> "That looks good but
> Instead of these exact words I like to say this is a good area because
> it is dark and the gradations are smooth or nice area in here where the
> colors are not muddy, etc., and then go to a corrective statement. I
> will try to find a good area or one that is better than the rest and
> then show them how to get the rest to be like that.
Ken's right (as usual). I read somewhere--here on the list?--that it's
the word "but" that triggers negative connotations in the listener, kind
of like we set them up for praise and then knock the air out of them.
Don't we all say that? "This is good, BUT..." Use a connecting word
like "and..." ("I like how you used these sensitive lines, and I'd like
to see the shading done as well as those.") What Ken's written above is
right on target.
> If the work is sloppy and done without trying, I will encourage them to
> try to elevate the work to something they have done in the past. If it
> is a kid who has very limited ability and shows that this is the best
> they can do, I praise them for trying and offer what little I can see to
> get them to a better place.
I teach one reading class using Direct Instruction, and the program
urges the teacher to give very specific feedback (not, "Hey, that was
great," but "Francisco, you remembered to pronounce all the endings on
the words, like -ed and -ing.") I've been trying to use the same
technique in the art classes. It's hard to remember to be specific when
there are 25 sixth graders needing your attention, but I'm trying.