I love designing units, I know this may seem lame, but I really, really do. Here is a years' worth of art units for MYP Years 4 and 5 (9th and 10th grade). I drafted these based on refined ideas from previous units that I've done. I hope to try these out soon but feel free to use, edit, and share!
The new session of after school activities started this week and my painting group has started working on their first project, paintings to highlight and support the local organisation and cafe, Steps With Theera. This group works with young adults with special learning needs to help them gain vocational skills that will allow them to find sustainable employment. It's the only group like this in Bangkok and I'm very excited that the students have elected to work with them. Our plan is to create paintings inspired by their mission and along with students from the Steps group and students from other schools, such as St. Andrew's. We will have a show/auction at the cafe in the new year to bring it all together. The students started sketching their ideas today and I'm so pleased with what they have come up with. I hope that this can turn into a yearly activity and a long-term relationship between NIST and Steps With Theera.
We've been painting the set pieces for NIST's secondary musical, 'Little Shop of Horrors', for two weeks now and we have almost finished. Just adding some final highlights and lowlights and then we will be ready to start painting the biggest undertaking of all, the back wall of the stage! Our plan is to paint a street alley in perspective, hmmm, let's see how this works out! The year 12 DP Drama students have been a huge help these past two weeks. As well as Ms. Judith Chandler who also happens to be a retired art teacher and married to the Head of Drama, so I would say she has experience with this sort of thing. I've been enjoying working on this project, especially with everything that has been going on politically in the world lately, this has been a welcomed distraction and it is, as we know, good for kids so that makes it even better!
Session 1 of ECA's, (Extra Curricular Activities), at NIST is over already! It went by so fast but session 2 starts in two weeks so I won't have to wait long to get back into things with my painting kids from session 1 and hopefully some new blood as well. We didn't get through all of the projects I had planned for session 1 due to some interruptions to our schedule but we can always dive back into them in session 2 as well as some new ideas I have cooking.
The biggest project for the next session will be a collaboration with cafe and vocational center, 'Steps with Theera'. The center supports young adults with special needs through helping them transition into positions of sustainable employment. The cafe is a place where many of the Theera students work and the proceeds from the cafe go back into the center. The kids in my painting ECA will be creating artwork inspired by their mission and will have a show at the cafe. Some of the Theera students also are talented artists so they will also contribute paintings. It will hopefully be the beginning of a long lasting relationship between the Steps With Theera group and NIST.
Below are some pics of the work that the students did during the first session. We were able to complete some black and white value focused experiments and also some colourful, expressive shoe paintings.
It was such a pleasure today to sub for Paron Mead at his wonderful art school in Ekkamai, The Paron School of Art. The class was an all day affair, part of their October camp, and was filled with 9 lively 7-11 year olds. With Halloween coming up I thought it would be appropriate to work with skill imagery but instead of going 'full Halloween' I decided to roll with The Day of The Dead theme which is a bit more playful and colourful. Not to mention the fact that its cultural roots remain paramount unlike what has happened to Halloween- no Disney propaganda for this project!
The kids were super enthusiastic about the skulls and also very speedy so I decided to do an impromptu realism/shading exercise as well . I think the two projects combined ended up being a nice dichotomy between realistic and expressive art making. It was interesting to see which kids enjoyed the detailed line work of the first assignment and which enjoyed the more kinesthetic assignment of blending with chalk.
We had a blast today. I really enjoyed the students and they were extremely proud of their work which made me proud of myself. They even gave thoughtful feedback to each other on post it notes before leaving and I could tell the kids were over the moon about some of the comments they received from their classmates.
The ARWAE Workshops in Kuala Lumpur have come and gone and I have to say that I had a fantastic time learning new techniques, seeing friends and colleagues and also presenting my own workshop to a room full of friendly, supportive faces.
The first day of the activities were spent visiting the Islamic Culture Museum, which housed a vast variety of antiquities and contemporary works, and ended with a batik workshop at another Malay cultural center where I was able to produce my own piece. So much fun!
The next day was full of workshops at ISKL by art teachers and visiting artists. I attended a speed geeking session, where I learned several techniques for digital note-taking and infographic creation, a session on ceramic hand building techniques, a session called Art Loves Science, and a Middle School job a like session. The highlight for me was the Art Loves Science workshop led by Shekou International School art teacher, Brittany Morgan. Any time that I get to build an art robot is time well spent in my book! Thanks Brittany!
Next years' workshops will be in Beijing, China and I will definitely be attending!
It's important for me to clarify what I mean by reflective, because the word, reflection, has become a bit of a dirty term. When we say the word, reflection, in the classroom it usually conjures up scenes of students typing or writing reflections after a project is finished, usually with a few guiding questions. I have done this a thousand times and, yes, it does work, especially in helping the teacher with assessments; the student basically tells you how they did. However, teaching the students how to be reflective is really what the aim is and a reflective learner thinks as such throughout the process, not just at the end. Consistent and frequent self-assessment and the gathering of external, formative feedback is essential in becoming a reflective learner. Below are some activities that I hope will aid in this process.