My class is an amazing group of students who face many challenges. We are a rural, K-8 school, where every child receives a free breakfast and lunch. Most of my students live well below the poverty level, but you would never know it from their positive attitudes. They are just excited to come to school and learn.
My goal is to provide my students with a variety of teaching tools to foster engagement, confidence, and success.
Then we can learn our standards together through opportunities to collaborate, to be creative, and to learn twenty-first-century skills.
One of my goals for our classroom has always been to have a dedicated space for an art center. I believe that art should be a part of every day in the classroom.
So much of what we learn is enhanced by giving students the opportunity to respond with art.
In our workshop classroom, students sit together for a minilesson and then find a place in the room to work on and respond to what they have learned. A whiteboard table with dry erase markers would give them a place to draw directly on the table, and take a picture of their work. I would also love to supply the table with numerous kinds of paper, scissors, and markers.
So many times, we do art lessons as a whole class and tell students exactly what to draw. I would like this art center to be a self-directed extension of EVERY kind of learning in the classroom, with the supplies at hand for students to have a choice of what to work with!
Did we read a fabulous book? Let students choose a way to display what they have learned. Maybe they will draw a picture of their main character, or the setting, or even their own cover for the book! This could be done individually, or as a small group with chart markers on poster paper, or even on the table itself, with dry erase markers.
In math, students can make beautiful arrays of their favorite multiplication or division facts, or cut paper fractions from circles and rectangles. Science and Social Studies curricula have numerous possibilities for culminating art projects, many of which could be done with paper, colored pencils, markers, and scissors.
I truly believe that an art center will enhance our learning!
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