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Re:[teacherartexchange] teacherartexchange digest: July 24, 2009


From: Lois Girbino (lgirbino_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Jul 26 2009 - 08:36:26 PDT

RE: Classroom mgt./start of year/HELP!

Hi Emily-
first of all---congratulations on getting a job in this tough, tough
market! Secondly, relax---with websites and listservs, you have an
army of help out there...Although I teach three grades of art, I am in
a big school, with 9 or 10 section of each grade, plus an adaptive
class (760 students total). The first thing you need to do is
curriculum map your basic concepts that you could put across ALL the
grade levels, so that even if the projects are different, you have an
organizing principle each month or so. So for instance, you might
start with "line". Pre-k through 1st might do "blind contour drawings"
(see Marvin Bartel's website). 1st -3rd could do this too, with
adjustments for deeper investigation. 4th-5th could do "zentangles"
(see their website) as their line investigation. 6th grade could do an
even more involved line investigation, etc. up the grade levels. The
beauty of this approach, which I've implemented for eight years now,
is that you are naturally scaffolding, so each year, your students
will be better and more confident. Also, in a simple one-page
document, you have a "game plan" for the entire year. I try to give
the students choices within each "big idea", so that there are
multiple outcomes and media choices within a project theme.... If your
are more Tab-oriented, then you are setting up centers, but you could
still curriculum map what the centers are about, then you have a
master list there to be sure your students are being exposed to all
the media. Teaching both art & technology means you are free to
combine those areas, and that's the best way anyhow, so your LP's
could be very connected instead of having 16 separate ones a week.
As for your room set-up, organization will save you! Label your
tables. Coordinate the table #'s with totes that you can put
scissors/glue/pencils/etc. in. Give each table # a folder, hopefully
you have drawers or shelving that each class's folders can go in. If
you can, let the students set-up basic expectations for clean up so
they OWN it, then post those. Rotate table "leaders", "paper
distributors", "table wipers". Maybe color-code the chairs so each
week the job changes: week one, the "red chair" is the "table wiper",
for instance.
If you are grading, keep a hard copy record even if you have
electronic gradebook. Electronic gradebooks can be set-up to link your
objectives to projects and automatically average, plus that saves time
on writing grades. As for resources, check out my blog:

sorry so long on this reply--best wishes!
Lois G.

Life is short, art is long...-Hippocrates
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