Do you collect trading cards?

With the start of baseball season this an excellent time to talk to your students about trading cards…..artist trading cards.   ATC’s are miniature pieces of art.  They can be composed of a variety of materials with multiple themes.   Students love the versatility of the cards as well as the size. ATC’s measure 2.5 X 3.5 inches making them easy to handle and even easier for trading and collecting.

After brainstorming a list of different themes for their cards students were given a graphic organizer that defined the three basic parts of an ATC .  The art room became a smorgasbord of materials giving students multiple choices to create their cards.  The most popular station was for embellishment where they could decorate with buttons, sequins, and glitter!

Students were required to make 5 different cards but many of them chose to make more.  The variety of techniques as well as ideas was endless. At the end of the lesson students gathered together to share their art work as well as trade their ATC’s.

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5 ideas to improve teaching as well as learning…..

I have been contemplating on how to improve my teaching as well as the learning that takes place in my classroom.  I feel that I have become somewhat stagnant in my processes over the past 20 years even though I try to change the projects developed and keep my teaching style current with trends.

My school consists of 800+ students in the 5th and 6th grades in which I split evenly with a team teacher.  At the end of last year we took a look at what we are teaching and decided to omit, re-fresh, and add new lesson plans to our repertoire.

  1. Implement more TAB lessons. (Teaching for Artist Behavior)

2. Create a service project; i.e. student-led teaching of art to a local nursing home community and/or pre-school. 

3. Develop digital portfolios for student assessment. 

4. Create interdisciplinary lesson plans. 

5. Utilize technology in an interactive format; i.e. blogging, interactive white board, virtual learning through YouTeacher or Skype.  

These are 5 ideas I have to improve teaching as well as learning in my classroom.

Can you share some of yours?