Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Art Teacherin' 101: Episode 13

What's the fastest way to inspire white hot panic in any art teacher? Tell 'em that it's the start of a new school year and they've gotta dream up lesson plans for all their countless classes. Pile that on top of the fact that you gotta prep your art room, teach the rules -n- routines all while making sure the kids have fun and you've got a whole lotta freak out goin' on. Well, in this episode of Art Teacherin' 101, I thought I'd share with you how I start my school year in an easy and stress-free way with an impactful project. How? Just think:

Theme, collaboration or both? 

Here, lemme 'splain it to you...
Here's how I approach it: What do I want my beginning of the school year theme to be? An artist? A culture? An art movement? Or, as is the case this year, a big idea like kindness? Start there. Once you've got that nailed down, think: do you want your students work together to create one collaborative piece? Or do you want them to each create individual works of art that are based around your theme. Like I mentioned I've done a bit of both with success. I'll share 'em with you here in a sec but lemme tell you why I love working this way so stinkin' much:

* It's IMPACTFUL. Getting art on the walls as soon as school starts is a great way to promote your program; instill pride in the students as EVERY ONE of their works of art are on display; beautify the school environment. You need money for supplies? You need parent volunteers? You want kids to have a great self-confidence? Say it with artwork, y'all. Immediate art can garner immediate results.

* It's EASY. Think about it: sticking with the same theme means one prezi/powerpoint/bulletinboard for all. It gets even better when all students are using the same art supplies as that cuts down on prep. Everyone is creating a selfie with markers and colored pencil on the same size piece of paper? Wowza! You might actually be able to spend your lunch hour EATING LUNCH and not scrambling around like a crazy person. 

So, without further ado, lemme share with you some of my fave collaborative projects that added a powerful punch to those otherwise dull brick walls:
Collaborative Grid Masterpieces: If you settle on an artist as your theme, you might want to consider having your students create a grid mural. You can purchase grid murals online or create one of your own. I always liked having my students draw out the mural themselves as you can see in this lesson here. However, Art with Jenny K sells some great pre-drawn grid murals too! 
Teamwork Collaboratives: My students and I really loved this project last year. It involved team building and was super colorful! Now I'm thinking this project could go even bigger. What if you did this with an ENTIRE class? Maybe each class creating a series of art supplies in this manner? Golly, how awesome would that be outside of an art room!? 
School Wide Collaboratives with a Theme: I know I've shared this collaborative a number of times but that's because it was so simple and successful! If your theme is love or kindness, I would strongly recommend this project. Ours hangs as a permanent piece and still gets plenty of attention and compliments. 
Super Simple Collaborative: You want something super easy but stunning? Might I recommend this coffee filter Dot Day inspired project that would be a collaborative for all students. 
Dot Day Collaboratives: Right after we complete our kindness piece, my students will be diving into all things Dot Day. I've shared all of my past Dot Day collaboratives. They make such and impression and teach a great lesson! 
Grade Level Collaborative: Like the Dot Day Tree Mural above, this jungle-themed collaborative was created by my first graders at the start of the school year. For this style of theming, my students all created unique jungle-themed projects based on a different lesson but learning the same artist, art history and overarching idea. 
For example, here is an example of one of the relief sculpture pieces my fourth graders created
School Pride Collaborative: This beaut is over 3 years old now and still hangs proudly in our lobby. The kids love it, it adds a splash of fun and happy to our entrance way and it was simple to create. All the deets can be found here
Setting the Tone Collaboratives: I recently shared with y'all the kindness collaboratives my students have created in the past. They are a wonderful way to set the tone with your lesson and visually in the school. A list of kindness collaboratives here
Selfies: Self-portraits all over the school at the start of the school year is very empowering for students. It gives them a sense of belonging and ownership to the school. This fun selfie lesson can be found here
Super Duper Kids: This lesson was a wonderful way to explore what makes each one of my students a super hero. Follow this linky-loo for a complete lesson video

For even more selfie lessons, take a peak at My Fave Self-Portrait Lessons
Remember, the start of the school year is already a stressful time for both you and your students (as they anticipate a new school experience). Cut down on your stress level by thinking of a simple, impactful project with an overarching theme, media or collaboration. Trust me, you'll have something beautiful to add to your school walls and one less gray hair on your pretty lil head! 
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1 comment:

  1. Hello! I am your newest follower and loved your post. I look forward to reading more. Have a great weekend and happy blogging!

    Jen @ Professional Bloggers Association
    www.ProfessionalBloggersAssociation.com

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