Math and Science Through Art

Through the experiences of creating individual and group works of art, students acquire a broader understanding of concepts in math and science while learning about and practicing cooperation. I find that when students are engaged creatively, the math or science concepts are not only learned, but often understood in many different ways and almost become second nature. The students also get first hand experience of the possibilities and great benefits of working with recycled/reused materials. Often times individual projects are used to help attain understanding of a certain concept. The individual works are then used in the creation of a large group work that reinforces the concept being studied and requires cooperation and collaboration.
Typically I work in a classroom for one hour a week. Some units that have been developed span several weeks. Others can be done in one or two weeks. I am happy to recreate projects that have been done, or develop new projects to support specific needs and different aspects of curriculum that require enrichment.

IN MATH

Students are asked to follow very specific directions and guidelines, but also have room for the expression of their own creativity. I find that the combination of the fixed structure established by mathematical concepts and the freedom and spontaneity of the creativity of young children together make incredibly wonderful and beautiful artwork. Sometimes the end goal of our art project is a work of art and sometimes it is a game that furthers the learning of the topic at hand.

IN SCIENCE

Art projects are used to deepen students’ understanding of concepts.
Art projects are used to bring increased awareness to seasonal changes and rhythms of nature.

While the products are often amazing and beautiful, it is the process that is important to me. Through these experiences children begin to explore the challenges of working in a group, making decisions as a group, and assigning different jobs to different people within the group. They also get to see the rewards of all that can be accomplished by the collaboration of a group of unique individuals that work well together.