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Re: Grading in elementary


From: Sharon Henneborn (heneborn_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Mon Feb 02 2004 - 22:10:17 PST

I am assuming that Linda and others who have each class for an hour
break the time into segments. How nice to have the time to spend with
a group critique from time to time as the work progresses and to enrich
production by enjoying a related artist or story. The little guys
work better when the time is arranged in related segments.

Repetition can be difficult when introduced but when the students get
used to it and see how many artists have set this challenge for
themselves and see how their work improves when they try alternative
approaches to the same challenge they will embrace it. Once when we
were doing an observational drawing series of "shoes" I had a parent
come in to ask how much longer this shoe unit was going to last. She
had a 3rd grader and a 5th grader and after they had drawn every shoe
in the house they had set up a shoe still life on the dining table.
They threatened anyone who moved a shoe. She just wanted to know when
the family could expect to get their shoes back and be able to eat at
the table again. She did appreciate how they were engaged in the

When I present the shoe series in teacher workshops I am always asked
how the students keep interest for so many weeks. The answer is the
shoe is a thread that runs throughout the project but the variety comes
in the 1) sketch activity and observational drawing, 2) the history of
shoe design and the social & technical/scientific history as seen by
the shoe, 3) Viewpoint and developing a still life, 4) Shoes in art,
5) Interpreting shoes in imaginative drawing, 6) rubrics, and finally
7) designing a portfolio cover
Sharon ~ NJ
So, do they kids and/or parents complain about this repetition? How do
you keep it 'fun'? I get the kids 55 min a week and it's so hard to
spend that much time on a project and keep them involved?
-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: Monday, February 02, 2004 7:35 AM
Subject: Re: Grading in elementary
I totally agree with you, Maggie. Getting kids to take the time to
develop an idea, practice, and refinement are what it's about too. My
tempera painted birds unit requires kids to do 4 different (minimum)
black ink brush line drawings of birds before they begin to paint. Then
they select their two best ones. COncepts of mixing colors, painting
highlights and shadows wet in wet, color theory, etc. how to hold a
brush, and so on are introduced. Kids paint two paintings. One goes to
Texas Children's Hospital, the other goes home. Those who finish early
get to paint again! We do these in 2nd grade. I do the same thing with
my drawings for still life in 3rd...every kid does two drawings, they
color the best one. None of my projects take less than 3 weeks. Time
for them to develop and alter their ideas is so important. I have kids
for 90 minutes a week, so I have time to do this. Time is a luxury.
Linda Woods