I attended a staff development at the end of the year last year that was put on by our Boces. About 10 art teachers from our county got together and just spent a day brainstorming ideas, discussing APPR, pre- and post-assessments, and basically venting. It was great! One of the middle school art teachers from another district shared how he uses bell ringers every day to introduce students to art history. He uses the first 5 minutes of class every day to introduce, review and expand upon a famous artist from history, spending 1-2 weeks on an artist.
Another high school teacher shared how she calls her sketchbooks "source books" instead of sketchbooks. She doesn't assign sketchbook assignments on a weekly basis because the students would never do them. Instead, the source book is used as a place to plan and practice before starting and finishing a final project...(duh! Isn't that what we teach students the sketchbooks should be used for???) She had students who completed miniature versions of a large scale project, done perfectly, in oil pastel or colored pencil. The students then made notes in the margins about their experience with the medium, how the practice product turned out, what they might change or do differently on the final project, and much more. I thought it was a really cool way to make the sketchbook more of a meaningful tool.
When I stepped away from that professional development meeting, I had tons of new ideas. I used the summer to figure out how I was going to use those techniques to fit my teaching style, my students, and my classroom. Bring on the bell ringers!
Because we are using Marzano, bell ringers are one of the big things that the administrators are looking to us to use to show that we are constantly assessing our student's understanding of the material we are teaching. Since I am also an art history major, I decided to use my bell ringers to teach students about famous artists in history and the various art styles (non-representational, abstract, impressionism, realism, etc.). Last year, I tried to incorporate the styles into my second unit and I failed miserably at teaching the students those concepts. They did not know them very well at the end of the year and could not describe the styles very well.
So far we have had two complete weeks of school. I used the first week to introduce Mondrian in bell ringers. The second week was used to review all of the art concepts we talked about in the unit 1 note packet. Next week, I will introduce the next artist, which I am planning on being Miro. The great thing about these bell ringers is that it's a sneaky way to incorporate writing...ahem, common core, ahem...without the students being too suspicious about it! Once I introduce Miro, we will compare the two artists and their styles, via bell ringers, to discuss why abstract/surrealism is different from non-representational art.