Tried & True Tips for Art Teachers is a monthly roundup of advice and wisdom
from fellow art teachers, put together by the intrepid Glenda Lubiner.
Reflecting on the Year
It is that time of the year when we pack up, clean up, and say so long to students, faculty and staff. Many of us have been counting down the days until the end of the school year, and the next thing you know, June is upon us. Here are some great tips that will keep you and your students very busy until the last day of school.
Order in the Art Room! Although it takes work, Denise Schlawin from Fox Valley Lutheran High School in Appleton, Wis., inventories everything (consumables and equipment) at the end of the year and enters it onto a spreadsheet. She prints the spreadsheet and crosses things off over the course of the school year. When it comes to ordering items for the next school year, she compares what she started with at the beginning of the school year with what is left at the end of the year and she knows exactly how much to order for the coming school year. It takes quite a bit of time the first year, but makes ordering much easier and avoids over-ordering times.
A Little Dab’ll Do Ya! We all know how hard it is opening glue bottles at the beginning of the school year. All the glue has dried up and hardened around the neck and tip of the bottle. Joanna Davis from Garden Elementary School in Sarasota, Fla., “saves” her glue bottles by applying petroleum jelly around the necks and tips, so they’re easy to open and refill in the fall and all year long!
Self-Reflections and Assessments Bizzy Jenkins from Cypress Bay High School in Weston, Fla., has her students reflect on what the most important aspect in art class was during the semester. The most important “thing” doesn’t have to be an art technique or skill, it can be time management, planning compositions, or applying research to solve problems. She also has them explain which project was their favorite and most challenging, and why. Another thing she asks her students to do is to create an assignment for the class.
Self-reflection can be used with students from kindergarten to grade 12 by modifying what you are asking them to reflect on. The answers to the students’ reflections provide great insight into analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of Bizzy’s curriculum and teaching, and could work for you as well. In the past, her students have provided innovative ideas that she has incorporated in future lessons.
Before and After For a quick end-of-the-year, two-day lesson, I have my students fold a 12″ x 18″ paper in half. On one side I have them draw a picture of a shoe. The next day, they take off one of their sneakers and draw every detail. Since sneakers/running shoes have a great deal of detail (stitching and design), students who don’t happen to be wearing sneakers draw someone else’s. It is a great lesson to make the students draw what they see. This is always a successful lesson with students from first grade up.
Scraps? Not in THIS Art Room! Here are some great end-of-the-year ideas for using up all those scrap pieces of paper that have accumulated in your recycle bin all year long.
Torn paper collages are a great way to use them up, by layering the pieces to create a picture. Themes I have used in the past are the beach, outer space and the city.
Place your tissue paper scraps on white paper and spray with water. The ink from the paper will bleed onto the white paper (a great color theory project, too). When the paper is dry, the tissue paper will flake off and leave a great abstract design on the white paper. Using a black permanent marker, the students can then enhance the design.
One of my favorites is “Paper Project Runway.” Have students make a hat, top, skirt or pants from all the scrap papers around the room and any recyclables left over from the school year. The kids have a great time doing this and you can even incorporate a fashion show into the lesson.
Happy Birthday to Raoul Dufy (June 3, 1877) Diego Velázquez (June 6, 1599), Paul Gauguin (June 7, 1848), André Derain (June 10, 1880), Henry Ossawa Tanner (June 21, 1859), and Peter Paul Rubens (June 28, 1577). Be sure to check out Gauguin’s Women Bathing on this month’s cover and on the flip-side of this page.
Thank you Denise, Joanna, and Bizzy. Wishing you all a happy and restful summer!
Arts & Activities Contributing Editor Glenda Lubiner (NBCT) teaches art at Franklin Academy Charter School in Pembroke Pines, Fla. She is also an adjunct professor at Broward College.
ATTENTION READERS If you would like to share some of your teaching tips, email them to: [email protected]