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[teacherartexchange] Enriching a High School Foundations Class (Terry)

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From: Judy Decker (judy.decker_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Jul 03 2005 - 19:10:24 PDT


Greetings Terry (and all),

The July archives were available (for a short time) - so I browsed to
see what posts I missed. I can not send this to you privately as I did
not save your post. I hope you see this. Michal Austin had some great
advice on keeping the kids on track.

I taught middle school. I always had minimum requirements for each
lesson and then ways the highly motivated kids could enrich and do
more. I always had some filler assignments, too. Like Michal, once I
saw the bulk of the students would finish by a certain date, I set the
final date to work in class. The rest had to finish on their own time.
I required my students to finish assignments -- and made myself
available after school... so they had a choice to do it during class
when they were supposed to - OR do it after school. When I taught high
school - I required them to finish as well (a minimum amount of
assignments).

There are ways you can enrich a foundations course and make it a much
desired class to take. I read an article published in Art Education
Journal about a class in Indiana.

Art and ideas: Reaching nontraditional art students Art Education,
Sept 2001 by Andrews, Barbara Henriksen - Excellent article showing
the advantage of a Choice Based Art Program.
http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3772/is_200109/ai_n8991052

Barbara has an article in the most recent Art Education Journal, too.
Try to get your hands on a copy. I don't recall the title right now
(Kathy Douglas posted it - but now the archives are gone again).

If you need more help with this - post your questions again with a new
subject line.
Continue to make your classes challenging for those who are motivated
(or you will lose them). Are you making your foundations course a
variety of media - or are you making it mainly a drawing class? I feel
you will have more success if a number of different media is
introduced.

If you read the music posts... Music CAN motivate students. You have
decide for yourself how you will use music. Music can also keep the
noise level down. I didn't allow much talking in class as the talking
was distracting for those who needed it to be quiet. Any talking had
to be about the assignment - no socializing. Students do need to be
able to respond to each other about the assignment. They do learn from
one another, too.

One way to keep high school student on track is for them to daily
assess their progress. If Patty Knott sees this, maybe she will post
how she keeps the kids on track. I believe she has a form she uses.
Students set a goal for themselves - then assess their progress
towards that goal.

Regards,

Judy Decker

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