Thursday, November 17, 2011


     A few years ago I went to the National Art Convention in New York where I attended some sessions that were about having students create their own lessons.  The teacher would develop stations for the students to create at and then "let the student creativity flow."  I loved the concept but was never able to figure out how to apply that to a schedule of 600 kids a week and keep my sanity. 
     Lately, I have been struggling with how I teach.  I teach the same lesson 4 days a week to 300 kids.  That means 300 projects that look very similar.  I talked with some of my colleagues during our PLC and they suggested switching materials for every day of classes.  That would work, but then I would have to keep track of which classes used which materials and I would have a different set up everyday.  Did I mention I have 3 kids at home under the age of 7 to keep track of also :)
     For my latest 5th grade project I tried something new and I think I like it! 
  • We talked about watercolor... it's qualities and how to use it. 
  • We talked about how artists have used text in paintings...from illuminated letters to modern artists. 
  • We talked about geometric and organic shapes and how artists use them... they looked at Paul Klee and Gustav Klimt to compare styles.   
  • Then I gave them homework (something I don't usually do).  They had to sketch out an idea that used text to create an image that reflected geometric or organic design. 
     Today they came back and most of them had their homework done...YEAH!  Some of the classes used poetry they had written in English class for their text prompt (thanks Mrs. Schmidt and Miss Riese!)  Some of the classes they had to come up with their own ideas and I enjoy hearing them discuss the ideas behind their writing. Even though they all were given the same assignment and we are using the same material, I am loving all the different projects I am getting.  I think this will inspire me in the future...

Here are few of the projects in progress.

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