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Best Practice [Conversation]

Choice Based Art

Started on May 06, 2012 by MsArtz
Last post on Jan 14, 2013

After 21 years of teaching "projects", I'm making the transition to a choice based art room. It's more work on the front end but I've never seen my students more excited or engaged in art making. Is anyone here doing this?

16 Keeps, 2 Likes, 11 Comments

  • JoAlex 05/07/2012 at 05:47pm
    With what grade level are you doing this?

  • AmyHall 05/09/2012 at 09:17am
    I am! I teach PreK - 8th and my PreK and Kinder classes are always choice based. For this 9 week unit I had my 5th-8th do choice based and am so happy with the results!!!! What centers are you using? I don't think I will do choice based all year for them in the furute, but a set time period is working well.

  • RuthByrne 05/11/2012 at 11:17am
    I only have centers/ material depots for after projects are completed (K-4). It leads to rather shallow use since the excitement about the materials & freedom overrides their creative planning. I bet if they were exposed to center style creating on a more regular bases with more time they would consider their design more seriously. What do you do to prepare the kids for this kind of learning?

  • veronda 05/29/2012 at 05:46pm
    I like this idea, but I'm not sure about a choice based classroom for middle school students. Sounds like chaos waiting to happen

  • 3DpaintDigital 06/01/2012 at 10:17am
    I teach beginning level art at the high school level and after I build the core art skills needed for the advanced art programs and expose the students to historical, cultural, and career related materials in the context of projects I give them choice. They need to first research their choice and write a plan after critiquing a work of an artist, designer, or animator they will work in the style of. There is often confusion when it comes to doing the project choice for the students who have struggled with the skills over the year, but after that confusion I see students applying those skills.

    I feel that project based learning is the best way to build skills and it gives me something that I can grade. If it was a studio art course or AP I would be more choice based, but feel I would need to at least review the core skill set that I would want to see evidence of in the projects they choose to make. When I provide a direction, I have a way to justify the grades I give based on the skills demonstrated by the students.

  • katherinedouglas 06/03/2012 at 04:52pm
    One of the best things about this pedagogy is the CHOICE for teachers too! Your school culture and and students in front of you will determine how you customize choice for your particular situation. We have strong teachers using this philosophy from pre-K through high school.

  • katherinedouglas 06/10/2012 at 11:01am
    THANKS, Ruth. We always say, start where you are comfortable, start small and work in to it as your students show you what they can handle! Do keep in touch!

  • veronda 06/15/2012 at 07:04pm
    This looks like something I may consider for next school yr. It looks like a lot of work, but I think its worth it.

  • ArtFairy 01/14/2013 at 02:40pm
    I am very interested in this topic and look forward to seeing more comments. Thanks for the resources I will check them out.