Wednesday, October 5, 2011

C4T #2

Artistic coke bottle
Mr. John Burrows

Like Dr. Strange has tried to drill in our fickle little minds, reading teacher's blogs is a fantastic way to build our PLN as educators and see new creative ideas for our future classrooms. I recently reviewed a class blog kept up by Mr. John Burrows and was very pleased to see some of the work he is engaging his students in. I am also quite interested in his personal photography page since my husband is in the process of starting his own photography company and website. Check out Mr. Burrows' very unique pictures on this website.
In his classroom, Mr. Burrows takes some very interesting approaches to integrating arts and education. For one project he had his students research mythical creatures and create them out of clay. He remarks on his student blog that the students who struggled with 2D work did exceptionally well with 3D work. I can certainly understand this obstacle as I am no good at pen and paper; however, give me some play-dough and you sure would be surprised! The student's sculptures were weird, neat, inventive, and seriously showed their imagination. I also enjoy the fact that he had them do some research before just setting forth on their clay journey. I believe it's important to integrate art in the academic classroom as well as vice versa. Plus, once learning a bit about these creatures, the students had a better grasp on how to portray them. For example, one student sculpted Buddha and added some very intricate beads around his neck. I certainly would be proud to call that my student's artwork.
The next blog post of Mr. Burrows' I commented on was his student's own portrayal of a still-life he had set out across two desks. Once again, he did not simply give the students a topic to draw. He set out figures across two desks and the students were to draw their own interpretation using only pen and paper. Some of the students drew the entire span of the desks, while some only drew one particular figure that stood out to them. It was apparent to me that the children were very engaged in the work Mr. Burrows was having them do. They really seemed to put a lot of effort into it and it really was a pleasure to look at each one in detail. These students shocked me at what could be done with just pencil and paper.
I truly enjoy taking a look at the different projects different teachers do with their students. Another reason I really am enjoying this class is the variety of educators we are coming in contact with. Had I not been introduced to this class, I don't know that I would have thought to investigate high school art teacher's projects. I'm learning not to limit myself and investigate!!

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