The art room is a busy place, where 500+ students enter through it's door at least once a week. It can seem a little mysterious to those who have only heard about it or have not yet ventured up to the third
Being on the top floor has its advantages with its treetop view and skylights.
The meeting area, also known as The Listening Area, provides a place for gathering at the beginning of class, where we touch base on the previous week and introduce lessons. The meeting area also serves as an excellent place for reconvening together as a group at the end of class to discuss our work. Students have the option of sitting on the carpet circles to make the area more comfortable.
The art room is a spacious, engaging place which allows students to focus on their work without being overly distracted, while still providing adequate stimulation. Tables were set up with still-life arrangements at the time of this photo.
The Art Library is a carpeted reading area filled with fiction and non-fiction books about art, artists, art-making and books illustrated by artists. Pictures and books provide visual reference tools to help students formulate ideas into reality. A separate, student reference library provides pictorial books to help students gain inspiration or visual assistance.
The nature lab is full of natural specimens often used for still lifes, observational drawing or choice time activities.
Carefully planned activity centers allow students to explore artistic concepts, once class work is finished. This allows students to pursue materials of their own choosing and work on projects of their own choice. This year we have choice centers for collage, drawing, fibers and sculpture.
Students may prefer to use art games, puzzles and other quick activities when finished.
The storage cabinets house student work and classroom materials, and is also home to the art vocabulary Word Wall.....
......and on the opposite side, a quick visual reference of the major art movements. Students often examine these while waiting in line for their teacher to pick them up from Art class. I believe in taking advantage of appropriate available spaces for use as "silent instruction". Kids pick up on things in the room around them when you least expect it! The Art Room, like any other class space, should serve as a "silent teacher".
I am lucky to have four bulletin boards in my room, which I use to showcase a variety of artistic themes.
Keeping track of the work of 500 students can be challenging! Students in grades 1-5 create a portfolio on the first day of class which stores all their work until the end of the year. Each class is color-coded, allowing me to keep a quick visual reference of each group. Portfolios provide invaluable tools for assessment throughout the year. Sketchbooks are also kept here for class use throughout the year.
We are very fortunate to have a kiln installed at our school, thanks to the generosity of the PTO and a grant from the Arlington Education Foundation. The kiln is housed in the greenhouse, outside the Art room. This allows for ceramic projects to be done with students in all grades and classes.
On the first floor main level, there are two designated areas for the display of student work throughout the year. The Art Gallery is located outside the cafeteria. In September, before classes have completed work, I use this space to also feature prints of professional artworks. This further increases the amount of educational and interactive art opportunities.