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RE: [teacherartexchange] beginning drawing


From: Arpi Krikorian (arpi71_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Oct 23 2008 - 10:21:47 PDT

Hi Marvin,
I've been asked to "dive into" an art teacher's position at my children's
school. Their art teacher decided she didn't want to continue 3 weeks into
the new school year. So here I am with no art curriculum from the school
(they were using Meet the Masters)and 200 kids between 3rd and 10th grade
with whom I meet once a week and 6-10th grade art elective classes with who
I meet an additional 45 minutes once a week. Class sizes range from 15-33
kids per class. Needless to say, I'm a mess. The only system I have found to
work is that I have filled a big binder with photos of everything from
sports figures to animals and landscapes. Kids pick the photo they want to
work with, choose the materials (I have a range from prismacolors, oil
pastels, soft pastels, graphite and charcoal pencils, art sticks, collage
materials and different types of paper)and go at it. Some kids want to
create without using reference but for the most part, everyone really loves
this system because they are choosing images and materials which appeal to
them. I spend the class time going around individually and guiding them
through obstacles or offering ways to push their pieces further.
I hear what you say about using photos as reference but in my situation,
where I need to provide 33 kids with objects to observe, making sure those
are things that grab their attention which I need to refresh at least
monthly, is very difficult to do. I know there's the option of still life
that they can all draw but there are too many kids, discipline issues and
not enough space. The feedback from the kids has been overwhelmingly
positive. Art has become the most popular class. I'm getting e-mails and
messages from parents telling me how much their kids are loving it. So, am I
approaching this wrong? I feel like it's working but I don't know if I'm
meeting standards. I have sparked a love for art in many kids who are now
very excited to come to school because of this class. I would appreciate any
feedback or advice.Also, any guidance on where to start devising a
curriculum? Samples?
Many thanks,
Arpi Krikorian
Pasadena, CA

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