Teachers plan and deliver effective instruction and create an environment that facilitates learning for their students.
ELEMENT A: Teachers demonstrate knowledge about the ways in which learning takes place, including the levels of intellectual, physical, social, and emotional development of their students.
During my time at Cache La Poudre Elementary, I learned about the importance of Health and Wellness in the school community. Students learn about resilience, mindfulness, and taking care of yourself. Students are guided through yoga during the day to help practice skills that help mental and physical health. During February, the school had a staff meeting to go through everything the students were being taught. As the teachers, we all practiced the exact yoga exercises the students do. This allowed us to understand the students perspective, integrate it into art lessons, and keep conversation going. Resilience was addressed in almost all lessons we taught.
ELEMENT B: Teachers use formal and informal methods to assess student learning, provide feedback, and use results to inform planning and instruction.
Assessment is very important to understand the level of engagement, connection and understanding. This helps teachers design projects to ultimately motivate independent learning. Although all assessments have the same goal, it can look very different, starting with quick check ins to detailed reflections at the end of the project. In the Zentangle Drawing Project that sixth grade did, I used formal and informal methods through mid evaluation conversation and Artist Statements. For example, I checked in with students during their process multiple times to see if guidance of help was needed. I gave any feedback I needed to and here is the comparison between process and product.
"Describe your work: (3 Sentences) My dad has been swimming with turtles and it sounded really cool. So i decided to make a colorful turtle. I love rainbow’s and colors a lot. How did you create your artwork? (2 Sentences) I drew my piece with a sharpie first. Then started the amazing color. How does your artwork connect to you? (2 Sentences) It connects to me because I've always wanted a pet turtle. Turtles are a really cool animal. What did you do best in your artwork? (1 Sentences) What I did best was the head, in my opinion. What do you want to keep working on? (1 Sentence) Better at drawing turtle fins."
ELEMENT C: Teachers integrate and utilize appropriate available technology to engage students in authentic learning experiences.
Classroom Management is important when teaching Kindergarten through Fifth grade each day. To provide a consistent structure every time the students walk into the classroom, I used ClassDojo to motivate students through simple behaviors. For each class, there are little aliens for each students and they can earn points by being prepared, on task, kind, and helpful. I keep the screen up when I am not using the board, to help remind them. ClassDojo was very successful when using it at the Elementary level. Here is an example of the screen:
ELEMENT D: Teachers establish and communicate high expectations and use processes to support the development of critical-thinking and problem-solving skills.
Problem Solving skills are found all over art and the artmaking process. When it comes to exploration and discovery, trying what works and what doesn't is the core component. I design lessons that allow students to find obstacles and challenges, instead of teacher led projects that turn out the same. Students need to exercise how they solve problems without immediately asking the teacher. During the class, I made sure to state the help rule:
1. If you are stuck, try to see if you can problem solve on your own. 2. Ask a friend for help. 3. Ask the teachers for help.
This not only allowed me to help students who truly need it, but it gave students a challenge to not immediately resort to the teacher who can fix it. It helped them become more dependent in the art classroom. In the fourth grade weaving project, there were a lot of chances to get confused or mess something up, but a greater opportunity to quickly problem solve. In weaving, student could easily see the problem. For example, this student forgot to go over and under which will create a problem when taking it off the cardboard loom. He problem solved my taking them out and restarting the pattern.
ELEMENT E: Teachers provide students with opportunities to work in teams and develop leadership
Due to COVID, collaboration looked different, but I utilized class discussion. When looking at Artist Examples, I would ask students what they see. Students were able to point, share and explain why. Although I was not able to integrate collaborate in the classroom, I am hoping for the next year to involve students with each other and the community around them. Here is an example of a couple works when introducing Pottery to Sixth grade:
I asked the class to answer these questions: What do you see? What do these remind you of? How do you think they did it and why?
ELEMENT F: Teachers model and promote effective communication.
In Third Grade, we created Clay Fish and once everyone's pieces were finished, we stood up and formed a line. Then, I shared that I have different tokens with different meanings (Blue: Shape, Pink: Color, Yellow: Texture) Each students walked around to see all the fish, then decided which fish they thought had interesting color, shape, and texture. Once everyone used their tokens, students shared. I modeled the structure when sharing: "I thought (students name)'s fish had interesting texture BECAUSE..." Here is an example of the self reflection I had students fill out once discussion was done.