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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.