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> (snip)....."kids will give you exactly what you ask of them". If you ask >
for little, that's what you'll get. If you reach above their level...they'll
> give you that too.
At least in the middle school level where I teach....that's what happens.
E. B. Frink Middle School
>>Child development involves personal evolution and growth. Forcing
>>change their natural symbols before their time is like forcing a baby to
>>or be potty trained before they are ready. Talk about it and show
>>examples....yes. But forcing results in frustration and I want my kids to
>>enjoy art at such tender ages. If they/some "get it", great. If they
>>I say they aren't ready yet. I keep on talking about it, and sooner or
>>they do. Melissa Smith
>Hi, Melissa and others on this train of thought....
>I'm all for reading child development articles/books in anticipation of
>teaching BUT (and I might be the only one here who thinks this way...which
>is OK by me) one must really take EVERYTHING you read with a grain of salt
>and a giant pinch of skepticism. If nothing else, experience has taught me
>to believe what I have personally seen in the classroom and some of what is
>out there to read is just plain bull. Remember that some of these child
>dev. writers have been out of the classroom for 15 or more yrs. or have
>made observations from isolated groups of kids....nothing to do with what
>we as teachers are dealing with in what some of us refer to as "real life".
>I don't think the art educators discussing lollipop trees are about
>"forcing" anything. I'm a firm believer that kids can learn anything at any
>age with the right teacher. Kids are always ready. Maybe the "teacher"
>isn't. Can 1st, 2nd grade kids learn algebra concepts like adding
>variables? Yep. Can 1st, 2nd grade kids learn calligraphy? You bet! I know
>because I've seen it and done both.
>Imagine what runs through my mind when a colleague says one of his math
>students isn't ready for algebra. I think my esteemed colleague is the one
>who isn't "ready"!
>I teach middle school and still see the corner suns, m&m birds, lollipop
>trees in my 6th graders (and 7th graders if I haven't tackled them to the
>I silently bless the few elementary teachers who have taken the time and
>energy to teach their younger charges the difference before they reach the
>dreaded, fabulous, lovely, funny, mean and bitchy...(pick one) Mrs. K.
>I have an art teacher friend who one afternoon (a long time ago) gave me an
>excellent thought which changed my thinking and rearranged my teaching
>forever. I keep it in my mind every day and every project I
>orginate....."kids will give you exactly what you ask of them". If you ask
>for little, that's what you'll get. If you reach above their
>level...they'll give you that too. Again, I teach mid. school...I ask my
>kids for h.s. level in most cases. They give me that with joy and
>enthusiasm and confidence. Kids are always ready! Cya.....
>Los Cerros Middle School
>968 Blemer Rd.
>Danville, California 94526