I'm a firm believer that the tone we set in the first week of school can influence the whole course. When planning what that time period would look like in my room this year, I wanted to accomplish the following:
- Create a culture of collaboration.
- Foster a problem-solving mindset.
- Intro my Design Process Thinking model.
- Start a conversation about originality that will be revisited in every lesson.
On day one I skip the rules and syllabus review. Instead, we played one of my favorite games - "What's in the Bag?". The task was to create an object that could shoot a projectile at least three feet. I love the moment I tell students we're doing this - I watch their eyes go from glazed over with boredom to alive and curious. It's a fun activity for kids but it's also an effective way to preview what the class will look like in terms of student responsibility for making decisions.
The next day, we started a short assignment about re-purposing ideas. The task: each group remixed an old master painting. The big idea I wanted my kids to take away from this experience is that artists need to be collectors of ideas that they have on file to use and adapt. It's a big paradigm shift that needs to happen to get where I want them to go.
Next week, it's on to Bootcamps. My goal is to fit more information in a shorter timespan by using a combo of flipping and google forms. Stay tuned!
I'm an high school art teacher who's really interested in student choice and creating opportunities for self expression. I'm also a writer for The Art of Education and co-author of The Open Art Room.