incorporating common core strategies in the art room
It's a rough year to be a teacher, but boy is it a tough year to be a classroom teacher. They are being asked to invent curriculum, provide support for gaps in the system, all while being evaluated by a new method.
I've been asking people in my building how the arts can best support these new common core goals and strategies. I don't want to sacrifice my curriculum or integrity of my program, however I know that I become a better teacher and learner when I try new things and expand my horizons and I suspect that what the common core is asking students to do directly applies to the arts. I also know that I'm mistaken if I think there will not be a day that the common core will rain on me and my program. I know the day is coming when my fellow teachers, administration, Board, and State ask me how I'm supporting the common core initiative. I like to have an answer ahead of time.
After brainstorming with teachers in my building I thought the following ELL common core strategies and concepts would be a good starting point and could be a incorporated into my art program with ease.
I've always included the above concepts and strategies in my program, we all do. I now make sure that I use the same language as classroom teachers and give students ample time to think and respond.
Above is an example of second graders comparing and contrasting two paintings by George Rodriguez. Students were asked to come to the board and point to evidence to support their comparison or difference. We listed them directly on top of the pictures of the paintings.
Below first graders were learning about the work of Piet Mondrian. We discussed the concepts of artists having unique styles. I explained that to know an artists style, we had to be familiar with the shapes, lines, colors, and subject matter that the artist commonly uses. On the image to the left we listed what was the same about the three paintings, determining the style. We then looked at Mondrian's Broadway Boogie Woogie and discussed how this painting was different from the previous three. Students were engaged and eager to share their thoughts and evidence. This activity took a few minutes and not only supported classroom teachers but also my curriculum.
How are you supporting the common core initiative? What activities do you do that compare and contrast?
I am extremely fortunate to be working in a school district that has dedicated time and finances to writing grants for loads of technology and then providing the finances to maintaining that technology.
I am also fortunate that as new technology comes in older technology is put to use in the art room. I inherited 6 beautiful desktop computers and I'm still coming up with loads of activities for students to do on them. Right now in my first few weeks with them we are using them mostly as another station for after activities.
I am extremely fortunate to have a very committed, well connected, passionate community that supports the arts in a very big way. Each year they raise funds to bring in a visiting artist that works with students to make a communal artistic experience or project. Sometimes it's a poet, other years it's a visual artist. This past year, I was fortunate enough to have an incredible amount of freedom when planning the Artist in Residence with our PTA (parent teacher association).
I decided to make the most of our budget and go all in. Now, looking back on this - it was a bold decision to create such a large project, much of which rested on my shoulders knowing I would be 9 months pregnant when all this would come together. But, I wouldn't change a thing, The artists that we worked with were incredible and the experiences and outcomes that the students experienced were nothing short of spectacular. Below is the description of one of the three artist in residence experiences that I built for our elementary students.
We are on week 2 of our artist in residence. Last week 3-5th grade worked with a professional photographer on a project inspired by Minimiam and this week K-2nd grade is working with an animator to create a stop motion animation inspired by Calder's Circus. Below you can see a quick trailer that I put together to showcase our work in progress. It's been a ton of fun and I can't wait to see the end product with all the acts and sounds added.
We are in the midst of our visiting artist week and it's going awesome! It's exhausting and my feet are very swollen (which may be due to being 9 months pregnant) but the kids are pumped and we are having some amazing products come out from the student's learning and working with professional photographers. Below are a few examples of their photos in progress and a very brief description of the project at hand. I'll do a longer post later with more details.
We are preparing for our Artist in Residence program at one of my schools. It's an exciting time with a TON of work left to do.
We plan on using cut paper with k-2nd graders to create a stop motion animation film. After studying Calder's circus we are using the free imotion hd to film each scene that students are working collaboratively on design, creation, and filming. I'm still problem solving on what mount to put our iPads in to hold them steady, safely and securely to get a quality shot that shoots straight down so we can just set up our images table top.
Above is a the in progress test run from second graders. They were in charge of the Strong Man act.