That's one thing that is so nice about the ArtsEdNet...that is, the
sharing of information, lessons, ideas, etc.
I have been reading your messages, but during the summer, I don't have
much of a chance to respond. I am working on my MAEd and stay pretty
busy during the summer. However, my classes are in the painting studio,
so actually I am really enjoying my summer.
I teach middle school art (6th, 7th, and 8th grades)and am also
interested in the combination of art and math. Our math teachers have
advised that an area that students (especially 6th graders) need help
in, is in measuring...simply using the ruler. Every time we use a
different size paper, I first have them measure the perimeter of the
paper, in inches and in centimeters. Sometimes I have them draw
different size borders around the edge of the paper and then have them
measure the perimeter of the drawing area. They can also sometimes add
a decorative border in this area.
My students love to weave (small, on cardboard) and I give them graph
paper with 1/4" blocks. They have to draw in the size of their
cardboard and figure out how much warp they will need. However, when
they get ready to measure and cut, I have two students work together to
check each others measures to help insure that we don't have a lot of
wasted yarn cut.
Another neat idea to help students in lower grades learn to measure, is
to let them make a ruler. You can get the 1" strips of wood and cut
them to approximately 12". Each student draws his own design for his
measure, such as, a turtle. This should be small, somewhere around an
inch or so...doesn't have to be exactly 1". They will then trace this
as many times as they can fit it on their strip of wood. These can be
outlined and colored with markers. Then they use their "own personal
rulers" to measure, except that they won't be measuring in inches, they
would be measuring in turtles, or whatever they had drawn on their
I try to use math terms whenever possible to show that math relates to
more than just MATH. I know that art is an essential part of our lives
and I don't want my students to think that art is something extra or
something that they do in their spare time. I feel that it is important
that it all relates. I feel that my school is special because there is
a great emphasis on all of the arts. Most of the "core" (?) teachers
relate art to their subjects and it is a good feeling when some on my
students tell me, "Hey, we studied that in language arts!" or even
better when another teacher tells me that the students tell them they
learned something in art that relates to that area.
Thanks again for sharing, and that goes for everybody. I look forward
each day to reading the messages. It's hot here, but I think "Bertha"
may cool things off a bit, especially, for those on or near the coast.
Let's hope she heads "out to sea"!
E. B. Frink Middle School
10 Springwood Lane
Kinston, NC 28504