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Re: [teacherartexchange] Quality of work


From: Sarah Coullard (miss_sarah99_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Dec 03 2006 - 10:52:41 PST

I am a first year teacher, and am having a difficult time getting quality
work out of my middle schoolers, plus some of my fourth graders.

My middle schoolers don't seem to put thought into what they do. Much of
their artwork ends up looking like 3rd grade work, simply because of the
fact that they don't try!

In 4th grade, there is a boy who always slops through everything. I can
tell he doesn't have much confidence when it comes to art. What can I do to
change this? I even had him and his classmates doing 1-point perspective,
for the reason that it doesn't require "art skills" quite as much as other
types of 2-D art that we do. And STILL--he draws sloppy squares, not
putting forth any effort whatsoever.

What can I do--for both my middle schoolers, and my 4th graders??

>From: Woody Duncan <>
>Reply-To: "TeacherArtExchange Discussion Group"
>To: "TeacherArtExchange Discussion Group"
>Subject: Re: [teacherartexchange] Quality of work
>Date: Sun, 3 Dec 2006 07:04:08 -0700
>On Dec 3, 2006, at 5:53 AM, wrote:
>>One of the things I noticed though after using this method is that some
>>of the
>>work started having a sameness to it. In other words there seemed to be
>>same aesthetic preference being demonstrated in the work...mine. So be
>>with it so that doesn't happen. You can even put something in the
>>critera that
>>says...try and do something different, surprising, humorous, ugly, or
>>just for fun.
>Diane is totally correct. Art teachers balance on a fine line between
>having their
>students produce quality work or producing work with a diversity of
>Getting both is an art form in itself. I've visited classrooms where all
>the work
>looked the same. No names were on display and students could not pick out
>their own art. In my own classroom I strived to maintain just enough
>to guide the process but not use my students as my paintbrushes. It takes
>to learn how to do this. Some teachers do this by opening up the choices
>subjects and media choices. I did not, I kept tight control of the subject
>and the
>choice of media. I wanted to help my students learn about how the
>worked so we all used the same materials. But, whether we drew a vase of
>flowers or a mountain range, I constantly stressed that everyones art
>be unique and different from all the others in class.
>My first lesson with my 6th graders was an attempt to show that part of
>creative was being unique and different. I tried to reinforce this through
>the three years I had them. Of course, I never taught 2nd graders. But as
>most of you know my triplet grandkids are in the 2nd grade now. We try
>hard to reinforce the uniqueness in their personalities and in their art.
>Also, a big thank you for tolerating all my postings about the triplets.
>As a grandparent I have a hard time not bragging.
>We need more topics like "Quality of Work" on the list to stir up
>thoughts and ideas to improve the teaching of art. It's not just
>helping others, but when you reflect upon how you did something
>it truly helps improve your own thinking. How about a thread on
>"reflection" as a way to improve teaching.
> Woody
>Woody, Retired in Albuquerque
>35 Quality Middle School Art Lessons
>in powerpoint format, on one CD $17 (includes shipping)
>Ordering Address: PO Box 91703
>Albuquerque, NM 87199-1703
>?The function of the overwhelming majority of your artwork
>is simply to teach you how to make the small fraction
>of your artwork that soars.? from: ?Art & Fear?
>Woody's Watercolor Portfolio:
>Newest Fantastic Triplet Pics:
>My newest watercolors:
>To unsubscribe go to

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