independent students. I also can note his need for more teacher "scaffolding" and plan to work with him in subsequent weeks. (My plan book is full of little notes like this.) I always tell my students that they show me what they need...and sometimes they show me that they need to work in a different part of the room (in the case of group rowdiness) or, that they need to work directly with me on an art idea which I have planned for them (which everyone would be doing all the time in a teacher-centered art classroom)
Regarding noise level in the classroom...I try to distinguish between art talk and general chatter which does not relate to the work at hand. John Crowe describes his rubric of using just the hands (poor work), the hands and the mind (better) and hands, mind and heart (real art making) and I use this in my classroom also. For the seriously unmotivated student (and there are so few of them when they are offered the chance to use their ideas instead of the teacher's) there is always the new concept that was demonstrated...I can insist that the child work on that concept (which is what teacher-centered teachers have to do with every student every week) And there are other options in my class; students can assist other students or help me with the care of materials. This often gets students over a dry period in their art making without my having to use coercion or punishment which is not an ingredient in authentic art making.
When I notice a student who seems to be using little effort and rushing through her work (i.e., just using hands, not mind or heart) it is a good opportunity to sit down with that student, either to make art with her or just converse with her about what she has made. This is a wonderful teaching opportunity, one rarely available in a teacher-centered classroom.
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In the dialogue between you and John Crowe, John talks a little about how there is no "real" lesson plan in choice-based art education. How do administrators respond to this? When you visited our class you mentioned that you routinely start the class with a 5 minute discussion or introduction. What is included in this meeting? What is the inspiration if there is no lesson plan? What changes from day to day?
Expert's keyword(s) : choice, centers, instruction, lesson plansAnswer :
You have asked four good questions. I will attempt to answer them in turn.
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Suppose that a choice-based approach to art is taken in a classroom with middle school aged children or high schoolers, who have no previous experience with being in an environment of choice. What are some techniques or suggestions for creating a smooth transition into choice-based art, in regards to how a teacher can encourage older students, and educate them about the benefits of this new approach? If students are unsure of how to proceed, or reluctant to make decisions on their own, and/or to contribute to the spirit of a choice based art environment, how can a teacher make his/her students feel comfortable, and work towards improving their skills as an artist?
Expert's keyword(s) : choice, middle school, first year of teaching, transitionAnswer :
Lindsey Harden was a first year teacher in a middle school where the students had experienced only a very teacher centered curriculum. She has written a wonderful list of goals and tips for surviving the first year of this sort of work. I do not think anyone could say it better, so I will let her words answer your question. Lindsey's success story will be appearing soon on the Loom.
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Have you ever had an experience where a student was so accustomed to the traditional classroom and teacher-led learning, that he or she had a difficult time adjusting to the Choice-Based Classroom?
Expert's keyword(s) : choice, new students, coachingAnswer :
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I am doing a community internship in a hospital setting. I agree that this is the best teaching method in working in this particular setting, with a diverse population with many needs. I have tried to incorporate this method in the passed couple of weeks with my groups at the hospital. Do you have any suggestions or advice with using this method and the 3-D lesson plans within the hospital setting?
So far, I limit the choices to two because of a shared working space with other teachers and therapists, and with such a short amount of time to complete the tasks, especially with various interruptions. I would like to incorporate more of what you do, in the classroom, Kathy. I am even curious about how to continuously carry the artform that is learned in week one into one of the choices for week two and so on, especially because I do not know if the client(s) may or may not be there the following week, depending on when they will be discharged, for example, I am not sure if I should continue with work from the previous week or introduce two new things each week.
I would greatly appreciate any advice you could give me or other teachers in the same or similar settings! I think it's awesome what you're doing in your classroom. I'm sure the kids are very excited and appreciative.
Thank you, Dana
Expert's keyword(s) : hospital, choice, centers, demonstrationsAnswer :
It seems to me, although I do not know that much about the details of your work, that the choice techniques could be especially helpful in your setting.
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How would you suggest an art educator that teaches art "on a cart"? implement a Choice-Based Art program?
Expert's keyword(s) : choice, art on a cartAnswer :
In the sixties I taught art on a cart in three Maryland towns. I was just out of school and unaware of the choice concept of teaching--however, it seemed to me that if I were choosing the medium it only made sense to let the students be in charge of the subject matter. Otherwise I had left no unanswered questions for the students.
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If in a choice based Art classroom a child is asked to create art based on "prior" knowledge and experiences, how does a teacher along with their student come to an "agreement or find" not only the appropriate subject matter, but establish the amount of depth that a student should reach?
Expert's keyword(s) : choice, subject matter, rubricsAnswer :
This is a fascinating question and worth pondering at great length. To begin, I would turn the question around and ask, how does a teacher in a curriculum- or teacher-centered classroom assign projects appropriate to each student and of sufficient difficulty to equally challenge each? To me that is much more difficult, perhaps impossible.
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When a student consistantly chooses a station because he/she wants to be with a friend.How would you suggest persuading that student to follow his/her own ideas rather than another student.
Expert's keyword(s) : choice, collaborationAnswer :
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How is it possible to bring all of the wonderful elements and options choice-based curriculum offers to the teacher and student in a charter school setting? Many charter schools seem to have a very direct teaching style and content. I would be interested if you have any advice, especially for approaching a charter school, public or even private, for aquiring a new position and bring choice-based theories to your classroom?
Expert's keyword(s) : charter schools, standards, choiceAnswer :
Although I am not directly acquainted with charter schools, I am aware that they can have a particular slant or theme. I believe that it would be important to understand the direction and philosophy of a school where you wished to apply. In an interview it would be important to question the expected role of the art teacher. You would want to make certain that you would be teaching art, rather than merely decorating social studies and science lessons.
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Turning the classroom upside down!! Katherine Douglas is right, that is what happens. How do you keep your eyes on everything that is going on at once? I tried many choices this week and had way to many people at the painting table before I could do anything about it. Any suggestions? (I did limit the amount of brushes that I put out--six large and six small--I had tewlve people painting at a table for six)
Expert's keyword(s) : choice, structureAnswer :
This might be a good place to write about how I introduce centers in my classroom. for beginners of every age I would recommend a gradual, structured beginning. In September for my first grade students the first class is drawing only, but it is an introduction to most of the drawing tools available in the room: where to find them and where to put them away. I mention that some artists draw from memory, some from imagination, some from something they can see, and some inspired by marks made by a tool. All students draw, experimenting with the tools and all students participate in putting the tools away carefully at the end of class. The second week watercolor paints are introduced in the same manner; the students may either use them or return to drawing. Because there are only two choices, I allow lots of space for each. Ensuing weeks bring the introduction of collage, paper sculpture and stamping. With the opening of each center, there are fewer children who choose the newest materials and ideas; however I can count on about half the class (12) choosing the "latest" each week. By the end of the ninth class beginning students have had one aspect of each center presented in a five-minute demonstration. Further demonstrations will bring more materials and tools and ideas to the centers. Demonstrations will also be planned in response to things I have observed: either a particular interest shown by students in a class or by indications of the need for reinforcement of previous demonstrations.
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How does the art teacher work with classroom teachers in choice-based art education?
Expert's keyword(s) : integrated curriculum, science, social studies, mathAnswer :
Many schools encourage teacher collaboration for integrating teaching and learning across various parts of the curriculum. In the choice classroom this communication with classroom teachers allows the art teacher to be familiar with the schedules of major work in each grade level. Students still have choice of both subject matter and medium, but we find that exciting teaching in the classroom encourages students to express what they are learning in a visual form. This organic integration includes paintings, drawings and models of sea life the week after students visited the Boston aquarium and wonderful cloud formations appearing in the paintings during a classroom study of weather. Books and visuals are available in my room to provide reference materials for those topics. More specific integration takes place when I schedule paper sculpture demonstrations during the time when first graders are introduced to solid geometry. I introduce easy methods for building cones, cubes, cylinders, rectangular prisms and pyramids and share extra paper and instructions with each classroom teacher. Students who do not choose to work on this in art class have other opportunities in their own classrooms. Science, social studies and literature integration are popular in schools; in the choice art room it is always one of many choices.
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I thought the Choice-Based Art spotlight offered some very helpful suggestions for assessing student art work. One of these suggestions was to create a rubric that is general enough to assess the wide variety of work students in the same class might choose to complete. Could you provide an example of such a rubric and talk a bit about how it was created?
Expert's keyword(s) : rubrics, standards, assessmentAnswer :
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This is my second year of choice based art teching. My school system goal is the standards based model. I'm wondering how I can both define what the standards in a choice based art room are as well as how to help my students reach the standards.
Expert's keyword(s) : standardsAnswer :
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