Above is a Dropbox video link I took of my 5th grade students working in my room last November. It gives you a little taste of what goes on during a typical 50 minute class with about 28 kiddos. I apologize for some of the angles in the video as I think I was flipping my iPad in directions I did not realize... but you will still get the idea of the various differentiated projects happening all at once.
I am also long overdue in posting a PowerPoint for the folks who visited my session at the state AAE conference in November 2014 (remember all the computer issues... umm... yeah!). So I had my presentation at NAEA in NOLA about choice-based art - and it was pretty full and lots of Qs and lots of support from great folks. I heard wonderful comments from people about how they found their ah-ha moment. Wow! That's powerful... and not only are my students important, but sharing at conferences with fellow art teachers is just as important - comments like that remind me why it's so important for art teachers to share and connect. Thanks to all that made me feel like I gave you some inspiration - and thanks for inspiring me! So... below is the PDF I used at my session today (the PPT was way TOO BIG).
P.S. This PDF shows the layout of my art room the past few years... but I am switching art rooms and will hopefully have a new layout for the school year! Stay tuned!!!
One of my favorite centers to open and demonstrate projects for is the COLLAGE center. I think it's because I am a texture person. I love the visual and physical textures created through collage and mixed media artwork. Above is a picture of my current collage center. I do a brief overview in a PowerPoint (below) for the center while pointing out things in the physical space. I have basic directions - written and visual examples - of what students should do to create a successful collage. I also probably over did it in the sample/example area with all the various types of collage that can be created. Many of the examples are student examples, artist examples, and a few are ones that I have created.
Let me say this is not the first center I open or introduce in my art room. Drawing is always first; then I open collage; then painting isn't too far behind collage because I like to give the students the option to use paint to add layers or textures to their collage. I also do a brief intro to the printmaking center that allows students to utilize various texture stamps, printing tools, and ink pads to also create textures for collages or paintings... and well, mixed-media artwork.
One of my favorite collage artists is Romare Bearden. I usually show the students examples in a PowerPoint of his collage work (below). We discuss how Bearden used many of his life experiences for his collage artwork. Here are a few examples of my favorite Bearden collages. Pittsburgh Memories is on the left - it holds a special place in my heart as I am originally from Pittsburgh, AND I used to work at the Carnegie Museum of Art where it resides.
One of the themes I introduce when I open the collage center is "Memories" inspired by Bearden's work. I also show the students other examples of collage artworks and a time lapse videos demonstrating how one might use collage and layering materials to create an artwork. Here are a few links that are good examples: Megan Coyle's Swordfish Collage Video Art Journal Page with Magazine Cutouts Deborah Shapiro Bird Collage There are also a zillion more videos that show all kinds of mixed-media techniques (Printing, stenciling, painting, drawing, etc.) layered with the collage paper. I really want the kiddos to understand how to cut and layer paper... then this is where we talk about the paint and printmaking centers for layering.
So - Here are my menus/direction I currently use. Everything in the center is labeled, too, so kiddos can find and return materials. This is where scissors, glue, and glue sticks will live the rest of the year (even though I still have several kids asking me in February - "where are the scissors?" - Argh! Really? ....anyways...Back to the Menus....).
I do a little demonstration/review for classes using my document camera and gathering kids around tables to see the various options of collage and layering. We sometimes spend one class period creating painted paper swatches with various textures. What does that teach us? EXPERIMENTATION with.... color mixing, stamps/texture tools, layering, and sharing ideas and paper swatches with one another. If there are specific papers the kids know they want to use, they put their name on it and save in their portfolio folders... If they don't need it, we place it in a box for others to use.
Some kids take to collage - while others are not interested. I do not force anyone to try a center they are not ready to tackle for a project. Below are some student examples, and there are other examples in my Gallery tab of my blog.
So - what do some of these student collages look like? Check out the gallery below.
Well - the first day of school for us in NW Arkansas is tomorrow. All teachers have been frantically unpacking and reorganizing their rooms the last 2 weeks for the start of a new school year. My room is pretty much ready - and when I say pretty much, that means I usually always have a few things I could have done, but didn't quite get to - but I will get it done this week during my planning time. What didn't I get done? Well - there are several boxes of books, files, and resources that need to be sorted or trashed. I refuse to keep stuff I don't need anymore - so I am going through this stuff and organizing!
I am continuing with my choice-based, TAB room this year. I can't imagine not doing this. I have a whole list of items that I am hoping to accomplish throughout the school year. Several already got crossed off the list as I was rearranging my room to give the kiddos more space to move and work.
Thanks to so many teachers on the TAB room design Facebook page for their ideas and thoughts on collapsing my teacher desks into a streamlined area that has opened up the room. Here is a pic after I got the computer set up on the cart. Student books, puzzles, and resources are currently being arranged on the shelf next to the cart. More finished pics later this week.
A second item I really needed to streamline and get off tables to create more space is making my tabletop drying racks a vertical column of loveliness on wheels…. which my hubby was able to do just that. WooHoo!
What have you been doing to design your classroom space???
I will have more images to come later this week - hopefully ones of smiling, happy kiddos working in my room, too! That's what makes this job what it is - the kids! I am off to enjoy the rest of my last summer day with my family. I hope all of you have a wonderful start to the school year - whether it is tomorrow or after Labor Day - enjoy your time and have fun getting ready for school.