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Guess I'll jump in again to make sure no one thinks I'm completely off
my rocker on this basically theoretical topic. The discussion began with
comments on getting students to remember what we teach them and have
them retain it. Remember the comments last week on rulers/measuring? I
know that students are being taught how to use a ruler in 3rd grade +.
The problem lies in getting them to retain these skills and knowing
these skills are valuable. Every year I teach 5th Graders Henri Rousseau
as one of their artists. We do an intense lesson, do worksheets, I tell
them humorous trivia about him, I show them numerous works, etc etc.
Last year, this years 6th Graders saw one of my Rousseau reproductions
on my cart and the comment was "Oh yeah, I remember studying him". No
one in the class could remember the artist's name, country, etc. They
could identify other Rousseau artworks only with prodding. This is why I
asked the list about the 5 artist's you feel your students absolutely
must know. I will not stop teaching my Rousseau lesson, nor will I
discontinue teaching my lessons on Seurat, Duchamp, Lichtenstein, etc.
But for a student to graduate high school and not know that DaVinci
created the Mona Lisa or Michaelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel... I
really want my students to be able to KNOW these artists by the time
they leave 6th grade - not just the artist and their most famous work,
but to be able to identify key traits of that artist and apply it. So
remember, this question is mainly theoretical, but to me, very thought
provoking. I'm going to try making trading cards on these artists and
passing those out and see if that helps with retention. Maybe I'm
missing something in my delivery of my lessons.
I teach middle/high school students also, and to not have Dali in my
curriculum, well I have some kids that think he is IT. He's not my
favorite, but he does get their attention.
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