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[teacherartexchange] Art essays and other stuff


Date: Tue Feb 07 2006 - 17:04:02 PST

I'm planning on sending home a note with the students who have D's and F's in
my class...even though progress reports went out last week. I have created a
form that informs the parents of the student's grade and which assignments
are missing. I explain on the form that the student may turn in late
assignments for half credit...most of the assignments were due weeks ago. I have also
included that students may write essays for extra credit. I'm thinking that I
might award 100 points of participation credit for each essay. I grade my
students as follows: Projects are worth 65%, participation is worth 15%, quizes
worth 10% and exercises worth 10%.

Anyway, I'd like to create a handout to guide the student through the essay.
Trust me, these kids need it because they are level ones (in reading and
writing). I figure I need to make my expectations very clear. I'd like to
include the topics, such as writing about an artist, an art movement or a work of
art. I'd also like to list some web sites to help them with the research. Then
I figured I would ask for five paragraphs and maybe outline how the essay
should be organized.

I was just wondering if anyone else has taken this approach, if anyone has
any advice or helpful sites. Perhaps there is already an essay guide on writing
about art that I could tweak.

In other news:
The students will be presenting their "I have a dream" projects. A few of
them came out well. I would like to have the students discuss the pieces, but I
really don't see going into a lesson on how to properly critique work.
Honestly, I don't think that these kids would even pay attention to the whole
"describe, interpret, analyze, etc...thing.

Up next is Romare Bearden and a collage project.

As far as behavior...there has been little improvement despite my efforts. I
feel as though I have tried everything, yet I know that there must be a
better way. I have made kids stand against the wall, I have had them write the
rules, write essays, do bookwork at a table in the corner. I have called
parents, some twice and sent notes home. I have issued detentions and notified the
Dean of problem students. I have spoken to them individually like adults.
Maybe one or two have shown some improvment, but Many of them have shown
absolutely none. I have a little over three weeks left with them, and I can't help
but feel that I failed with this group. I failed to teach them, I failed to
control them, I failed to inspire them. It's hard not to feel this way despite
my hard effort. I think I'm almost afraid of trying anything else for fear it
will blow up in my face or simply become another failure.

One question: Tomorrow the students will be presenting their art and
speeches. I want the class completely quiet while each student reads, but I know
that they will be extremely disruptive. How would you deal with it? If you
noticed students on every side of the room being disruptive and disrespectful, how
would you approach it? My toughest challenge seems to be finding a way to
avoid punishing the whole class and isolating those troublemakers. It's
difficult when there are so many of them sprinkled about the class.

Thanks yet again :)

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