TAB update: 2007-2008

I am 2 weeks into the new trimester and now on winter break… finally time to breath, catch-up on a bunch of stuff, including updating my TAB pals!

SO a little run down of last trimester:
Centers that I opened and in order: drawing, computers, printmaking (8th graders did some silkscreen t-shirts) collage, paint (the most popular of them all), sculpture, an idea center(after talked about on here I decided this was a good idea! my idea center included ART books and some art games like cranium mini games of just the sculpting and drawing parts this was a big hit! but I did end up limiting a few kids with how often the games were out.) and finally clay.

Since I do modified choice with my middle school kids to help them stay focused we have challenges. So I did mini lessons followed by a challenge. The mini lessons tied into the new centers as they opened. The way this worked is that every other week they had to turn in a piece of art with a reflection/artist statement that met the challenge of the past 2 weeks.

This last tri I did printmaking, pop art and Andy Warhol lessons followed by a pop art challenge. Then paint, landscape, and sculpture mini lessons followed by a landscape or sculpture challenge. Next was a mask lesson with a mask challenge, at that point all the centers were opened. At this point I also threw in a week that they could turn in ANY 2 pieces of favorite art, no theme or challenge required. Then was the cubism and tessellation lessons and challenge. And finally self-portrait for their final lesson and challenge. I created photostories movies or power points for most of these lessons that were posted on the blog especially to help kids that were absent.

At the very end we did digital portfolios using power point. I took pictures of EVERY piece of art as I graded it and organized them in accessible folders for the kids. I had them save all the artist statement/reflections with the goal of having them use the info in their portfolios. This did work for some. This time around the portfolios were the most successful batch they have done. I have a pre-made power point template that has all the slides and the type of information that needs to be on each one, so it is mostly filling in the blank. Most of them already know how to make power points but this makes the process faster and makes sure that the kids NOT familiar with power point get to spend more time on the art info and not making the slides. (Focus on the parts I really want to assess) The kids really liked seeing all their work in this format and talking about it on the slides. They were fantastic.

So now we are into the new trimester. I have a new class I am teaching called “Digital and Video Arts” this will be less like a choice TAB style art room and this has already frustrated the kids. Since they all just had me last trimester for art and we meet in the same room, they want it to be the same. Oh well, there will still be TONS of choices, but more writing as we prepare scripts and storyboards for podcasts, animations and films. We spent the first 2 weeks, choosing and writing, recording and editing our first round of segments. I have put a few of the finished ones together in our first podcast. I hope you will give it a listen AND comment. Let the kids know your favorite part. I think the interaction will get them a little more excited.

For those that don’t know… I teach grades 6-8 and see them 50 mins a day, all week for 12 weeks. We have a discipline program called “make your day” that requires kids to self-reflect and rate their performance every period that takes at least 5 mins at the end of the period. SO with set up and clean up we get about 35 mins of art on a good day. My lessons are usually 15-25 mins long and only once or twice a week and days without lessons are called “studio” days where they get straight to centers and work on the current project/challenge or explore.