Tuesday, December 8, 2015

TAB vs. Choice ART- We are a TAB Studio!

The Willow Brook Art Studio is a TAB Studio.  We have used the Choice-Based and TAB acronym interchangeably, however there are some differences between the two that you may find interesting.  Choice provides options. It can be choice in materials, process or even artistic interpretations, however TAB is a pedagogy that was founded by Diane Jacquith and Katherine Douglas.  TAB is an acronym that stands for Teaching for Artistic Behaviors where children are taught to think like artists and promote divergent thinking.  Art is self directed after a short demonstration.  Read more about the differences here on the Art of Ed blog. Are you on the Choice Spectrum or thinking about diving into a life-changing pedagogy that creates strong relationships with your students?

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Sew Excited!! We will have a fully stocked Sewing Studio Center with 5 Sewing Machines!

Yes! I am "sew" excited! As a sewing enthusiast, I am "sew" thrilled to be able to share my passion for sewing and building sewing skills with my students. The art studio at Willow Brook Elementary School was recently awarded a grant of more than $1,800 to expand its sewing studio center. YAY!

We are one of nine schools in the region to be awarded a grant by Maritz in collaboration with the Arts and Education Council. I am excited about rearranging the room to fit the new studio and my mind is racing with ideas! I can not wait to expand our current sewing studio center that houses a Viking sewing machine from the PTO, and a solid Singer Sewing machine that was my first sewing machine from my mom! The grant will provide the purchase of four new sewing machines and a variety of sewing supplies, such as scissors, quilting rulers, bobbins, thread, needles, rotary cutters and fabric. We plan to use our sewing skills to give back to the community in a variety of simple sewing projects!  See what schools were awarded from the St. Louis Post Dispatch.
Read more about it on Pattonville's site or on the Arts and Education site.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Choice-Based Art Education in the WB Wildcat Studio: Room Set Up

One of components to having a choice-based art studio is having the room set up to suit your studio centers. Right now this is our set up.

Our studio is approximately 24'x23'. See more room photographs here.

The studio is constantly evolving. I need more visual resources for my studio centers, but was waiting to make sure traffic flows were the way that I wanted them. We were just awarded a grants for 4 additional sewing machines, so I will need to reconfigure once again!

Painting has to be near the sinks. I may combine sculpture and collage.  I have found that students do more of a buffet method, where they get the material they need and find an open seat. Painting and machine sewing would be the studios that I would limit students at this time. Our procedures and routines evolve to simplify our centers and expand our creative time.

Water Color Skills with 2nd Grade

I love this link on how to watercolor. It is a great simple way to integrate watercoloring skills into your studio skill sets.

The brush is a ballerina, patting the puppy, which ever way you demonstrate watercolor... it is always good practice for our budding artists!   Watercolor painting skills are necessary for our painting studio. Second graders working on their skills on watercolor paper with natural hair brushes and blending colors.  

News 4 Schools: A new approach to art - KMOV.com

Our studio was featured on the local news channel. We were so excited to have others see what we are up to in our studio. I have to admit, I was a little nervous, (well a lot nervous) but super excited about TAB/Choice Art getting local exposure. It is a great way for children to learn and express their inner creativity!

News 4 Schools: A new approach to art - KMOV.com

Monday, September 14, 2015

Published in SchoolArts Magazine!

You can catch a full page spread on our Wildcat Art Studio in SchoolArts Magazine!! Wow! How exciting for all of us at Willow Brook to see our creative space highlighted in the Snapshots section!  Magic happens when students are independently creating in their studio centers! Check out the highlight on the free digital copy! Happy Creating! xoxo

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Choices in Medium and Content: Why I am a Choice-Based Art Educator

In case you missed it, we landed the FRONT page of the St. Louis Post Dispatch! Humbling and exciting with a great article written by Jessica Bock.  The article shares how choice has fueled the students' creativity and engagement.  Students are given the opportunity to work as artists to express themselves through art in medium and content.

If you missed the article, find the link here.  The online article is accompanied with a beautiful photo gallery.

As an advocate for Choice-Based learning, the exposure has been great and has lead to many inquiries on how I run things.  Of course, anyone is welcome to visit our space to see things first hand, however, it is not always easy escaping the daily adventures in ones' school.  So I want to share a candid view into why CHOICE-BASED is how I run things and who I am.
I kept pondering the question, "How do I teach art to a diverse group children to with different interests and needs?" As a mom of four young children who find great satisfaction in creating, drawing, and building... I never tell my own children how to create, I share skills with them so they can create what they want.  I want to see their inner creativity and self expression. So why not teach that way in a school?  I was introduced to the idea of TAB or Choice-Based Art by my friend and fellow art teacher, Maryellen Picker. Maryellen handed me the book, Engaging Learners Through Artmaking, Choice-Based Art Education in the Classroom by Katherine Douglas and Diane Jaquith, and it was what I was looking for.

If you are interested in venturing into the Choice-Based realm, it's a must read.  It literally has changed my life.  To say that is a HUGE statement, but it has.   The creative journeys of my students inspire me daily and keep me energized.  I have learned a lot having a year under my belt.  Learn how I introduced Choice to my principal, students, roadblocks, handouts, and what I have learned thus far, so tune in.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Wildcats Create using Social Media: Transparency for Parents and Community

Transparency with community and parents is important, so you can find us on different social media platforms. Currently we have our blog, facebook account, instagram feed, and twitter account.  All of these platforms are easy to use and fun to follow.  By following, you can catch a glimpse into our studio happenings where students learn to behave like artists in our Choice Based program.

I enjoy catching glimpses of what my children's day is like when I am not around. With our Instagram feed, you are able to catch a glimpse into our studio with images.  You may see children painting in Painting Studio, drawing in Drawing Studio, or even sculpting in Ceramic Studio.  Follow our IG feed on your handheld device and take a peak. 

With our FB account, keep up with new blogposts and photos.

Twitter is where I can collaborate with other art teachers in the community and follow up to date happenings in the art world with art news. It is a great place for professional growth with #tabchat and #arted #tabchoice.

Here on my blog, you will get the story straight from me as I continue this amazing journey as the Willow Brook Elementary Art Teacher in Pattonville.

I hope you will see all of the creative happenings that keep my days filled with joy and that our transparency helps you catch a glimpse of what we are up to.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Busy in the Studio Today! Adventures in Choice Art...

Sometimes, it's hard to head to work on a Monday morning, especially after a week off of work.  Spring Break may have seemed short and last night I felt like I had 2 minutes of sleep. This morning, before school,  a student stopped me and shared how excited they were to come to Art! "Mrs. Lynn! I have art today! I brought some inspiration with me and I plan to sew... I love how my other project turned out, the dress I made fit my doll perfectly!" The look on her face was priceless and I was reminded how lucky I am to be here at Willow Brook. She was describing her well thought out plan and it felt energizing, even more than my morning coffee!  The studio is hopping this Monday and everyday with all the Wildcats continuing pieces they were working on before break, and some starting new ones!  We are energized with creativity! There is always something new going on in the Willow Brook Studio!
 Drawing studio in kindergarten. Look at those Lines!
 Fiber Arts studio, weaving beads with kindergarten.
 Building in Architecture with our Alex Toys citiblocs.
Many Wildcats request to come in during recess to finish what they are working on!
 Painting studio.
 Look at these kindergarteners collaboratively working together in drawing studio
 Second graders in Architecture.
 Architecture with 2nd Grade.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

A Closer Look into our Studio Centers, Choice-based Art Studio

Our WildcatsCreate Choice-based art studio currently houses 8 studio centers.  Here is a tour of our current format. To get a glimpse into the bigger picture, check out this blogpost on our studio set-up.
Fiber arts houses all of our fabrics, yarns, loom, buttons and beads, and we have more studio supplies on our bookcase in the center of the room in red bins.  All studio center bins are labeled in their studio color. Fiber Arts is RED!

 Sculpture studio is ORANGE!  Studio storage for all the amazing sculptures our creative wildcats are creating is housed next to sculpture, and in the glass cabinet.  That cabinet was found curbside and our district handymen brought it back to life by adding a plexiglass side and shelving!
 All studio supplies in Sculpture are labeled in ORANGE and inside the cabinets. We have lots of fun things to build with including computer parts!
 Painting studio is next to our sinks and all materials are in BLUE bins.
 Watercolors, papers, salt and tempera are in the dining hutch.

I have used the pumped paint, but the pumpers get clogged. I was hoping that wouldn't happen, but the solution was these Betty Crocker tupperware cups that are housed in muffin tins.  The muffin tins were are suggestion by my mentor and friend, Maryellen Picker in the School District of Clayton. The mini tupperwares with lids are great, the children are doing a great job of taking care of their paints, and you can get these materials at the Dollar Tree! For a total of $5.00, we have a tempera solution that works out very well!

 We have 4 bins of Architecture planks, which are citiblocs from Alex Toys! I LOVE how busy these keep our future architects!
 Fiber Arts has been very popular, so I decided to make them into 2 separate studios, Fiber arts and Sewing. Sewing is in PINK. We have cottons, felts, polyfil, and lots of great supplies.
 We have these sewing supplies that sit on the tables, needles, and thread, needle threaders and thimbles.
 Drawing studio supplies sit here...
 in this corner cabinet are different drawing papers.
GREEN is our Drawing Studio.

The table to the right is coffee table height and is used for architecture and collage. It is a mobile table.

 Collage is YELLOW and since adding glue guns, has become more popular!

 Ceramics is on its' way. Working with modeling clay has opened opportunities for our artists as they transition to kiln firing clay and glazes. 

Welcome to our Choice-based Art Studio at Willow Brook Elementary

Welcome to our Choice-based Art Studio! This is my first year adventuring into Choice-Art and I couldn't feel more energized or blessed to be an art teacher! The children are creating amazing things and great learning is taking place! I love the personal value I am seeing in their artwork, which makes me feel like our student/teacher relationships are growing stronger because I can see them in their creations! Currently, students may choose from 8 different studios. All studios are color coded so students are able to identify where to access materials.  Girls and boys take turns in choosing their studios first. The bracelets let students know when a studio is closed, however, there are times, we have students find "open seating" so they can continue working on a piece or explore in a new medium.

 Collage, Drawing, Painting and Sculpture were are first studios and we added Fiber Arts, Sewing (hand and machine), Architecture and Ceramics (clay).
 We have a cabinet for all of our classroom bins.  Youngest student classes are on the bottom and older are to the top.

Studio signs are color-coded, along with our bracelets, and labeled materials.
We have our dining room hutch creating a separation between our Painting and Sculpture Studio. The hutch houses Painting Studio supplies and our Inspiration Station stocked with art books, art magazines and project ideas. Our classes are great at following our routines.

 Students created our beautiful accents to our classroom chandelier.

Students helped paint dining chairs for our studio centers.  As the lead learner in our studio, I wanted the dining tables and chairs to feel like home. Being at home makes us feel safe and I wanted our artists to feel safe in their creating and explorations in content and mediums.
Check out detailed photos of our studio in the next posting on our studios.