we are creative geniuses

Easy and Simple Ways of Promoting Student Motivation and Focus

Children live in a world of "No's."  No, you can't play with slime through the house.  No, you can't lay upside down at the dinner table. NO, you can't do THAT either.  As children are growing up to learn acceptable behavior, follow rules, and go with procedures, art class is the great release for children as they can hear the invigorating and satisfying word "YES."

During our Creative Geniuses art classes we do have a list of things to be learned and goals to reach, but art class is different than many other places of learning.  In art class, our students have a goal to meet which is the art project and it's objectives. As we are reaching those goals our students find many paths to get to the destination (which is the complete project).  

We surprisingly hear so many questions asked for lots of little details such as: "Can I use a brown crayon?  Can I smoosh the clay?  Am I in trouble because I got a mark on my finger by accident....."  The relief on the student's faces when we give them a comforting "It's okay," is absolutely memorable and heartwarming.  As art teachers it's our normal to say "Everything is going to be OK", but we are reminded of where the students are coming from when we hear so much fear and hesitation when we first ask them to create. It reminds us that these children are not often set free from the routines of daily life.  We are so thankful these future leaders and innovators have art class to let their true light shine! 

Having choices and making decisions are very important exercises for young people.  As we grow up we learn some choices were awesome, some weren't the best, and some will be better next time because we live and learn. Number one priority is student safety, and a little paint on the pinky toe never hurt anyone :) 

"Decision making is one of the most important skills your children need to develop to become healthy and mature adults."  - Jim Taylor, Ph.D. "Parenting: Decision Making." Psychology Today. 2009. 

This working space demonstrates that a variety of  seating arrangements helps students to be motivated, focused, and grow their art skills.  

This working space demonstrates that a variety of  seating arrangements helps students to be motivated, focused, and grow their art skills.  

 

Students that make their own safe choices and decisions get a chance to learn cause & effect, the rewards of perseverance, and can grow their confidence. 

Two students, both Kindergartener, drew portraits of their best friend.  One student liked hard lines, and the other preferred smudging and smearing color.  Each student was able to pick a drawing media that worked for their preference.  Both students are learning about shape and facial proportions, but in their own unique way.  

Two students, both Kindergartener, drew portraits of their best friend.  One student liked hard lines, and the other preferred smudging and smearing color.  Each student was able to pick a drawing media that worked for their preference.  Both students are learning about shape and facial proportions, but in their own unique way.  

                                               Everyone has a style and a unique way :)

                                               Everyone has a style and a unique way :)

Question: What is one thing you say "No" to that maybe if you said, "Yes" to wouldn't be so bad after all?  What would be the benefits? Feel free to comment below.  

Summer 2017: Fun in the Sun

Summer inspiration included: Sunlight, nature hikes, chalk, sand, bubbles, hot air balloons, popsicles, & ice cream. Our students shined bright this summer as we visited the big idea "Fun in the Sun." Some student artwork obviously carried this theme and others contained the idea more abstractly as art sometimes makes you think deeply.  Either way, every student made artwork that was personally meaningful while learning to bring ideas to life.  

Our students this summer included all ages and skill levels. We had students from age 2 to adult; Art truly is for EVERYONE. Our classes offered were: PreK Art Play, Art Club, Sketchbook Club, Printmaking, Clay Basics for Adults, and Beginning Painting for Adults.  Our art projects and studies visited many academic areas including science, math, reading, and writing.  This was great for our younger students on summer break to prevent that "summer brain." :)

Take a look at our photo gallery below to see the fun we had and the cool things we made.   Some of our projects included: photography using sun rays, shadow studies in chalk, sun catchers, collaborative sand box play, bubble painting, pop art summer treats, and hot air balloon innovation.  Summer is inspiring in so many ways. 

Getting Wrapped Up in After School Art Club!

Kids had a great time today at Afterschool Art Club. We played around with figure drawing after manipulating our own armatures into different silly poses. Then we had a costume party where we had models on stage in different fashions for students to observe and draw.  The kids wrapped their teacher into a mummy as part of their drawing study in their sketchbooks. It was quite a hoot!