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(The rest of this is really long, so feel free to scan, ignore...)
In reading through your replies, I noticed some areas I might need to
"Advanced" at my campus only means that he has Art 1. It doesn't imply an
ability or knowledge.
The 90 average he had at the three weeks was based on a first day drawing
activity and some small contour activities.
There are only thirteen students in this class (don't get excited--my other
classes are near 40)
and everything he does and doesn't do is observed very closely by the
He does not want to talk with me. He will answer a direct question, but
you can tell he really doesn't want to have any type of dialogue.
Some replies indicated that I should let them do what they want since it is
an advanced class. Because these students and high school are new to me, I
don't feel comfortable giving them free reign at this point. I also have
reason to suspect that these students don't have the solid foundation one
would hope after Art 1. With this in mind, I have chosen to do activities
like the following as warm-ups for more major works.
After briefly reviewing the difference between geometric and organic
shapes, we discussed the mood or message that could be created by using
predominately one type in a painting. I then had them do a painting where
they emphasized the difference between the two types.
They had about a week to do this. If most of the students had not
successfully finished in that amount of time, I would have given more. They
could be as simple or complex as they felt comfortable with as long as they
finished and clearly reinforced the contrast between the two shapes.
This student had finished less than 20% of the project when everyone else
was done. He was not done because he was being excruciatingly precise,
working with the smallest brush possible, and really slow. All this was
effort was done on two flat diamond shapes.
The day I talked with him I complimented him on his attention to detail,
but explained that he needed to keep in mind the deadline and the purpose
of the project. This lead to the discussion I originally mentioned. He has
done no work since then.
He has tried to do homework for other classes, which I took away from him.
He has tried to sleep, but can't because he sits with friends who talk
frequently and loudly. He has tried to distract them from working, but I
they seem more concerned about their grades.
I know I can and probably should just let it go. I know you can't reach
all of them. I just hated to give up so early in the year, especially in
this particular class situation. Your responses were just the reinforcement
I am developing a rapport with the other students. They are responding
positively to the assignments and seem comfortable asking for my input,
even those sitting next to my "challenge." He has become separate from the
group and doesn't seem to be having much fun. Perhaps everything will
resolve itself, if I can find a way to invite him back into the fold
without his losing face.
If there is a breakthrough, I'll let you know.