Friday, August 29, 2014

Teaching Art Like a Child

I hate it when people call me artsy. I'm not artsy. I'm not the type of teacher who gets pumped up by sweet borders and cute posters- not that there is anything wrong with that. It's just not my style. My art and design education is too ingrained to allow me to put up something in my room that I consider to be poorly designed or executed. When I decorate my room, I want to keep it simple and clean. 

Early this year, I invested heavily in some time, construction paper, and x-acto blades. My inner 9 year old was screaming to make something cool. I did an 8-bit portrait project with my 4th grade students last year. As part of my demonstration piece, I drew myself as an 8-bit character. I thought it would be cool to combine that with some old school Mario elements to use as a door decoration for my room. I've got to say that I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. 
The next thing I decided to do is swap out a piece that I use for classroom management. On my board, I have the letters A-R-T on separate cards. The goal is to have it still spell ART at the end of class. The letters can be flipped to reflect poor choices being made by the class. The A is a warning and can be earned back with good choices. The R being flipped results in some silent working time (because it usually gets flipped for too much noise), and the T being flipped results in a screeching halt to the art class. Of course that happens so rarely that I really don't worry about it. 

The A-R-T letters I have been using for the past few years were starting to fade and the lamination was coming undone. To go along with my door decorations, I used the Mario theme again to make the letters look like the question mark blocks from the game. When a letter is flipped, Boo, the ghost from Mario Bros, is on the back. Making these made me very happy. All of the decorations and ART letters were made from cut construction paper. I think I earned my black belt in x-act cutting. 
I couldn't help but have a little fun with the ghosts I made- mostly because I'm a pretty big dork! 


Kristin Bolster said...

These are so awesome! I love having teacher made decorations instead of purchased - we are teaching art after all, what better way to show our talents and real world applications!
Question : did you use the computer for these at all? I really like the idea of flipping the art too, like lives on a video game. Really cool.

Zach Stoller said...

Thanks! I looked up images on the computer solely for reference. What you see is 100% hand cut paper. Art school teaches mad x-acto skills.