The 5th grade teachers in my building were the first ones to jump on board with my crazy idea, so they became my guinea pigs. Because of their RtI groups, they had some students that didn't need reading interventions. So...what do you do with THOSE kids, while you're trying to work in small groups with the kids who DO need the interventions?? You send them to the Art Room!
I get between 12 and 18 kids, twice a week for 30 minutes, for 6 weeks. Then, another batch of kids comes in for the next 6 weeks, and so on, for the entire year. Each student works through the artistic process at their own pace and they are given much freedom when it comes to subject matter and media.
The directions I gave in the beginning were simple:
1. Be inspired.
2. Choose a media.
3. Go through the artistic process.
4. Reflect afterwards.
Subject matter was up to each student. Different media stations were opened up a regular intervals (drawing, painting, collage, printmaking, sculpture). I checked in with each student each day so we could check on their progress, answer questions, and problem solve together. After a project was finished, they completed a writing assignment that asked them to reflect on the entire process.
I've put together a video of what they've done so far this year - please enjoy!
So, call it "TAB" or "Centers" or "Stations" - but whatever you decide to call it - just try it! Because if you've been considering offering more choice in your art program, I say "Go for it!" Being a major control freak, I was really nervous in the beginning, but by giving them more control over the process, they became more invested students and more creative students. Win-Win!