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Self-portraits and success


From: Bunki Kramer (bkramer_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Mon Mar 12 2001 - 17:49:33 PST

from: Bunki Kramer (
Los Cerros Middle School
968 Blemer Road
Danville, CA 94526
> Bunki, my 7 & 8 are enlarging their photos on a grid, and it is taking
> FOREVER for most of them, and they HATE it.

Rest easy. My kids hated it at first too...especially flipping it over and
redrawing the blasted things. That what they call it..."That blasted thing!"
They didn't like it at all until they started coloring. I even had three
students trying to get transfered out of my class while they were drawing
the grid!!!! I said, "No way, unh-huh, nada!"

I DID make up a quick worksheet beforehand for them to do which explained
how to enlarge a small square into a larger one. Then they did a quick
worksheet on doing two squares at a time. Once they started doing the grid,
it was easier for them to do.

> So, my question, were ALL of your self portraits this incredibly awesomely
> good? did you have some really really bad ones too? Did absolutely every
> student complete the project? Did some simply freak out over the grid
> itself? Over tracing paper itself? I have so many who can not use a ruler,
> and who even have trouble with the concept of "rectangle".

I had a few who had trouble drawing the grid in 1 1/2 inches. One boy had to
do it 3 times. You might hate me for saying this but ALL your kids should
finish and do a great job. Just expect it of them! ALL my kids finished and
did a marvelous job. I did this with two classes.....70 kids and ALL of them
turned out. One wasn't up to par by my standards but it still looked like
him. He just colored it really weird. I had a really hard time deciding
which ones to put on the website and which ones to hang in the library
hallway. One of the ones on the website (the one with a green eye and an
orange eye) was done by a boy who hasn't done "boo" in my class all year and
you can see how well he accomplished this project. He was sooooo excited I
chose it for the website. The green-faced one with the two hands was done by
a student who had not done any good work all year (immature behavior 7th
grader) and he too succeeded enough for the website. Out of 70 kids I didn't
have a lower grade than B.

> Absenteeism is so bad that after two weeks I still have kids whose photos
> (digital) I have not taken.

I made sure I had ALL the pictures ready to go before we did this project. I
started taking photos the second week of school. My problem was the new kids
popping in and out.
> I have 55 7 & 8 graders and I'm hoping for 20 portraits. Is that wrong?
You know your kids better than I do but I'd shoot for 55 good ones.

Right now I'm interested in what I'm going to do with the white paper grided
drawings. Hummmm. I'm thinking I'll get wire and have the kids outline the
faces in wire and make mobiles out of them. Anyone got suggestions?