Thursday, December 27, 2007

Winter break is here! I do enjoy the break from the routine, but I'm looking forward to seeing the students again. I'll add some more options to the studio. At the 3-d construction center, I'm going to introduce paper-mache. And in the fiber/weaving center, I'm bringing in beads. K-2 will have pony beads with string and pipe cleaners, while the older students will have the elastic beading string along with crimping tubes and beading pliers.

I'm also going to formally introduce sewing to the older grades. Sewing is interesting, because I didn't have the tools out at the fiber center, but if a student asked, I handed them thread and a needle, but told them I wouldn't be able to give them instruction (sewing is wonderful, but learning the basics really is a one-on-one activity). Amazing things happened; students that knew the basics taught interested students. And all this was completely unorchestrated, unplanned on my part!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

I want the students to learn creative problem solving, so we don't have tape in our classroom. Instead of answering the same questions over and over, I created some posters at that center:

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Okay, found my card reader, now I can post images of all the exciting art:

This is a girl in her house, and here is her chair.

This second grader is creating a suit of body armor!

Kindergarteners draw freely:

A sixth grader shows his finished weaving: Modeling clay:


A torn paper collage by a sixth grader:

Another woven piece, turned into a bracelet by a first grader

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Wonderful things are happening here! (Unfortunately, I've misplaced my card reader, so I can't upload photos right now. It'll turn up soon, though . . .)

The kinders have the drawing, collage, and modeling clay centers open. And I've begun introducing watercolors to them as well! These kids love the collage materials, especially the staplers and hole punches. It's wonderful to see the spontaneous way they approach their work. These are artists unconstrained by the pressure to create "SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL".

The other classes have more centers available:

  • weaving with three larger wooden looms, and lots of small handmade cardboard looms
  • watercolors and tempera paint
  • collage
  • drawing
  • origami
  • pen and ink
  • clay

I am seeing genuine artmaking happening in these groups.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Lots of things are happening in the art studio. Drawing is a favorite, especially with sharpie markers.

The fifth grader who created this told me, "I like to draw creepy things. This eye could be the eye of a creature who has reappeared."



Using one of the How to Draw books, another fifth grader created this,

"I didn't know I could draw this good!"



The sixth grader who created this piece wowed her classmates by creating skin tones with just a basic set of prang watercolors.


Kindergartners have a simpler set up right now, they have drawing and a few collage items. Their enthusiasm is amazing.

"This is the mimsy from that movie"


This is a view of the kindergartners working with colored paper, markers, and glue sticks

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Almost every Saturday, I go yard saling. I'm on the lookout for things to sell for my ebay sideline, as well as supplies for my TAB classroom. At the end of each yard-saling morning, I sort my finds, and pack the TAB stuff in my car.




Since I live super close to the school, I go there once or twice a week to drop off the treasures. I'm hoping for a cool, rainy day to come so that I can spend some time organizing the room (when I stopped in at 8:30 this morning, it was 91 degrees). Because right now, it is just a clutter zone!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Before TAB I used to think that if I wanted to create something I needed to have all the right materials, plan out the entire project, AND "do it right". Which allowed me no room for mistakes, experiments, or discoveries. Now the TAB mentality has seeped into my artistic life. I find myself doodling all the time (somethingI used to be scared to do), as well as picking up old hobbies again.

Hobbies like sewing and quilting! I discovered I can do things my OWN way! Here are a couple of examples:

Monday, June 04, 2007

School ended last week. And yes, I'm glad it's summer vacation! Time to hang out with my kids, take some camping trips . . . and plan for next year. Here are some end of the year artworks:

I made this with paper mache and tissue paper and some beads."


"These are dragons that are friends."


"This is my mom, an angel."

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Only a few weeks of school left! I am sad, because the students are working so well together now. All the stations are open, routines are understood and followed, and new ideas are filling the room. It's inspiring just to be there and to feel the energy and enthusiasm.

I am going to do a short summer program; two weeks, for two hours a day, in my home! It will be pure choice, with little restrictions, as I won't be worried about satisfying the core requirements. I am excited to see how students of different ages interact . . . I hope that I will see lots of things like this: "I'm just seeing different ways to put paint on the paper"

Here's the third sculpture in this first grader's series of fighting monsters.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Only a few weeks of school left! I will admit I'm excited for the vacation, but sad as well. The classes are going wonderfully!

It's just a cool sculpture design thing." This car took almost the whole class time to make! It's cute, and I can't wait for the glue to dry."

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Students make interesting things with the attribute blocks:

Students are being encouraged to add color to their 3-D creations, either with paint, collage or paper mache. This photo shows the creation of two friends:

"This will be a playground for our Littlest Pet Shop animals. Here's the slide, the sandbox will go over there, and this is the trampoline!"

Thursday, March 08, 2007

This is a rainbow turkey. It reminds me of my grandma, I love being with her."

St. George was nice. I even managed to present the TAB concept to some other educators. There was a slight glitch, however, because there weren't any hotel rooms available . . . so, I camped in Snow Canyon.

It was nice to come back to my classroom, though!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

I'm pretty excited! In two weeks I'll go to St. George for the Utah Art Educator's Association convention. I went last year, and met quite a few people. It's great to spend a couple days with people who are just as immersed and interested in art ed as me.

Things in the classroom are really moving along. I've picked up a couple of sixth grade volunteer students from across the hall (I only teach k-3). They are weaving belts on cardboard looms. I love being there and feeling the excitement.

One student said, "I love your classroom. It makes me want to, you know, make stuff!" That was a huge compliment to me, as that is EXACTLY what I'm trying to do. My room is very casual, often cluttered, and filled with as much artwork as I can mount on walls and bulletin boards. I have things in the hall, as well as art hanging from the ceiling! I do have Art prints as well, and even a hand made art elements poster. It certainly doesn't look as though a professional designed it. It looks like it belongs to the students. Which it does.

Monday, February 05, 2007

I love block printing, but it takes up so much space . . . I've introduced it to my two smallest classes. This was created by a first grader. She went on to create prints for all the seasons,





"When they're dry, I'll put them all in a book!"
Here, is a "cat feeder" created by a second grader. "See, Mrs. Dyer? Each cat has a side to get to the dish!"

This sewn sculpture took two class periods to put together. First the student sewed and stuffed it, then she decorated it.
Three girls created a stuffed pillow using construction paper, fabric, and TONS of tape! It was created as a gift to their teacher.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

I'm so behind in posting here! Here are some images I've captured, I may try to add in some text later . . . but I probably won't!

Painting on foil, large collages, and glazed clay ornaments

Curler and pom pom aliens, a purse, newly "marred" couple, and paper sculpture.


My daughter was in my classroom today, and snapped this photo of me!

Paper sculpture. Here, a student used paper she'd printed using a monoprinting technique to create this creature.

About Me

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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.