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Respond to the Question: What does it mean to read/write like an artist? 


  1. Words evoke many senses, Building language in the classroom allows students to make meaning of learning, encourages communication, and has more clear understanding of definitions.

    Individually, in small groups, or even in whole group activities the range of providing alternative expression through pictures and art can help pinpoint gaps in understanding and help students who have difficulty reading and writing.
    If you are looking for creative ways to teach vocabulary and reading comprehension there is nothing better than art.

    As a creative medium, art in itself is a form of communication, a way of expressing internal feelings and thoughts, an extension of who has created it, and a way of understanding.

    Many students with disabilities, for example dyslexia, have a hard time expressing themselves in words or speech but can excel in spatial understanding, and seeing the world through texture and shapes. This strategy can help students demonstrate meaning from vocabulary, comprehension, and sharing terms they remember.

    As teachers we must look at teaching from all angles of reading, writing, discussion and art. You don’t have to be an Art teacher to use picture and imagery for learning. Art bypasses verbal limitations and intellectual expectations, using pictures to learn is an idea to consider when teaching students with disabilities, and visual learners.

    When trying to learn new material or terminology of a foreign language; mathematics, social studies, art, music, and history, connecting meaning can be a challenge for some students if alternative perspectives are used to gain understanding. Art enhances learning, and students just need to see, and from picturing an image can gain appreciation and comprehension skills and knowledge.

    Art is a language of its own; skill, techniques, terms and vocabulary, and even thinking critically and evealuating art is part of art language.

    Artist see a blank canvas, piece of clay or marble, paper, and just about everything in their spectrum as being art. Our minds are open to a new reality, some say is higher than the ordinary human being. Artist read by seeing through pictures, images, color, texture, shape, form, line, and balance. This concept is called the principles and elements of design. Whereever I go I read as an artist. I love art, learning about art, and teaching art. Theres nothing more fasinating and amazing.

    If i gave you my eyes you could see what i see. Is it that simple? Well, actually it is. Seeing and reading as an artist just takes learning about the vocabulary, comprehension, and additional techniques and skills.

    And cant forget practice, practice, practice. If you want to read like an artist you must be able to see like an artist, and express what you see. Artist read art through meaning, interpretation, and critiqing.

    I could go on and on about art, but until my next blog thanks for reading everyone.

    By Frank Ostlund

  2. What role do Art teacher take on in Language and Literacy?

    Unlike any other profession teachers get to take on a variety of roles that many don’t realize. We assume that a teachers job is to educate and teach what is needed to student’s, what we don’t consider is throughout the day a teacher goes through different instructional approaches and roles according to the challenges of diverse students they face daily.

    As art teacher we are constantly engaging and using space as our vessel to transport our ideas expressively, whether through paint, dance, performance, sculpture, drawing, technology, vocabulary, and even literacy. Our bodies are our tools as artists. What we say, do, create, perform, express, articulate, and be is who we are. Even in the art room an Art teacher has to make different decisions on the role and approach for each and every student to achieve and be successful, as well deal with any challenges the student may be facing. Art encompasses the body to create text through expression. Art teacher use gestures to demonstrate and create visual imagery and text, a gesture can tell a million words. Just like a picture can also, depending on the teacher and what is being taught the Art teacher can create shape, letters, and form just from waving their hands. If you are reading this, I want you to draw or gesture with your hands in the air a make a triangle, a square, a cirlce, spell your name, and scripit write your name in the air.

    A teacher does not have to be a coach of a sports team to be coaching their student’s, instead teachers guide and scaffold a students learning. Creating a positive relationship with your students will appoint repertoire between teacher and student, having a relationship with your student creates a safe atmosphere in the classroom. I believe each and every teacher identifies with two or more of the instructional approaches, anyone who is a teacher or planning on being a teacher cares and wants to better students for success and opportunities. Student’s look up to teachers as role models, to others they are a positive presence and smile in their day that they don’t receive at home.

    Every time we assign something that needs to be handed in usually is crafted for the teacher “us” as the audience because for high marks a student must follow the criteria, some do make the connection that yes the teacher is reading/grading what I have done. Instead of the teacher being the only audience the teacher is part of a larger group of audience because some student’s do think outside the box and do the work for themselves and everyone. Teacher’s develop these approaches naturally, when a student is answering/questioning a teacher a teacher is engaging in what the student has to say and provides answers just like a tutor or trainer would do. We even go through different approaches internally where we are planning lessons for student’s needs and diversities, or thinking about what has to be done to meet the needs of one individual to challenge and provide success.

    When we think about why a student is missing class, or absent for many days so we respond and call home to see what is going on in the student’s home life because we care and are concerned. Or providing extra help or services to students that have had trauma in their past or present, to help them through any challenges and tensions they are facing in their life to facilitate the student’s safety and learning. Something we do just because were parents at home, and we do see each and every student as our own. What greater person to be and follow in the steps of is a teacher, and my passion of teaching will be lifelong.

    By Frank Ostlund
    October 24, 2012


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