Saturday, November 15, 2014

Renovating the Rock & Roll Garden (Artsying it up!)

Our school has this wonderful courtyard space between the fourth and fifth grade hallways. It needed a little updating since the last work that had really been done out there was over ten years ago. So, we decided to artsy it up! Take a look!!


We held a Community Volunteer Day in which we invited all of our stakeholders to come help out on a Saturday in October. We hosted parents, staff, students, community members, school board members, administrators, siblings, and grandparents that day. It was great! There was so much positive energy in the school that day!
It also turned out to be a great day for arts advocacy. I think the parents really enjoyed getting to paint!
These volunteers were laying small pavers. We painted tables, pots, and garbage cans. We painted artwork to hang inside. We layed pavers for walkways and patios. We did general clean up. We planted flowerbeds. We worked hard that morning!

These volunteers were painting pavers and working on some pieces to hang inside the buildings. 

Art Club and other volunteers stayed after school one day to work on the mural and add finishing touches to other areas. 

We painted the guitars for this fence on the Saturday Volunteer Day. A parent brought her older daughters to school one afternoon and added finishing touches and sealed the paint for us.


5th grade having science class in the Rock & Roll Garden

We have also started a project on another of our outdoor areas. Stay tuned for a post about that. 
I would love to hear from you! Comment below! 

Thanks to Lowe's Toolbox for Education and the Association for Excellence in Education for funding this project! Also, BIG BIG THANKS to all of our volunteers.

All Around the Art Room

I LOVE SchoolArts Magazine. IF (and I can't imagine why each and every single art teacher wouldn't) you don't have a subscription, you should get one. I use it for several things. First, I get ideas for lessons. I don't always follow the lessons exactly. I definitely like to exercise my own creativity and knowledge of best practices by adding to the ideas presented by the magazine. I encourage you to do the same. Second, I use the advocacy articles as teaching tools. I post them on my classroom advocacy board, use them as references when writing funding proposals, and even have my older students read them from time to time. Finally, I put copies of the SchoolArts Magazines in my reading center for students to view when they have time. They tell me they get ideas from the photos in the magazines, and that's a very good thing.

One of my favorite sections in the magazines is the Welcome to My World photographs of visual arts classrooms. I just think it is so neat to be able to see other classrooms. I always get great ideas. I especially get ideas about things I'd love to have for my students!

So, I decided to post a little tour of my classroom. Maybe, and hopefully, you will get some ideas for your own classroom. Leave feedback in the comments if you'd like OR post questions. I'd LOVE to hear from you. I LOVE to connect with other educators!

(Be looking for more photos to be posted in a few days. I have just returned from maternity leave. Everything isn't set up exactly like I want it yet...but I'm getting there!)

Reading Center- I have an objective posted. 

Advocacy Board- I put this on the back of the door that connects the art room to our science lab. Students line up to exit here. I always hope they take a look at it. I like to point it out to adults who come visit (parents, administrators, legislators, State Department and Arts Commission visitors).

The art room Wall of Fame is a place to recognize excellence. I teach the students the seven behaviors listed at the top. They know I am always looking for students exhibiting these behaviors in an excellent way. Its a great system for rewarding students. They get a note to take home so they can let their parents know about their success. I also take their picture to post on the wall and to Tweet. The cubbies underneath store works in progress. I have one space for each class. The two painted boxes on top of the cubbies and underneath the Wall of Fame store work that I pull for showcasing in other locations and work that has no name.
New vocabulary board

Teacher work area

da Vinci Corner

Bravo Board

This is the student-friendly objectives board. I use these to teach. My goal is to go over them at the beginning of each class. We pull our vocabulary from these. I think this helps the students understand the expectations that I have for them. They also seem to take their work more seriously in general when they know they have to meet objectives. 

We are so lucky to have this Promethean Board. I have our social media information posted at the top.

This is just one of the walls in the classroom. 

We are really lucky to have such an awesome art space! We do not take it for granted!!!

*NOW, if I could just get that back table cleaned off from where we had our Art & Soul Garden Volunteer Day!!! 

Back After a Not-So-Short Break

Hi everyone! I am back after taking about a two year break from blogging. I took on some new and exciting responsibilities at my school! This required me to shift focus for a bit. Then, my husband and I had our first child!

Everybody meet Willa:

Blogging about education, and arts education in particular, is still very important to me. I feel it's a much needed form of advocacy. So, without further delay, let the blogging begin!

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