Art Centers: Ten Teaching and Learning Strategies Addressed
1. Total-Group Mini-Lesson facilitated by the teacher. This lesson can be a brief (five-minutes). It may be an explanation and demonstration of a new material or technique or an introduction of a new artist or style.
2. Clusters of students with comparable needs or interests cooperatively create a single project, separating and sharing the work. The teacher designs specific lessons with the goal of gaining of knowledge in a small group setting.
3. Individual lesson taught by teacher. The teacher embraces the role of Artist in Residence with special talents and training. She shares these skills with the students. Art History and Appreciation may be presented to the students.
4. Peer-to-peer interaction in an informal manner provides opportunities for students to attain specific skills. When a student becomes an expert with a certain material or procedure, she can peer coach students with less progress with skills in that area.
5. Students exhibit and demonstrate their own originality or “discoveries”. They become the “experts” and teach the whole class. This creates a “community of artists” where students may develop friendships with others with similar interests.
6. Each center plays the role of an individual art studio with materials and tools need to create art. “Menus” are created and displayed, describing procedures for setup and cleanup, or other essential information.
7. Visiting Artists can be invited to speak about their own work based on the students’ interests.
8. Center activities heighten awareness and allow students to be exposed to the work of other artists. This in turn supports the planning of trips to art museums, events, and galleries.
9. Experimentation which is both original and individual occurs when the student works at their own pace exploring and practicing multiple art media. Students gain knowledge and skill in personal areas of interest such as watercolor, sculpture, etc.
10. Evaluation and reflecting of student work occurs when they are invited to talk about their creations at the end of each centers day during an “artist share.” This is a good time for the teacher to integrate pertinent art vocabulary with the student work. This is a vital assessment tool, a chance to evaluate the day’s work.
- LaNell Clark
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