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Here’s to New Beginnings!

Well, here we are in a new school year again!  I’m excited to start with a new group of Art 3 and AP Studio students as well as two new groups of Art 1 students!  I spent a lot of time last semester posting Art 2 assignments here.  This semester I don’t have any Art 2 classes so I will probably be posting more Art 1 stuff here this semester.

I like to divide my Art 1 curriculum by the Elements and Principles.  How do you divide up your Art 1 curriculum?  I’ve heard of teachers doing it chronologically using Art History and I can see that being a great idea too.  I just have a lot of students who don’t feel “good” at art, so I like to teach them the Elements and Principles to help them feel successful.

I don’t know about you, but at the beginning of our school year we always have a ton of class changes.  I don’t like to start any real art for the first week or so for that reason.  Is it like that where you teach too?  Anyway, I thought I would share some things that I do to prepare my kids to have a good semester in Art 1.

To start, I start with an icebreaker.  It’s a scavenger hunt where they have to walk around and talk to other students.  Then I have then make a “check out card” on an index card.  They put personal info. (name, grade level, hobbies, sports) on the lined side and draw anything they want on the unlined side.  I then collect them and use them to keep track of when they borrow a Sharpie or X-acto knife from my desk.  This year I also made a new PowerPoint “Would You Rather?” game that was really fun.  If you are interested, it is available to download from my Teachers Pay Teachers store here.

The next day I generally go over my syllabus, general expectations and classroom procedures. Which is so super boring but necessary.

The next day, I like to really go over WHY they have to take an Art 1 class.  Most of the time, they have ZERO idea why they are there.  I think taking time to explain WHY the general public needs an art class is very important.  Otherwise they tend to think they are there for a “break” in their day!  I discuss several reasons we all need an Art class.  My reasons include: 1. Students in high school have about zero clue what job they will be doing over the next 40 years of their life!  2. Understanding general art principles help with everyday life. 3. Art makes life enjoyable. 4. PROBLEM SOLVING.  5. Science and business careers need to be able to think outside the box.  Those are my big ones (especially problem solving!) that I talk about.  Do you have any others that you discuss with your students?  Let me know in the comments!

I hope you all have a great year!

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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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