Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Just Getting By.......

This year I am trying, again, to be better at blogging about my students' art work. I really enjoy blogging, the whole experience - writing, sharing what my students are creating, posting pictures... I just find it hard to force myself to sit down and do it. I always have one more lesson to research, one more copy to make, one more paper I need to take to the office, one more student to talk with. 

This year I'm struggling with keeping all of my students focused and interested in the projects. I want them ALL to enjoy art class. I'm playing music more often. I'm walking around more, sitting with them more. Sometimes I feel like I spend so much time trying to get those not interested, interested in the project - that I'm not working enough with those that WANT to learn more about art, those that LOVE art. This I find frustrating. The happy medium. Trying to please all. 
I came across a high school art blog, Art of Apex High School. Here they are talking about more choice in projects. As art teachers we choose the skills to learn, the medium to use, the size to create. The students follow the recipe and we grade - I grade - on effort, craftsmanship, and then the taught skill. This blog is talking about putting the higher level thinking on the student. The student needs to learn how to think. "What art teachers need to do is provide students with opportunities to make decisions themselves.To do the hard work of planning a project and fixing problems." Student centered model of teaching. 

This might solve my problem of keeping everyone interested. I presented one of my classes with 8 different lessons. I found them on Refrigeratorgood . They needed to choose one. For the beginning - SUCCESS. Everyone seemed to really like what they chose and are working contently on them. I might try this new way of teaching art in some of my classes. I am going to go even further and give them a topic and let them decide the rest. "2 in 1" is the next topic (which I'm stealing from Art of Apex High School). Transformations, morphing of an object into another, or 2 time periods depicted, 2 emotions, or so on...

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