Saturday, September 22, 2012

Reflections on the week and Works in Progress

I have looked forward to Saturday morning all week. More specifically I looked forward to sleeping in. But come 6:15/ 6:20 am, my brain started ticking and I found myself pouring a cup of coffee come 6:30. I slept in... by an hour. My school schedule has got a hold on me! Can't sleep in like I used to!

I have officially survived two full weeks of being a full time art teacher and part time graduate student. I even attended Open House for both schools. While I was more of a smiling face handing out student schedules at the middle school open house, I was pleasantly surprised by how many parents and families I got to meet at the high school. I wasn't really sure what was expected of me, so I put together a few slides of a power point. I briefly talked about techniques, concepts and ideas I hope to cover this year, my grading policy and expectations (come to class with a pencil and sketchbook!) At the end of my seven minute sh-peal I opened it up to questions, which there were few if any, and shook everyone's hand on the way out.

This week I reflected a lot on student behavior I've observed over the age span that I teach. Overall my 8th graders will be the biggest challenge with a wide range of abilities, effort/ work ethic and personalities. I have less than a handful of freshman who appear to think their elective is a joke. Unfortunately this handful is in the same section and they are starting to drag down a few friends who want to be in art. It is really interesting to see how the dynamic changes when someone is absent too. But as the instructor, I need to figure out how to engage these students. Reminding them that 70% of their grade is effort hasn't appeared to help. I'll have to work on that.

Works in Progress...
As far as what we are doing in the classroom, we really just started our first activities in the middle school and have been working on drawing exercises building up to a long term activity at the high school.
At the middle school I have been LOVING my wall mounted projector and document camera. I think I have used both almost everyday. The document camera has made demonstrations sooooo much easier. I can't believe how smoothly the process to create the Kaleidoscope Name Design, or Identity Mandala as I am calling it this year,  has gone. The picture above is a work in progress and I am so excited to see them complete. 

These two are from last year's group of eighth graders. I moved this lesson to seventh to correspond with their study of Ancient Civilizations. I'll be sure to post more when they are done. And I'd like to write about our drawing unit at the high school too. I just need to remember to bring my camera!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you've got a wonderful year ahead of you!

    Dealing with the different personalities/effort levels in a class can be challenging. This year I'm lucky enough to find that 90% of my students want to be in the art room and want to do their best. It can be hard to work with the 10% who don't really want to be there. I try to find at least one thing that 10% is doing well and then I exaggerate my reaction to it, like "Wow! See how easy that was? This part right here- this is so beautifully done! You're going to be really good at this..."

    Usually they just need a little bit of praise/confidence/attention and they start to knuckle down and try a little harder.