Friday, December 17, 2010

Clay creations.
All grades seem to enjoy clay. The older grades tend to want to create functional useful objects, while the younger grades generally enjoy fashioning imaginative pieces.


Two second graders made Christmas decor, "We just wanted to make Christmas trees. It was hard to make them stand up, though."


From left to right: a princess, a cartoon or video game character, a smiling boy, and a bowl of meatloaf chunks.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Paper and Glue

"It's a decoration for my room, the string is to hang it."



This is the shelf where students put completed work.





These students trying to determine the best way to attach a cone to the top of their rocket.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Drawing Center
I'm fascinated by the students who choose to visit the drawing center week after week. Even with paint, clay, construction, and other centers available. Each class has its own core of students that love to draw.


A first grader made a book about his family, "see? here's my whole family."


I've been watching this second grader draw since kindergarten. One of his classmates observed his drawing skills and said, very quietly (not wanting me to overhear), "Wow, I think you might be a even better drawer than Mrs. Dyer." And I'm inclined to agree!



Some of my favorite drawings, the kind I fish out of the recycle bin, are these types of things. Students just playing with lines, patterns, shapes. Not creating a finished product, but joyfully playing with the process. "I'm filling in each of the squares and then it's a pattern, but with different colors. Do you know what pattern this is called? It's AABB. 'Cause it goes circle, circle, square, square."


Saturday, October 23, 2010

3-D artwork





"It's a little puffy creature, this is it's bed and pillow too."


"I wanted to have something for my desk, 'cause it gets messy. This is a pencil holder."



One sixth grader created this articulated puppet, complete with moving limbs.
"I just wanted to make something that was movable, you know."


"This is cool. I made it with yarn and sticks, and it's gonna be a decoration for my house."

Monday, October 11, 2010

"It's for my dad. I live with him, so I made him this card."


"Isn't this so funny? I love this story!"




"This one is just silly."


"It's just the story, then we'll draw pictures later."

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

"It's a dragon. I used little squares from the collage center, then I drew on them, then I made the body. He's breathing fire!"
"I traced around the modeling clay shape. This is the middle part, that I cut out."


"I made a dinosaur collage, and I even collaged the letters."


"I just saw the lady's head in the collage papers so I made her a body."



"This is like sewing, I did it on burlap. It's a present for my brother and his wife. They just got married! I used the colors she likes."




"We decided to copy the picture, just for fun. We both did it."

Friday, September 10, 2010

drawing and collage centers




"These are a boy and girl. Not boyfriend and girlfriend, just friends. They like to play together at recess."



"It's a princess. And I wanted there to by sky and ground, so I drew them on the paper."





Two fifth graders created similar collages, "What we did was, we drew a dog picture first, and then we used those shapes for kind of a pattern to cut the colored paper."

Saturday, September 04, 2010



This second grader made a book to put on the back of her book! "It's my pop book, and it has words in it. Words I know."






"We got the idea to draw dragons from a dragon book. And D__ says dragons aren't real. They ARE real, aren't they teacher?"

"It's a girl, her name is 'Roxie', but her nickname is 'Rocks'. I didn't have room to write her whole name, so I just put her nickname on it.



"It's a dog picture. I want a god, but dad says no more dogs. He says we already have three kids in the house, so why do we want a dog too? But I want a dog. So this will be my pretend dog."

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

"These are pets that I made, and this is a carrier for them."




Two first graders collaborated on this large creation, "It's a transformer alien. A two-headed alien transformer car."




First graders love using grown up tools, like staplers, and often incorporate them into their artwork. Here, a young artist uses the staples to help create a race track, "I got the idea because I wanted to shock my mom. I knew if she saw it she would be super excited--shocked--about my project. I like my track and I wanted to very very shock my mom three times."



"I'm just making scary aliens."



"It's a fuzzy brown bear with a baby. I can't wait 'til the fiber center opens up, so I can make my creations come to life."



"It's a covered wagon, made out of paper."




"It's different shapes cut out. I want to make a bunch of these, I think they'd look really pretty."
"I made this mermaid with paper. I couldn't find skin color, so I used orange."


A second grader created this robot, as a departure from some of the robots he made as a second grader, "This is a baseball robot. That's his bat, and he can hit the ball EVERY time! He has a baseball hat too."


Thursday, August 26, 2010

"I wanted to make a necklace, but then I would have to cut it, so it's a crown instead."




Welcome to the 2010/11 school year!






Things have been going well. We've only got one center running; the drawing center--but that's enough to get the kids' creativity going. Many students are interested in honing their drawing skills, like the fifth grader who drew this dinosaur.

An exciting addition to the art room this year; an overhead projector along with a document camera! Now I can show students images from the computer, as well as do demos that EVERYONE can see.








Sunday, June 27, 2010

My absolute favorite part of my job is when I get to experience the hum of creativity. There's a current of excitement and wonder, an actual tangible feeling, when the students are working together. It doesn't happen every time for every class, but when it does, WOW. That's when I think about what a privilege it is to work with these kids.




"It's a decoration for my room. These loops are so I can hang it up. I have LOTS of art in my room, so if there isn't enough space, I'll give this to my sister for her room."



"It's just a girl, not me or anybody I know, just a happy girl, she's smiling 'cause her dress gots lots of colors, kind of a rainbow."


"Well, this started out as just a picture on this side, but then my friend made one too and we thought, 'Let's glue them together and make it long, like a snake!' so we did. I'll take it home this time, and she'll take it home next time."

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.