Saturday, March 3, 2012

My Creative Arts Classroom

I thought since I spend so much time in my classroom, I would share it with you...

I teach Creative Arts in a public elementary school of about 425 students.  "Creative Arts" includes dance, music, drama, and art.  I integrate the arts into subjects that students are studying in their regular classrooms.  For example, when the first graders study butterflies we sing songs about the life cycle of the butterfly, act it out with scarves, and do an art project making a life cycle spinner that they spin as they sing the song for each stage of the butterflies' life.  I have students in grades Preschool through 4th as well as the infant/toddler day care children.


I also teach the students to read music and play rhythm instruments.

                                                                      The 4th graders all learn to play the recorder.

This is my music rug that I have on the floor in the middle of my classroom.  I consider it the most valuable tool in my classroom.  There are 24 squares around the outside of the rug and each square has a different musical symbol on it.  The middle of the carpet, as you can see, has a large staff.  The carpet works well as a visual aid for teaching music skills and the squares around the edge provide a great classroom management tool.  The students know to "sit on a square."   We also use it to play musical games. 

The room is very colorful.  I told the kids I decorate it the way I do to "inspire creativity."
One of my 3rd grade boys said, "Well, it's working.  I feel more creative than I have ever felt!"

This is our Secret Sound Box.  The kids LOVE this.  It is a mysterious, old black box with worn hinges.  Periodically I will hide an object that makes noise inside the box.  I will then play the sound for them and give them hints about the object.  The students then guess what they think the secret sound might be.  Sometimes it is a rhythm instrument and sometimes it is something else such as a stapler or bottle of water.

The third graders are currently doing research projects about composers and artists.  I brought in this large pop-up display to Claude Monet's garden to share with them.  All of the students have been interested in learning about Monet after they have looked at the display.  It is pretty impressive!

I use books with most every lesson I do with the kids no matter the subject.

Student artwork on display...

This bulletin board, "I Love You More Than Cheese" is an art project that second graders did based on a song we learned by Sandra Boynton. 

This is the most popular thing in the creative arts classroom - THE PUPPET THEATER!  My dad built this puppet theater for me to use with my students.  It is made out of kitchen cabinets.  I painted it and my mom made the musical note curtains (they open and close.)  The PVC pipe is added support.  The wooden "box" in front of it made dad also made for me.  We use it as a mini-stage for little performances we do in the classroom.  The kids are all the time asking to sing for their classmates so I hand them the microphone and let them do a solo on the little stage.  They think they are so cool doing these little shows!  I had lots of people donate puppets when they heard about our new puppet theater.  We have a great collection now! I have a gorgeous wooden puppet stand too behind the theater but I forgot to take a picture of it :( sorry!!

One wall has photo collages of past school years.  I try to do one for each school year and include the year on the bottom corner.  The kids love seeing pictures of older brothers and sisters (or themselves) from past school years.

This is a bulletin board that I post all of our weekly objectives on by grade level.

Some art supplies...This is a teeny tiny representation of our art materials.  The art table next to this was covered when I took this picture! 

This is my desk.  My stuff is here but I rarely sit down there.

This is my own "feel good" bulletin board of pictures of my kids, inspirational sayings, nice notes from parents, and little projects from students. Notice the "Beware of the sleep deprived mom!" sticker at the top! 

 More decor...

I made both of these wreaths...the top one is made from pages of an old music book and the bottom wreath is made from scraps of musical note and instrument material.


I love my classroom.  The colors are so bright and cheery.  It is a fun place to be - just ask any of my students!

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