Free Art Friday

Three of my classes (the ones with higher proportions of 8th graders and kids that had art before) finished the Draw Around the Room game a full day faster than the other 3 classes. So they earned their first studio day. I called it “Free Art Friday” because we will have studio days often that are directed towards a themed assignment, this one was open ended.

Working in mixed media collage

Working in mixed media collage

The only centers open so far are drawing, collage, computers and the library. These girls are new to our school, but found lots of cool materials in the collage center to explore.

4 boys using 1 computer to do different activities

4 boys using 1 computer to do different activities

These guys are all drawing, using the computer to look up and print out reference pictures. The boy on the computer has been in my classes since 6th grade and is very experienced on the computer. He drew a Trardis on MS paint while helping the other kids find and print images to draw. I was very pleased with how these 7th and 8th graders are working together.

Using smart phone and computer together, productively!

Using smart phone and computer together, productively!

These two are using computers too. One has been in my class for years, the other is new. “T”  asked to use his smart phone to look at a picture of his dog, which he is drawing on the computer using MS paint. Our school has a pretty strict “no electronics” rule. But I want to move towards a BYOD classroom. So when they ask to use them for a legit learning purpose, I am going to say yes and encourage responsible choices about it. I told them at the end of class that I still reserve the right to confiscate the phone if they aren’t using it responsibly. The other boy seems to be his new BFF, and is new to art. He is mostly exploring his options, fairly lost with what to do. But being guided and encouraged by his more experienced friend.

In each of the 3 classes that had “free art” time today, there was one or two that struggled to find something to do and a couple that wanted to use it as a study hall to read from a fiction book or do math homework. Being the very first time this year, I was not surprised nor too worried. For the ones trying to do homework, I let them know that this was still art class, not a study hall, and they need to engage in something artistic. For the ones just struggling, I allowed them to wander a little, watch others and I gave them suggestions of things they could do.

Overall it went well for the first one of the year. Next week is my first “Artistic Habit” lesson and “Collage Around the Room” game.

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