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Re: Thank you all so much.


Date: Fri Aug 02 2002 - 08:15:30 PDT

I have been teaching 7th and 8th for 17 years and what I do first is
establish expectations, mine and theirs. This helps them know how they are
expected to act and work and me know what they expect to learn. I usually
combine their statements into one mission statement for each class period
and post it on the board outside my room. I start with "Gertrude" which is
a way the I can see what they remember from previous years and what needs to
be covered during the year. I like to shoot the notion "I can not draw" in
the foot right away by teaching Drawing with the right side of the brain by
Betty Edwards. My more advanced classes start right away doing small
exercises with multiple media and then doing a non-exercise pieces using a
combination of the previously practiced media. Critiques in that class help
re-educate them about elements, principals, other possible choices and the
weakness/strengths of those choices---never do I tell them they made a wrong
choice or make any negative comments about their art. I always make the
statement before a critique that if Michelangelo critiqued the Sistine
Chapel Ceiling he would see ways he could have strengthened his work. No
one is perfect and what is so great about art is that is a constant learning
process. I am still learning and some of my best work has come from what I
learned from my students.

Look at my web page. Gertrude is on there as well as a lesson in watercolor
 my decision making machine and over 400 pieces of student work. If you see
anything they have done and want more information just e-mail me at

the web page is:

Have a great year and remember each child wears two signs. One sign says
tell me how far I can go" and the other says "make me feel important"

Barbara Rhodes