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[teacherartexchange] TAB Choice Excitement! Off to a GREAT Start

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From: Judy Decker (judy.decker_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Aug 30 2006 - 05:41:49 PDT


Dear Art Educators,

I just have to tell you how much fun it is reading my TAB Choice List
Digest. There is so much excitement at the start of the new year. TAB
Choice (Teaching for Artistic Behavior - Choice based art education)
is motivating children to act like real artists.

Here is what Judy has to say (this is another Judy from Ohio):

Last year was my first year of TAB and after 35 years of teaching I
have to say it was my best! The kids loved it and I loved it. Every
day went by so quickly and, although there were problems (that's part
of life) I can honestly say the creativity that went on was wonderful
and the students were really on task...all the time. It was like a
miracle. You know, I'm not even sure if there were problems...it got
noisy sometimes but it was never that bad. I didn't have assigned
seats, and I didn't have charts to keep track of what the students
were or weren't doing. As the year progressed, I was very aware of the
fact that most kids did take advantage of all the centers...Those who
stuck with just a few tended to be children who were a bit more
immature--emotionally and physically. It was also my first year in an
art room...oops!...studio! and, second year with just K-2. ...... So,
now I have 550 students who are young and enthusiastic. My stress
level isn't even an issue! Parents have been wonderful ......
I have a "ton" of cardboard brought in by parents who seem as
enthusiastic as there children (or grandchildren). They save tubes,
yarn, etc., etc. I love what the kids make and they are artists!"

Here is what Jan had to say:

This IS Art Teacher Heaven! A previous post suggested that this site
sounded like art teacher heaven and after a full week I can
unequivocally say that IT IS! Why did I never hear of this before?
Creativity is rampant, kids are actually thinking about how and why
they made their piece, when they write their artist statements, and
the rest of the class LOVES it when we share these!

I have decided to have a running 'museum' in my hallways and display
cases of pieces kids decide to display and write about instead of a
once a year 'show' (I could never wait that long to share these with
the rest of the school). Finally the kids know why art is made - to
communicate, entertain, amuse, etc. They are just as happy when they
get to take a piece home to finish and keep (I've never let them
before - always kept everything to 'display' - even though they were
all practically the same).

Jan added this in another post:

"PS I don't feel like a 'classroom
teacher' anymore - I'm a freakin' ART TEACHER! And, I've only put
ONE person in time out all week!"

And from Mikel (who many of you "know")

I am amazed at my first week too! I
went to my first district art specialist meeting
yesterday and sort of chuckled to myself at the
conversations that they were having. They were all
discussing their techniques for management and such.
Ahhh, it feels good to be free of "the project."
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If you want a method that motivates....try Choice. If total choice is
not for you (it does take a lot of organizational skills), think about
providing choices within the lesson. My students liked that the lesson
was never "etched in stone". They could do their own thing with it (I
did require they present their ideas to me first - this was the way I
taught after 1998). I was not a total choice teacher - but did provide
choices for my students. All of my students worked.

Read up on TAB Choice from the links on this page:
http://www.princetonol.com/groups/iad/lessons/middle/TAB-CHOICE.htm

If you like what you read (especially on Knowledge Loom site):
http://knowledgeloom.org/tab/index.jsp

browse the archives of TAB Choice List Serve:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TAB-ChoiceArtEd/
You will read the ups and downs of Choice. You will see that the older
students sometimes have more difficulty adapting to Choice (and why is
that? - probably because they have always had all the thinking done
for them?) Many are finding that Choice motivates and are now in "Art
Teacher Heaven"

Hope to see some of you on TAB list. I don't think you have to give up
all you have done before. You can merge the two (DBAE and TAB mix).
Some of your favorite projects could become choices at TAB Centers.
You may find that in time they were only favorite projects of
yours.... as the students will choose to go their own way.

Regards,

Judy Decker
Incredible Art Resources
http://www.princetonol.com/groups/iad/lessons/middle/

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