I tried something new with my third graders this year.
I wanted to reinforce old watercolor skills with this particular group of students but also introduce new technique. And, I didn't want it to take forever. We had a discussion about how one would workout to keep up a strength, just as an athlete would workout particular body parts, artists must keep practicing to keep up their good habits and skill.
We filled out the above watercolor workout. We went over each technique together. The following week when they dried, students were asked to "bulk up" on the skills that they needed more practice on. They referred to their original workouts and grabbed scrap watercolor paper to practice those skills that they were weakest. We then quickly moved on to our watercolor paintings with students keeping their workout around to refer back to, whenever they needed it. What do you do to have students brush up on skills?
So it turns out having a baby doesn't leave you a lot of opportunity to update your blog. You would think I would have learned that lesson with the other 2. Many apologies.
I'm teaching part time this year, 3 days a week. It's a good balance. I am at one school, I see all the students there and have my own space to teach in. It's a great balance between the Mom part of me and the Teacher part of me, and when I'm really on fire, the Artist in me.
Teaching in one school (not traveling within the district), supporting one student body, collaborating with one staff, managing one studio space and budget has allowed me to explore my teaching practice a bit more in depth. It's been wonderful to pour all my time, energy and effort into one building instead of splitting it between many.
With the focus of one school I've read a lot about TAB teaching practices and choice based art education. I've taken steps within my space to embrace these thought processes and implement pieces of their philosophies into my own practice. It's a work in progress and I'm loving the discoveries that I've made along the way.
More to come, but if you're interested in learning more about TAB, choice based art education or Reggio Emiliano Education, these are the books that I found most helpful: