For the first five minutes of class I have "Art & Man" (Scholastic Art
Magazine written on 7th/8th grade level) or a one page copy of information
about an artist. The students read one page of information and write down
in their art notebook on the page labeled 'MY QUESTIONS' a question and
answer that they could have on the semester test from the reading. I ask
for 4 questions from students. If they are not fortcomming quickly I will
start calling names and awarding 20 points or 0 points for their now
command participation. Once this starts we go through the whole class
twice, which takes about 2 weeks, so all students are asked. It is
amaizing how quickly they learn that it is easier to volunteer. These
questions with their answers are written on the overhead and voted on.
One is chosen and will appear on their semester exam. The selected
questions and answers are written by the students in their notebooks on
the page labeled 'MY SEMESTER TEST ART HISTORY QUESTIONS'. These
questions are also listed on the websit pcssdweb.k12.ar.us/nwoodart and
they can also take for extra credit one of the web quizzes that contain
ten of these questions.
At least by the end of the semester they have taught themselves bits of
knowledge which they should remember since they created and voted on them.
What is so funny is that I have to remind them to go easier on
themselves. Their selection of questions are usually harder than I would
have given them.
This whole process takes about 15 minutes if they co-operate properly.
That gives you time to do your attendance, attend to individual students
and set up demos. The notebooks are spot checked in class without warning
and are worth 100 points. I do this about every other week so they do not
sluff off. One thing I am changing this year is to take a semester's
collection on readings to the special ed. teachers for each one of my
students who have trouble reading. That way they can read with assistance
before they get to class and feel like they are more a part of the
For those who have problems copying the question off of the overhead I
assign a nurturing student to make a second copy of the question and
answer to give to the student so they can copy it into their notebook when
they can have more assistance.