Making Connections: Art, Revision and Reflection

Day 1, Artist Trading Cards
Day 1, Artist Trading Cards

On my run this morning, a new blog post topic occurred to me. Finally, some inspiration to write. It’s been awhile since I have written something by choice.

I’m part of an Artist Trading Card (ATC) Swap via the #k12artchallenge on Twitter led by Nic Hahn, @minimatisse. Students from all grade levels will be creating small art cards so that they can trade their beautiful creations with students all over the world!

When my fourth-graders saw the daily schedule it looked something like this:

schedule

I heard comments like, “This is going to be such a fun day!” and it was. Math was missing from the agenda due to the completion of a unit and the need to make time art. None of the learning on the schedule was a waste of time. In fact, in terms of student observation, I learned a lot about my students yesterday. The power of new voices in the classroom speaking about relevant topics. The power of seeing a child who typically struggles through school excel in art. The power of providing time for a classroom community to take pride in their room and each other. The power of being thankful.

The “aha” on my run was not about all the reminders I received from my students about the components of an inviting classroom, but rather, the need to make time for revision and reflection in our day.  All of my students were very satisfied with round one of their ATCs. They didn’t know that in my eyes they were incomplete. On Monday, I will take the time to use art as the subject area to talk about the role of revision and reflection and what these two words have to do with self-improvement. I will put out new materials they can use to assist them in imagining new additions or possibilities for their ATCs. I know I will hear, “But I like it the way it is.” I’m going to push them to take some time to sit with their cards and new materials and see what surfaces. This can be a very uncomfortable place for some. I will then use this experience as a springboard in other subjects in order to encourage revision and reflection.

I can’t wait to see the results! More soon…

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