ART FREE TIME! Okay first of all, for the students who think they're 'DONE' I always have what I'm looking for on the board and go over those before we start, like a CHECKLIST! I keep an eye on the drying rack or class shelf for those speedsters and ask, "You went through the checklist? I think you need to walk up to the board and go through it again." That way if they physically have to make the walk over, they're more enclined to actually feel accountable to show me they're taking the time to go through the list. Then, it's in their hands if they followed directions or not when I look through the finished projects.
|They love looking at the art in the books and looking for the "I Spy" items. It's pure sport yet they're making connections!|
ART TOYS, BOOKS, FREE DRAW, ART GAMES/CREATIVITY GAMES!
I spoil my students like crazy with my art free time possibilities. I keep tons of scratch paper, extra copies, worksheets etc. in a container with buckets of crayons and my art supply drawers (each drawer is labeled pencils, crayons, colored pencils, markers so they know where to pull out items and put them away). I have TONS of art books and the students remember the art work in the interactive books like "I SPY" in art or the "Touch the Art Series" books. In these books they have to read, visually look for items, and connect with the art. Also creativity building activities like legos, Mr. Potato head, and the sought after Zolotopia funky sculpture building game articulate many creative learning concepts and freedom. I also have M.C. Escher tessellation puzzles, funny card games(Pass the Fruitcake), Luck of the Draw, Art Memory, Old Mummy (old rummy), Ed Emberly's how to draw step by step books (they love them and show that anyone can draw using basic shapes and lines), Art Go Fish!
I also feel these items should be benificial so I only have art/creativity based items. With the 'super fun factor', comes I DON"T CARE ABOUT MY ART LET'S CUT TO THE PLAY TIME! I tell students they must have things cleaned up and put away before entering the 'Free Art Time Area' .
|Go Fish! in Art playing cards are very popular. They can also play it as a Match The Art Game and often tell me, "I've seen that before!" when I show and talk about famous artists work that we study.|
And yes, there's many times where I have to tell the students after squabbling over sharing, not following directions and cleaning up after themselves, to come back and 'take care of buisness' and ban free time items. Another one of the rules is knowing how to put things back neatly and correctly. We go over that at the beginning of the year and they usually learn the hard way and have it taken away and I go over again how it's supposed to look. By taking it away they learn the correct way if they want to play with something. Putting away things correctly is part of clean up time. So they know if it's NOT taken care of properly within that time, it won't be available next time and I always check before we line up and talk about what I'm seeing, if it's done well or it didn't happen. Then it won't be a surprise if it's taken away.
I know you're thinking, "Oh mylanta, why spend all of your money doing this?" I can't help it. I am a child at heart and LOVE these free time art toys etc. probably more than them and yes, I know that they're going to rough them up aka destroy them overtime, but it's all about the experience, you know, and seeing them enjoy and connect with art. If 1 student says, "Do you remember how amazing art time was in Miss Oetken's Room?" or "Hey, I remember seeing that painting in one of Miss Oetken's books!", then it was TOTALLY worth it!