About this Site and Me

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Flower Mound, TX, United States
Hi, I am an artist, wife, mom, gamer and the Elementary Art Educator at Donald Elementary, a sweet and wonderful school in Flower Mound, TX (outside of Dallas). This is a great place to see how we are integrating studio habits with technology and interdisciplinary connections. I also love to share my "wisdom" (Re: Experiences. From mistakes.) about teaching Elementary Art. I love what I do, and I've been doing it for a long time. Creating and teaching Art is what I live for. Enjoy.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Allowing for Choice. And letting go of control. *shudder*

This post is about allowing more student choice. You will find no tech talk here. 

Remember this? This is how we spent the first 5 days of school: the kids told me how they want the art room to be (terrible grammer, but you get it) and what kind of art projects they wanted to do:

From this....

I am a super control freak. And I am letting the kids decide their art journeys. Yes. 

Think about this: when we went through high school and college, we were handed a syllabus. How come we don't do this with younger students? "Hooking and surprising" doesn't work. My kids are waaaaaay more excited when they a: know what is coming and b: get some time to think about it.

Soooo...these posters went up.

...to this.

I took all their ideas and desires, plugged in some of my curriuclum and genres/techniques they need to cover and now this is hanging on the wall. There is one for every grade level. Not sure how this iwll work, but I am hopeful as the kids have 98% ownership.


A few years ago, I got sick. I mean, like, sick sick sick. Like I lost 9 weeks of school. (Young teachers: Stress is a killer!) It happens and I hope I am all better now. When this hit, I was forced to give up my ultra-control of the incredibly high-expectations I had for my program (do you notice all the me's and I's? That was part of the problem!). Beautifully mounted art hanging in the halls, intense, integrated lessons planned for the entire year (ugh yeah), coming up with every possible solution to every possible scenario...yeah I had to let that go. A bit. You think?

My journey has been allowing (forcing) for more student choice. I am not a TAB teacher, although I have nothing against it, it is just not for me. I have brought in some of their methods without realizing it, however.  I am slowly opening my room to more student choice and less prescribed lessons. It is not easy. I've been doing it this way for a long time.

The first thing I did was pull out my notes and sample lessons from college, and I noticed that I USED TO ALLOW for more choice! 20 years ago, I was doing what I want to now! So that was funny. Duh. /facepalm.

With all the changes happening in the world of education, this is one I am pretty excited about.

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful post on perspectives! It really make a big deal In my lessons about making personal choices. So many children want us to tell them what to do. Thank you for a great plan for the beginning of the year.