Creativity is something that must be nurtured, can be taught, is a flexible process, and is absolutely essential to the 21st century learners in your classroom. It is always inspiring to talk with those who spark creativity in others.
I recently spoke with one of our Everyartist Local Champions, Kim Rogers, in the art room of Martin Elementary, Alief ISD, about her second year of participation in Everyartist Live!, this year on October 27th.
When asked about last year’s school-wide Everyartist Live! event and what she learned from the experience, Kim replied, “I think I felt a sense of importance finally. ART MATTERED, not just to me, but to the entire school and all the classroom teachers. The other teachers loved it, and the Everyartist celebration opened their eyes to what I do everyday!” Kim says she always talks to her classes about the importance of creativity and about what inspiration means, and searching oneself to learn about yourself and others, but having a school wide Everyartist celebration of creativity really cemented her place as an essential part of the school staff.
Kim didn’t even hesitate to think when I asked her about the most important concept she believes the students gleaned from their first year as Eveyartist Live! participants. “Art is not just art, but it connects to all other subjects, and the teachers of those subjects now see the connections of art with their subjects.”
Steve Jobs would concur with Kim’s students at Martin Elementary. "Creativity is just connecting things”, and “You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.”
To piggyback on that idea, Kim continued to explain why her entire school is participating again this October 27th. “We as people need to be well-rounded. Through art we make connections to show a more complete, holistic way of looking at the world. These connections are key to success in any walk of life.”
Dr. Ting Sha, principal of Martin Elementary School, is one of Kim’s biggest fans, and provides year-round support for the arts. “She (Sha) is really a huge part of the success of our Everyartist Live! art day celebration. She supports the arts and all her staff to do more.” Her open attitude encourages us to “do more and allows us to be creative when it comes to ideas we have for students.”
This year Everyartist Live! is encouraging the theme, “Draw Your Own Invention”. I asked Kim if she could give us a sneak peek at the details of Martin Elementary School’s celebration plans. Rogers’s effervescence bubbled up and her eyes sparkled as she described school-wide exciting plans for student and staff engagement on October 27-28. The science, social studies, math and art teachers are lead staff this year, making it a true STEAM event. Each teacher can choose the medium they prefer to use for the artworks for each student. Each student will actually make two or three products, individually and in small groups, on the Everyartist Live! national day of art-making, October 27th.
Students will be making both individual and group banners or flags that represent their classes. National and community pride, passions for their class ‘country’, and the rights and responsibilities of belonging to a community as an individual will be social studies TEKS touched on in instruction and production time.
Once a class, student, and/or student groups are represented by emblems, each student, small group or class will then construct a catapult-like invention. Blueprints for construction will be sketched first. Descriptions in prose or poetry will be written, while in Science, teachers will lead exploration of force, trajectory, flight path and flight time utilizing scientific hypothesis, experimentation, and research while mathematical equations for applied forces, measurement of distances, etc. will be reinforced by math teachers in class. By the end of the day, each Martin Elementary student will have a flag to represent them, a catapult-like invention, a blueprint description, and will be looking forward to the next day’s Catapult Competition.
Kim Rogers acknowledged that her students, like many others often miss school on Fridays, but Friday, October 28th, is a state ADA “snapshot day”. Therefore, attendance is highly important. So, Kim’s two-day celebration culminates on Friday with a school-wide class catapult competition with parents, friends and family invited. Each class will have made a cup castle comprised of row after row of plastic cups. For the Everyartist Live! grand finale, each class in each grade level will assault the towers with their catapults to see who wins! Students are already making trophies for the winners. Kim’s Martin Art webpage, Twitter feed and Instagram accounts will keep those unable to attend up-to-date with media posts.
With this year’s event still over three weeks away, Kim Rogers is already making plans for next year. “Next year, all the materials we will use for the celebration will be recycled!” she enthused.
So join Kim Rogers, Dr. Ting Sha and all of Martin Elementary School on October 27th, 2016, to celebrate creativity in this year’s Everyartist Live! event, and make sure to let us know here at everyartist.me about your plans and how they turn out!