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Lesson Plans


Re: Art is not recess

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
wendy sauls (wsauls)
Sat, 6 Feb 1999 15:56:45 -0500


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i love melissa's idea about sending kids who were kept late back to the =
holding teacher's class for the rest of the period. i have tried other =
approaches with little success; i think this will send the message loud =
and clear! =20

i'm concerned with the bigger picture, too. where i teach is fabulous =
in a lot of ways - terrific kids, dedicated teachers, supportive =
parents, scholarly community...i am becoming increasingly frustrated, =
though, about art (all the electives, actually) taking a back seat to =
reading and math. whenever we have any special activity at our school, =
it is always scheduled during the electives time, despite vigorous and =
united protests from us el. teachers. last week i got hit with a real =
shocker: ese and low acheiving kids will be pulled out of electives =
classes for 2 week blocks, possibly longer, to "strengthen their reading =
and math skills", according to our principal. this is a federal =
program, too, not just some lame-brained local thing. is anyone else =
experiencing this?

our school population is at the high end of the ses. we have the best =
standardized test scores in the county (whoop-di-do). but its not =
enough, i guess. our principal said one reason we were implementing =
this new program was so we wouldn't be held back (our test scores) by =
the low kids. =20

i can't believe how we're still hooked on this standarized test thing. =
it is amazing to me how many "gifted" and high scoring kids who can fill =
in the blanks and complete a math worksheet so well have lots of =
problems when it comes to applying their "knowledge" to real world =
stuff, like mixing ratios of colors to get a certain hue...other =
electives at my school teachers notice similar weaknesses in thinking.=20

also, getting back to the kids who are having trouble with reading in =
math - lots of them say they're bored in those classes and don't like =
them. there seems to be a ton of "old fashioned" rote learning. so =
they now are pulled out of the el. classes (where they can enjoy =
learning and be successful) and put into a class where they are faced to =
do more of what they don't like and obviously doesn't help them learn. =
=20

i can't fathom the rationale behind stuff like this. we need more art =
and applied learning classes, not less. anyone who doesn't get how =
important visual imagery is as a form of communication in this day and =
age is plain stupid! the way good art teachers (and other el.) teach - =
kids are practicing skills and then applying them in individual and =
unique situations to complex projects - is the type of education that =
is truly useful to most. what is wrong with people who can't see this?

thanks for the soapbox,=20

wendy =20

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i love melissa's idea about sending = kids who=20 were kept late back to the holding teacher's class for the rest of the=20 period.  i have tried other approaches with little success; i think = this=20 will send the message loud and clear! 
 
i'm concerned with the bigger = picture,=20 too.  where i teach is fabulous in a lot of ways - terrific kids, = dedicated=20 teachers, supportive parents, scholarly community...i am becoming =20 increasingly frustrated, though, about art (all the electives, actually) = taking=20 a back seat to reading and math.  whenever we have any special = activity at=20 our school, it is always scheduled during the electives time, despite = vigorous=20 and united protests from us el. teachers.  last week i got hit with = a real=20 shocker: ese and low acheiving kids will be pulled out of electives = classes for=20 2 week blocks, possibly longer, to "strengthen their reading and = math=20 skills", according to our principal.  this is a federal = program, too,=20 not just some lame-brained local thing.  is anyone else = experiencing=20 this?
 
our school population is at the high = end of the=20 ses.  we have the best standardized test scores in the county=20 (whoop-di-do).  but its not enough, i guess.  our principal = said one=20 reason we were implementing this new program was so we wouldn't be held = back=20 (our test scores) by the low kids.  
 
i can't believe how we're still = hooked on this=20 standarized test thing.  it is amazing to me how many = "gifted"=20 and high scoring kids who can fill in the blanks and complete a math = worksheet=20 so well have lots of problems when it comes to applying their=20 "knowledge" to real world stuff, like mixing ratios of colors = to get a=20 certain hue...other electives at my school teachers notice similar = weaknesses in=20 thinking.
 
also, getting back to the kids who are having = trouble with=20 reading in math - lots of them say they're bored in those classes and = don't like=20 them.  there seems to be a ton of "old fashioned" rote=20 learning.  so they now are pulled out of the el. classes (where = they can=20 enjoy learning and be successful) and put into a class where they are = faced to=20 do more of what they don't like and obviously doesn't help them=20 learn.   
 
i can't fathom the rationale behind stuff like = this.  we=20 need more art and applied learning classes, not less.  anyone who = doesn't=20 get how important visual imagery is as a form of communication in this = day and=20 age is plain stupid!  the way good art teachers (and other el.) = teach =20 - kids are practicing skills and then applying them in individual and = unique=20 situations to complex projects -  is the type of education that is = truly=20 useful to most.  what is wrong with people who can't see = this?
 
thanks for the soapbox, 
 
wendy  
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