Friday, July 28, 2017

Q2 in Ceramics 1-4: What TAB/Choice looks like in my classroom?

Quarter 2 in Ceramics 1:  
In case you missed how I set up my ceramics class of levels 1-4 together, see the post about  Quarter 1.  

This post will contain information on how I structured the second half of my ceramics 1 class, and most of the semester of ceramics 2-4.  (Reminder:  This is a combined class of ceramics 1-4.)

Ceramics 1:  Introduction to Artistic Behaviors... or Artistic Challenges. After teaching formative skill building Boot Camps with lots of safe practice, students are introduced to the transition into "making art."  Up until now, students may have been creating art, however, that wasn't the focus of discussion.  Here, we now spend a few days looking at, talking about, thinking about art (specifically 3D artwork).  I "present" THIS slideshow about the Elements and Principles and how they are used in 3D artwork to create interest.  We then look at THIS slide deck of different 3D artwork.  We discuss the first few together as a class (how to READ an artwork, what to look for in the artwork that gives us information, etc), and in pairs/groups, to give them opportunity for safe practice and discussion.  Then, students have access to that slide deck, paired across tables and across levels, and are allowed to choose an artwork they are interested in researching, discussing, annotating to present to the class.  On the day of presentation, students volunteered to present in front of class, and due to time, we then break into table groups and the pairs/teams shared their findings, discussed their questions and curiosities.  As I walked around the room, I was so interested to hear the students discuss and engage with EACH OTHER about their artwork and the meanings they found.  I also enjoyed hearing the further discussions such as "So I see you making things in ceramics 3.  What kinds of things do you get to do?" with responses such as "Really?  We get to make ANYTHING we WANT TO!  It's so awesome because it's what I'm really interested in.  I really want to make something about the choices we make, but I'm not sure how to do that yet."  And then listening to them discuss THAT!  It's like.. the students actually made the connection between ACTUAL artists' artwork and THEIR OWN creations!  Crazy, huh?  

Example of the Project Proposal- for Ceramics 1
I include Construction Method instead of Form.
Students are expected to also attach any research.

We then transition into Artistic Behaviors (I provide students with many different Google Slides prompts that mostly asks them questions to help them understand the different Artistic Behaviors and how they can start thinking about what to create (isn't that always the hardest?  "I'm not creative! I don't know where to start!"  Can I get you some more cheese with that whine?).  They are provided a Project Proposal worksheet in which they have to consider all aspects of their process from research and sketching (planning) to construction methods, meaning, function (or non), and display.  I notice that, while I intend to enforce a completion of a project proposal worksheet for all three of their artworks, students will often get the hang of that and end up doing more of a discussion with me, talking through ideas, and not need the structure of the worksheet.  Some students still do, and some just like that pre-made organization.  I'm a pretty flexible teacher, so on the most part I let the students decide what they need (and some, I force them to use it because they NEED it)- if they are better at communicating their ideas in drawings or in discussion with me, I'm okay with that as long as they jot some of that down so they don't forget what we have discussed.  

Students submit the project proposals for me to approve,
and then resubmit again when submitted completed work,
along with this reflection.
Students are expected to create 3 Artworks with artist statement and self evaluations by the end of the quarter, and complete their growth portfolio as their final exam.  As mentioned in my previous post, some students can "get away" with only creating 2 if they are super time consuming or complex.  I'd much rather a student continue on their own path of creating then force them to rush and cut it short for my own purposes.  As long as students demonstrate application of foundational skills through meaningful artwork, I'm good!  I believe, that if students are demonstrating THEIR Creative Process, problem solving best methods to create THEIR own MEANINGFUL artwork, DISCUSSING their ideas with their peers to receive critical feedback, REFINING their work based on that feedback, and ultimately reflecting on what THEY deem is the success of visually communicating their intention... isn't that ideally what we want them to leave our class being able to do?

Here are some examples of what students created in the second half of the semester (Of course, students wrote way more than what I have in those captions below, but just wanted you to get a general idea of their intention.):