Teachers establish a safe, inclusive and respectful learning environment for a diverse population of students.
ELEMENT A: Teachers foster a predictable learning environment characterized by acceptable student behavior and efficient use of time in which each student has a positive, nurturing relationship with caring adults and peers.
To help encourage structure and a safe learning environment, it is important to communicate what you want students to do. At the start of each day, I would show and have students read the Learning Goals for the day. The learning goals can revolve around the project and suggest appropriate behavior. Here is an example of the Fifth Grade Mini Art Gallery Project. All Learning Objective were combined at the end:
ELEMENT B: Teachers demonstrate an awareness of, a commitment to, and respect for multiple aspects of diversity, while working toward common goals as a community of learners.
Art is an ideal way to expose students to cultures found across the world and learn about different values, messages, and identity. Art is the way we react to the world around us. In my elementary place at Cache La Poudre, I designed a lesson revolving around Adinkra Cloths from the people in Ghana. We read a book called, The Talking Cloth, where is celebrates family, culture, and meaning behind motifs/symbols. First grade got to look at Adinkra Cloth Examples, and try to interpret what it was saying. This lesson exposed students to a different culture compared to their own lives. Here is a student example after we experimented with stamps and printmaking. Students were inspired to create their own messages.
Because Videos cannot be posted on Weebly, here is a quote: "I made it with cloth and stamps and some black paint. This means love for friends, this means love for nature, and this means love for family." The student pointed out each section as she spoke.
ELEMENT C: Teachers engage students as individuals, including those with diverse needs and interests, across a range of ability levels by adapting their teaching for the benefit of all students.
In my teaching philosophy, putting students' needs before everything is a must. Teachers must design lessons and projects that will connect and fully engage students in what they are learning. Although I usually had 25 or more students in the classroom, it was important for me to consider each student individually because no one is the same. It was my responsibility to provide resources and accommodations for students who need it. For example, Sixth Grade Exploration is a class that introduces middle school art class. They begin to learn how to envision, create, and reflect. Artist Statements and Reflections are equally as important as the actual process at IB schools, so I designed a template for student to write in. One student was unable to write and work on his own, so I accommodated by recording his response to the artwork by recording his responses verbally.
ELEMENT D: Teachers work collaboratively with the families and/or significant adults for the benefit of students.
Although COVID-19 has put more restrictions in place, contact with parents have allowed them to stay in the loop when students are being introduced to in person class again. Most parents have been involved with learning from the past year, but after two weeks of online classes, all elementary students transitioned to full in person. Writing a newsletter to parents helped keep parents in the loop. Here is an example:
"What is in happening in the Art Room with Mrs. Awsumb-Conn
We have a new student teacher, Ms. Hinchsliff! She is finishing up her time at Colorado State University and will be with us until the end of February. She is very excited to help teach and create art with all students. We began the new year online doing many projects and the students made wonderful artwork. Now we have begun our time in person! Here are a few positive moments so far:
Students have been able to work with hands on materials which gives them an opportunity to get messy and have fun.
Because we can have better class discussions, students are sharing more of their thoughts and ideas!
We get to SEE the process and share while all students work!
We have half of the classes every other week on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Library/WonderLab on Monday and Friday. It has been so fun to see the students on consecutive days and watch their creativity grow! With many COVID-19 health precautions, the students have been awesome with masks, social distancing and patience. Because art is still in the classroom, we are being very aware about the sharing of supplies and sanitation in between classes. We have shields that sit on each table to give each student their own protected workspace.
What are we working on? Kindergarten - Creating wonderful pieces of art from accidents or mistakes through the book, Beautiful Oops by Barney Saltzberg. The students have created clay pinch pots to design and paint. 1st - Making their own paper through tissue paper pulp! We worked on contour line drawings then used tissue paper pulp to fill in the drawing! 2nd - Creating their own animal or creature by using egg cartons for the heads. The students have so many great ideas! 3rd - Sculpting different fish out of clay. The fish will soon be fired and ready to add color! 4th - Combining science and art into one exciting circuitry project. Students are designing patterns and optical illusions on a triangular prism. The second step is to complete the circuit and create a night light. 5th - Sculpting our very own fake sweet treat through model magic clay! Be sure to not be tricked!
Library/WonderLab with Mrs. Awsumb-Conn: Students will be able to check out books and participate in Makers Lab activities on Mondays and Fridays!"