Art Stations

I've experimented with using Art Stations -what we used to call "centers" in elementary school-  this fall as a way to engage middle school students by giving them opportunities to make choices and work with friends. The first go around back in September was definitely a fun way to run class. The kids loved the freedom of moving from station to station at their own pace. However, it wasn't the most expedient way to reach my learning targets for the unit. Keeping track of learning targets and student achievement was difficult without adding more testing- something I am loath to do in the art room.

 So, for the second go around with the next unit I improved the system of checking student understanding after each station. However, it took both my student teacher and myself to keep up with the larger classes. I won't have that luxury in a few weeks when my student teacher moves on.

For the third go around I built the 'assessment' into a more rigorous set of expectations for the artistic end-product and also added a quiz: three questions, short written answer. This helps me meet common core literacy objectives. It was apparent from the quiz and the artwork who 'got it' and who didn't. Now, I just have to figure out what I'm going to do about the students who didn't do well on the quiz.

My basic philosophy of teaching and learning is that every kid can have an "A" if they want it. I see no issue with allowing endless re-do's except, of course, the obvious constraints of time and energy!

Below are a couple of videos which explain the basic set up of my Art Stations as well as more specific nuts and bolts for using Art Stations. The first video gives students a basic over view of the project they will work on as they move from station to station. This project is adapted from "Miss." Her blog, A Faithful Attempt has lots of great photos of student projects. Check it out!

In the following video I explain the details of running Art Stations:


  1. Thanks for sharing the videos. One question: How many students are in your class?

    1. My class sizes vary wildly from hour to hour and term to term. The smallest class size is 14 and my largest class is 31.


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