TAB: Teaching Artistic Behaviors, also called Choice Art, is a pedagogy through which students learn to think like artists. It develops critical thinking, problem solving, and creativity skills. It is often called Choice Art, because each student chooses what they want to create and in which studio or studios they want to create the product. Currently there are six studios in which students can work. They are Drawing, Painting, Collage, Fiber, Sculpture and Printmaking. Skill builder lessons introduce the students to the different materials and techniques in each studio. Students are encouraged to experiment to see how different media can be manipulated. For a work to be published and presented to an audience the students work through the Artistic Process Model, which was adapted from the Writer's Workshop Model. They begin with an idea, create a sketch or plan and conference with the teacher about revisions to the plan and studios that they would like to use to create the work, then they begin the final product, edit the final product to make it the best it can be and at this point they are ready to mount and display the work for an audience to view. The teacher's role in this pedagogy is to work as a coach, often with individual students, and to introduce the class to new concepts through mini lessons which begin each class period. The exciting thing is to watch students become teachers. I often hear them teaching peers about concepts that I have taught them individually or things that they have figured out on their own! At the end of each class period we have a group reflection and discussion, where students share in process or finished works. Peers make observations about what they see the artist has done and the decisions the artist made during the creative process. The artist also has a chance to share about the things they learned while creating the work. This year second through fifth grade students are working within this framework.
Kindergarten and First Grade students are still being instructed through more teacher directed lessons. This allows me to build a groundwork of skills and concepts.