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Re: Share Your Summer School Teaching Experiences

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From: Janice Keenan (jekteachme_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Jul 12 2001 - 17:02:55 PDT


  I was suppose to teach my regular 2nd through 5th
Art classes for summer school for 4 weeks...well, lo
and behold, at our planning day for summer my
principal casually informs me that summer school in
the special areas (art, music and media) has been cut
and she would like us to be the Reading Specialists
(go figure..why were we cut...not the money..art,
music...oh, they can be put on hold..this other area
is so much more important..well,that's a whole other
discussion!) Ok...I thought, I'm flexible but this is
definitely not my area (even though I am also
certified in elementary ed). They gave us two 4th and
two 5th grade classes each containing 20 kids (4
classes)that have very limited reading comprehension
abilities.The ratio being one teacher for 5 students,
which is great.
 Just make up our own curriculum..whatever we want to
do.. was the direction.In other words, just wing it.
Now, one thing I do know is that there are
similarities in the cognitive processes of reading and
art criticism! I remember reading about researchers
carrying out extensive studies whose primary focus was
the connection between art criticism and reading.
Well..got me thinking...why don't I do my own little
study with these kids that will highlight art
criticism strategies to increase both critical
thinking and reading comprehension! It's been very
interesting so far (just started this week)! Students
observe works of art while I guide the students in the
practice of art criticism (they are already familiar
with this from art class..they knew more about this
then the music and media specialist!)then we have
guided reading about the art/artist- (we read then the
children read aloud using context, phonics and
semantics cues ..I'm familiar with this from my
elementary ed certification). A discussion follows
concerning what was read. The next stage is writing an
activity that relates some way to the work of the
artist. I would love to do an art activity, too...but
that I don't think will happen due to time.
   Jan from Miami

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