On Friday afternoon, I planned an art lesson to start looking at the 4 process skills in art and how to reflect on their work. It will tie it into what will be a future LA writing piece in descriptive writing. In order to create more buy-in and excitement from the students, I used the Ikea Soft Toy Co-Creation Competition. The kids know how much I love Ikea and they love contests. They were instantly hooked and excited to plan and share. We put a 1 hour time limit on their own work, knowing that we would need a little bit more time to work on them on Monday.
We got to work and all 42 kids were immediately invested in their work. Our Vice Principal came in to ask the kids a question regarding their technology. He asked if he could interrupt for a moment, and before I could answer the kids yelled out “NO!”. Every few seconds, I had a student coming to me for feedback and suggestions on how they could create the best monster art that will hopefully become a soft toy at Ikea. They were even discussing which charity they would donate their prize. It was very cool! What I saw was pride in their learning. They want to learn and they see value in what they are learning. They were extremely eager to show off their learning. I saw their pride in their self-assessments/reflection as well. They were very aware of the criteria set out and what they could do to improve their work if needed.
In our class, Craig and I have very high expectations of the learning that occurs. The kids are serious about their learning as well. They are eager to explain their learning to anyone and if they aren’t sure how to answer the question, they aren’t afraid to say so but will try as well. One of my favourite phases I am starting to hear repeated by my students is “I don’t know, let’s find out!” when they are unsure of something. It tells me that I am starting to build the culture of risk taking that was one of my priorities going into the year.
There are some great things happening in our classroom and it is amazing to see what happens next.