Kim & Karen 2 Soul Sisters

Kim & Karen 2 Soul Sisters

Friday, December 29, 2017

TAB - Dinosaur Unit

Do you give your students choices in your classroom?
What advice do you have to someone who is interested in learning more about choice-based curriculum?
 What is TAB?

What is TAB-Choice?

In a TAB-Choice studio students are regarded as artists.
Students are expected to do the work of artists, directing their own learning. They practice coming up with their own art problems to solve, asking questions and seeing possibilities in the world around them. Students learn to persevere through difficulties as well as to trust themselves and their own judgment while simultaneously learning to be self-directed, organized, and to manage their time.

In a TAB-Choice studio students choose what to work on
Students learn best and work harder when they are excited by what they are working on. And when they design their own work, they understand why they are doing what they are doing and engage much more deeply with their learning.

Class begins with a short demonstration or a discussion to inspire new ideas.
Students politely watch the demonstration.  Some follow the teacher’s lead and try the new idea.  Others observe the demonstration, filing the information away for when they need it, and then work on an idea that they came to class with or continue to work on a piece from another class period. Still others experiment with materials to see what ideas they will lead to.

Teaching with choice creates a nurturing community of artists.
When everyone is working on different things, there is less of a tendency to compare oneself to others. Students not only feel safe to find their own ways of expressing ideas and investigating art problems but also celebrate each other’s achievements.  Students coach each other, discuss artwork, share materials, and often choose to work with friends and classmates on particular projects.

Developmentally appropriate work and differentiation occur regularly.
TAB-Choice classrooms are highly structured environments. Students scaffold their own learning, sometimes going deeply into specific subjects or media.  They work at their own pace, following their own lines of inquiry, and develop skills as they need them.
Because everyone is involved in their own self-directed work the teacher is available to work individually or in small groups to differentiate for the diverse needs of students.

In a TAB-Choice studio there are practice pieces and WOW pieces.
Not every piece can or should be a masterpiece.  In the same way that musicians and athletes practice, artists experiment, learning from their work.  When there are art shows or due dates students, like real artists, gather what they have learned to create WOW pieces for display.

In a TAB-Choice studio students learn to reflect on their work.
Students learn to evaluate their work to decide if it is finished.  They learn how to speak about their work in share times and to write about their work for artist statements that accompany their display pieces.

Commonly Asked Questions

How do you promote the Teaching for Artistic Behavior concept to administration?
  • Teaching for Artistic Behavior is compatible with current research in teaching and learning.
  • Multiple intelligence theory informs the various entry points that this model provides for students.
  • Differentiated instructional models reach special needs and at-risk students who accommodate themselves in this setting.
  • Peer mentoring through online professional communities
  • State and national standards are addressed throughout the year.
  • Students will be learning self-motivation, building ideas, collaboration, and higher order approaches to self-expression.
How do you meet the standards?
  • Every demonstration that the choice teacher presents should embody multiple standards.
  • Each center, with its vocabulary, menus, resources and directions is a “three dimensional lesson plan” that connects student-centered learning with state standards.
 What if a student chooses the same thing every week?
  • Choice teaching offers students the opportunity to go deep in a particular medium or technique that interests them.
  • Visiting and revisiting, children can follow a line of thought and practice with tools for toward a developmentally-appropriate mastery.
  • The choice-based teacher is careful to monitor student work to help children make progress within their choices.
How can you afford all the materials?
  • When students can choose among many options, a teacher does not have to provide large amounts of any material or tools at one time.
  • Whatever materials are available in your setting are the materials you can offer your students.
  • Recycled and donated materials add to the variety of offerings in the classroom.
Isn’t there a lot of waste?
  • The choice-based teacher can control the use of very expensive materials, such as 90-pound paper by distributing with certain restrictions.
  • Practice, sketching and revising are a very important part of learning and so inexpensive papers should be available in large quantities for this purpose.
  • Students are coached to re-use supplies resulting from projects that hit a dead end.
How do you assess student learning?
  • Assessment is ongoing and students are coached and encouraged to self-assess as they work. When students are working independently, the choice teacher is able to make general and one-on-one observations of what students know and can do. Future demonstrations and assistance are directly tied to these observations. Assessment is tailored to the specific district expectations.
How do you fit this in to a short class time?
  • The predictability of the choice-based classroom makes good use of short time. Students know what is available in the art room and they often plan their work before class. Whole group instructional demonstrations are brief, maximizing studio work time. Students are responsible for their own set-up and clean-up which shortens the time necessary for both.
How do you do this with no time between classes?
  • Basic centers remain set up at all times and need not be changed between classes.
  • More advanced materials are accessible to older students.
  • Good clean up habits are part of the class expectations, so students prepare the room for those waiting to enter.
How do you do this in a tiny room?
  • In small rooms, centers can be contained in a box with organized materials, small laminated menus and other resources.
  • Students can be shown how to access materials as needed.
  • Because of numerous choices, the teacher can limit space-consuming projects to a very few students at a time, while allowing everyone to be busy.
How do you do this with no room?
  • Teaching art on a cart is difficult for any style of art teaching. With several easy-to-manage choices at a time, the traveling art teacher can allow students to return to favorites, to take turns with more complicated materials and techniques, and avoid the problem of children working at different rates.
My class size is huge. How will that work?
  • Because center offerings are unique to each school situation, the choice teacher can opt out of materials and techniques that take up lots of space in favor of easier-to-manage activities.
  • Complex centers involving paint or printmaking can be available to a few children each week, while others work independently on weavings or drawings or collage.
  • In some schools, quiet centers (art books, manipulatives or simple drawing materials) can expand into the hallway, making more room and spreading children out a bit.
  • Centers can be set up for both sitting and standing work.
How can you help all those kids at once?
  • In addition to the five-minute whole class demos, teaching takes place via permanent visuals, models, photos, and peer coaches. When much of the class is working independently or in small groups, the teacher is freed up to work with struggling students or with those attempting something more advanced.
How do you integrate with classroom social studies?
  • Choice teachers are able to collaborate with classroom teachers in many ways, while still offering choice for their students.
  • With information and resources connecting to classroom units set up in the art room, students can be encouraged to expand their knowledge and make their own connections.
  • Students who are excited by classroom work often incorporate their new knowledge in to their artwork.
How about the kids who choose to do nothing?
  • There is no “do nothing” center in a good choice classroom!
  • Teachers assist individual students to find a good starting point for their work.
  • Students with an occasional “down” week are encouraged to partner with other students or help with art room maintenance.
 I teach on a 9 week wheel. I had a student this past 9 weeks that really excelled at his work. He was so very focused on his art that he would finish one lesson and create another one for himself on his own accord. His theme normally was Dinosaurs. Some are pretty clever. I thought this type of art deserved its own post. So shout out to all of those students who chose choice based art in middle school - I think you all rock and inspire me!

 Links to lesson and ideas on TAB:

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Finster's Santa Came to School!

Howard Finster Santas are always one of my favorite projects.  The kids always like creating their own version of Howard Finster's Folk Art Santa.  We have posted on Howard Finster in the past.  Click HERE!  Howard Finster is from my home state, Georgia.  He passed away in 2001, but his art lives on.  For more information on Finster and his Paradise Garden, click HERE!

I re-introduced Howard Finster to the 6th graders.  I had discussed folk art with them in their elementary art classes.
The kids penciled in their version of Howard's Santa.
The kids painted.
The kids touched up.


Here's a pretty cool version of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town".


Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Paper Mache Bowls

It really depends on the time of year what you will get artistically from your students. I find this fascinating. Last 9 weeks we created paper mache bowls in October. This year close to winter break.See links below for more details on how to create this lesson.

 We have blogged on these bowls before:

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Overlapping Candy Canes with COLOR

I ran across the overlapping candy cane lesson and thought that I would give it a shot with my 2nd graders.  Well, I ran into a few problems.  

Directions and Tips: 😏
First, I traced and cut out tracers for the kids.  The tracers were not very effective.  The kids had difficulty holding the tracers down and tracing the candy cane.  Also, the overlapping was quite overwhelming for second grade.  Oh, boy, what a disaster.  Eventually, we got the candy canes traced.  
When the kids finished tracing the candy canes, they colored with the best markers in the world, Mr. Sketch Scented Markers!
Once the candy canes were colored, they had to be outlined with a black marker.


Overall, most of the candy canes turned out pretty S W E E T!

Here's a candy cane song by Sia.  


Sunday, December 24, 2017

Papa Is Still Here At Christmas And It Has Been Almost Been A Year

So, this happened at one of our family Christmas gatherings this year... 
Mary Frances had saved a voice mail from her Papa. It was a Happy Birthday voicemail but at the end it stated "Love Y'all All". MF has a kind soul and sweet spirit, she inherited the creative gift giving gene. As she was 8 hours away at college, missing family I think she found comfort in doing for others. This project was like Art Therapy for her. She researched what she could do with this voice mail. Low and behold she ran across a site on Etsy that takes voicemails and makes them into art. Guess what - this turned into a very special Christmas gift for all involved. Tears and laughter as we shared about fun times at Christmases Past with Papa. My all time favorite was when he took all the trash out to burn and had accidentally had picked up some glass Christmas ornaments. Yep, we didn't find them until that Spring - I think it was Easter. They were intact but a little charred. 

We had 3 framed and 2 bracelets made. I know Papa is smiling down on this idea as he was a lover of art in  his own way especially when it came to me! I can only pray that our daughter, Mary Frances finds a family one day that will embrace her Baptist-Gypsy-Hippy nature and love it to the moon and back just like Papa loved me. Lord, knows that man put up with me for a very long time. I do believe God put me in his path for a reason and I sure am glad he did.

We miss you Papa - see post from last January

Papa, you old geezer, these songs are for you! Yes, I remember those July days of getting in your truck or on the Sail Boat in St Simons and you having Christmas music playing...Miss you! So, glad you are still hanging around on our walls, wrist and in our hearts.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 22, 2017

Rudolph Ornaments

The fourth grade made Rudolph ornaments.  The best part of the project was that it could be done in one class period.  Some of the kids got creative with their reindeer movement.  

I had the kids design the ornament with a pencil.  When doing this, they had to decide on the placement of the reindeer.
The kids painted.
That's it!


Ever heard Destiny's Child sing "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer"?