Today I had a great conversation with my Art 3 kids and we had a talk and figured out what worked for them and for the grade book. You see, I want them to have freedom to create but I still have to have grades and do things like report cards and such. The kids have been working and working hard on LARGE projects but there wasn't much in the grade book to show for it (don't even get me started on how the grade book, grades, and tests, drive a school...thats another story!!). So today, the day before interims my two Art 3 kids asked me to have a chat. They said that if you looked at the grade book that it looked like they hadn't been doing anything in art class. So we talked about what we could do to fix that and they came up with some ideas that were really good!!! They suggested that besides just the projects that they were working on in class that I could assign a weekly Sketchbook project, that would maybe specify that they have to use certain Elements or Principles of Art and or maybe a particular art technique. They would then have to write an Artist Statement and explain how they used Artist Behaviors when creating their project. While having this conversation I was so proud of my kids and what they were coming up with!!
This new way of teaching for me has me making new changes every week, talking to my kids more about what they need or how they think the class could be better, or changes in the flow of the classroom setting. I've also gotten a lot of help from my colleagues and this is pushing me to read more on TAB and Choice-Based learning. Its all been a breath of fresh air for my classroom and a little bit of work for me. But overall I think it's making me a better teacher. So tomorrow is another day...I wonder what they will teach me tomorrow?
~Till Next Time