My students need brush markers, white gelly roll pens, art portfolios, storage containers for classroom art supplies, good quality drawing and writing pencils, and speakers to play beautiful music while we create beautiful art!
The students I teach are enthusiastic, curious, and passionate about creativity. They love to draw, paint, color, fold, cut, paste, and create anythng! Nearly all of the children I teach here at our Title I school in the inner city come from hard-working immigrant parents that strongly value education. Although many of my students come from backgrounds of substantial economic hardship, you wouldn't know it by looking at their eager faces. They get very excited when they know we're have an upcoming art project to look forward to.
Current research has demonstrated that students coming from economically disadvantaged backgrounds suffer from elevated stress. This in turn can create cognitive and emotional issues that cause lower rates of academic achievement. Not only is arts education valuable in and of itself, but children who participate in art-making as part of their regular school day, have lowered stress levels!
Building a regular art practice in the classroom means integrating art into many different subject areas.
This requires good quality art supplies and containers to organize them. The watercolor brush markers will be in constant use next year. They are excellent for coloring illustrations on regular bond paper because they don't bleed through to the other side.
I have a special art project planned for the white gel pens! Students will be painting (with their Donors Choose watercolors from a past project that was funded) simple dark shapes that they will then draw patterns on top of using the white pens. This is a simple activity that makes every child feel successful. These pens also come in handy for lettering, outlining, and much more!
Having a speaker that easily connects to either my phone or classroom computer will make listening to videos so much easier than using the built-in computer speaker, which is all I had for this past year. This coming year I would also love the ability to play soothing music during art and other subjects.
I'm confident that these simple, art supplies such as watercolor brush pens, white gel pens, mechanical pencils, art portfolio folders, storage containers, paper trays, and a Bluetooth speaker will go a long way to creating a relaxing artistic environment.
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