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Now here's something else that's got me going at the beginning of this
My Art I, II and III students are often in the same class period. I teach
at a small private school (after 7 years in a large public elementary
school) so there are often scheduling conflicts, and electives get shuffled
around quite a bit.
We just finished up our first week of school and I had ALL of them fill out
an interest questionnaire which included : "On the back of this sheet,
please draw a house, person and tree." I also had all of them design and
make a portfolio out of posterboard which had to incorporate their name,
either in a graphic/logo design OR in a design which reflects their
While I've offered some help, made a few suggestions, etc., the purpose of
the questionnaire and portfolio (aside from being functional) was to
establish a "baseline" in order to give me the chance to see where these
kids are, both with their art skills and their writing ability.
What I've found is that some kids who are at the Art I level have skills
that are much more highly advanced than some of the Art II or III students,
and some of the students in the Art II/III levels would benefit from some of
the basic things I'd planned to cover in Art I. Again, bear in mind that
I've got a mix of students in each class, any way. I also have pretty high
percentage of ESL students, some of whom have incredible art skills but are
going to struggle, mightily, with some of the required written work at ANY
In some ways it's tempting to throw out the whole art "level" concept and
just gear instruction towards individual abilities, but I don't think I
could do that..... Dunno.
So--how do you handle this?