The studio boasts some of the best windows in all of Maury! An entire wall of our art making space allows for warm, natural light and views of the thoughtful new landscaping below. Perhaps the best part of our studio panorama is the mighty tree that we witness in all 4 seasons!
For those of you who haven’t had the chance to peek your head in to the art studio yet this year, allow me to host you on a brief virtual tour with highlights of some of our studio’s systems and routines!
All of Maury’s special subject classrooms use an evaluation system called Positive Paws for grades Kindergarten through 5th grade. Positive Paws is a tool that allows students to reflect on the social, technical, and emotional aspects of learning. At the end of each class period, students carefully consider the Positive Paws rubric and discuss how they worked together as a class to meet expectations.
The Positive Paws rubric has four sections, each scored from one to four, with a maximum total score of 16 points. The rubric is different for each class, but all address the day’s objectives and classroom culture. Most importantly, Positive Paws gives the students a chance to reflect on the class, to identify what worked well and what needs to be improved.
In line with Maury’s Responsive Classroom approach, Positive Paws does not rely on extrinsic rewards to hold students accountable. Students are proud to represent their class when they earn threes and fours together. Positive Paws allows students to reflect on their new-found knowledge, share a unique approach to solving a challenging task, and celebrate a time when a classmate experienced a brilliant breakthrough.
Below is the Positive Paws rubric specifically tailored for art class
Stool Ninjas is a new tool created to help motivate students to be more aware of the the way they move throughout the studio. Larger, more involved projects require more movement and transition around the studio. For 30 students at a time to navigate around large tables and stools on their way to the sinks, drying racks, supply bins and kiln room means a greater potential for spills and accidents. Stool Ninjas is a way for students to put nimble, quiet, and safe movement to practice. Like Ninjas, we must be able to control our bodies in silence and without drawing attention to ourselves. As one student put it, “We must move in shadows.” A point is rewarded to a class at the end of our lesson if they were able to demonstrate safe and quiet stool use and responsible movement throughout the studio.
Sketch and Reflect is a new area of the studio where students can elect or be nominated to take a moment away from the group to refocus. Similar in parts to a “Chill Out Chair” or “Vacation Spot,” Sketch & Reflect uses drawing as a means to deescalate a situation or preoccupy an over excited body or mind. Students who visit Sketch & Reflect are not being punished, but are asked to reflect on why they might need to take a moment before rejoining the class. So far, I am very pleased by how students have taken ownership of the area and been able to see it as a tool for self-regulation. From an artists point of view, it will be an interesting way to look back on the year as a collaborative set of sketches made by students in a state of contemplation and redirection.
At long last! A Smartboard for the studio! Although I am still using chart paper to post my objectives at the moment, our dear friend, Mr. Franklin is working tirelessly to get us up and running soon!
Our littlest Maury artists are demonstrating the proper way to line up at the door on their way out of class. One foot in the Blue World, another in the Yellow World and a straight line down the middle! Practice makes perfect!
The studio is always open and eager for visitors and volunteers. Feel free to come by anytime to create art and learn along side of us!
PS- Thanks for the hundreds of bottles and socks you all have collected for us so far. I am so appreciative of your commitment to saving and transporting recycled materials to school each day!
PPS- Check out our Pollock installations!
“When I say artist I mean the man who is building things – creating molding the earth – whether it be the plains of the west – or the iron ore of Penn. It’s all a big game of construction – some with a brush – some with a shovel – some choose a pen.”–Jackson Pollock
“The painting has a life of its own. I try to let it come through. –Jackson Pollock