As a K-12 art teacher (well, next year I'm 3-12 cause of new exciting
responsibilities, but that's another story!) I focus my elementary classes
on teaching the elements and on skill building. Grades are based completely
on participation, since I have a problem with docking a student a letter
grade when 1) I see them 9 times a grading period and 2) cannot offer them
time to make up their projects if they miss class. So Middle School is where
I really begin to promote my program. I treat it as an introductory class,
and we explore a large variety of mediums. I don't assign much homework,
since many middle school students really struggle with the new
organizational expectations thrust upon them. I do have them make a
sketchbook, and give them a list of things to draw from (I have that list
posted on my site). These range from fun things to detailed drawings. Since
middle school comes to my high school art room I make sure they see what the
high school students are creating. I tell students in grade school what the
expectations will be, and I allay their fears, assuring them that the
workload is not beyond their capabilities.
Can you meet with your elementary students (6th grade?? 5th Grade??) who
will be middle school students next year, introduce yourself, and tell them
what they can expect if they enroll in your class?
K-12 Kansas Art Teacher
> I'm sure some of you out there have experienced this ebb and flow....so
> help! What would you recommend for revitalizing the middle school?