I have taught block for three years and LOVE the extra time I have. So do
the students. It takes time to really get our heads "into" art and once they
do, they appreciate the length of the class. Start them on a routine from day
I keep work in progress in large portfolio boxes I ordered from Sax. They
put their work back in the box at the end of the class. When an assignment is
finished, I have a box for them to put it so I know it has to be graded. Once
I grade it, I put it in their personal portfolio which they made the first
week of class. They take this portfolio home at the end of the semester. It
also holds my graded rubrics and handouts.
I require journaling. They need to do two observational drawings a week in
their sketchbooks for homework. Sketchbook is a good starter for class, as
students do not arrive all at once. You might set up a simple still life on each
table and have them do a contour sketch for the first 10 minutes. Some days
you can write a theme on the board. The object is to get them into work as
they come in. My students arrive, get their supplies and it is automatic for
them to start right away.
Journaling and art are a great mix and I allow them to use any materials
they want. I stress content and they may use watercolors, colored pencils,
markers, graphite sticks, etc. set up on my supply table for them to take back to
Chances are, they will not finish what they started but this gives them time
the next class or if they finish their assignment early.
If you have more questions, you can email me off line.
Marsh in Orlando