Sunday, September 29, 2013

Thinking versus Knowing

A student brought me this piece of art last week and asked me if I thought it  was "done". 

We reviewed what she had done and discussed where she may be able to add more and the possible effects. 

I took a picture of her "unfinished" piece and she went back to her desk to work on it. By the end of class she declared she was "done"!

Below are the before and after shots. It's a great illustration of thinking versus knowing. Can you spot the difference? How does it feel when you transition from thinking to knowing? Imagine the feeling for your students.

Tomorrow starts a new week. How will you open your student's minds?

Creativity NOT Conformity!


Friday, September 27, 2013

Sticky Notes on Foreheads? Yes!

This week has been all about interpretation and and how each of us may see art differently based on our observations and individual experience.

Critical thinking and reflections were the big ideas this week, and where the standards came from for my lessons. My last class of the week was fifth-grade and I had to share with you the experience we had exploring art and interpreting the paintings we saw.

After we went over our essential question, learning goal, and scale, we got right into interpreting the art on display. Where do the sticky notes come in you may ask? I used them to assess where my students fell on our scale of understanding after the lesson.

Here's the breakdown:

Students are paired together with a partner and given a sticky note and a piece of art. Working together and using observation and experience, they interpret the work of art and write it on the sticky note. 

This is where it gets fun. One student puts the sticky note on their forehead and holds the work of art up for the class the see. Their partner reads the interpretation to the class. 

We started out with all groups standing and as each one presented they sat down. I gave feedback on whether they reached our learning goal and we discussed where they now fell on the scale of understanding.

They LOVED it!!!! Last class of the day...last class of the week...5th grade....LOVED IT! The energy was so fantastic I was sweating lol.

Here are some pics of how it played out. 

Love ending the week feeling awake and alive with the energy I get from my students excitement to learn.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Be Creative,


Friday, September 20, 2013

What I Learned this Week

1. When you take the fear out of creation anybody can make a work of art.
2. Allowing kindergartners to change their water out when they're painting within the first five weeks of school is not a good idea.
3. If we want our students to be self-sufficient expectations need to be high.
4. Starbucks at 5:04 on Friday night is okay. Especially if your son has a 7:30 flag football game.
5. Having a 15-year-old daughter driver rocks. Chauffeur anyone?

Hope you all have a wonderful and relaxing weekend see you Monday!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Open House Opens Minds

The Dot connected families like never before. We had open house at school tonight and it was one of my best experiences as a teacher to date!

As you know we celebrated International Dot Day this past Sunday. Students worked all week creating their unique dot to add to our universe. The outcome was visually stunning as the dark black paper was transformed into a universe full of creatively colorful dots that lit up the entry way to the art room.

I asked my students to invite their parents to come into the art room to create their own dot during open house. To my surprise three fourths or more of the population of our school brought their families in to create their own unique dot.

Parents who normally would have shyed away from creating something for fear of doing it wrong were encouraged by their children. All they had to do was create a simple dot. And, that one simple act would mean so much to our school universe.

Families ended up creating dots and grouping them together, in effect creating connections that will remain ingrained in our entryway even after the parents have gone. 

It was truly a sight to see my art room overflowing with families eager to create with their children. I love being an art teacher because of amazing experiences like these!

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Universe

We have been working all week on "let your dot light up the universe" on honor of International Dot Day. What started as a lonely Doctor Who TARDIS door has been transformed into an amazingly bright and beautiful Universe.

Each student at our school created at least one dot single handed. Including the cutting! Our pre-k autistic unit kids needed a little more assistance but added their own creative dots of color and we couldn't have been successful without them.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

International Dot Day

So happy to be back in my art room for another wonderful school year at Sand lake Elementary School. My Art Room is themed Doctor Who as we are traveling through space and time to meet famous artists throughout the year.

In honor of International Dot Day I decided to have each student "let your dot light up the universe" by creating their own unique designed dots.

The kids love it! And are so excited to enter the art room and see their fellow students creative dots. 

Don't forget to celebrate International Dot Day on Sunday, September 15th in your own creative way. Would love to hear how you did it!

Be Creative!

Beth 🎨