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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