Many times, art teachers defend art education by saying that it raises test scores, keeps kids in school, or improves student performance in "core" academic areas. This may all be true, but the visual arts teach important "habits of mind" that can't be learned in traditionally "core" academic areas.
What's On Your Mind? Is a terrific way to get to know your students + these make an easy and awesome bulletin board too! Great activity for the first week of school and a nice ice breaker for students to get to know their new classmates.