Art on the First Day. Rules can Wait!

How relevant is your PD?

Don’t you love PD ideas you can use on the first day of school?

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Last summer I enrolled in the Art of Education Summer Conference to recharge my batteries and get my creative juices flowing before school opened for a new school year. Besides the amazing day of presentations which I know I will use throughout the year, articles by talented art educators are regularly published on the AOE website. It was one of these that inspired me to do things differently in my class this year, beginning on the very first day of school.

With 200+ new students on my roster this year, I was motivated to excite and engage students on the very first day of school, and have them produce a painting in their first class with me, rather than spend the time going over rules, routines and classroom procedures before getting to creating art.

Taking an idea straight from my conference, every student in the elementary school painted an abstract/ non-objective painting in their first art class of the year. After a brief intro to the vocabulary, they were painting. Throughout the lesson they followed directions, thought about composition, color and symbolism. They also learned where to collect materials they needed, and how to clean-up afterwards. This was all accomplished without spending extra time on talking explicitly about classroom routines and expectations.

Well the kids loved it!



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