I teach 1st - 8th grade art at a catholic school in Grayslake, IL. Where are you in Illinois?
I sponsor an after school art club for my 5th - 8th graders. One of the activities that I started the first year, painting ceiling tiles, has turned into somewhat of a tradition that the kids, parents, administration and teachers all look forward to each year. Most of our school has 2' X 4' drop ceiling tiles so I use some of the art club money to purchase blank tiles (we do not use the really expensive ones that originally covered the ceilings). Each art club student selects a famous work of art to reproduce or they create their own images (my favorite kind) for their tile. We use an opaque projector to enlarge and project the image onto the blank tile and the student traces around each shape. Then they use acrylic to paint them. A lot of times we have a little extra space above and/or below the image. They usually paint this area a solid color and then add their name and if they selected a famous work of art they add the name of the original
artist and the title of the painting. When the tiles are done they are laid out around the art room so that the teachers and administration can stop by and select the tile(s) that they would like to have on their ceiling (first come first serve). The kids love seeing their tiles on the ceiling all around the school. The ceiling in the art room is nearly full.
I am planning to change it up a little next year. In order to enrich the experience even more and to help get the teachers even more involved in the activity I am going to have the students seek out a "patron" (one of the teachers or someone in the office or one of the custodians, etc.). The "patron" would not actually pay the student to create the work of art, but would work with the artist to come up with an idea for the art and help to encourage the artist. Ideally the tiles would go into the room or office of the patron. I still have to work out all of the details to pull this off, but I think it will make this traditional art club project even more exciting.
Well, that turned out to be a longer message than I was planning, but thanks for reading it all.
----- Original Message ----
From: Anne Carman- Hendel <email@example.com>
To: TeacherArtExchange Discussion Group <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Saturday, August 11, 2007 7:31:05 PM
Subject: [teacherartexchange] the new adventures of the old art teacher
This is my 29th year of teaching. For the last 21 years, I have been
teaching elementary art. I have always hoped to teach secondary
again before I retire. Since I live in a relatively small district
with about 11 art teachers, once you are placed, it is hard to move
to another school or level. Since a colleague retired this past
spring, I applied at one of our junior highs and will be teaching
there this coming school year! I will teach 7th and 8th graders. My
partner will be teaching 6th and 7th graders. About a third of my
students will have had me as a teacher in elementary school.
I am very excited for the new challenges that lay ahead but I am not
without questions for all of you (as I feel somewhat like the
character on the TV show The New Adventures of The Old Christine.) I
am 50 and the last time I taught junior and senior high I was in my
20s. It is not the first time that I have changed levels but it
has been a long time. I am also happy that I will have another art
teacher to talk with every day as we tend to be isolated on the
elementary level. Having taught K-12, I feel I understand how one
level feeds into the other.
Among other things, I will be the sponsor for Art Club. Although I
have assisted in the past, I have been thinking about how to get
started with this. The previous art teacher limited membership to
8th grade only. We want to include all the grades as we feel this
will provide better student leadership as they progress from year to
year. I have read with interest some of the fundraising ideas that
have been discussed here recently. I love the idea of art service
going beyond dance decorations such as doing bulletin boards. I'd
love to have visiting artists from the community. I also have a
colleague/friend who sponsors the Art Club at the high school, so I
am able to hopefully dovetail our club with hers.
My questions are this:
1. What do you wish you'd known before you sponsored Art Club (or
any club or activity)?
2. What do you see as the benefits or drawbacks, if any, of
changing grade levels?