Friday, October 02, 2009

And Now for Something Entirely Different

WELCOME TO MY STUDIO...One of my studios, I should say...the one I share with about 225 other artists.
I have been an elementary art teacher for 15 years. This is the third year I have been in this art room and it still looks new. I keep it pretty simple. One of my professors at IU told us once that too much stuff on the walls of the art room can overstimulate kids and actually hamper their creative process. Seemed counter intuitive to me at the time, but now I agree. My students notice the tiniest little thing new in the room and are very curious. Sometimes, I bring in something I have made or a piece in progress and sit it on my desk. Let's just say it's well-fingerprinted by the end of the day.

I have only 3 rules:
1. Create with intention. Think before you mark or cut.
2. Share materials kindly.
3. Clean up your own mess.

I teach grades one thru five in a rural area. Fifth grade has been working on creating value with hatching and crosshatching. This is black water-based marker on construction paper. I keep my materials to a minimum and always try to present lesson that the students could recreate easily at home with inexpensive materials.

I do a few seasonal crafts every year, just for fun, so we have made pumpkins and scarecrows. We might do some kind of ornament or decoration around Christmas.
King Tut is at the Indianapolis Children's Museum and although our school system can no longer afford to send kids on field trips, our fourth grade teachers applied for grants to take their students to see the exhibit.

Wanting to seize on their enthusiasm, I moved the lesson on symmetrical balance up a few weeks and we made these masks. Metallic paint, jewels and glitter, glitter, glitter. I think they look great and the kids are so proud of them. Fourth grade is now shifting gears radically and studying Hokusai. We had a long talk about how different aesthetics all have value, comparing the ornate Egyptian artifacts and the simple woodblock prints.

In an effort to support literacy, my fourth and fifth graders are keeping art journals this year. They do some writing every art class...mostly writing vocabulary and making sketches of artwork we study. It feels all very scholarly.

The drying rack is bursting with second grade paintings of active lines. Thank you Kandinsky.

My desk is always a bit cluttered, but I don't really mind. My art journal is on the far right edge of my desk. I try to fit in a little doodling or writing during my lunchtime.

Clean up can be a challenging time since my sinks are adult height, but we manage. Usually I give the yung 'uns a wet paper towel to scrub their table while I wash out brushes myself. I want them to be clean!!

Third grade made these robots - LOVE the way they turned out. The skill here is freehand cutting geometric shapes.

This room is huge and very well equipped. Here is one of closets. Some of those bins are empty.

The last photo is the scene outside my classroom door.
I hope you have enjoyed this little trip around my art room!


Cre8Tiva said...

i enjoyed the tour of your creative space...please come see mine when you have a chance...i am having a giveaway...hugs, rebecca

Magpie's Mumblings said...

It appears that you are a wonderful art teacher and the kids are very lucky indeed to have you.
Mary Anne

Angela Friend said...

I LOVE your three rules! It could apply to my life everyday and my two girls in my space...but I really don't like sharing my materials! Thank you for sharing your space!


Magpie Sue said...

Man, I wish I'd been able to be a student in that school! Your kids are learning way more than I ever did about art. I'm jealous! (I do hope they get to go see the King Tut exhibit though.)

Thistle Cove Farm said...

"Clean up your own mess." If I could only get the rest of folks to clean up their own mess!
Thanks for the studio tour; hope the children appreciate they say around here.

Leslie said...

I love your rules! Great for life in general. Good rules to live by. Thanks for the tour. I want to be in grade school again with you as my teacher. It looks like it's way more fun nowadays.

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