Grades 1-5 Art

Category: Impacts: Self Directed Learning (Page 2 of 3)

All Grades: Documentation: Developing the Habit

Seesaw activity continues to grow and students are becoming more independent in documenting their process. At present, no written reflection/evaluation is being required of students. We have simply been continuing to explore ways in which we can record our process or final products. Every lesson, students are required to upload their chosen plan for the day, and at least one photo which shows achievement, as a means of developing the habit of ongoing documentation.

There is also a new enthusiasm amongst some students to take this further by working on time lapse videos to demonstrate activity, specifically inspired by the work Nathan 3CB. Well done Nathan.

The following videos (with sound) would most likely be best viewed from a laptop or PC.

Nathan’s Video

Zahra’s Video

Anthony’s Video

Silvijn’s Video

Zain’s Video

We have now had approximately eight art classes. It is wonderful to see the variety of exploratory work ,and motivation which comes with our choice based art program. Students are now very familiar with choices within the Drawing and Painting Station and ways in which to navigate and be in control of their learning and environment. After the October break we shall begin to delve into the question of ‘Where do artists get ideas’? through some brainstorming and critique/analysis work. Students will then work on idea generation, leading towards a W.O.W (Wonderful Original Work of Art), hopefully in time for December break.

These are exciting times. Wishing you a restful holiday and safe travels.

Second to Fifth Grade: Responsibility for Workspace and Gaining Independence

You may have noticed increased activity on Seesaw lately. Items posted by students are likely to consist of:

  • my planning document
  • my workspace
  • today’s achievement

Over the last two cycles, there has been a strong emphasis on organisation of workspace and an introduction to documentation. No longer do students enter a room with tables nicely set/arranged. It is entirely their responsibility to consider which tools/materials they will need and to arrange these for themselves, in an organised and safe manner. Small considerations such as placing the water cup at the top, so as not to knock it over, are of high importance! Or showing that we know to lay a brush down rather than stand it in the cup. Likewise, students are entirely responsible for tidying the room and returning all to its correct home. For fun, we have been referring to the tables as ‘Five million dollar’ tables and students have been eager to create the most perfectly clean tidy work space! Such enthusiasm in cleaning up is great to see!

Students are now in the routine of completing a planning document which helps them to decide their activity and select appropriate tools and materials. Presently, only 2D choices are available (painting or drawing). They are selecting their choice of activity by identifying with characters named ‘HOMies’. These are based on the Studio Habits of Mind. The Storyteller creates an artwork which has personal meaning to him/her. He/She is a ‘Communicator‘. Detective Dot is the observer: students who chose to observe from real life objects, pictures, or books. He/She is an ‘Inquirer‘. The Explorer asks “What if…?” as he/she experiments, plays, and investigates through various materials and tools. He/she is a ‘Risk Taker‘.

And Finally…

Students are currently being introduced to the notion of independently documenting their process and progress. At this stage, no written or verbal reflection has been required of them. The point is to begin to develop the habit, without being instructed to do so by an adult. A few students have already started, by simply uploading a photo of a stage of the work, or a more complete image, presented as an arrangement, which demonstrates achievements during that lesson. Work may be complete, or not. Taking the responsibility to independently document, is the goal for now.

Watch this space for further developments in our Choice Based approach to art.



All Grades: Seeking items for Observational Drawing

Thank you for your donations and please keep them coming! Here is a photo of the objects which are drawing greatest attention at the moment. We seek small items which are interesting in shape, color, or texture. Students are fascinated by nature, and also small toys, plastic jewellery, and replica treasures from ancient civilisations.  Many thanks for your continued donations!

All Grades: Student Goal Setting: Friday 20 September 2019

It will be a pleasure to meet families on Friday, as students welcome them into their art studio to decide on an art goal for the year. We shall start by asking the child if he/she already has a goal in mind. It is likely that their idea for a personal goal will link to one of the bigger ideas presented on paper, on the tables. If so, we shall help him/her to make that connection. I plan to sit with as many families as possible to assist students in coming to a decision. The goal categories are presented as ‘big ideas’ and have been created in a way to provide students ways of incorporating their art goal into everyday life, as opposed to during art class alone.

  • Love Learning
  • Respect
  • Contribute
  • Discovering Art
  • Creativity
  • Reading and Art
  • Follow my Dreams

During these meetings students will be encouraged to think about how they can achieve these goals. What is specifically needed in order to work towards this ongoing goal? Example, those who say they would like to learn to draw animals: Suggestions would include, finding ‘how to draw’ books in the library, watching (with parental consent) Youtube Tutorials (eg. How to draw tigers), and better still, drawing from real life (draw pets in your living room, or a family visit to the zoo), or begin a photo album and sketch book around the topic of animals, or cut out magazine pictures also. The point is to have students understand that there are a variety of sources from where they can find and gather information and find inspiration, and that they can be independently responsible for their personal learning journey.

In previous years, I have found these discussions to be very insightful. They have provided me an opportunity to hear about the individual’s specific interests, their enthusiasm, and it is also fantastic to hear some students explaining their goals to their parents, with great use of art vocabulary!

If the room is crowded, please feel free to sit at one of the tables with your child, initiate goals discussions, present the options on the table, and help him/her to complete a goals paper. Please make sure your child writes his/her name and class on the paper so that we may keep it in his/her portfolio. If, for any reason, you miss an opportunity to speak with me, and would like to, please feel free to email me, to make another appointment time.

Below are the suggestions which will be provided, and an example of the ‘Goals Sheet’. These will be placed inside their portfolio next week. We look forward to seeing you Friday.



All Grades: Choice Based Art & Teaching for Artistic Behaviours

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 ( 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)













Fifth Grade: PYP Exhibition 2019

Transdisciplinary Theme: How We Express Ourselves, PYP Key Concept: Perspective

Central Idea: Collaborative Inquiry is a journey which empowers students to demonstrate life-long skills and dispositions which lead to action.

Line of Inquiry: Artists work together use creativity to raise awareness of matters that are important to them.

CONGRATULATIONS to Fifth Grade students as they reach the final stages of their exhibition work. The PYPX Art Station has been buzzing with collaborative artistic activity as many have chosen various art forms to help express ideas and findings. We look forward to hearing about your learning journey and future action steps on matters which have become important to you.

Feel free to take a selfie at our Yayoi Kusama work. Good luck with your presentation! (More photos of students at work to be posted on Seesaw)





All Grades: Eco Fair Art Opportunity

Eco Fair Art Opportunity

Looking for a fun and meaningful, art activity during the holidays?

All ES Artists are invited to create an artwork for our ECO FAIR art exhibit. All works will be shown.

Theme; Wildlife Animals, Birds or Insects

Create a 2D or 3D artwork of your favorite Wildlife.

2D artworks should be no bigger than an A3 paper.

Choose any art form you like! Painting, Drawing, Printmaking, Junk Modelling, Sculpture, Photography.

  • Bring your finished work to the Hall of Flags on Thursday 18 April
  • Pin it on the boards available on the day
  • Place 3D art works on the table
  • Be sure that your name and class can be seen on the work.

Thank you for bringing joy, celebration and color to our Eco Fair, through art!



First Grade: Student Led Conferences 28 March 2019

First Grade students should invite parents to the art room to discuss and share any aspect of their learning in art. The guiding questions/discussion points below will be provided for parents, to assist as conversation starters if necessary. Patterned fabrics, and printmaking stamps will be provided for students to demonstrate their knowledge/understanding and skills, as they wish. In addition to this, students may discuss their knowledge/understanding of the art forms and artists which they have most recently engaged in (Matisse and Carle). Students and parents will be invited to contribute to a collaborative ‘painted paper’ art work, where students may demonstrate their knowledge of shape and layering, and explain the process of creating painted paper collage art works. We look forward to seeing you on Thursday.

Fourth Grade: Student Led Conferences 28 March 2019

Fourth Grade students are expected to bring parents to Room 3002 (next to the art room) to view the Fourth Grade ‘Exhibition of Moods’. Feedback, reflection and evaluation was an essential part of this unit, and students need your opinion on their work and that of their peers. Students have worked hard to generate ideas, and apply their knowledge and understanding of the use of subject matter and color to express a feeling.  Hopefully, still a BIG SECRET, students would like you to guess the mood of their own painting and also of their classmates work. This is a very exciting moment for students. Please join in the fun, and contribute to our feedback session. The results of this activity will help students self evaluate their effectiveness as a communicator through art.

Cultural masks in their current stage of artistic process (not finished) will also be available, in addition to our original Barong and Rangda Masks. Guiding questions/discussion points will be available for students who would like a little help with conversation starters. We look forward to seeing you on Thursday.

Fifth Grade Student Led Conferences: 28 March 2019

Fifth Grade students should invite parents to visit the art room and the ES Lobby Area to discuss any aspect of their learning journey in art. As they are currently in the throws of their Exhibition work, one important area for discussion could include the child’s reflection, regarding how he/she might ‘use creativity to raise awareness of matters important to them’ (Gr 5 PYPX Line of Inquiry). Discussions around the joys and challenges of collaborative work would also be of great value. The following guiding questions/discussion points have been provided. However, it is entirely up to the child, how he/she chooses to share his/her learning with you. We look forward to seeing you on Thursday.



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