Mrs. Bonilla's Art Class Website! 


    At Sycamore, we do art differently. We use a choice-based art model called TAB. TAB stands for Teaching for Artistic Behavior and focuses on teaching children how to think like artists. They will still learn just as many art-making techniques but now they will use them to execute their own ideas, like artists do. They will have the freedom to deeply explore materials which interest them, including digital arts. I piloted this last year with some students and they LOVED it. I watched them go from passively copying predetermined steps to actively coming up with creative ideas, taking responsible risks, and engaging enthusiastically with content. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this new method, I invite you to email me at kebonilla@avon-schools.org so I can hear your thoughts!


    TAB Artworks: (From Right to Left) "Robot Arm" chased metal - 2nd grade, "Birds at Sunrise" mixed media - 2nd grade,
    "A Princess Painted a Tiger in the Jungle" markers - 1st grade, "Two Story Castle" metal sculpture - 2nd grade, "Deer Skull" markers - 2nd grade

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Do you still teach? 

    Absolutely! Every class, I do a five-minute standards-driven demonstration about a new technique or material so that students can begin building a toolkit of useful art-making strategies. Besides the daily demo, I also lead small-group instruction for those who are interested in going deeper into a topic I have demonstrated. I spend part of the class walking around having individual conversations about student artwork, advising on future steps, asking questions to get them thinking in other directions, and checking for understanding of concepts. No two artists are alike and this will help them get the most out of their experience in the art room.


    At the end of class, we clean up our art activities and meet on the carpet for a wrap-up activity. This could be anything from analyzing famous artworks to identifying and exploring aspects of their own creative processes. It could be discussion or written reflection. These activities usually fulfill the requirements of the reflection standards.


    Are students just doing free-draw every day?

    Nope. There is a lot of freedom in our projects but there are plenty of "skill builders" in between where students have to show me that they can do certain skills. 


    What’s wrong with the old way?

    The old way involved me creating a project and teaching it step-by-step to a class of students. Their artworks may look slightly different they all look fundamentally similar. The problem with this method is that I (the teacher) am the one doing all the thinking. I generated an idea, planned it out, executed it, reflected on it, and taught it. The students are passive participants who are learning some skills but not in a manner that means anything to them. I can never plan a project which every student is enthusiastic about due to their individual personalities and interests. TAB addresses all of this. It teaches students how to BE artists. They learn to navigate the creative process from idea generation (which can be the hardest part for many!) to planning, execution to revision. And because they are creating their own ideas, they are each personally invested and focused. As a teacher of 800+ students, I love it because I feel like I’m finally getting to know who they really are and what they care about. 


    What are “Artistic Behaviors”?

    Artistic behaviors are things we all struggle with – things like persistence, responsible risk-taking, collaboration, flexible thinking, and envisioning potential obstacles. Only a handful of my students may go on to become artists, but they will all need to be creative thinkers so teaching these habits of mind are essential to 21st century life. 


    There are more Commonly Asked Questions on the TAB website here.