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I'm another "lurker" who's been reading this listserv for almost a year
now, but I rarely post anything. I've learned so much from all of you
that I have a notebook FULL of many of your lessons, tips, etc. I'm
teaching all the Art in a small K-12 school (and some P.E. too!), and
consider myself a generalist in art, (since it's my minor, and I didn't
have an emphasis in any one area of art.) I was in college in the 70's,
and my drawing courses (actually, I only had one!) were SO free and
unstructured that I basically don't have much knowledge about teaching
it! I finally got Betty Edward's book this summer, am reading it, and
love it! Decided to try out her methods with my Art I kids.
We started out real well - now we're to the positive shapes/negative
spaces section, where she wants the kids to see and draw the neg.
spaces, rather than the objects. I don't think I'm getting this across
to the kids - any suggestions? Also ( this is our 3rd week of school),
they're getting tired of doing these exercises - even though I can see
most are improving at least a little. They all want to know when we'll
get to do the "fun stuff" - like printmaking, ceramics, etc.
I must admit, I'm not sure where to go from here - my thought is that
maybe they don't feel like they can draw any better than previously, and
are bored, even though I'm trying to emphasize to them that we're trying
to retrain how they see things, etc., etc., as stated in the book.
The next sections in the book are on sighting, and perspective, which in
the past, I've touched on later in the year.
I'd like to help them improve their drawing skills, (and be able to
recognize improvement!), and stay interested. Any thoughts,
suggestions, lesson ideas, tips, etc. from you "pro's" would be GREATLY
appreciated! At this point, I'm tempted to move to something else for a
few weeks - (maybe some printmaking assignments with emphasis on line,
shape, etc.), and then return to drawing. I REALLY want to get them
excited about what they are capable of, and not just have them give up -
but I just don't know where to go with this!
Thanks for your help!
P.S. OK, you whiners - how about this schedule? Elem. Art(grade varies
each day), Elem. P.E., Jr. High Art, Elem. P.E., Art II, Elem. P.E. Art
I. (Oh, yes, I'm 8th grade class advisor, too, and teach a one quarter
Humanities-Visual Arts course 2nd quarter). Life is never dull, but at
least I have a plan period this quarter!