Teacher Feature: Abby Hanser
Name: Abby Hanser
School(s): Berry Intermediate School, Lebanon City Schools, Lebanon, Ohio
Grade Levels: 5th and 6th. I see my students once a week for 40 minutes all year.
Where do you fall on the choice spectrum? My classroom consists of 7 studios: drawing, collage, painting, sculpture, fibers, digital art and ceramics. We spend the first quarter of the year doing skill practice (Around the Room activities) for drawing, collage, painting and sculpture as we open each studio. Ceramics is a temporary studio (until the clay runs out). Students can choose from any of these studios. 2nd, 3rd and 4th quarter, class starts out with a mini-lesson and the students have time to work in the studio of their choice. I give themed assignments each quarter and the students can choose the studio to complete the assignment.
How many years have you been teaching TAB/Choice? I have been teaching over-all for 23 years and I have been using the TAB approach for the last three.
Your why? When I learned about Choice/TAB I didn’t want to touch it with a ten foot pole! But the more I learned about it the more I started to feel that it was for my students and my students were ready to learn art in this way. They were already trying to do things in my classes that were more student-directed. So I learned as much as possible by reading, joining social media groups dedicated to Choice/TAB and observing other teachers. I began the year three years ago with a buffet style set-up to ease into more independence for my students and then after Thanksgiving I switched to studios.
Do you have your own room, share a room, or travel? I am pretty lucky in that I have my own room and our building was recently remodeled. I call my classroom the “Limousine of Classrooms” because it has pretty much all I could ask for in an art room. However, if you were not granted with a “Limousine of Classrooms” this approach is definitely still very much achievable using various ways of storage and management.
What advice would you give someone transitioning to TAB/Choice? For anyone interested in transitioning to TAB/Choice I would recommend to read all you can about this philosophy, observe other TAB/Choice teachers and design your program to fit you and your students. The level of choice and independence you allow your students is up to you! The important thing is doing what works for you and your students.
OAEA TAB/CHOICE INTEREST GROUP
OAEA Interest Groups offer members a key opportunity to connect with other members who share an interest in a specific issue or topic in art education. Interest Groups share ideas, bring areas of concerns to OAEA’s attention, and hold events at the OAEA State Convention.
Ohio Choice-Art Educators
Purpose: To expand public awareness of choice-based art education and to provide a network for art educators who wish to share their interests in or learn more about teaching art with choice. The organization will encourage professional relationships and provide for an informal, yet focused, exchange of ideas about how to teach through centers, choice, and student-directed learning.
Choice-Art Educators seek to develop the artistic thinking of their students, through centers and choices; encouraging them and teaching them to come up with their own ideas for art making. This approach facilitates differentiation, which easily meets the needs of a variety of types of learners.
The Choice-Art Educators group seeks to promote and support choice-based and learner-directed art education in public and private education settings. It also seeks to bring those interested in this methodology together to learn not only from and discuss each other’s work but also the work of those in related fields.
Want to collaborate, connect and join this group: Email or join our Facebook page!
Dawn Norris - Ohio TAB/Choice Chair
2019 OAEA Conference Recap
Several members presented workshops to expand our knowledge of Teaching for Artistic Behavior (TAB) and Choice. One workshop was presented by Abby Hanser, who is this years Elementary Division Award winner! It was a hands on presentation about the Studio Habits of Mind. We were asked to do creative challenges based on the Studio Habits and then reflect on how we may be already using this Habit of Mind with our students. The Attachment Challenge was co-presented by Dawn Norris and Kim Cover. This hands on workshop went well with this years theme of ‘Unearth your creative potential’ by reusing packaging and other materials as well as attachments to sculpt with.
Besides getting a chance to exchange ideas at workshops, members met up during the meals and had an informal meet up at the North Market.
OAEA TAB/Choice Chair