Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I'm trying something new this year, with the kindergarteners and some of my other classes. I put together art journals for them (three prong folders with lots of blank paper). The kindergarten students love them, and enjoy working with them every week.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

These first graders are happy and excited to draw new things. We discussed geometric and organic shapes.

A fifth grader who enjoys creating 3-D structures made this for his sister: "It's a ballerina. With a big mouth."

Sunday, October 26, 2008

These are a brand new addition to our art choices: Keva planks. The students LOVE them. They are simple planks, that follow the fibonacci sequence . . . students can make all sorts of structures. We have 200 now, and I'm hoping to buy more soon.

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the beauty of student directed artwork

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is that they come up with ideas and creations that I would never think of. This first grader was simply creating, and decided that this was a butterfly. Do you see the symmetry?

watercolor crayons

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First graders were introduced to water soluble media

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

"I put glue and paper on. Lots of it. I really like the colorful paper."

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"I spent the whole class time

working on this. It's name is colorful sculpture. I don't know what it is, but it was hard to make!"

~first grader

sixth graders

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"It's an ICU for pencils. You see, I'm emotionally attached to my pencils, and when they break, I HAVE to fix them!"

first graders . . .

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were excited to use slits to construct cardboard towers.

"These are all superheros. And they're friends!"

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kindergarten collage work

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Originally uploaded by shoppingformykids

Originally uploaded by shoppingformykids

Originally uploaded by shoppingformykids

Originally uploaded by shoppingformykids


Originally uploaded by shoppingformykids

"It'snot a cat,

Originally uploaded by shoppingformykids
it's Pikachu, from pokemon!"

monochromatic scheme

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"I like orange. I tore this paper into tiny pieces and put in on this paper."

folding and gluing

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I was fascinated by this artist's ideas. She painstakingly folded each piece before gluing to the paper.

I like these colors, teacher!

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Originally uploaded by shoppingformykids
Created with ripping and tearing.

3-D collage

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Originally uploaded by shoppingformykids
This student was thrilled to glue scraps to one another.

I made a man!

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"here are his arms, and this is his head. I used a crayon for his face."

kindergarten collage artists

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The kindergartners were introduced to the concept of cutting and ripping paper. The idea was for them to create interesting shapes and glue them on a larger piece of paper. This was a new experience for many students.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


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Two second graders chatter while they work, "This heart is for my mom." "This is a girl, it's me with long hair."

Second grader

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"It's a food chain, Mrs. Dyer! See, the bottom has bugs and stuff, the top is a killer whale, 'cause it's the biggest animal in the world!"

Happy Man

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Created by a kindergartner, this piece is titled: Happy Man. "He is smiling because he has a puppy."

drawing with metallic markers

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Two second graders told me, "The top one is a UFO watcher. The bottom is an alien from Planet X, a very frozen wasteland."


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This second grader says, "It's a ship necklace. See? Here's the water."


Originally uploaded by shoppingformykids
A second grader drew this. "It's an alien, he's trying to find his home. His home is an island, and it's very stormy."
I don't have my own classroom this year, so I've had to adjust. It's been hectic, but the kids have been supportive and excited.

So far, we have the drawing and collage centers going in most classes, with 3D starting in a couple classes as well.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Life is slow around my house this time of year, just the way I like it. I've set up a sort of portable art studio in my yard, we move it around all day long, following the shade!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Even though it's summer, I'm still knee-deep in the TAB process. I hosted a summer art camp and had a wonderful time. It was three hours a day for seven days, at my house.

Four boys worked on a film project for all seven days. They made the set, props, scenery, and we filmed it in my backyard mud pit.

Battle at the Mudpit part 1

Battle at the Mudpit part 2

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Can it get any cuter? A sixth grader made a happy meal, complete with nuggets, fries, drink, box and toy!

front and back views of a box made into a hat

sixth grader's sketch book

the whiteboard is a favorite, especially with the younger students

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.