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Image is a desk top filled with art supplies. Text reads, "Why Take Art? It builds creativity and problem solving skills?" Post about the first day of school for art teachers

First Day of School for Art Teachers, Part 3

 WHY are we here? True learning can’t exist if we don’t understand WHY we are learning something.  

One of the most important things to discuss on the First Day of School for Art Teachers is the WHY.

I always explain to my Art 1 students WHY they need to take an Art 1 class.  Some of them have never thought about it.  Some of them just think art is a break from the more rigorous school day.  Some of them don’t value art and don’t have a clue.  Some of them like art, but don’t really know why they are here. 

I’ve found that students perform better in my class after we discuss this at the beginning. 

Art is about PROBLEM SOLVING in a more real world situation.  As Art teachers we know that Math class has one correct solution to a problem, but in Art class we have BILLIONS of correct answers!  Our students (at the ripe old age of 15 or so!) might not understand that at all.  

We ALL need to be problem solvers.  The world is full of problems and we need to raise up students to be able to think creativity, to look at problems from a different angle, to work collaboratively with others and solve those problems!  Art helps us do all those things!

So, one 90 minute Block I devote to understanding creativity a little better.   I show a great YouTube video from Sprouts called Creative Thinking: How to increase the Dots to Connect.  

Then, I give them a couple of different Creativity Tests.  I make it really clear that Creativity and Drawing skills are two separate things… so I like to start with the Creativity Word Test.  (These tests are available as a pack in my TPT store) or you could also give them a Creativity List Test.    

Here are two examples from my TPT store pack.

Creativity Test example for the First Day of School for Art Teachers.  Why do you need to take Art 1?
Word Creativity Test example for the First Day of School for Art Teachers.  Why do you need to take Art 1?

I also give them a Drawing style Creativity Test.  I have some with X’s, Small Double Circles and Ovals in my TPT pack.  You want to stress that these aren’t a showcase of drawing ability but for CREATIVITY.  Students are instructed to incorporate the original shapes into multiple drawings or one drawing.  This test shows the students ability to make visual connections. 

If you are interested, check out my listing for the Creativity Connections activity pack on TPT.   I’ve found this explanation of Creativity to be engaging and helpful for them to better understand WHY the general public needs an Art 1 class.  

Name tag with text that reads, "Hello. My name is Mrs. Gray" but the name is marked out.  First Day of School for Art Teacher post about learning student names.

Check out my other Blog Posts about the First Day of School for Art Teachers. Click HERE to read. This one is about the importance of learning student names right away!

First Day of School for Art Teachers ID Cards for students. Photo shows examples.

Here is another Blog Post about the First Day of School for Art Teachers. Click HERE to read. This one is the I.D. cards I have students make on the first day.


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Hi, I’m Erin!

I’ve been a high school art teacher at a rural school in WV for the past 14 years. I teach Art 1, AP Art + Design, Art 2 and 3. 
I’m a little obsessed with my sweet husband. Together we have FOUR kids and a rescue dog named Boomer! 
I love a bad pun and terrible dad jokes. I spend time looking at MBTI memes, cooking, listening to serial killer podcasts and Harry Potter audiobooks on repeat. I also teach yoga and indoor cycling. Click the button below to learn more about me. 

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