SchoolArts Magazine

MAY 2018

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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Students also had to also demonstrate appropriate time management skills, as they were required to complete their work in three one-hour class sessions. The completed and assembled games were imaginative and playful. We concluded the experience by inviting the students' second-grade buddy class to join us for an afternoon of teaching, learning, playing checkers, and fun. Janice Corsino teaches visual arts at Le Jardin Academy in Kailua, Hawaii. janice.corsino N A T I O N A L S T A N D A R D Connecting: Relating artistic ideas and work with personal meaning and external context. W E B L I N K 20 MAY 2018 SchoolArts SCHOOLARTSMAGAZINE.COM 21 E L E M E N T A R Y Some students coordinated the color of their boards to correspond to the theme and design of their game pieces. For example, one student used light blue and dark blue for her game board because she was making ocean-themed pieces (sand dollars vs. sea shells). Another used red and white for his game board to have it resemble a picnic blanket because he was making food- themed pieces (hamburgers vs. hot - dogs). I laminated the completed game boards to make them more durable. Making the Game Pieces Next, students created their game pieces. They each had to make twelve pieces for each side, plus additional items to king the pieces if necessary. I required them to demonstrate proper hand-building techniques during the process, such as wedging their clay to remove air pockets and scoring and slipping when attaching pieces together. After the clay pieces were fin - ished and dry, I bisque-fired them and students painted them with acrylics. each other. The first requirement was that the opposing teams must have some sort of connection, be it symbolic or ironic (e.g., shoes vs. feet, suns vs. moons, hamburgers vs. hotdogs, apples vs. oranges). The second requirement was to determine how to designate each team's king. In traditional checkers, the pieces are stacked to identify a king. If the shapes of the students' pieces did not lend themselves to stacking, they were required to find another method to denote which pieces were the kings. For example, one student made donut pieces. These were painted with a solid color on one side and with colorful sprinkles on the other. The student would play the game with the plain side showing and when that piece became a king, it would be flipped over to reveal the colorful sprinkle side. Starting with the Game Board Students created their game boards on 8 x 8" paper. I encouraged them to use any two contrasting colors, rather than the traditional black and red motif of a traditional checkers game. They used a ruler and pencil to draw a grid of 1" squares on the drawing paper. Then they outlined the boxes with black per - manent marker and colored them in an alternating pattern. E arly one school year, while reviewing my lessons for the semester, I was stuck in a rut. Having been teaching art for several years, I found myself repeat- ing the same lessons and projects over and over again. Yes, these lessons were successful. My students enjoyed them and they produced nice results. However, I felt like I needed to refresh my curriculum and challenged myself to reinvent several of my lessons. I decided to start by redesigning my lesson on utilitarian art. This was a ceramics lesson where students learned basic hand-building skills. Typically, they made functional ves - sels such as bowls, mugs, and other containers. I did an internet search for other functional items students could create instead. After some searching, an image of a chess set with sculpted pieces caught my attention. My stu - dents love games and I knew that they would jump at the opportunity to cre- ate their own game board and pieces. Chess, or Checkers? I also knew, however, that sculpting a set of chess pieces would prove too time consuming for my fifth-graders. I decided, then, to have my students design and create their own checkers pieces and game board, thinking this approach might be more manageable and age-appropriate. Criteria We began with a brainstorming ses- sion where I first explained that the board game checkers is played on an 8 x 8" board and each player has twelve pieces. I asked each student to design two teams that would face Janice Corsino M tudents love games and I knew that the would jump at the opportunit o create their own game board and pieces. The Art Of CHECKERS Materials • low-fire clay and clay tools • acrylic paint • 8 x 8" (20 x 20 cm) white drawing paper • pencils, erasers, and rulers • black permanent markers • coloring supplies (markers, colored pencils, etc.) • lamination film CONTINUED ON XX. Hayden and Ellie, grade five. CONTINUED FROM PAGE 21. they worked together to organize it, hang the art, create marketing materi - als, and promote the event. Professionally, this has been a gratifying time in my life. The teacher-student rela - tionship has become more collaborative and the studio environment has become more team-oriented. When I have had doubts or am feeling overwhelmed with work, these young people pull me back, motivate me, and make me want to be a better teacher. Their art, voices, energy, cour - age, and creativity never fail to show me, their families, and the community how much they value their art and our art program. Deborah Prahl is an art teacher at West High School in West Bend, Wisconsin. dbprahl@ N A T I O N A L S T A N D A R D Presenting: Interpreting and sharing artistic work. A D V O C A C Y CONTINUED ON PAGE XX. of-the-year exhibition, including an artists' reception. They come together as a team to coordinate the whole event. Student Responsibility Students divide responsibilities, design promotional materials, and send invi- tations. Gallery space is allocated and decisions are made about lighting, display boards, and props. Food and drink assignments are made; set up and take-down is planned. Many students make themselves business cards and create even more art to sell at the reception. They also write professional artist statements to be displayed with their work. High attendance at the exhibition and strong, positive feedback leave the students feeling confident. I am proud of them. This tradition is con - tinuing successfully and the alumni look forward to coming back to see the new crop of AP artists showing each year. Results So what does student involve- ment really have to do with art advocacy? Here's what I've expe- rienced: student artists become more engaged, invested, and seri- ous about their work when they know that the final product will be seen publicly. Student-produced exhibitions also provided motiva - tion and confidence to make more art and share it with others. We continue to look for more opportunities for students to share their art. This past year began with an AP Studio Art student approaching me with an exhibi - tion opportunity she arranged with the owner of a local coffee shop. She brought it to the class and cating for our art program. Working at the high-school level, I'm fortu - nate to be able to present opportuni- ties that teach students how to plan, organize, and present their art to a public audience. The Power of Presenting Since adopting the National Stan- dards in our state, I have become more aware of the "presenting" part and have made it students' responsi- bility to take part in preparing and sharing their work. My beginning-level art students learn to mount or mat their 2D work, label, and hang the art. Intermediate and advanced students become more involved with the organization of their exhibits. By the time high-school art - ists are in AP Studio Art, they are able to put on a successful final show at the end of the course. I put the AP Studio Art class com - pletely in charge of their own end- I want to share with you what I feel is my strongest art advocacy tool: my students. I have been in art education for nineteen years, taught all levels, and spent a few years as the curator of education at a museum. For my part, I enjoy deliv - ering news about our art program via many different channels. I've posted advocacy quotes and statistics around school, usually in the form of posters made by students as part of a project. I also communicate with students, families, and the commu - nity through social media and school newsletters. Student work is displayed as fre- quently as I'm able, but I'm always wishing I could do more. We have a wonderful district-wide team of art teachers who collaborate to put on art events and shows throughout the year. But what I have recently learned is how important the involvement of students is in advo - Standing Out for Art Deborah Prahl What I have recentl learned is how important the involvement of students is in advocating for our art program. 8 MAY 2018 SchoolArts CONTINUED FROM PAGE 8. Questions? Tweet us @DavisPub, send a Facebook message to @DavisPublications, or send us an email to cmckinstr YOU'RE INVITED TO CREATE! Take part in our monthl rt prompts a our work could be featured in SchoolArts magazine, the Davis Advocac lanner, or on the Davis website and social media channels. Joining the fun is eas : P ick a prompt b isiting or follow us on Facebook and Twitter to learn the new prompt each month. C hoose the media ou'd like to use—an rt for ou like. C reate something awesome tied to the monthl heme. S ubmit your art using the form on We'll feature submissions throughout the month on social media and throughout th ear in the magazine and planner. ART A TS 46 MAY 2018 SchoolArts

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