Ok, so it's sort of a year in review post. However, we developed a few ideas this year at South B we think are just about good enough to steal. So take a look and if you see something you might like to try, grab it. After all, artist steal!
10. Quirky Day Challenges
Every teacher faces quirky days like the day before Thanksgiving or winter or spring break. Kids are hopped up on candy canes and anticipation. It's hard for them, and for us to stay focused. So what do we do? We plan a quirky day challenge!
In the past, our students participated in Hand Turkey Tuesday and the 12 Days of Photoshop. This year, the day before spring break we thought it might be fun to have a little egg decorating contest. So we brought in a bunch of eggs, yes, real eggs, and gave each student and egg to decorate. We had three categories, zentangle design, character design, art history design.
9. Media Bootcamp
How does one start a new semester when you want all the students to know how to retrieve, use and store work created in any media? Well maybe not all media but have a good foundation.... The Media Bootcamp.
We kicked off day one of the second semester with our first day of the Media Bootcamp. For day one we entertained charcoal, color pencil and pen and ink. We set up the Chromebooks so students could run through some simple tutorials. The second day we tried a few different media. In particular, we did oil and chalk pastel. Day three we did a watercolor tutorials. We also did an acrylic tutorial but we didn't use a tutorial for that. I hand taught that lesson, teaching some basic tippy tappy trees, Bob Ross style.
8. Computer Art & Animation
This year at the Art of South B we offered a brand new art class... Computer Art & Animation. We took a look at Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, as well the Adobe tools Animate program. We even tried to do a little 3D printing. If you already have a computer art class, feel free to steal our tutorials.
Stealing this idea might be a little tricky to try if there isn't a computer lab or the apps to teach it. However, there are a lot of free apps like Pixlr and Tinkercad. Even if you only have a few Chromebooks, you might consider setting up a Computer Art center.
7. AP Studio Art
This year was a 'big first' here at the Art of South B... in fact, it was a big first for SBHS, Brunswick County and for me, your humble art teacher. For the first time ever, in all three circumstances, we offered AP Studio Art.
So what's AP Studio Art you ask? Well, let me explain. AP Studio Art is an advanced placement course offered by the College Board. Students enrolled in the course must produce 24 works of art to create three sections of a portfolio.
If you're thinking about stealing this idea, make sure you sign up for an AP workshop. Next year the portfolios will be different so even if you've taken the workshop, it might be a good idea to take it again.
6. Write for SchoolArts
Before we continue with our top five best ideas to steal, have you considered putting an idea out for others to steal? If you've got something interesting happening in your art room why not consider writing for SchoolArts Magazine? They are always looking for great articles to publish.
This year, we published a few articles including:
TAB Teaching is a Bag of Chips
Artists Solve Problems
How to Write an Artistic Behavior Unit
Art Traps for Reluctant Students
The Nine: Presenting Subject-Based Teaching
Now for the Top Five Best Ideas of 2018 you should Steal!
5. The Tables
Our Open Art Room is student directed. That means, students decide which direction they want to take the art they are creating. Many students come to class with ideas and are ready to jump in. However, some students are looking for new ideas, new opportunities, new techniques that they might not have known or thought about.
That's where The Tables come in.
Each week we present a new theme with a new project idea on our large, wooden table. These table projects come with a quick demo as well as all the supplies needed to create a work of art. The theme and the project materials are set up for one week. The following week, there will be a new theme and a new project idea.
Here's a short list of some of the Tables we set up this year. Piñata, ugly dolls, plaster, tie dye, paper smache, candle making, and rock painting.
4. Art Journals
Most teachers can appreciate having their students document the design phase. We already know the "what". Sure, we're going to present new artists, skill and techniques to our students. It also wouldn't hurt if they found a way to visually plan their ideas before they start development.
The "how" on the other hand, can be a bit more tricky. Sketchbooks, notebooks and even altered books are all considered when trying to decide how students should keep track of this information. We took all this into consideration this year at the Art of South B and, with the help of the printshop, developed the Art Journal.
The Art Journal, free to each student, is a spiral bond 40 page book with art history, skill development, and planning pages built in. We're even printing out thumbnail images of the art we show so the students have a visual reminder to go with the notes they scribe.
3. Aligning with the Standards
My first impression of the Standards is how disjointed they appear. There are four Anchor Standards representing Creating, Presenting, Responding, Connecting. Creating and Presenting are rather obvious. Making art and presenting art at at the core of every art program. The other two anchor standards, Responding and Connecting seemed separated. Almost a throwback to the DBAE days. Looking at art, interpreting art, connecting at some level with art.
However, I made one very importantly but seemly overlooked observation about the Standards.. they are out of order. One doesn't make art, present art and then look at art for inspiration and meaning. Rather, we look at art, are inspired by art, and then create and present art. instead of Creating, Presenting, Responding, Connecting consider this:
Responding, Connecting, Creating, Presenting
When we consider the standards in this order we notice how well they align with the artistic process for creating art. Through the artistic process we are first inspired by art, we then develop and idea to convey meaning, we then plan and create, and finally we reflect and present. Check out this link for more about aligning the standards.
2. Modular Teaching
The intermediate class has gone into full Modular Mode. Each week, they are introduced to four modules to help intrigue and inspire.
Module One: Each Monday, we introduce a new art Concept. For example, one week the concept was positive and negative space. Student's interested in working with this concept were challenged with creating a tessellation.
Module Two: On Tuesdays we introduce the second module titled the Table. The Table provides an optional project for those students who might not be interested in Monday's concept.
Module Three: The third module we introduce happens on Wednesdays. Each Wednesday we take a look at an Artist that is loosely associated with the Table.
Module Four: The last module happens on Thursday. It's a look at Skills and Techniques that our artists might find helpful. If students couldn't relate to the Concept, didn't want to tie dye, and couldn't find any inspiration in the artist of the week, they certainly can find a video tutorial they want to follow.
Here's a look at the Modules for an intermediate class for a full semester.
And the Number One Best Idea of 2018 you should Steal...
1. Collaborate with your Coworker
This year we were lucky enough to hire a new art teacher. Stacey Belter joined the team and jumped in with both feet, implementing TAB in the classroom. She adopted the Nine for her Beginner students, incorporated Table projects, implemented Seesaw, and was instrumental in the design of the Art Journals and the aligning of the Standards.
If you steal no other ideas off this list, steal this one. And if you can't, that's ok too. Instead, you might try an online PLN. Twitter has some great #TABChat stuff going on. Facebook also has some great TAB groups including Teaching For Artistic Behavior TAB group and HS TAB.
What about 2019??
That's a pretty good list, don't you think? With all that cool stuff, what could be going on for 2019? Well, here's just a small list of things that are brewing:
The addition of AP 3D Art
An upgraded Art Journal
More SchoolArts articles
A Complete Semesters worth of Modules for a Proficient class
Learning Targets aligned with the Standards
The 12 Days of Photoshop challenges our Computer Art & Animation students with a New Photoshop Project every day for the 12 days leading up to winter break. They only have one day to complete each task and it must be posted to Seesaw before the class is over. Here are examples from each of this year's 12 days!
On the first day of Photoshop my students gave to me Something Sliced.
On the second day of Photoshop my students gave to me Bad Mail.
On the third day of Photoshop my students gave to me A Funny Movie Poster Parody
On the fourth day of Photoshop my students gave to me an X-ray
On the fifth day of Photoshop my students gave to me A Screen Brought to Life.
On the sixth day of Photoshop my students gave to me A True Identity
On the seventh day of Photoshop my students gave to me A Critter Candy Cane
On the eighth day of Photoshop my students gave to me A Literal Interpretation
On the ninth day of Photoshop my students gave to me A Pop Icon Sculpture
On the tenth day of Photoshop my students gave to me An Animation
On the eleventh day of Photoshop my students gave to me Virtual Graffiti.
On the twelve day of Photoshop my students gave to me a Holiday Art History Mash Up!
Merry Photoshop to all!
Another art teacher posted the question on Facebook, "What are your students working on?" Here at South B, it's sort of a long list. That's because in the open art room, students might be working on all sorts of stuff and things. Autumn for example has been designing her characters, working primarily in MARKERS.
But Percy on the other hand, wanted to try out these WATERCOLORS to create this portrait. It's a present, so shsssss, don't tell.
A few students selected to work with the NEEDLE & THREAD. This week's Table was ugly dolls.
Brea wanted to try out the new CRAYPEN we just got in. She is using the craypen to create the black outline of a stained glass window on plastic. She is also mixing the new colored inks in with glue to create the colored glass part. Lots of experimenting with this one.
Meanwhile, we found some SHAVING CREAM in the closet. Since nobody wanted to shave, we decided to learn how to marble with it.
Brooke has been working on her EYES.
Hope has been working on with MIXED MEDIA including colored pencil with pastel.
Ruby was working on a Mega Man Legacy collection which....
inspired Max to BECOME Mega Man.
Of course, that's just a small look at some of the things our student's are working on this week. We also worked with printing, etching, oil paints, cardboard, Photoshop, pencil, styrogami, collage, charcoal, candle making, and a few students drew all over my whiteboard...
Module One, The Concept: Each Monday, we introduce a new art Concept. This week's concept was positive and negative space. Student's interested in working with this concept were challenged with creating a tessellation.
Module Two, The Table: On Tuesdays we introduce the second module titled the Table. The Table provides an optional project for those students who might not be interested in Monday's concept. Last week's Table was pinatas!
Here are some of the pinatas created at last week's Table. This week, was tie dye and next week will be ugly dolls.
Module Three, The Artist: The third module we introduce happens on Wednesdays. Each Wednesday we take a look at an Artist that is loosely associated with the Table. This week's artist is Joana Vasconcelos.
Module Four, the Technique: The last module happens on Thursday. It's a look at Skills and Techniques that our artists might find helpful. If students couldn't relate to the Concept, didn't want to tie dye, and couldn't find any inspiration in the artist of the week, they certainly can find a video tutorial they want to follow.
But here is the best part. Even though all the modules are there to inform and inspire, students can still choose to design their own student-driven project. In fact, we encourage it! So here is some work that has nothing to do with the modules. Reagan created these two works. The one on the left was created on the 3D printer.
This student was exploring ways to present a cityscape, experimenting with different methods for presenting the background.
This student was interested in presenting the trees differently by angling the trunks.
"Mr Sands, I brought in a plush toy. Do you have any cement?"
This photo doesn't do justice to the color variation of the skin tones. You have to see it in real life.
Feel Good Friday
We ended the week with a Feel Good Friday. What's that you ask? Well, any students wishing to participate, placed their art on the table. All students then walked around the table, viewing the artwork and leaving comments on the Feel Good Friday comment sheets.
This particular Feel Good Friday also counted as a cross-curricular activity. That's because the Culinary Arts class was selling brownies. We bought a tray so in my book, that's cross-curricular. Also, brownies are just another great way to feel good on Feel Good Friday ;)
This week in Computer Art & Animation we took a look at Adobe Illustrator; a vector based application with a bit of a learning curve. Overall, Illustrator is a powerful design and illustration app but transitioning from raster-based apps such as Photoshop to vector-based programs takes a little getting used to.
To kick off the week, we ran a few tutorials to learn about tools this app offers and gain understanding about how they work and how the differ from Photoshop. We started with learning about shapes and gradients as can be seen in the above illustration of flowers.
Our second tutorial was perhaps the least fun but addresses the most obvious difference between raster and vector; working with the pen tool. At first, it can be a bit tricky to get the anchor points to go where you want them to go.
Building on the shape and gradient tools, our next step was to build layers. These 2D badges are composed of several layers of shapes. We also explored the type and pathfinder tools.
What comes after 2D? Going for 3D. This tutorial incorporated all the previous lessons but asked the student to apply a little creativity to create the illusion of depth.
Now that we have an understanding of the app, we will see what we can do on our own. Next week we will have some time to explore the app further on our own and use or time to create our own Adobe illustrations. Stay tuned...
Art of South B
Artwork by students at
Making Artists picks up where The Open Art Room left off, covering issues and situations choice teachers encounter as they design their program.
The Open Art Room provides a student-centered approach to art instruction that is inspirational, practical, and classroom-tested.
Click Here to read the March SchoolArts Article, Student-Directed Answers to Five Frequently Ask Questions
Click Here to Read the April SchoolArts Magazine Article Tracking Student Progress with the Burn Book!
Click Here to Read the February SchoolArts Article, Build A Dynamic Art Program with Modular Teaching!