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Glad we're all on the same page

I'm with the rest of you. I am noticing so many things that relate to this topic as I go through my day in and outside of the classroom.

One thing that I have been paying more and more attention to is when that shift from right to left is being made in my class. I often feel that the art room is one of the few places in school where students are allowed to be more social and hopefully as a result can often bounce ideas off of each other and influence one another in their work. Still I am always reminding my students that if they can't work and talk at the same time then they need to make a choice to talk less and focus a little harder. So often when the room is getting too loud I will glance around at tables and notice that for the most part anyone who is talking is not using their hands what so ever. The more I read this book it has become clear to me that doing these things simultaneously isn't possible. Even switching back and forth constantly is prohibiting them from getting into a deeper right brain mode. On the flip side there are also moments when students are so engaged that you can hear a pin drop. When I stop them to clean up I will often hear them all complaining "already, we just got here". As a teacher I love moments like this because I know that they are engaged in a way that I often am when working on my own art. As an artist these are some of the most gratifying moments and it is fun to see student enter into that.

I have bunch of other areas where I have been seeing this connect but for now I will just add one more thought. The elementary art teachers and I are looking at a new teaching strategy called VTS (Visual Thinking Strategies). We are hoping to begin this with kindergarten and 1st grade next year. VTS is simply a way of looking at art and facilitating very open, no right or wrong, discussions about what we see. It is very much linked to visual literacy and helping kids to verbalize what they are looking at. VTS will hopefully not only strengthen the right side of their brain but form more connections between the right and the left instead of isolating the two. Reading this book has only been encouraging me to look deeper into VTS and I am excited to see how the two can support each other.