No, Diane they were not required to bring them to class each day. They all
were required to have a small folder or heavy duty zip lock bag in their
backpack. This was their tool kit. In reality some did this but many wound up keeping
their art supplies at home. I told them to keep materials on them so they
could either work on entries at home or during free/study hall periods. But yes,
this was independent stuff. This was a chance for them to really create and
take full ownership of their stuff and not feel constrained by some of my
project's requirements and objectives.
No peer critiques, just a half a period or so of me spotlighting journal
entires. At the very end of the course we had a party and all books were left
out to see. Of course there was some sharing during class time as well, but not
intiated by me. It just happenned. It's funny because even kids who weren't
enrolled in any art classes would come up to me and say that they saw such and
such's journal and how awesome it was. So the sharing had an outside the
classroom peer element as well.
I had two of these classes last year and my books were much stronger from
my later group. I did less demoing and really left them on their own. They had
seen the previous clases' books during the year and were really into starting
their own. THey, as I said, were very motivated, and pretty talented. MOstly
honors kids and many in the music program as well.
In retrospect i think my praise during spotlighting times really helped
because they didn't, as one girl mentioned to me, want to let me down. Also, I
think the more gifted ones had a slight competitive thing going on.
Also, the girls books were, as so often is the case at this level, so, so,
much stronger than the boys. Poetry, song lyrics, and other things became
their inspiration. I did suggest some of these things but they brought so much to
I'm not doing these right now with my new classes. Instead I'm trying
altered books which I will start in class and will then have them turn in theme
bassed entries. A slightly different approach but I will have to see if there's
a difference. My new group is also not as strong is my groups last year.