Cultivating Creative Thinkers

IMG_8459 We have been exploring many different types of supplies and techniques in art this year.  We started off the year with a unit that focused on introducing and practicing safe and effective use of some of the tools and materials we will use frequently (how to hold scissors, how to rinse a paintbrush between colors, etc.).  Some of the works completed at this time were self-portraits as crew members got to know one another.  We have continued these explorations, but are now focusing in on some more specific learning targets, including ones that connect to classroom expeditions.  For instance, First Grade Artists were focusing on pattern, relating to their classroom expedition on snakes! 

The Kindergarten Art Crews have been learning all about how shapes can be used when creating images (castles are much less daunting to draw once you realize that the main components are really just rectangles, squares, and triangles!).  They recently spent the first part of a class brainstorming different types of lines.  Once we got to work time I walked around pointing out lines on their clothing and shoes.  They were stunned and quite pleased by the realization that they were carrying around these things we were speaking of, and soon started pointing out lines that they saw all around them! 

Second Grade has learned about warm and cool colors and the elements of foreground, middle ground, and background in a landscape.  All of the grades have been working on color mixing and the color wheel.  Those are examples of some of the content we have covered.  It is very rewarding to see students grasping and applying these concepts.  Just as importantly, it is wonderful to see their creative thinking at work.  Ms. Markey and I recently had the opportunity to attend a professional development based around establishing positive classroom culture.  One resource I read while in attendance discussed that in today’s world, how you use your knowledge is considered just as important as what knowledge you have.  I strive to offer opportunities for students to apply their knowledge with curiosity and creativity.  

One of my favorite things, by far, has been hearing the declarations of “I’m an artist!”  In the words of Pablo Picasso, “All children are artists.  The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”  I hope to foster the identity of learners as artists in the DAA community.