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Art in the classroom: Kids + paint = effective learning.
Using art in your elementary classroom is an excellent way to increase the effectiveness of your teaching and enhance student retention of curriculum.
The key is how we use it. I'm a firm believer in not using art simply for art's sake...that's what happens in art class.
Rather, it must be used in close conjunction with our curriculum and our learning goals.
For example, here's how I recently used art in a math lesson to help children understand geometric shapes.
We started with a PowerPoint detailing the life and art of Wassily Kandinsky (from Russia in the 1800's), one of my favorite artists. You can see that he focused on shapes, which makes his work perfect for reinforcing elementary geometry concepts.
My requirements for the students' paintings were:
Of course, the kids loved the opportunity to get out the paints and brushes and they had lots of fun creating their little masterpieces.
...their brains were getting visual reinforcement of important elementary math concepts.
The keys to effective elementary art lessons in your classroom:
Art that is used to simply fill time is art that is being wasted...and art is far too powerful a teaching method to waste.
I have created a few pages on using art in the classroom. Take a look and let me know what you think in the comments.
Elementary Art Education - Part 1
How to make art a priority for your kids
Elementary Art Education - Part 2
How to work with your art teacher
Elementary Art Lesson Plans
How to make art work in math, science and more
Elementary Art Projects
Managing the mess, setting expectations
I'm starting a new online teaching store that will be fully operational next month. It's called classroom-caboodle. My newsletter subscribers will get a first look and the first opportunity to explore the products I'm putting on the site.
It will include lots of lesson plans and classroom decoration ideas to help you get creative in your own classrooms.
I'm so excited!
I'll have nine iPads to use in my classroom this coming year. One is for my use and eight will be put in the hands of the children. I'm also supposed to get Apple TV.
Gotta start 'em young!
I had an Android tablet this year (just one) and I found lots of instructional uses for it. Eight tablet computers will be heaven for my tech'ed out classroom.
I'm going to create a series of articles that will show step-by-step the challenges of implementing mobile technology in your own classroom. You will be able to learn as I learn so you will be leading the charge when they show up in your district.
Elementary art lessons, a new online store, iPads in the classroom...it's going to be a big summer and fall at Classroom Teacher Resources! Be sure to follow along using Facebook.
See you next month...with more teaching insights and articles.
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