Thursday, January 30, 2014

Common core connections - writing

In my district we are all about fulfilling the guidelines of the common core.  There is a big push on making connections across the curriculum as well.   When the year's PD plans called for integrating writing into all subject areas, it was a given that the specialist would be in attendance to determine how writing would become a part of their program as well.  Earlier this month, we spent an afternoon planning how to have students do opinion writing.  I immediately decided to present artist statements as opinion writing and approach my students with materials in hand for what I thought would be a 45 minute writing period.  Three weeks later, I grabbed the computer cart, wheeled it into the art room and supervised classes intensely typing extensive art statements into their Artsonia accounts. In reflection, this took a tremendous amount of time away from artistic creation.  I do see the value of making the connections and think the most important connection was to have students understand that what they do  in English class can easily carry over into the art room with their art writing.  By week three, most students were making connections and had gotten beyond resisting my request to write because we were in the art room.  We will continue to create regular artistic statements because the students really seem to enjoy writing about their art.  I hope we can scale back the process so that it doesn't take so much time away from valuable art making.  It is important for students to be able to talk about their art making and to develop a strong artistic vocabulary.  This is a valuable portion of the art making process.  I hope that those connections and writing will strengthen student skills in writing and in art making as they become more reflective about their own work.

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