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Re: Pushing Quality


Date: Wed Mar 23 2005 - 04:51:51 PST

I keep tracing paper on hand to overlay on a kids work from time to time
so that they can experiment freely with adding more overlapping, horizon
line placement, perspective, texture, pattern, etc. I teach 2nd, 3rd,
5th, and 6th grades. I set the bar high at the
scribbling or "do over" keeps most of them on track. I demonstrate
coloring techniques, shading, etc., and I use that tracing paper to
reteach the concepts directly on a particular student's work without
actually drawing on their work. I usually find that I work the hardest
(exhausting, sometimes!) at the start of a project and the end of a
project. I'm constantly retstating the goals, skills, and concepts
introduced in the lesson, or at times adding new ones because they are
ready to add more detail or development of some kind. I praise kids a
LOT, and try to keep it all positive. I find that kids rise to the
occasion once some of their peers start to really get it. Quick crits
about midway through can also help to show them again how the amount of
thought and work they put into their assignment will determine the
results they get in the end. I try to keep a playful atmosphere and
encourage experimentation with ideas. One thing I see frequently is
that kids will be doing great but need more and they might all of a
sudden freeze up and be afraid to do more for fear of messing it up.
The tracing paper lets them try out ideas by overlay so that they can
see how something new will work out without risking their work. Many
times that approach will get them to want to go further. I encourage a
lot of pattern and/or texture, as well as shading when applicable. It
is WORK to get kids to keep going when they want to stop too soon. I
tell kids an oil pastel drawing on black paper is never finished until
the entire paper is covered. "But I want that part black!" "Well then,
color it black!" I also make my kids mix colors when painting and
coloring. I say, "anybody can use a color right out of the box...what
do artists do?"

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