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Re: [teacherartexchange] raise that bar

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From: Judy Decker (judy.decker_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Fri Feb 24 2006 - 22:44:58 PST


Hi Becky,

Don't mind the time.... my post to you is rolling around in my head
and I can't sleep (LOL).

This is a perfect time for you to re-examine how and what you teach.
Something isn't working.... the kiddies are not motivated. Slow down a
bit yourself. What really needs to be taught? Your cool lessons are
not motivating them - find out what will. Re-read a lot of good stuff
that Marvin Bartel has put out there. Start with the "stuff" linked to
the How Artists Get Ideas page:
http://www.princetonol.com/groups/iad/Files/ideas.htm

Marvin can help you not only raise the bar - but lift it high over
your head (smile).
Part of your problem is you are getting the kiddies from an elementary
program where maybe the kiddies were forced to rush their work? Maybe
they had to get their project done in 40 to 45 minutes? I think more
elementary teachers could stretch the art making over several art
periods. This works even in the Choice class rooms. The students don't
just paint one day and then be done with it. They return to that
painting again and again. (LOL - some have the opposite problem where
the kid works too long on that painting).

Your kidders are not taking ownership in the ideas.... they are in the
"monkey-see- monkey do" stage that Marvin referred to in a post a
while back. You need to work on getting the kiddies to take ownership
of their own ideas.

My lessons often began with a brainstorming session - sure, my brain
stormed more than theirs at times... but there was an idea generating
session. Then the sketch making session began.... these could be done
quickly if desired - then developing one in more detail.... then the
selection process for the best ideas - then the transfer to the GOOD
paper (and I mean good sometimes - talk about the value in the good
paper and we can not waste the good stuff). Make sure you are using
quality materials and stress the quality. I know you can't always use
quality. Let me tell you.... whenever I put out those paint markers
and puffy paints.... the quality was there from everyone (grin). Those
were mine and it was a treat for the kids to use them.

Reflect.... what is working ....what is not.... then change. Change is good.
Ditto to what everyone else said about displaying student work.... and
student art shows. I made it a requirement to display their work. I
was lucky to have lots of bulletin boards in the halls.

Work ethic is a problem that many teachers deal with....The kiddies
want the easy.... It is your job to get them to stretch. Corporate
American WANTS hard working CREATIVE people they don't just want
people who can crunch the numbers. You need to work to develop their
creative mine....

Like I told you in an off list message.... this topic is in the
archives and archives of Art Education list. Get back to me if you
still need more input. I think you are on the right track if you
follow the advice given so far. Also, talk to the elementary art
teacher and see what she/he can so to help slow down your next group
of middlers. I think all schools could do better if there was more
communication between the levels. I am guessing the middle school kids
in Linda Woods school district have no problem taking their time on
their lessons..... as Linda's elementary students are taught that
taking pride in your work means you put forth effort and take your
time to do quality work.

Well... this may not be the "perfect" post.... but I believe it is
ready to send.

It will get better.....

Judy Decker

P.S. Becky - the head ache did go away (smile). Arm still hurts
though...oh woe is me (grin).

On 2/24/06, Rebecca Burch <mamallama@gmail.com> wrote:
> I have a lot of students this time around in my middle school classes
> who are in a race to get done, and really don't give a hoot about the
> quality of their work. (I know, "welcome to middle school", right?)
> Anyway, I need some advice on ways to get the kids to (1) stop
> rushing through their art projects, and (2) put some thought and
> effort into their work?

> Becky Burch

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