Art room of Ms. Leslie Grace

Art room of Ms. Leslie Grace
George W. Nebinger School
School District of Philadelphia

From Ms. Grace…

Nebinger students have had art now for 3 years. The program was built from nothing, most all through fundraising. I really try to expose my students to as many forms of art as possible, so that they can start forming educated decisions on what they enjoy, what expresses there intentions the best, and potentially what they would like to explore further. I also have made a goal for myself to use more contemporary artists in my lessons, and try to make links to artists of the past, when possible, without getting to hung up on making my students remember dates.
I see students in Kindergarten through 8th grade, at least 5 different grades a quarter. I also teach 5 studio art classes, which are pull out art classes for students who wish for further study in the arts. Those classes are done for all grade, and broken up into grade group clusters based on enrollment. They meet once a week.

For certain aspects of my life, I am a very type A sort of personality. As you can see in my pictures, I need organization and I thrive off of a well managed room. I find that the students do too. It helps ease the chaos that art rooms can so easily slip into. And they need that structure and organization to help guide them and learn a respect for the art studio space. I am constantly revisiting how the furniture occupies the space, and how procedures are written or explained. Almost on a yearly basis, I make a major overhaul to improve the flow of the room. Just today I found the one piece of wood on my wall and started screwing in screws to hang rulers from! The container they were in was always falling!! So annoying! I also plan on changing my cleanup procedure. My clipboard as seen in one of the pictures used to circulate from table to table. I thought this idea was mind blowing! But I found that students did not take ownership of their roles. Sooooo, I am going to fashion a dry erase board, with all the jobs listed in a matrix, and each quarter different students from each class will be given a job (from which they can be fired). They will have that job the whole quarter. No circulating jobs. They will come to understand their job and I won’t have to keep re-teaching it (that was the hair pulling part!). I have already played around with it this past quarter without making a matrix, and it has been awesome!!!!! They come in and do their jobs right away. The class is becoming self-run by the students (oh, hello Charlotte Danielson!!). 🙂

From a brochure I give to families:
Expressive Arts Mission Statement:
Within every individual is the innate ability to create. The mission of the expressive arts department at Nebinger is to foster that ability and to provide a safe and nurturing environment for all students to grow creatively, perceptually, and cognitively while gaining an appreciation
for the arts all around us.
Visual Arts Vision Statement:
The visual arts program is designed to cultivate a basic understanding and appreciation for the process of designing/creating, producing, responding, and connecting to art. Students will integrate experiences from life, literacy, and learning through experience while exploring multiple medias that will give them many opportunities for expression and exploring their unique abilities. In the art room students are learning through authentic experiences, and will be able to view the progress of their work throughout their time at Nebinger on their Artsonia portfolio.

Art Room before…

Students Working…

Student Work…