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Date: Fri Mar 05 2004 - 15:44:03 PST

In a message dated 3/5/2004 2:11:21 PM Eastern Standard Time, Betty Bowen <> writes:
>This would be great in an ideal world with an ideal room and as they word>it, an "enormous" quantity of supplies.>>My classes are pretty well behaved for the most part, but just today I've>had a boy tear a nude out of a Degas book and a girl paint glitter paint all>over the seat of a chairMy first approach to student-centered teaching was in part a strategy to help me cope with a lack of supplies and the difficulty I had dealing with students who finished my projects early (or would not participate at all) When I had smaller groups of students using each center of the room I found that I could get away with fewer brushes for instance. It was so great to be painting with a group of eight, instead of thirty. I found that choice led students to be more accountable for themselves. Damage to equipment and parts of the room can be an issue in any sort of classroom. In my choice classroom the students "earn" their centers to return the next week by taking care of the materials found therein. When my relative
ly small art room was occupied by class sizes of 32 (960 students per week) it was a godsend to be able to have students working in small groups instead of en masse. I was able to let quieter students work at a drawing table in the hallway, which made the room less crowded. (this year my average class size is a wonderful 24 and I have only about 700 students) Now I grant you that I work in a nice average suburban town, but this concept is currently being piloted in after school programs for inner city children and early results are very exciting. It is the belief of the TAB Partnership teachers that we will never have as much time, space or stuff as we wish and our students will always come to us as they are. We feel that our concept of teaching helps us to make the very best of all those scarce resources and to help our students find their talents. kathy douglas