TEAMWORK in ART and LIFE

Empower students to become their best selves!

CRVAEA Mini-Conference Presentation...Saturday, February 20, 2016

Thank you for joining us today in a presentation and discussion of our TEAMWORK model for classroom management and behavioral goals for students. We are happy to share these ideas with you, and look forward to hearing about your classroom experiences. It is our hope that you will find useful ideas for your own students and perhaps a bit of inspiration as well!


With gratitude,

Kimberly Ellington and Betty Blackburn

Teachers of Children Through ART

O.B. Gates Elementary School, Chesterfield County, VA


*Peace, Love, art image from original design by Kerry Bober (RISD, Providence, RI)

*T*E*A*M*W*O*R*K*

In the art rooms at O.B. Gates..."IT'S JUST WHAT WE DO."

( - Nikki M. , Grade 5, 2007)


Over the years, Gates artists have been inspired to create their own teamwork signs and artwork!

TEAMWORK card descriptors:

T- THINK before you act.

Keep TRYING!


E - EACH person...

...is special and important.

...accepts responsibility.


A - ALWAYS be on task.

ASK if you don understand.


M - use you best MANNERS.


W - Be WILLING to share, help, and cooperate.

WAIT YOUR TURN patiently.


O - ORGANIZE your time and your work.


R - RESPECT yourself and others.

RAISE YOUR HAND before you speak.


K - KEEP voices QUIET.

KEEP trying!


copyright 1995 Ellington/Blackburn

Big image

Gates fifth graders in process on individual paintings...and using teamwork at the blue color station.

Click HERE to view the TEAMWORK slideshow!

These are all of the images that accompanied our presentation on TEAMWORK. You will see individual TEAMWORK display cards, images of TEAMWORK in use and action in our classrooms, and student and professional artwork on display year round at Gates.

Frequently Asked Questions:

WHY is TEAMWORK so important?

Human interaction is a life skill. Although artists enter the artroom/studio as individuals, they are part of a class, a group of artists creating in the same space. Teamwork and collaboration skills are increasingly in need in everyday life and work, as educators have been told so often since the turn of the 21st century. Being able to function as a class successfully - with cooperation and kindness - is essential to making the most of each and every art class...for EVERY child!


Doesn't it take A LOT of time to teach this concept, letter by letter?

In truth, YES, teaching the TEAMWORK model intensively does involve a commitment of time. Remember that this does not have to be taught all at the same time or in one class period! (Though if you can teach all of the letter concepts in an enjoyable and creative way all at once, go for it!). And remember that the idea includes not only presenting each letter, but teaching and re-teaching these concepts throughout the school year. After you introduce them initially, look for those "teachable moments". Take every opportunity to connect what happens in your classroom with the goals in the model. Revisit, remind, and reteach as needed!


Is teaching the TEAMWORK model really worth the time one might spend on it?

We can only report based on our experience, and we say, "Absolutely.YES." We find that "front-loading " the school year with these concepts and goals works for our students as the year progresses. As it is taught and re-taught, year after year, it becomes part of the fabric of what we do in the art room. The children know it (almost by heart!), they come to expect it, and they know that it is what we expect of them - not just for us or even themselves, but for each other!

Posters on permanent display in the Gates art room

The Session Leaders:

Betty Blackburn and Kimberly Ellington are full-time art teachers in the Chesterfield County Public Schools. Betty began in CCPS in 1987, Kimberly in 1994, and they have taught together at O.B. Gates Elementary School since 1994-95. They have taught their TEAMWORK model for so many years, that it is now hard for them to remember how it even began! But one thing they do know is that consistently infusing their art curriculum with these concepts and skills over the years has enabled students to internalize these ideas and ways of being.