Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Drawing inspired this student to work in collage, too.

"I drew the picture, then I looked at it to make the guy. It's me, but I gave him a different name."

The students have been working on titling their favorite pieces. Often I have a hard time getting the kids to name their pieces, but this first grader was very definite about the title for this drawing:

"I made it with shapes, and colors too. Because I wanted to make something wonderful."

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Two boys in my third grade class have been working on this structure for the last four classes! This is a picture of the yard, the black pom pom is the "bean bag playing place for the dog."

They've also made a house for the dog. They have come in during lunches and recesses to work on it. I like to eavesdrop on their planning sessions, "Hey, do you think he should have a food bowl outside, or in his house?"

Using burlap, yarn, and plastic needles, I introduced sewing to a second grader

"It's a pocket! I made it. I sewed in and out, in and out." Showing it to his friends, he adds, "Hey guys! Look! Look! I made it! I made this pocket! Then I colored on it with a marker. A PERMANENT marker!"

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Halloween was definitely on her mind when this second grader was painting.

It's for my teacher. It's a pretty witch."

A kindergarten student had definite ideas about his creation. "I need a lot of these [craft sticks]. I'm making a bridge, then I'm making a boat. You need to use a lot of glue to make them stick. I like to smooth it out with my fingers.He proceeded to punch holes in the paper with the hole punch,"I'm punching holes. Because I want to."

Chenille stems (otherwise known as pipe cleaners) are always popular at the micro-sculpture station.

"See, Mrs. Dyer? This is my dragon. I made it out of pipe cleaners and of beads. And I also made it out of this stuff [fabric]."-second grader

A parent brought in some roll ends from drafting paper. These papers are much bigger than anything I have access to. I introduced it at the drawing station last week.

"I just like to make lines and letters and stuff." -kindergarten

Another kindergarten was fascinated with the whiteboards.

"I'm making straight lines. All yellow."

Friday, October 27, 2006

A second grader created the spaceship, then the figure that fits inside. The black ball is actually an asteroid . . .

"See?! This little guy fits into the door on the bottom! He can drive really fast away from the asteroid!"

This third grader worked on his drawing for two solid class periods. First he drew it, using the method described in How to Draw Fast Cars . Then he carefully chose the colors. He is thrilled with it!

"I'm going to show this to my mom, she loves these colors!"

For some reason, this past week was wonderful! I think we've really settled into the TAB routine. One of my kindergarten classes is still struggling with appropriate behavior, but I can see progress.

Most classes have the following studios

  1. Drawing students choose the medium, as well as the paper. They also have access to many different "How to Draw" books. I have one first grade class that LOVES to use the whiteboards. I've told them that they may NOT use any text on the whiteboards, only images

    "this is just a design. See all the colors? I made them." first grader

  2. Collage we've been discussing the different adhesives and which to use for which projects
  3. Construction this is a favorite with boys and girls. I do have to remind them that if they're making something to play with, i.e. an action figure, or spaceship, they can't play with it until recess. They have just begun to paint their pieces.

    "This is a machine thing. It gives you a sunburn, see? A blue sunburn." third grader

  4. watercolor (some have tempera paints as well!)
  5. Clay
  6. Architecture which we like to refer to as "temporary art". Kids can build structures with a variety of blocks.

    I drew this and made it colorful to match the building. first grader

    Then they are encouraged to sketch what they've built. I love to see the reluctant drawers draw their buildings.

  7. Fiber this includes weaving and sewing. I've just begun introducing these to groups of two or three at a time.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

This first grader is working on a second building. He's trying to make the two identical.

I take the chance to point out that he is creating something symmetrical

The kids are learning about printmaking, by creating small stamps. Two girls were alternating colors.

"This is going to be a card for my mom"

It's surprising to see how many students like weaving. When I created this large loom last week, some of the kids came over to add their bits and pieces to it. It was finished quickly!

It's important to realize that TAB art education isn't simply "free time". Each class begins with a short (5-10 minutes) lesson. I introduce a concept, or medium. I also show them artwork that corresponds with the lesson. The kids are then free to choose to work with what I've just introduced, or to choose something else.

The studios are introduced one at a time, and explained. The kids learn about processes used in each one. Some students work at the same station week after week, while others flit back and forth.

I taught the second graders about warm and cool colors. We discussed how artists can use color to create moods. Most of the children agreed that cool colors created a spooky feeling.

We used construction paper crayons.

I try to discourage the students from using too much text in their work. I want them to practice using the language of visual imagery. But there are times they just HAVE to write:

J likes the tempera paints. He's working on a jack-o-lantern:

"It's a body so the pumpkin can be alive."

Most of the second graders love clay. This student is making some sort of structure.


"See? It's a building. And this is the other room. And this is where that guy lives"

The students were thrilled when I brought out tempera paints last week!

skel
Originally uploaded by shoppingformykids
I introduced whiteboards last week. The kids, especially the reluctant drawers, love these. They take away the pressure to make something perfect:
I teach art at Bountiful Elementary School, using the TAB teaching model. I stumbled on this method last year. It was my first year teaching art, and I was struggling. I had some students that loved every project every week, but many were dissatisfied.

One week I introduced pastels, and "Randy" loved it. He was usually disruptive, but not that week. He was engaged, fascinated with the pastels, and the way they'd glide over the paper. When the hour of art was over, he ran to me, breathless, "Can we do this again next week, Mrs. Dyer? Please?" I mumbled some sort of noncommital "we'll see, Randy", figuring that by the next week, he'd have forgotten all about it.

Randy walked into class the following week, and marched over to me as quickly as he could, "Mrs. Dyer! Mrs. Dyer! Are we going to use those same things today? You know, those papelle things?"

I was stunned. Here was a boy that was usually antsy, uninvolved, silly. He couldn't remember where the trash can was from week to week, but he remembered using pastels? Even if he couldn't remember how to pronounce it, I knew that, clearly, this was something he was excited about.
I had to disappoint him, "No, Randy, we're not using pastels today. But we are going to do something just as fun!" He just kind of hung his head, "Can we use them again another day?" he pleaded.

That was when I knew that I was going to make changes. I began by coming up with a "free time" table; after students finished the assigned project, they could use the free time materials as they pleased. The kids hurried through their assigned projects, then raced over to the free time materials, often creating complex and well thought out pieces. I thought to myself, "too bad we can't have free time for the entire art period". But I was convinced that somehow, that wasn't allowed, it was against the rules.

Fortunately, last November, as I was surfing the internet, trying to come up with a Thanksgiving themed art project, I came across this blog: http://tabchoiceteaching.blogspot.com/ It was a revelation! Here was an accepted method of teaching children art! Without forcing them to churn out cookie cutter projects! I read up on this method, mostly here: http://knowledgeloom.org/tab/index.jsp

I started making the transition in January 2006. And you know what? I haven't looked back!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

For some reason, this past week was wonderful! I think we've really settled into the TAB routine. One of my kindergarten classes is still struggling with appropriate behavior, but I can see progress.
Most classes have the following studios:

  1. Drawing-- students choose the medium, as well as the paper. They also have access to many different "How to Draw" books. I have one first grade class that LOVES to use the whiteboards. I've told them that they may NOT use any text on the whiteboards, only images "this is just a design. See all the colors? I made them."


  2. Collage we've been discussing the different adhesives and which to use for which projects

  3. Construction this is a favorite with boys and girls. I do have to remind them that if they're making something to play with, i.e. an action figure, or spaceship, they can't play with it until recess. They have just begun to paint their pieces "This is a machine thing. It gives you a sunburn, see? A blue sunburn." third grader



  4. Watercolor
  5. Clay
  6. Architecture which we like to refer to as "temporary art". Kids can build structures with a variety of blocks. "I drew this and made it colorful to match the building."
  7. Fiber this includes weaving and sewing. I've just begun introducing these to groups of two or three at a time.

This first grader is working on a second building. He's trying to make the two identical. I take the chance to point out that he is creating something symmetrical.
The kids are learning about printmaking, by creating small stamps. Two girls were alternating colors.
It's surprising to see how many students like weaving. When I created this large loom last week, some of the kids came over to add their bits and pieces to it. It was finished quickly!

I taught the second graders about warm and cool colors. We discussed how artists can use color to create moods. Most of the children agreed that cool colors created a spooky feeling.
I try to discourage the students from using too much text in their work. I want them to practice using the language of visual imagery. But there are times they just HAVE to write.

J likes the tempera paints. He's working on a jack-o-lantern. "It's a body so the pumpkin can be alive."

Most of the second graders love clay. This student is making some sort of structure. "See? It's a building. And this is the other room. And this is where that guy lives"

The students were thrilled when I brought out tempera paints last week!

I introduced whiteboards last week. The kids, especially the reluctant drawers, love these. They take away the pressure to make something perfect:

About Me

My photo
Bountiful, Utah, United States

How does TAB work?

To implement TAB, I began with 1 center--the drawing center. It contains different drawing media: pens, pencils, crayons, markers, pastels, chalks, as well as various papers. Also included are dozens of different "How to Draw" books. We discuss as a class what artists draw. Some draw real things, or pretend things, or non-objective designs.

I also discuss the variety of drawing media available, and explain how to clean up.

It is amazing how much the kids enjoy this. I've recently added plastic animals and dinosaurs for the kids to look at while they draw.

The second week, I introduced the collage center, containing colored paper, glue, glue sticks, staplers, scissors, brads, and fabric.

I showed them some collages by Romare Bearden, as well as many student created works. I had to tell them how to determine what adhesive to use, and showed them the stickyometer poster.

They could then choose to go to the collage center, or the drawing center. The kindergartners LOVE the collage center. I love to watch them create. They are so free, so unlimited.

The third week, I opened the watercolor center, with watercolor pans, brushes and paper. The main focus for me was to teach them how to care for the brushes, put on smocks, and where to put their work to dry. They could then choose watercolor, drawing, or collage.

I kept it with just three centers for a few weeks (I see them once a week). It's important for them to learn to care for their supplies and the classroom. But while I wasn't introducing new centers, I did introduce new materials into existing centers, explaining their use (for example, I added whiteboards and markers to the drawing center). I also demonstrated new techniques (crayon resist with watercolors). And I've even started to integrate art principles and elements. Of course I included numerous examples and prints from to reinforce the concepts.

With those three centers humming along, I added the clay center. I did a super brief demo, showing them how to work with it. I did tell them that they could simply create with the clay and not try to keep it, or they could create things for me to fire in the kiln. I gave them admonitions like: "Clay can't be thicker than your thumb, or it will take too long to dry." and"Be sure to join any attachments securely". (Which we all know is MUCH easier said than done!)

Of course, the day I introduced clay, ALL the kids wanted to use it, but I had to limit it to eight. The kids grumbled a bit, but soon were off to other choices (it helped that I introduced craft sticks and chenille stems at the collage center!).

I tried to be as hands off as possible at the clay center. I stayed at the table with them, giving demonstrations as necessary. Joining clay is very difficult, but the determined kids will learn. One third grader created an adorable dog with toothpick thin legs barely hanging on. She wanted me to fire it. I knew there was no way that those pitiful little legs could hang on, I said, "Okay, but you'll need to put it on the shelf to dry." The shelf was only a couple of feet away, but poor little dog was legless by the time he got there! I will admit I felt more than a little coldhearted, but really, this is the only way for them to learn! The student sat with me, and I demonstrated joining and adding just a bit of moisture for her. She worked and worked on that dog, and it finally came together.

After clay was going (it took several weeks for all the students to have a chance, and I stayed at the clay center so they could all have some individual instruction), I was free to add some more centers.

First, I added painting with tempera paints. Next was the architecture or "temporary art", containing legos, blocks, cuisenaire rods, magnets, mosaic boards, and geoboards. This is where the students learn hands on about spatial properties and design elements.

I introduced the fiber center, with weaving and sewing. Kids truly enjoy this one, but they do need significant hands on instruction (especially threading the needles!) and I've put this one away for a bit.

The collage center was joined by the construction center. They can use cardboard, small boxes, and other castoffs to create. Kids have made houses, boats, star wars aircraft, cameras, and so much more here. Their adhesive of choice, though, is tape. Rolls and rolls and rolls of tape! I've spent some time with them, encouraging them to use some of the glues we have, or even to paper mache over the tape, but very few takers so far.

Now, midway through the year, with many centers going, I can work with the students on some art history and appreciation.

TAB is truly a wonderful teaching method. The kids can create things because THEY want to, not because I (or some other teacher) think they look neat. The energy and excitement in the room during class time is thrilling! I LOVE my job!

Blog Archive

A different approach to art education:

TAB stands for Teaching Artistic Behavior It is a research-backed, student driven method. Kids are taught a new concept, technique, or medium each class period, and then are able to choose what art to make.

The idea is to teach them to work like artists. We talk about how artists get ideas, where they get inspiration, and how they behave.

At the beginning of the year I have to focus extensively on set-up and clean-up routines. I want them to learn to be responsible for their own art experiences.