I had a conference with each artist and we came to an agreement about
materials, timeline, outcome/product, and assessment tool/s etc. Both
signed. Subsequent conferences when needed to monitor progress and
when an adjustment is needed.
This is certainly not a cop out! It is a lot of work on your part but
it is worth it. This is a big step towards independence. My former
students who have returned tell me that this has given them an
advantage at the art schools. Many students have never had to develop
their own projects. When I taught 8th grade it was an optional course
so all assignments were by contract.
Now that 5th is the oldest grade I teach I offer contracts to them but
not at the end of the year. I have to keep the reigns tight as 5th
graders go into Spring. I always have a project choice and alternate
available in case there is someone who doesn't come up with a
Before holiday break is a good time because it allows for those
holiday things that need to be individual. I can't do Christmas or
Chanukah things but with each child making a contract anything is
Make contracts and enjoy, knowing you are doing something very
valuable for your students. Your instincts are good so rely on them.
Sharon from NJ
--To respond to me directly click on heneborn
Subject: Independent Project
Date: Sun, Dec 5, 1999, 7:46 PM
> Help. My students want to do an "independent" project....they have been
> wonderful all year....drawing from observation, doing concentrated
> self-portraits, listening to my art history lectures, and recently I thought
> I would loosen them up with a little oil pastel impressionisml....my idea of
> a loose assignment was way too NOT loose to them. They deserve a
reward....I would love to have them invent their own lesson but I am
not sure how to do this. (First year teacher here)
> How can I let them dream up their own project, materials needed and set the
criteria for the final results???? Help. How do you experienced art
teachers handle this.
> Should I allow the last 8 days of school (before our winter break) to be
used in this manner? I would greatly appreciate any info/insight
that you have. How many of you have done this before. Seems like I
am copping out. AM I?
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