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Re: Grade Boosters


From: Sidnie Miller (smiller_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Mar 31 2004 - 12:16:51 PST

I have a course called Independent Studio that is listed for Seniors.
They are supposed to design their own curriculum and work independently.
 They are usually entered into other classes--like 1 IS student with the
Freshman Fundamentals Course. I find that most high school kids are not
really directed and motivated enough to do well at this. They tend to
work slowly and not produce very much--probably because if they go
really slow they won't have to think!! I require 5 finished projects
from them, but I am flexible if they are really working on something for
a long time. I end up with students in there just because they have
taken lower classes and don't have any more choices--I know that they
aren't great students or great artists, they just like it in here. It's
always hard to decide what to do with them. Generally they need lots of
advice and encouragement. I have had a couple which were a total
joy--couldn't wait to try new things--wanted to do everything. One of
the problems with IS kids is use of supplies. I might have a kid in
jewelry or pottery that wants to come in and do IS. I assume that they
want to do more pottery but they want to try painting or something.
They have no skills in that area and almost always fail, and I don't
have the time or inclination to give them Art 2 (painting) in a private
lesson. They are always a source of grief to me. I would never give my
regular classes independent time. They can do that at home or for the
rest of their lives--I have too much that I want to cover. Sid

So my question... how many High School teachers use independent time?
What succeeds, what hasn't, in your opinion...