One week under my belt with a Full Choice Studio

23 08 2015

I have officially launched my full choice studio.


Yes- it was scary but I feel I worked over my ideas of implementation over and so far we have been experiencing only minor glitches in the system.  The glitches are mainly due to use of browser choices by students that don’t like to play nice with my Google Form or Blendspace.  Haiku is a great platform to populate all of my resources and my students are able to access my Pinterest boards but only if they sign up for a free account.  Blendspace is working out great and my students have adapted to populating their resources, inspiration, and videos easily.  As the students make progress on their projects they will take photos of their work and add the photos to their Blendspace link.

This week we will wrap on loose ends from our glitches and move forward from our warm-up projects.  Students will have submitted project proposals with a Blendspace link on a Google Form to me by the end of the week.  I will be able to view their Blendspace links and see what Theme and Artistic Targets they have selected.  I helped my students select deadlines based on their proposals and we can revisit the deadlines as the dates move closer to the students proposed dates.

I had the opportunity, at Open House, to share with my student’s parents the whole concept of a full choice studio plus the student management platforms. The parents were all very excited and amazed at the blended learning opportunities I was providing their children.  Many of the parents understood the importance for their child to participate in the process of selecting and planning their projects. 

  I feel that if you would sketch a image of my parents, while I was explaining my course this year, it would have been one of wide-eyed adults and their hair blown straight back.  The over all expression from my parents was “Whoa!”in a good way.

Now- I know I am going to have hiccups on the journey of this blended learning process but I will be able to adjust as it goes.  My new exciting news is that I am experimenting with augmented reality to help me promote the studio process.  I will be documenting my students doing the work and then layering over an image of the final project.  It will help showcase the process while the viewers still see the artwork.  Eventually, my students will add this process of creating Auras to their art show displays to increase awareness of their artistic processes.

I am also excited by all the choices of directions my students have selected on the pathway of choice.  I have a couple of students interested in the 3D printer, throwing on the wheel, animation, and all mash ups of monoprinting techniques.  It’s an exciting place, a happening place, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

If you are interested in blended learning check out:  Blendspace, Haiku, and Aurasma.

Also if you are not on Twitter…what are you waiting for?  #artsed #k12artchat

"From Within"

“From Within”


Full Choice Art Studio

11 08 2015

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This seems to be what so many art educators are tweeting about and it has lead to many to reflect on what they are doing in the their art classrooms. I’m going full choice this year but only after a year of research and years of having modified choice in my artist studio. Making the change to a choice based studio does require a change in systems for you and your students. It also requires a lot of research and front-loading to have a successful program.

To help make my transition move along I am using two student management platforms that serve different functions. Blendspace is one I am using to set up lessons, professional development, and student portfolios. I like this platform because the sharing features are customizable for me and for my students. Link codes can be shared to create a single class sharing, only people with the link, or to the public. The information on the portfolio can be limited to full sharing and for viewing only. Collaboration can also be selected to meet the needs of the portfolio. Blendspace provides an embed code that I can place onto our other student management platform- Haiku. Our school has purchased the platform for the whole K-12 program to meet our needs, as whole school, but there are free accounts that also function well.

My biggest advice to anyone looking into transitioning to full choice is to do your research. Examine how will this be introduced not only to the students but also to the administration and parents. How will you be implementing choice to the studio? Stations, themes, media, and or calendar?

Warning: there is NO one best way to do this. You need to customize the implementation to best meet your goals as an art educator, your personality, space, and budget. There is NO lesson plan that will be passed out to you to fit your individual program.

You can find art educators that have a program that they have created to meet their needs but you still need to make the systems fit your situation. #TABchat

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I am using a blended classroom because I am in a one-to-one computer school with a purchased student centered learning management platform. I am also using Themes and Artistic Targets. My students are in one course designated by discipline i.e.: Drawing, Painting, Printmaking, Sculpture, and Mixed Media. I do teach AP Art but that is another animal to deal with outside of the choice based studio. I have all three levels of experience in the same course at the same time. One room school style and it works.

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I have formative and summative assessments on a Google form that is embedded on Haiku, along with resources and tutorials. I have Google forms created to submit proposals that provide drop down menus for Themes, Artistic Targets, level, media, area to attach links, and presentation submission. I have placed the designing, planning, implementation, and presentation in my individual students hands. The Google forms will send me a document to keep my students information in one place so I can carefully craft workshops, reflections, exit tickets, and working/ final critiques.

It will be my 26th year of teaching and I have to tell you, I have never been so fired up to implement this program. I am sure there will be tweaks and modifications to be made but I will be designing it along with my students so I know I will be able to create the best learning environment for them as possible.

Books that I recommend you read to help you form some ideas and some validation to make the changes include: #EdJourney A roadmap to the future of education by Grant Lichtman

Blended- using disruptive innovation to improve schools by Michael B. Horn and Heather Staker.

Twitter followers hash tags: #artsed #K12artchat #DTK12Chat

I will be blogging throughout the school year on the bumps on the road and the successes that will follow.

Have a great new school year.

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