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Date: Thu Oct 23 2003 - 18:56:12 PDT

attached mail follows:

In a message dated 10/22/2003 11:45:10 PM Eastern Daylight Time, writes:
can honestly say that I often get into projects with the kids not knowing
what the outcome will be. I plan things out as best as I can--and try to
gather as much info as possible--but I rarely have time to test everything
before I present it.
Whew...Sharon and Mark, I agree with both of you. Mark, you had valuable
things to say. Sharon, your projects are so innovative and successful that ya
gotta be doing something right!

I almost NEVER repeat lessons from year to year. Never repeating lessons runs
the risk of not having that cushion of familiarity that is a comfort zone in
teaching. But, the trade-off is the freshness and excitement of always new
lessons and exhibits that keep everyone's interest.

I teach six different grade levels at one time and I spend a lot of time
thinking about how to make the lessons meaningful and engaging for my students. I
often rely on my vision of how I think the completed art will turn out. I
think my experience has allowed me to do this. I, too, wish I had time to do a
sample for each new lesson, but I don't.

Presenting an unfamiliar material can be tricky. I can think of only a
couple of times I wished I had made a sample, however. One is years and years ago.
I had the kids make planets from papier mache over balloons. It looked so
easy in the book...LOL...On Friday we put on the two (measly) coats (that's what
the book said) of newspaper and art paste on perfectly round spheres. On
Monday the balloons had shrunk into perfectly deflated craters! It was a great
lesson on problem solving- and the kids figured out how to fix them. P.S. I
learned that plastercraft is a much better idea over balloons, or grocery bags
dipped in art paste.
Susan on Long Island