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RE: Divide 5th grade girls and boys? Separate classes?


From: Sears, Ellen (ESears_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Fri Dec 06 2002 - 17:45:42 PST

> Okay, two people already said this, but I've found it to be true too--
> weaving
> is a good one for boys, and for calming classes down in general.
I was given the assignment of teaching a Ky folk art/culture strand to
complement a science/social studies rotation our 4th graders had. Hmmmm...
culture and art huh? What a stretch - but a new teacher was livid that the
students were out of her room for an additional 45 minutes a week (not my
preference - but my assignment)... anyway - she complained to parents - two
anal retentives have not let it die down for 12 weeks... somewhere along the
line someone said it would be separate from the art class... not me - but
someone... anyway - I have been overlapping - and using folk artists in Ky,
their stories etc... to introduce both elements of culture - and art
projects -

now bear with me -

We have woven baskets, included stitchery and just started a weaving unit -

 I introduce - and then they work while I read to them from historical
novels, works by Ky authors etc.... busy hands - busy minds - they are
really focused - but I didn't have a 'grade' grade for a six week progress
report - six 45 minute periods - the parent went ballistic - I could share
writing samples - reflections - but all charted progress over time. I could
provide narratives for the 6 weeks - but I never gave progress grades even
when I taught math.... and that was a daily class.....

any way - no conflict resolution here.... principal backs me - but not the
super (heh, we are a one school district - I can see his office from here )
so - I am to separate the art form the social studies class (which is odd,
because I collaborate with classroom teachers all of the time - I just
happen to be collaborating with myself!).... no more art to teach culture

And the saddest thing? All of these kids are so focused on the other
material when their hands are busy - golly - worksheets and outlining from
now on.... Yuk for us all.....

So - I too go with the weaving, stitchery, basket making etc... engineering
with art.... and so much for an interwoven curriculum and all the other
neat stuff....

This was my 1 hr 45 minute conference with a parent the other day - I was
just a small blip in his unhappiness screen - I am sure they have moved
on..... but from the length of my story - I guess I haven't -