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From: SHARON STEERE (SS21803_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Jul 11 2001 - 07:00:55 PDT

I have only taught part time for one year, I was hired two days before
classes began, so I learned real quick the meaning of "wing it". As I kept
trying different ways to stay ahead of my students I finally came up with a
method I am using now, I am sure there are probably better ones than this,
but this is what works for me. I like to remain flexible throughout the year
so I can take advantage of the students likes as well. This is what I have
done. We have 18 weeks of school. So on a spreadsheet I made 19 horizontal
rows, plus a row for a header for my 2-D Art and 3-D Art Class. Each class
is on a separate page. My columns are headed: Wk for the week, Project,
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday. My Friday column is extra
big, just in case I need to write something in like setting up for an art
show. I printed out the sheet which alternates gray and white, which makes
each row stand out more. You could do the same with just poster board. In
fact I mounted mine on colored poster board. One has a red border and the
other is yellow, so I readily see which is 2-D and which is 3-D. I laminated
the schedule so I can use the dry erase markers on it. I mark in the months
for the 18 weeks in a narrow column. August for example is written
vertically. I abbreviate AUG. and so on. I then look at my school
tentative schedule and mark in the dates on each day. When holidays are
etc. I write these in with the dry erase markers. And of course at the
bottom I write in the looked forward to Holiday Vacation. That is what the
extra row is for at the bottom of the schedule. My schedule are about a foot
wide by three foot long. I take post it notes and write down my ideas for
lesson plans, projects, field trips that coincide with the Museum nearby, or
other functions going on, Art Shows we will exhibit at, quizzes 1, 2, 3, and
4 and elements and principles, art history, slides, and it goes on. This
time of year the post it notes are starting to fall into an order. I'm
working on what videos do I need to buy, what do I have and what slides do I
need. I'm going through books now to see what slides I need to use as
examples of the different principles and elements and art styles, periods,
etc. Like I said last year I learned how to "wing it." This year I want to
be prepared. I used my lap top a lot last year and did power point
presentations of some things. I had to walk around the room showing the
small screen. The school is to purchase new large monitors, so this may
improve this year. I also walked around showing images in books. I can see
the advantage of a large image like a slide on a screen, so that everyone can
see the image and discuss it. This is how I am working. I would love to
hear how others do it. At this point I have trouble deciding how much time
to a lot to each project the students do. We have three forty minute classes
and one 80 minute block per class. With my sculpture students so far I
plan to work on J. Does, the rage in Omaha--You all know the Chicago
Cows--the idea that came from Sweden. We have J. Does all over and they
really excite the students. They will be auctioned off in late September, So
I have to do a project early in the semester on those. I teach
Sophomores-Seniors. (All the Freshmen have a basic art course -with a full
time art teacher. Photography is offered and many students like this
media.) I also want to do the pine needle baskets I read about on this
list. I bought a book and gathered the needles. Now I just have to make a
sample and do some research on woodland Native Americans to find out who did
these and when and what they used them for , etc. My 2-D students will be
learning watercolors after some pencil drawings. The Joslyn Museum has a
Thomas Moran exhibit until Sept. 23 that I want to take advantage of. The
exhibit has pencil drawings that show values and lots of watercolor. There
are many images that show the art elements and principles. I save the long
80 minute blocks for field trips or videos. My plan now is for a short
segment at the beginning of class to show a few slides and discuss the
elements before going into exercises that provide the hands on use of what is
    I liked on of the contributors idea of having students match artists to
their art. I thought I would add another dimension to this idea with having
them match the artist's signatures to the matched sets. A way of learning
who they are. I also plan on have the students create a time line so that we
can bring some order and chronology to disparate parts--the artists and art
we will be learning about in disarray. Also, I like to have my students keep
journals. I hope to come up with some journal assignments, that give them
more direction. Any ideas on this would be welcome!
    I would like to hear what others are doing. How they organize. How long
they figure for projects, etc. Thanks for being there!
Sharon Steere