Welcome back to all, and our new subscribers this year! Thank you for signing up. Also many thanks for those of you who have recently donated to our collection of ‘junk’, such as toilet rolls and small boxes, which will be used in future for construction activities, and small items which may be of interest to students for observational drawing, ie. small objects with interesting texture, shape, form, colour (eg cheap junk jewellery, dried flowers/fruit, shiny objects etc).  Please continue to donate – the more the better! Collection boxes can be found outside the art room 3006.

I’d like to start this year by sharing a video, which has been shown to many (not all) students in the last few weeks.

We are now moving into our fourth, six day cycle. This means students have attended art three or four times. A great energy is arising as students are becoming familiar with our new ‘choice based’ approach to teaching art at AAS. This blog post should help you to understand the thinking behind our approach and intentions for student learning.

In previous years, students have engaged in Guided Inquiry Units which have allowed students to experience the creative process, individually and as part of a whole group. Please see previous years’ blog posts for detailed information. This has prepared our students well, for our next step into 21st century learning. Choice Based Art and Teaching for Artistic Behaviours (TAB) places the student at the centre of everything, allowing for greater agency and personalised learning. Through a choice based approach, and continuing to apply the mantra “You are the artist, and this is your studio”, we believe all students will be more invested, engaged and inspired, as this will appeal even more so, to their natural curiosity and personal interests. Through allowing choice, and providing more of a ‘workshop’ environment, students can work at their own pace, and with increased independence, whilst still meeting curricular objectives. 

Throughout the year, we shall focus on the understanding, or Central Idea, that ‘Artists practise a series of behaviours, which lead them through a process, resulting in an art work which conveys personal meaning to them’. We will continue to ask ourselves “What do artists do?” and “Where do ideas come from?”

In recent weeks, we have been focusing on exploration, and the setting up/cleaning up of workspace.  Students are entirely responsible for thoughtfully planning for, and selecting materials and tools in order to initiate exploration/experimentation, observational and/or imaginative work.

Emphasis is also being placed on the documentation of exploration and experimentation. All pieces should be kept, as they provide opportunity for reflection, and are valuable evidence of process.

As we work through the transition to a full choice based program, students are beginning to become familiar with the Studio Habits of Mind (http://www.pz.harvard.edu/projects/the-studio-thinking-project) which can be directly linked to the National Core Art Standards, PYP learning outcomes and Attributes. These are early days, and the depth of exposure and understanding, is dependent on the Grade level. The Studio Habits of Mind can be found at the foot of this blog post.

Thank you for your attention to long blog post! We look forward to seeing you at the upcoming Learning Goal Setting Day.

                                      Studio Habits of Mind & PYP Attributes

Develop Craft: Learning to use tools, materials, artistic conventions, and learning to care for tools, materials and space (PYP Caring and Knowledgeable)

Envision: Learning to picture mentally, what cannot be directly observed, and imagine possible next steps in making a piece (PYP Inquirer)

Express: Learning to create works that convey an idea, a feeling, or a personal meaning (PYP Communicator)

Stretch & Explore: Learning to reach beyond one’s capacities, to explore playfully without a preconceived plan, and to embrace the opportunity to learn from mistakes (PYP Risk Taker)

Observe: Learning to attend to visual contexts more closely than ordinary ‘looking’ requires, and thereby to see things that otherwise might not be seen (PYP Inquirer)

Reflect: Learning to think and talk with others about an aspect of one’s work or working process, and learning to judge one’s own work and working process, and the work of others (PYP Reflective)

Engage & Persist: Learning to embrace problems of relevance within the art world/or of personal importance, to develop focus conducive to working and persevering at tasks (PYP Open Minded)

Understand (Arts) Community: Learning to interact as an artist with other artists (i.e. in classrooms, in local arts organizations, and across the art field)