The Museum of Children's Art in Oakland, California “Oakland” redirects here. For other uses, see Oakland (disambiguation).
Oakland (IPA: /ˈoʊklənd/), founded in 1852, is the eighth-largest city in the U.S. , was recently awarded a grant to pilot an innovative art program called Discover Art, in two Oakland Public Schools The Oakland Public Schools are a comprehensive community public school district serving students in kindergarten through eighth grade from the borough of Oakland in Bergen County, New Jersey, United States. . Given the reality of budget constraints A Budget Constraint represents the combinations of goods and services that a consumer can purchase given current prices and his income. Consumer theory uses the concepts of a budget constraint and a preference ordering to analyze consumer choices. , the classroom teacher must take on the primary responsibility for developing the visual literacy Visual literacy is the ability to interpret, negotiate, and make meaning from information presented in the form of an image. Visual literacy is based on the idea that pictures can be “read” and that meaning can be communicated through a process of reading. of her students in order for a substantial art program to become part of any school in Oakland. The aim of the Discover Art Program was to develop the classroom teachers' visual literacy by having artists model lessons in the classrooms while the teachers observed and participated, learning along with their students. The concept of Visual Journals was introduced at one of these model lessons at Markham Elementary School elementary school: see school. .
Warming up to Art
One of the artists was "warming up" his classes by having them spend ten minutes drawing whatever was on their minds. This seemed to have a calming effect on the children. In an inner-city school, students rarely express themselves in the school setting. These warm-ups were a nice outlet for them. Seeing the value of these visual warm-ups, I suggested that all classroom teachers might want to try doing Visual Journals with their students. My recommendation is to provide the students with about fifteen or twenty pieces of newsprint newsprint
low grade paper used for newspapers. Old newspapers are fed to cattle as an alternative roughage and may occasionally be ingested by dogs. Significant amounts of lead are accumulated in tissues; no cases of poisoning have been recorded in cattle, though it has been stapled between pieces of construction paper and to keep the directions for the journals simple.
Teachers who incorporated Visual Journals into their daily routine found the results very rewarding. A sixth grade teacher said she felt it created a focused way to start the day. A kindergarten teacher said it really settled the little ones young children.
See also: Little down.
In the sixth grade, students kept their portfolios in their desks and worked on them daily during fifteen minutes of silence. Students were free to create any art of their choice using different art media such as crayons, colored pencils, markers, oil pastels Oil pastel (also called wax oil crayon) is a painting and drawing medium with characteristics similar to pastels and wax crayons. Unlike "soft" or "French" pastel sticks, which are made with a gum or methyl cellulose binder, oil pastels consist of pigment mixed with a , or watercolors. Each day the teacher encouraged them to continue working on pictures from the previous day.
Focusing on Progress
To introduce the journal activity, the teacher read a passage from a book describing a place or scene very vividly. The students then illustrated the passage. The teacher began to see that students' attention span increased. They became more focused, and were able to complete other educational tasks more quickly and correctly as a result of beginning their day in this positive way. They enjoyed journal time and recognized their progress.
At the beginning of the school year, many of the kindergarten children did not know how to use a pencil or crayon crayon, any drawing material available in stick form. The term includes charcoal, conte crayon, chalk, pastel, grease crayon, litho crayon, and children's wax colors. . The children had short attention spans. When they started drawing in their journals daily, their attention spans increased and they began to relax. The journals also gave the students a way to release feelings and to build self-confidence.
* This is silent drawing time.
* You have fifteen minutes to draw.
* You will not he asked to share your drawing.
* Draw carefully.
Arlene Shmaeff is an education director at the Museum of Children's Art in Oakland, California.