> Holly hinted at one of the major problems with deadlines in art class. It
> takes different children different amounts of time to complete the same
> assignment. As we all know, its nearly impossible to move an entire group
> along at the same speed.
> I try to address this issue at the beginning of school and as we work
> throughout the year I continue to draw attention to the different speeds
> going on in the room. There are no judgements made--two different kids
> might be both doing super work on a painting, but one just used more time
> to mix a color or think about his concept. This helps the kids learn to
> appreciate different styles and hopefully, develop tolerance of other ways
> of working than their own.
> I tell the students that as the teacher, I have to make the class move
> along at a steady rate. Often I don't announce a due date until I see how
> the class as a whole is progressing with the assignment (this is easier to
> do with daily classes of course!). When I see the majority of students at
> a midway point, I'll announce the due date. As the students are working, I
> will go around the room and make suggestions to the slower ones how to
> procede. I try to let them know where they should be with the assignment
> at all times--what they should be trying to accomplish in each period.
> Breaking down big projects into smaller parts which will be graded along
> the way can relieve some of the heavy burden of due dates.
> I eat in my room and allow kids to come in at lunch or to make appointments
> with me for after school, however lunch time is not teaching time (I need a
> break) so kids must be able to work independently. Sometimes I will
> check out materials to be taken home so work can be completed at home
> (supplies not returned promtply puts a student in the "Dog House" which
> prohibits further use of take home supplies). If a student has taken on an
> ambitious project, I will always allow extra time.
> Bottom line here is the procrastinating, unmotivated student. If you check
> with other teachers, you'll probably find this student is exhibiting the
> same behavior in other classes. I feel like I give kids lots of clues
> along the way and "coaching" to keep up with the class. Kids past 5th
> grade need to begin accepting responsibility for their role in the
> education process and that means respecting deadlines. I feel strongly
> about this and try to be as consistent as I can. Problem students need to
> be conferenced with the teacher, parents, and school counselors to address
> school skills. Use the professional resource people in your school.
> Deb Rosenbaum