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[teacherartexchange] questions


From: suzanne rowe (mtsuz_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Aug 31 2008 - 14:15:07 PDT

Hello All,

This is my first year teaching art and I am new at
this school. My duties are split between SpEd and Art. I only have MS
students for two classes a week for 6 weeks twice a year (about 24
hours total) and grade school students once a week for 4 weeks three
times a year (approximately 12 hours).

I did an art language and interest inventory
the first day of class with my MS students. From the results of the
inventory the previous teacher did not cover basic art language or
practices, critiques, and from what some have told me did a lot of
copying type work. I also had the students take some time to do a
drawing exercise so I could see where their drawing skills are.
the most part they didn't have any concepts of shading, value, and most
did not seem to possess even a basic understanding of drawing. This
teacher also let his student run wild. I know that every class tries a
new teacher, I have been teaching in SpEd for 5 years. But these guys
have been trained to think they do not have to pay attention or listen
to instructions. I was initially told my class sizes would be 15 but
they are 25, a big difference for instruction purposes, especially for
new concepts.

question is does anyone have any suggestions on lesson plans or books
that I could use as resources to get this group going from the ground
up? I would like to start with drawing skills; my feeling is that a
good drawing foundation is the basic for all art application. I am not
fond of drawing but over the years and through my education have come
to the conclusion it is necessary to become a proficient artist. My
areas of interest and expertise lie in functional ceramics and abstract
painting. I did let the MS principal know of my findings. From her
response I would say that is why they have a new art teacher, the admin
was aware of this situation.

Not having a
full year every day of art class is a new concept for me. I student
taught in a class that met every day for MS-High school and once a week
all year long for GS. How does one cram all the things students need to
know into such a short time frame?! =) I know a lot of you face this
situation. Any help, advice, and suggestions would be greatly

One other thought also, I am looking to implement art history
into the lessons for 7th and 8th graders. In Montana, from my
experience, most art history is taught in these grades. Does anyone
have suggestions on a suitable curriculum book for this purpose? I
talked to our curriculum person and there is none in place that she
knows of.  I have done some research online and some programs look very
promising, but until you try them, get feed back on them it is
sometimes hard to tell how efficient they really are.

 you all in advance.
Suzanne M. Rowe


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