Monthly Mentor

Le Ann Hinkle (January)
Each month, a different member and NAEA awardee is the guest writer for the NAEA Monthly Mentor Blog. Le Ann is in her 21st year of teaching K-5 art and is currently the art educator at Julian Curtiss School and North Mianus School in Greenwich, CT. She has presented workshops at the local, state, and national level, and is a Greenwich Public Schools (GPS) TEAM Mentor Trainer and Elementary Visual Arts Learning Facilitator. She also is a graduate of the NAEA School for Art Leaders (SAL) program. Click "GO" to read her full bio.



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January 10, 2020

Experimenting with Goal Setting Strategies

By Le Ann Hinkle

I have been fortunate to have worked with administrators who allowed me to experiment and try new strategies.  Recently, I have worked to learn more about implementing Studio Habits of Mind (SHoM), born out of Harvard’s Project Zero- The Studio Thinking Project  and Dr. Julia Marshall’s Creative Strategies.  As I discussed this with other art educators, it seemed that goal-setting might be a good way to start the conversation with students. 

Deciding to focus on my fourth graders, my goal was to have them identify the SHoMs and Creative Strategies within the context of their own art work and artistic behaviors.  I included the “Studio Structure and Definitions” and the Creative Strategies definitions in my students’ resource materials.  As part of the planning of their artwork, they had to identify one SHoM and one Creative Strategy they would focus on during the lesson.  I anticipated a learning curve.  I introduced both sets of definitions and explained the process of making choices during their planning and then having to reflect on how they used these strategies at the end of the lesson. 

In the beginning, there were a lot of reminders to identify a goal and select a strategy.  I always check in with students at the planning stage, so this gave me ample opportunity for mini goal setting conferences.   As students moved to the reflection, at the end of the lesson, there were more 1:1 conferences about describing how the goal was met and the strategy was used.. 

We are several lessons and four months into this process.  Overall, this methodology seems promising.  First, I can see that the students are becoming comfortable with the concept of goal setting through the implementation across all curriculum areas.  Additionally, using the SHoMs and the Creative Strategies as goals, is giving my students language for discussing the process of creating their artwork that goes beyond just describing the idea and the media.  They have words to identify the strategies they use and how they have progressed from an idea to a finished piece of art. 

Resources from Project Zero-The Studio Thinking Project:

Marshall, J., Ledo-Lane, A., McAvoy, E., Steward, C. (2019) Integrating visual arts across the curriculum: an elementary and middle school guide. New York, NY. Teachers College Press. 

- LH


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