In past years I've ran a PowerPoint on a loop during Open House with information about our art program, Artsonia, and pictures of student work. Since both my buildings have Open House on the same night I split my time and didn't want to haul my bulk laptop AGAIN. So, at my second school I spent a little time putting some information on the whiteboard before parents got there. I tried to explain the basics of how we do TAB and what that means. I was pretty proud of my quick display. Did anyone look at it? I don't think so... I put out the class folders and parents were most interested in checking out the artwork which I totally understand! I guess if any happen across my blog, they'll see a summary.
Speaking of TAB, we're going to ease into it this year. My intermediate kids are starting off the same as last year, with a "choose your own adventure" kind of approach to our focus culture of India. When they finish the first project, I'll start opening up centers. At my primary school, we're starting off pretty structured. I think the younger students in my "at-risk" schools need a lot of structure, especially while we're getting into the swing of things. We started with dot day projects and now each grade is working on a project to learn about India. They'll be finishing this projects at various times over the next 3 weeks and then we'll start with drawing. I hope that some students will choose to make a design for the Youth Art Month flag contest (Kansas people, get details here: kaea.com/yamflag.html) and there's another cool contest that my district is encouraging. Some students were asking me about Day of the Dead so I can see that being an inspiration to many as well.
After the drawing center is open, I'm still trying to decide what approach to take next. I'm toying with requiring students to try out each medium (collage, painting, weaving, etc.) with their choice of subject matter and THEN going to full choice where students can use whichever medium they want. Last year a lot of students just kept putting off trying new things. While a benefit of TAB is that students can gain more depth and work in series, I still think it's important to have a basic understanding of each of the basic areas so that it's kind of in their arsenal and they can choose the medium that will best help express their ideas. If you are a choice teacher, I'd love to hear what approach you use.