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Re: Ready to Quit after One Week! Please Help.

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TwoDucks_at_TeacherArtExchange
Date: Sun Sep 12 2004 - 16:47:33 PDT


In a message dated 9/12/04 1:29:16 PM, jmj_s@yahoo.com writes:

> I was not prepared for disrespect and lack of interest in art that I
> encountered--especially from my 8th graders.
>

You have had some very good strategies from this list, especially regarding
discipline strategies ( I LOVE the whipping out of a cel phone: that is
something this age group can really connect with...!)
I will add some more information for you from the knowledgeloom art education
website: a story from a young woman's very sucessful first year of teaching
grades 5-8:
<<<When students arrived on the first day of art class, they were shocked to
find their once predictable art room transformed. No longer were the tables
pushed together in small groups in the center of the room, walls bare, or
supplies locked up. Harden's set up dispersed tables throughout the room in
clusters, creating learning centers. The year began with bookmaking and drawing
centers, soon expanding to centers for painting, sculpture, fiber arts, and costume
design. Supplies were out on the tables and ready for use, rather than stored
away. The walls were decorated with art and text, allowing plenty of space to
display student work.

 The first day of class began with introductions. "I told them I was an
artist, and they would be treated as an artist in the art room. I asked them to
raise their hands if they considered themselves artists. Not surprisingly, I got
few responses from the eighth, seventh, even sixth graders. Fifth graders were
a bit more confident." In each class, they discussed their perception of what
art is and what an artist does.

 Harden and the students collaboratively developed art room rules. She stated
her expectations and outlined what the new set up was all about. "I told them
about the concepts behind centers: Like artists, they would choose the area
of the room in which to make their art. I explained that they would be
responsible for coming to class with art ideas and a plan for executing them. As I
expected, students reacted positively to my enthusiasm about their restructured
art room."

 A New Way of Thinking About Art

One of the biggest challenges, and one Harden had not anticipated, was
helping her students learn in a new way. They were accustomed to being told what to
do by their teachers. Now she needed to help them come to class with their own
art ideas and initiate their own way of working. Most of the children,
especially the older ones, claimed they had "no ideas." Harden helped them generate
ideas using several strategies:

     • She helped them narrow down large topics.
     • She spoke at length with individual students to help them focus
on their interests.
     • She encouraged writing and sketching in journals.
     • She used examples of other student work.>>

There is quite a bit more about her teaching experiences along with lots of
other art teaching information. You will find it at http://knowlege
loom.org/tab. Click on the assessment practice and you will find Lindsay Harden's story.
good luck to you!
kathy douglas

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