Thursday, August 23, 2012
We really hit the ground CREATING - 1st day of the school year!!!
Yesterday was the first day back to school (teaching) for me and I was so tired at the end of the day that I (without skipping a beat) actually let my 4 year old daughter eat ice cream (with me) for dinner while we went grocery shopping. Despite what this kind of helpless submission might imply, it was just as much we wanting to do it as it was her wanting me to do it! The day was such a fantastic first day for me and I was craving a vanilla soft serve cone after I unsuccessfully tripped it to the school store and they didn't have their usual Good Humor ice cream treats in stock yet. So what sweeter way to acknowledge it then ice cream, right? Anyway...
The picture above is a shot of the brand new table box set-ups for each of the six tables in the studio classroom. I originally ordered some plastic (all one piece) hinged long pencil type boxes from Office Depot in my teacher supply (we get a nice sized "allowance" at the top of every school year for anything we might need/want for our classrooms and/or teacher planning) but as it turned out, they didn't have them available for ordering and I had to go into the stores to get them!
When I finally got into Office Depot, I just happened to pick a day when shopping was tax free as well as one when teacher discounts were at their most in order to promote heavier back to school shopping. I initially went in to get the boxes that I couldn't order but after an hour or so shopping around (read: being easily distracted by fun and cool new types of office and classroom supplies) I stumbled upon the above shoebox style plastic/tupperware containers and I didn't even think twice about getting them instead!!! I don't even know how I managed to find them because they definitely look like a seasonal item and so the overall stock of that was pretty picked over but I needed only six boxes and they had exactly that many in stock for me to clean out!!! I so enjoy the painted handprint designs and I feel like they are so much more fun and colorful than the plain clear plastic ones I was going to get.
Logically, I can't fit every type of material or medium they might want to use on a project but I have a pretty decent idea of what to anticipate that they will gravitate towards from previous experience with projects OR I just plain know what the usual favorites are that everyone loves if they don't feel confident enough to pick out their own supplies.
For the first week's creative ventures, the three 2D Design and one 3D Design classes are doing a little bit of "free art" that is really much more of a pre-test/formative assessment for me to quickly gauge where each of them is in terms of their own abilities, already established understandings of the type of art and design they will be doing, personal preferences and work habits, and confidence and sense of creative adventure (or lack thereof, for that matter).
In every year before this one, I have made the terrible mistake of forcing my kids to endure (basically) a lecture where I went over IN DETAIL the three page syllabus of the class and then let them talk and catch up with one another in the five minutes of class that might have been leftover. That means I would be expecting them to do something that couldn't be farther from CREATING art (what they were expecting and likely hoping for) for almost a full hour. Who was I kidding? Seriously. I was off my rocker.
This year, after only what I understand was the Lord steering me in the direction He has always been wanting me to go, something finally clicked for me and I realized how wrong I had been doing things. This year I whittled my syllabus down to one page - front side was the course detailing and back was a basic grading rubric - that I very lightly went over but focused more on the slideshows made in Keynote I have already shared last week and then let them just go at it with the art supplies in the table boxes. I am totally delighted to say that the change was very much needed and every class has been very receptive to it all. From here on out I will ALWAYS do kick things off on the first day with a little bit of "free art."
This semester I am teaching three sections of 2D Design, one section of 3D Design and one section of Graphic Design. I also have a study hall (that administration so graciously allowed me in order for me to have some work time for graduate school studies) and then two planning periods (that I typically get on alternating days so I am at least always guaranteed one planning period for supplies prep, to help with set design and creating, or in-house design work for other departments). Today I saw only my 3D, one 2D, and graphic design class and tomorrow I will start the day with the last two 2D classes who will be introduced to the brand new table boxes (like everyone else was today). Things went so well today though that I am not a bit nervous about how they will go tomorrow even though I am not excited about having to do the Keynotes two more times over. *oh well*
For the last class meeting of the week for each class, I am planning on doing a little bit of a pop trivia game with each class with questions that directly relate back to what we talked about in the first day discussion as well as inviting them to present and critique each other's work with the specific intention to get them to start using statements like, "This is a successful/unsuccessful piece of artwork because..." instead of "I don't like it because..." or "I like it because I like the color they used."