Wednesday, April 29, 2015

what our choice-based classroom looks like...

I've had many people ask how my room is set up now that I am doing choice-based art, and so I thought I'd share some pictures! This concept is only a few months old in our classroom, so we're still adding and changing things around when we see the need... but this is what we have so far:

The first thing I did when I decided to begin Choice-Based Art is make some posters... I was introducing a new concept of making their artwork "WOW" - a Wonderful, Original Work of Art - so I put together a poster, inspired by one I found online, listing some things that they should make sure they have before they turn in a project. I also made a poster to show the steps they should take in making their artwork - Plan It, Make It, Reflect On It, Share It.

After a week or two using choice-based art, I realized I needed an example of what WOW might look like... so here it is:

We began with the Drawing Center... so far, this center has pencils, erasers, rulers, crayons, oil pastels, markers, colored pencils, permanent markers, mirrors, and texture plates. Our white paper is stored in this center as well, and we also have small baskets for taking supplies back to the table if they have a handful.

Collage was the next center we opened... colored paper, scrap boxes, scissors, glue, paper edging scissors, texture rollers, colored mosaic squares, and hole punches currently fill this center. My goal is to surround the center spaces with examples of how to use those materials... the students are just starting artworks about texture so they'll be able to use the Paper Sculpture poster soon! :)

Next to open was the Painting Center...

The painting center began with just watercolors (and remains that way for the younger groups)... but now has tempera on the orange table for the older students. This center also has paint shirts, paint brushes in different sizes, paper to protect the table underneath their paintings, and water bowls. It's also conveniently located near the sinks for easier cleanup!

The Clay Center is opening this week! I'm sure it will evolve and change as we go, but so far the supplies are on a cart near the kiln room door. Artists who are using clay will get a Masonite board to work on back at their table and a ball of clay out of the green bucket. Any tools that they might need to create their art piece will be available on this cart as well.

This area is what we call our Inspiration Station... it's filled with posters of famous artwork, tons of children's books, how to draw books, wooden manikins and 3D shapes... anything we can think of to give us some inspiration for our ideas. The students are encouraged to look through the items here when coming up with a plan for a new project.

This bulletin board is constantly changing... under each grade level is a list of standards for the year. I move the star to show which standard we are focusing on for each project, and hang an example underneath. Some of these examples are mine, and some are student's work. This area is a great reminder of what our goal is, and inspiration if an artist is in need. :)

These last two pictures are routines that we were using before we began Choice-Based Art... but are still important. Artists have jobs assigned by table color (and the crayons can be moved so jobs are changed throughout the year), and Art Room Noise Levels... I found this idea on Pinterest and love it. Does it give me a super quiet room? Unfortunately... not usually. But the kiddos know what Spy Talk is, appreciate the visual, and usually try hard to keep it there. :)

"Make Great Choices!" was something I added to my room at the beginning of the year, before we began Choice-Based Art, because it's something I always say (to my school kids and my kiddos at home)... and when I was collecting pictures to show of the room, it occurred to me that it now fits perfectly with our new way of learning!

Also, I think it's important to note, all of the centers are organized and clean in these pictures because of the mini-Artists in this room... not me! They know that if the center is a mess, it will be closed when they come back next week. This is great motivation to not only clean up after themselves, but also to help each other. :)

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