Thursday, July 12, 2012

More fun at Camp!

Explaining how we were going to make Halloween decorations for the camp's Halloween celebration
Helping fold for a day of tie dying!


Teaching about God's Eyes and how to start them.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Arts and Crafts Director at Summer Camp

I am loving my summer so far, and had to upload a few pictures to show myself in action at my summer job as an arts and crafts director for a summer camp! I am having the time of my life while learning a ton about classroom management. I'm so grateful for this experience before my student teaching placement, I can't wait to see how I do in the real classroom after I get all of this time under my belt! I love all of the campers already, they're so creative!


crayon melting project! "Crayon Paintings"



Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Student Teacher Speaker Mr. K

Today we had a recent student teacher and graduate visit us in class. It was great to hear his about his student teaching experience. He had some great insights as well as advice and even some lesson plans to share with us! He graduated with a double major in Art Education and Graphic Design in December, and has been subbing and applying for teaching positions for this fall ever since. He is very savvy with technology and has a very calm demeanor, which I can tell would benefit him as a teacher! He was very personable and easy to listen to. I'm excited to see where he ends up!


The following is what I found the most important information he had to offer us! Please enjoy!

  • Don't set your expectations too high, take the experience as it comes!
  • Learn from your mistakes and failures, don't underestimate the power of reflection!
  • Plan all summer long for lesson plans and ideas, archive!
  • Take a ton of pictures and videos
  • Use a webcam and rig it up to be a doc cam to use for demonstrations (great idea)
  • Always make sure your CT is with you when you address or discipline students privately
  • Get to know each student and each class to reach them best
  • Follow the cooperating teacher's rules. Don't implement your own (this is your chance to get some new ideas and see what works for you!)
  • Talk to students at their level, kneel, bend down if you have to
  • Use your time to practice interviewing after graduation
  • Use the question, "What does the community think about your art program?" to ask principals after interviews (gives you a sense of budget, approval by community and job security in one!)
  •  
     I really enjoyed what Mr. K had to say. He had so much information and advice for us! It was amazing to hear his experience, especially because he had a bit of a rocky start with one of his cooperating teachers, and he handled himself professionally and respectfully, which I admire! 
     
I can't wait to student teach! 

Monday, April 30, 2012

Observations of Mr. R's classroom


HOW DO THE STUDENTS ACT UPON ENTERING THE CLASS? HOW DOES THE TEACHER ACT? 
 The students walk into the room quietly, find their seat and get to work right away. Mr. R doesn't greet the students, he just speaks about what is on the board on days that he chooses to present extra information. It is very quiet at the beginning of class, but generally gets louder and louder as class progresses!
HOW DOES THE TEACHER GET THEIR ATTENTION TO BEGIN CLASS? IS THERE A PROCEDURE FOR LISTENING?
There is no procedure for listening, rather when Mr. R begins to speak, he expects them to be quiet. If they are not quiet, he will just pause until the students stop talking or until the rest of the class can hear their conversation. Mr. R will just begin speaking, with no "hello" or "excuse me" and so on.

COMMENT ON THE TEACHER’S INSTRUCTION (HOW HE/SHE BEGINS CLASS, DEMONSTRATIONS OF TECHNIQUES, INCORPORATION OF TECHNOLOGY, SENSE OF HUMOR).
Mr. R does a great job using the smart board for presentations of new projects. He is very dry in his sense of humor and often speaks in a similar tone. He does a great job applying real world situations to his teaching techniques and makes sure to give the students ample chances to answer questions and understand the project. He doesn't give a lot of demonstrations, rather he tells them and shows them what other students have done (via student examples) and allows the students to experiment and ask for help. He will give a demonstration for completely new techniques in beginning classes, but allows the advanced students to recall the processes from previous projects.

HOW DO YOU SEE CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT BEING HANDLED? ARE ANY STUDENTS BEING OFF TASK OR DISRESPECTFUL- HOW DOES THE TEACHER HANDLE THIS? IS THERE A SYSTEM OF DISCIPLINE THAT THE SCHOOL USES?
Mr. R does a great job keeping his students on task. The students understand that if he is walking around behind them or at their table, they should be on task. Generally, the students are always working on something in art class because they want to be. He doesn't have many issues of students doing nothing. Only a few students during my observation didn't do much art making in the classroom. Instead, they spent time on sketchbooks and preferred to work at home. I never saw any of their artwork that they worked on at home, but Mr. R says they often turn in the assignments late.

ARE THERE RULES POSTED? WHAT ARE THEY? 
There are no rules posted in the classroom, however, the students have procedures they follow and have had instilled all semester. Because I observed toward the end of the year, if these were posted, they are not posted now.  The students must be quiet, respectful, and must participate in discussions, clean up and so on. No electronics or music, and may not swear or use profanity in any way. The students did a generally good job at following the rules in the classroom. The most behavioral issues happen in resource time when they feel like they have more freedom.
HOW DOES THE TEACHER ADDRESS SAFETY ISSUES? 
Mr. R ALWAYS makes sure to tell his students about every safety issue. He always presents the lesson and safety issues right away as well as reminds the students about the safety issues in everything they do. He has also taken class periods at the beginning of the year to go over a tour of the room as well.
HOW DOES THE TEACHER HANDLE: BATHROOM BREAKS/LOCKER/DRINKS? RADIO/IPODS? TELEPHONE? USE OF MATERIALS? BORROWING MATERIALS OVERNIGHT? CLEANING UP? 
Mr. R signs all passes for bathroom breaks at the beginning of class and expects them back in a timely manner. The students have a passbook to use, so he allows passes as long as they have room in the pass book. The students bring food into the room, which is often at the beginning of the day which he allows for breakfast purposes. They must throw it away when the class starts and may not work while there is food on the table.  When students borrow materials, they must write their name and what they borrowed on the board for everyone to see. He allows students to use their cell phones for emergencies or to get information from parents an so on with his permission and approval. (This doesn't happen very often but Mr. R is pretty good about situations like this). As I have stated in many blog posts, he has great cleanup processes where each student has a daily routine, and a weekly job to put away carts, supplies and so on. All of the students are very good at following these procedures.
DOES THE TEACHER USE A LESSON PLAN, CURRICULUM MAP, OR A CALENDAR TO PLAN UNITS? DOES HE/SHE HAVE A WRITTEN CURRICULUM? (can you see it?) WHAT DOES THE PLAN INCLUDE? 
Mr. R doesn't sure lesson plans, but he does utilize curriculum maps and previous lessons in his career for reference. I didn't ever see his curriculum maps, but he mentioned that he is behind in his planning for the school's requirements, but often gets a lot of room to wiggle from his principal. For not using plans or written tools, he does a great job keeping his room organized.

Final Reflection

Overall, this experience was very educational. I loved learning about the way that Mr. R runs his classroom. Management of students is something that I know I will need to work on in the future. I want to make sure to have a sense of respect and organization in my room while being a fun and exciting atmosphere to be in. It was very fun to see how he hands out his rubrics and allows his high school students to be very self motivated. I really enjoyed seeing this style in action. I don't know if it is the right style for me, but it seems to be what Mr. R and the students are comfortable with.

Having two art rooms to work from is amazing. I was so excited to see the classrooms available to the students. Mr. R does a great job of keeping them clean and orderly as well as comfortable and decorated. Mr. R was very big into cleanliness and safety, something I am very fond of as well. He did a great job keeping the students aware of the safety precautions and hazards of each project. I was most impressed with the cleanliness of his art room and the willingness and cooperation from the students to do their required jobs during clean up time.

I have pasted in my responses to some reflective questions below. Please read them to really get a sense of how Mr. R demonstrates the teacher standards.







Planning and Preparation Elements
Although Mr. R doesn’t use lesson plans, he does plan and prepare for his lessons. Each of the students has a grading rubric for each lesson in their sketchbook or folder. They receive these rubrics at the beginning of each semester. The semester is planned out into roughly six-week increments to complete each project. The presentation dates for the new lessons overlap with the previous projects to keep the students thinking about what is next. In terms of preparation, Mr. R is at a point in his career in which he has a lot of knowledge and experience in each lesson plan. He has smart board note taking activities ready for the presentations, and supplies and examples ready. Mr. R is a great teacher because he understands and knows his content area so well. He has personal experience and teaching experience with each of his projects, which shows in his presentations to the class. He utilizes organization in his classroom by presenting each due date and task on the board for each class to see. This allows the students to check the board for any information they might need.

The Classroom Environment
The classroom environment Mr. R creates is one of self-motivation. The students are required to stay on task in class and always have something to work on. They are responsible for the progress of their project as well as their sketchbook assignments Mr. R utilizes a seating chart as well as weekly clean up tasks for the students. Each week duties like putting away the supply cart or sweeping the floor, wiping tables and so on is assigned and rotated. Each student is responsible for his or her area of the classroom as well. Upon entering the classroom, the students go right to their seats and start working. They can look at the board for the due dates as well as what point of the project they should be working on to stay on task. Although Mr. R does not greet the students when they walk in the room, when he begins speaking about the project each day, they students seem to quiet down and listen to what he has to say. As a man of few words, they know that he will give them the information they need and want to know. The morale of the room changes with each class period. Some classes are very loud and have troubles staying on task, while other classes are more reserved and at work. Mr. R deals with the differences between the classes by walking around the room to observe or interact with each student every day. At the end of each class period, students must put their stools onto the tables in order to sweep the floors. This keeps the room very clean and orderly, which Mr. R utilizes for both cleanliness and safety. The students are warned when there is five minutes left of class time. During those five minutes they must stop what they are doing and participate in any clean up duties. At the end of the period, Mr. R doesn’t interact much with the students because he is getting other things ready for the next class period, which is normally held in another room. In each room, he utilizes the same classroom management, which seems to work pretty well.

Instruction
Mr. R introduces new topics to the students during the previous project. He likes to break up his presentations into shorter lessons in order to allow work time as well. He will introduce the sketchbook assignments early so they can have ample time to sketch and compose ideas for the project. Each student already has the rubric for the next project in his or her folder or sketchbook. This also includes a list of all sketchbook assignments for the semester as well. Those who finish early can ask Mr. R for advice or work ahead. When the presentation for the art making process comes around, Mr. R will notify the class in advance so they know what to expect. He often sits at a table with the student and uses student examples and sketchbook examples to teach with. He does a great job of incorporating each new lesson into the student’s daily lives. This is because he always has a real world situation in which the characteristics of the project fit. For example, when introducing the soapstone-carving project, he told the students that they would need to find something that works with the stone they choose. This is applicable in life because they need to be able to work with the limitations of any given circumstance. He also encouraged them to embrace their childlike sensibilities and play a game where they had to find what the stone resembled, just as they looked at clouds in the sky when they were children to find familiar shapes and animals. Mr. R does a great job of asking students many questions as he is instructing or introducing new concepts. He also likes to ask many questions in class in order to keep students thinking. If a student would ask him a question, he often responds in a question format in order to get his point across. This seems to be a technique that he uses a lot. This also ties in with his classroom environment being very self-motivated and self-taught. Mr. R is their teacher not to tell them the answer, but to help them find it.
 
Professional Responsibilities/Personal Characteristics
Mr. R is a very serious teacher. He takes his job as an educator seriously, as well as his students and their work. He is responsible for over 150 students a day. In order to stay organized, he has many rules in place that have been followed by his students for many years. He has a great relationship with the class and often cracks jokes and has meaningful and sometimes silly conversations with his students during and after class. As the head of the art department, and only art teacher on staff this year, he works with PLCs as well as attends IEP meetings for his students to ensure they have the best learning environment and learning opportunities. He will stay after school to allow more work time for the art students. He has such empathy for all of his students and where they come from. He is an excellent educator because he gets to know each student in a personal way. He considers the families and cultures of each student. By understanding these things, he can better reach the students, and allow them to thrive within the classroom. Mr. R doesn’t hand out compliments. When he does give positive feedback the class knows that they are really doing a great job. Mr. R likes to make his students think and work hard. By giving homework and things to do outside of class, he makes sure that they take art as a serious subject and not just an easy “A”.

Wisconsin Teacher Standards
Teachers know the subjects they are teaching. Mr. R does a great job understanding his subject. He has a Masters Degree in fine arts as well as his teaching degree. Because he knows his content area so well, he has a lot of credibility with his students. He has pictures of his kiln as well as his ceramic works hanging on his bulletin board, and has a hand thrown lamp as well as other pieces of his work around the room to show the students. It is very fun to hear him speak about his work as an artist with the students because you can see how much they respect him for his talents and teaching abilities. All of his years of teaching experience allowed him to master all of the subject matter that he teaches, which also gains him respect from his students.
Teachers know how to manage a classroom. Mr. R does a great job of establishing rules and procedures in his classroom right away. Because he is so consistent with his discipline as well as his routines during each class period, the students work very well for him. He understands and utilizes his ability to arrange seating charts as well as observing someone from a close distance in order to get them back on task. He has great respect for his students and keeps his discipline to a minimum and in private, or separate from the general classroom. He has a lot of impact on his students in the way he manages his classroom and keeps things organized.
Teachers are able to plan different kinds of lessons. The way Mr. R integrates different lessons in his classes is very unique. He often starts a whole new media or subject after one another in his introductory classes. By doing this, he allows them time to get a sample of different mediums and processes. This allows them a better understanding of what art has to offer in the more advanced courses in which he builds on previous knowledge from the beginning courses. Although he doesn’t use lesson plans, the lessons he teaches are very organized and structured through grading rubrics. By teaching to the rubric, the students have a higher chance of success and understanding.


Last day of Observation! (1 hour)

Last Thursday I visited the high school for the last time. It was a great day in the art room again, as most of the students were finishing their batiks (a day before the due date) and starting on their sculptures. Mr. R sat with the students for the first five to ten minutes of class reminding them of the information that he wrote on the board. He reminded them:

1. The batiks are due tomorrow
2. The sketchbooks for the sculpture plaster project are due tomorrow
3. 4/27 is the last day to turn in ANY late work.

He reminded them that if they turn anything in late, they will get a curt response. He told them that this means that he won't be the nicest to them about it, and won't accept it no matter what.

This was a good way for Mr. R get their attention. A lot of the students were working very hard in class due to this discussion. If the students were not turning in work from the past projects, many of the failing students would be asked to complete the class in an alternative setting and not be in his room anymore. One student told me that he was in that situation, and that he had a lot of work to do before the next day. I made sure to tell him that he could get it all done if he comes in after school and works during resource. He was very negative about his situation but I sat with him to make sure that he knew what he had to do (listing everything) and how much of each project he had left. This student comes from an emotional background, so I was happy to make him more comfortable with his situation.

After making sure to tell all of the students thank you and how much I enjoyed their feedback and attention in class, the period was over! Overall, it was a great morning, which went better than most! I was a little sad to leave the school, but excited to put another student teaching experience on my resume!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Last Monday at the High School! (2.25 hours)

Today I enjoyed my last meeting with 6th and 7th hour. It was a great feeling to have the students wish that I was going to stay with them until the end of the year. Even though I will miss the sixth and seventh hour classes, it feels great to have my second practicum experience coming to an end. I feel very accomplished and excited to use all of the things I have learned.

The beginning 3D students were continuing to work on their coil pots. Many of the students have finished and are now working on their sketchbook assignments for the soapstone projects. They seem to enjoy the down time in class, but often fill the hour with giggles and web surfing instead of researching and working. I'm not so sure if I like the way that the students are on such separate projects all the time. A few students are still working on late work, which is nearly six weeks late. I love the sketchbook assignments, but I will probably work to keep my students more on task.

The seventh hour class was very fun to observe. I say observe because Mr. R was introducing the painting project to them today. Most students are still working on their self portraits after the due date, but some needed the introduction today. He showed examples of student work from the past and really started a great conversation about ideas for subject matter in the paintings. Because seventh hour has three foreign exchange students (two from Mexico, one from Germany) in the class, they gave great insights about the different context that the principles of design can create in the compositions due to cultural backgrounds. It was a a very fun conversation that lasted the entire class period! What a great way to end it all.

I then spent the resource period helping the drawing students on their portraits in the separate classroom from Mr. R. I have had a great experience with these classes, and will look back at this experience fondly!

Brewer Reading Reaction

I have always approached interdisciplinary art education as a positive aspect of arts in education today. Until reading this article, I didn’t realize that the integration of other subjects into art could result in classes that deny visual art its value as a distinct discipline (31).  As art educators, we incorporate reading, English, social studies, geography, history, and even math and science into our curriculums without purposely doing so. However, it seems like all of those core classes do not incorporate art as readily within their own curriculum. Nonetheless, this is an exciting subject to read about because I absolutely stand for integration of other subjects into art education. I think it validates our subject matter and really broadens the horizons of students who have different modes and methods of learning that others.  I agree with Mr. D’Amico when he said “he did not mind teaching art in correlation with other subjects as long as it was not placed in a subordinate role…” (31).

I loved reading that 85 percent of fifth graders in Brewer’s intrinsic art experiment practiced art at home. Even with practicing art at home, he found that art instruction played a key role in their drawing techniques and aesthetic preferences (33). I also enjoyed reading that linkages between learning in the arts and learning in other subjects are, “perhaps strongest and instrumental instruction most justifiable when an art program exists in its own right, when there is a specific need for instrumental outcomes, and when there is a conscientious effort to facilitate transfer” (33).

 “Studies from the National Arts Education Research Center (1991) were considered as early indications of success in defining how the arts contribute to learning across the curriculum in secondary schools” (34). I think this is a great quote that tells us that the arts have some positive effects on education, but aren’t being fully considered or truly proven. One of the things that frustrate me with art education is that we are always advocating, always working so hard to make sure that skeptics know why art is so important. Have we not proved that art can incorporate other subjects? Have we not shown that arts make children happier, more involved and excited about school? Although this doesn’t apply to absolutely every student in the whole world, arts bring something to the education system that many classes do not. We even bring in other subjects to our own, unlike some others. Art Education is an amazing all-encompassing subject that gives a real world analysis of when and why we will use this in real life… whether we are studying art, math, science or literature.

While reading the article, I didn’t find a lot of it to be ‘quote worthy’ or extremely new information to me, rather, I took the big picture of the article into consideration. I thought this article highlighted integration of other subject in the arts as a positive thing, something that will help us justify our subject. The big thing that I want to remember from this article is that no matter if art education is an amazing subject to integrate other curriculum, it is still art class, and my students are in the art room to create, learn and understand art in a more comprehensive manner than before. I also hope that by learning art fundamentals, they can make connections between their subjects on their own, without making it a mandatory part of my teaching, more like a happy by-product. 

Best Reading Reaction

While reading “Lemonade or Merlot?” by Harold Best, I found his writing to be very easy to read. He had many things to say, mostly about music, but also how those thoughts related to his view of multiculturalism in education. I enjoyed reading his first hand account of multiculturalism through music, and how music can be a metaphor for diversity and multiculturalism. All of the notes come together in a way that “no beat dominates. Rhythm and meter must answer to contribute integratively to final architecture” (6). Even the language he used seemed artistic. He had a way of writing that was very fluid and exceptional. I found the most meaning in the following quotes:

“Music brought me into an increasingly peaceable sense of unity among musics that analysis and practice in the academic world did not fully satisfy” (4). In this quote I think he really nails why art is important in schools, whether that is music, theater or the visual arts. Art is something that satisfies parts of our human condition that other academic disciplines cannot.

“…Hierarchies that are radically multicultural because they stretch all human minds without disdaining any one of them; they honor the inborn ability of every human being while granting to the wiser and more gifted a place of leadership and example; they understand that true service and humility are identical twins; and in teaching, they show that wisdom and authority shine more brightly that knowledge and power” (5).

The quote that most inspired me was this: “I’ve been talked into something. Yes, I have. But I have not been talked into everything. My teachers merely lit a few enduring candles and the music showed me the rest of the way” (6). This really made me think of my dream as an educator, and how I hope to light a few enduring candles in my student’s minds to keep them loving the arts.

In the article, “Multicultural Art Education” by Stuhr, I enjoyed the definition of the human relations approach to art education. Just like Best’s article, I found some quotes and theories that were the most important to me:

“Students learn to respect one another regardless of race, class, gender, or exceptionally the United States will eventually reach its goal of equality for all…” (173). In this quote, it really spoke to what art can do for children as well. Art is a human condition, at least that is what the philosopher Tolstoy referred to it as. Art is something that makes all humans equal and is a part of our human nature to create. In this way, it brings all types of people together for one common purpose. In thinking about lesson planning, this would be a great segway from art history into a community project.

Stuhr wrote a lot about how curriculum focuses on the western culture. I agree that a lot of the things I learned in high school and even in college is based on the western world, or more closely the United States. Whether it is integrating the overall idea of unity and multiculturalism or incorporating different specific cultures within my classroom, I would like to integrate much more information that students might not learn anywhere else.

Anderson and McRorie Reading Reaction

Aesthetics is an important study in art. As a critical fourth of DBAE, it enables art educators to teach reflection and theory. In the younger classrooms, aesthetics is a harder subject to address. However, grades 5-12 should be able to grasp the general and complex ideas that are studied in aesthetics. There are two important aspects are of aesthetics in art education “first, in directing student inquiry; and second…in framing curricular and programs” (6). By determining definition, meaning and values in art, students are studying aesthetics. This is a subject that is easily incorporated into the classroom, due to its close relation to art and thinking about art, but the difficult thing about aesthetics is formally introducing these ideas to the students.

I really enjoyed learning about the two types of aesthetics that teachers often use in their classroom. Although neither are the center for a well-rounded curriculum, they each provide great opportunities and possibilities for incorporating aesthetics in the classroom. Formalist values seem to be a bit more historically driven, due to it’s emphasis on how objects look, what materials are used and what techniques are used to render those skills. Contextualism seems more connected to contemporary art, and how art interacts with the public in ways that can be used for serving a purpose to communicate ideas. Art is both of these things, so incorporating both in a curriculum would be especially important.

Formalism strives on art for arts sake, purely to further the development of art, personal creation and creativity. I agree that “the best art shows originality” (9) but I also think that in order for students to be original, they need to know what was created before them. The Darwinism analogy really made the concept of formalism make sense. In order to have good art, the art that “survives and ‘reproduces’ or leads to the next stylistic change in art’s evolution is the most fit, strongest, and the most characteristically art from a formalist perspective” (9).

While formalism might add a lot of emphasis on the principles of design, Contextualism might be more based on narrative, communication, and other academic studies rather than the physical art itself. Conceptual art might be emphasized in this branch of art, due to its emphasis on art as a communicator. The idea of this type of aesthetics being theme based is very interesting to me, because it would make planning a unit, or curriculum much easier to base projects on themes of “human concerns”.

I love that the authors made sure to note that neither of these are strong enough to be the grounds for a comprehensive art program. Rather, they noted that a combination of the two is a better approach. Many teachers lean one way, or the other. I think I would lean more towards formalism, especially for younger classrooms, but would love to plan a unit solely on Contextualism in order to see the concepts that older students would develop.

Stankewictz Reading reaction

Holidays are extremely important in our western culture.  Multiple holidays are celebrated by multiple cultures for multiple reasons. How would an art teacher, principal or school board decide which holidays we are supposed to celebrate in schools and which we are not?  In the multicultural, postmodern world that we live in today, the topic is quite controversial. However, in the chapter four reading it didn’t seem to be such a controversy, instead, it was a celebrated, exciting way to integrate arts into the classroom. By bringing holidays and celebrations into the classroom curriculum, arts could easily be integrated into everyday school curriculum.
Was art only about decoration in these schools? While reading, I found that the schools described had a desire to ornament their environments. Whether or not the ornamentation created was true “art” or just “craft”, the lessons in art education were not pushing students to learn about anything more than the creation of art. Some lessons could possibly bring lessons of multiculturalism, art history and so on, but it didn’t seem like these things were truly a part of the reason for the creation of such art.
The quote that found me the most intriguing in the article stated, “By making art pleasurable, simple enough to be taught by a teacher without specialized art training, and practical for classes whose time was limited, holiday art epitomized school art” (75).  This worried me because there was no appreciation for art as a subject, or something that needed to be taught correctly or thoroughly. Art, in this sense is just something that can be created in fifteen minutes and thrown up on the wall to decorate the classroom.
There is no reason for a specific art educator when a general education teacher could just make Easter flowers, jack-o-lanterns or holly leaves in each season. As soon as the schools needed to be beautified in order to produce a classroom where children would “naturally exhibit order and virtue”, it was then that art educators could be used adequately. Educated artists and art teachers were given the leadership roles in which they could make the environment, community and school more beautiful. Within the context of the beautification campaigns, art teachers became the art directors, set designers, costume designers and leaders of all things creative. Even though these things are great, I never read anything about an art teacher truly teaching the important things that art is comprised of. Things like color, line, texture, materials, techniques and so on were not important in this reading. Art educators were just the extra hands on deck in a classroom that just needed to be prettier.
This article took place in a modernist setting, so I understand that the historical context was not faced with issues of multiculturalism and other postmodernist values. I do know that art education in some places is still viewed as a way to simply make the world a more beautiful place. Art does make the world beautiful, but it can also help students to explore new ideas, learn about history, think critically and solve problems.

Greer Reading Reaction

In the article by Greer, his approach to art education, discipline based art education, was explained in its entirety. This article was very interesting because I am also a supporter of discipline based art education, and was anxious to learn more about if from the man who created it. Throughout the essay he lists seven of the major factors of DBAE that differentiate itself from other approaches to art education:
1. Studying art by utilizing its four major areas of aesthetics, studio art, art history and art criticism
2. The presentation of art education within the larger context of aesthetic education.
3. Developing abilities to make expressive forms, to attend to works of art in recognized and shared ways and to place them in their historical and cultural contexts.
4. Organization of curriculum in the same way as other academic subjects.
5. The comprehensive view of art as organized in sequencing across all areas of art, rather than isolated components.
6. Attention to systematic instruction.
7. Time requirements and attention to outcomes.

By reading about these seven parameters of DBAE that unfolded during the essay, I was able to conclude that this discipline-based approach could be the future of art education for a longer time than we might think. In class, we have described DBAE as a “trend” in art education. It could just be a popular trend that has come and will eventually go. The reason I think it will stick, especially after reading the essay by Greer, is that DBAE legitimizes art as a subject in schools due to it's organization and presentation of information.  Greer writes, “there is a growing acceptance of discipline-based art education by administrators, school board members, and parents in a way that builds a solid foundation for art in the elementary curriculum” (217).  This growing acceptance is moving into secondary schools as well. If administrators and school boards understand that art is a necessary subject to personal and educational growth, they might be more willing to accept art as a similar discipline to math, science or language arts. Although we are far from that point today, in theory, DBAE combined with innovative teachers could make it happen.
DBAE allows art to be considered as a discipline in general education, equal to other areas of study. He defines an art class as a place of learning and understanding. It is a place where students learn about the world around them, how to create expressive forms like adults do, and what those expressive forms mean. By utilizing a discipline-based curriculum, art teachers are not only teaching art making processes, they are teaching the meaning of art, symbolism, art history and art criticisms within the classroom. Art is being taught in a way that allows students to learn things beginning with simple ideas moving onto complex systems. This educational system builds on previous knowledge while teaching new ideas, and making connections between the classroom and the real world. (Which is more than can be said for other areas of study)
            This article was extremely beneficial to read as a future art teacher because it gave me an idea of the impact that I can have on the future of both students and the arts. By using Greer’s ideas to build upon, I think it is possible that future teachers can give “art” a capital “A” again. Although there are many steps to take, and probably a few more mountains to climb, before Greer’s true idea of art becoming a serious discipline in schools will become a reality, I do think that he got the ball rolling with his version of art education.

Bumgartner Gee Reading Reaction

In the article titled, “Valuing Arts on Their Own Terms?”, I enjoyed the voice of the author and style of presentation by Gee. She made it easy to picture her speaking to the reader as an audience in a public setting. With that said, the things that Gee had to say was very interesting.

In Gee’s opinion, art is valued on one’s own terms, in their own point of view and how it affects oneself, first and foremost. She also notes that art has become undervalued over time. Art has become art and design has become Design.  The two are totally different from one another in a sense that design is surrounded by facts like math and science in areas of design like architecture, product and graphic design. As art educators, we are required to constantly defend and advocate for our professions. Math and science need to advocates, especially after the launch of Sputnik that literally launched the drive for future scientists and mathematicians.

When Gee wrote about the purpose of schooling, she noted, “…the single purpose of schools it ‘to remove ignorance’” (3). Isn’t it true then that students shouldn’t be ignorant about art history? Where else can art history truly be taught to students where they would truly enjoy it? Gee wrote about how art is one of the only subjects that students truly enjoy attending. Why not combine learning art history and creating an educated, expressive art form while learning? There is a large message that art doesn’t only engage students more than a science or math class (or engage most students) it actually sooths us, helps us get in touch with and express our inner feelings, which results in higher self esteem and overall well-being. The purpose of education can be argued to create productive citizens of society, but why wouldn’t we want those productive citizens to be happy, caring, and confident individuals?

Some of the remarks by Gee were interesting, some offending, and others quite curious. Overall I found her to be quite the arts advocate who played the agonist, antagonist, and sometimes, the devils advocate regarding the value of art. Over time, art has been diminishing in value, becoming visual culture and not fine art.  Not only did she analyze art but she also analyzed teaching art. Remembering our goals as teachers to give a basic overview of everything, not a bias, narrow outlook on our subjects is always something we should keep in mind. Using reflective practices is a way that we can do this as art educators. The arts in public schools is something that should be equally important as core subjects, and should provide an expanding view on the world as a whole.

Whether or not Gee’s sarcastic remarks about art, design, or education were remotely true, this article was both entertaining and insightful.

Herman and Effland Reading Reaction

Visual Culture
In the article by Effland, I thought that he was insulting fine art, writing about how art education should lessen the traditional ties on painting, drawing and so on. Instead, art education should focus on visual culture. That made me think, “What is visual culture?” I wasn’t exactly sure what visual culture was referring to until I read that visual culture relates to various form of popular culture, folk traditions, industrial, interior and graphic design. Things like packaging, photography, illustration and so on is all a part of visual culture. By understanding my opinion on the arts, and that all of these things are included in the arts, it made me realize that art education does need to integrate visual culture as much as it does the fine arts. With new technology and advancements in the world around us, art is everywhere, and educated designers are the people who are creating our visual world. My opinion is that visual culture should be taught in the art education classroom, but it needs to be based on the fine arts like drawing, painting, and art history. These basics provide a solid foundation to what art is, and what we can push art to be in the modern day.

In Herrmann’s article, I also felt a negative undertone. This time it was based towards teachers hindering students, and doing so through lesson planning. It’s like she was saying that teachers are forcing the students to think a certain way, rather than giving them a chance to explore everything they can in each lesson plan. I think that the example of the narrative created by cutting out photocopied images was a fun lesson plan that made the children analyze the problem at hand. The students had to find an appealing way to create a narrative using only certain materials. Herrmann said that it confined the student’s choices, which was the teacher’s way of limiting the student.  I agree that art is changing. I just think that art education is changing with it, and is not stifling the students like Herrmann said teachers do today. I want to prove Herrmann wrong and show her that all art teachers are not just teaching the way we were taught, or that we are controlling the way students think, not allowing them to develop their own ideas. 

Eisner, Winner and Hetland Reading Reaction

Myths in Art Education & Art for our Sake

In Eisner’s article depicting seven myths in art education, I found two of them to be specifically interesting. I loved his argument for the myth, “…what’s important in art education in process not product,” (9). In this argument, he noted how art is as much about the process as it is about the product. Without either one, neither would exist. A product is created through a process, and one must think of and actively engage in a process to create a product. It was very mindful of Eisner to note that neither the product nor the process is more important. It is merely a fact that they cannot be compared to one another in terms of value.
As an undergraduate student, like those that he mentioned in the article, I do believe in a wide variety of materials, yet I still agree with the seventh myth of, “…’the best curriculum in art for primary school children in one that provides the widest variety of materials with which they can work’,” (13).  To me, the key to this argument is “primary school”. I believe that secondary school art students should have a wide range of media available to them, but should always go back to the basics with drawing. Young children (even before schooling) are drawing with crayons on paper. Art educators should start where children are comfortable, enhance those skills within the comfort zone of each child and finally push them outside of that comfort to see what else they can do.
I really enjoyed the myths article. I thought that all seven myths were very interesting, and very important ideas that art educators should keep in mind.
In the article written by Winner and Hetland, I was surprised to read that the arts have never been proven to increase test scores the way it is so widely argued. I don’t know how one could measure the outcomes of the theory, but nevertheless, it hasn’t been proven. I love how the authors pointed out that although art teachers teach skills strictly relating to art creation techniques, the curriculum also incorporates things like visual-spatial abilities, reflection, self-criticism and the willingness to experiment and learn from mistakes. Many other classrooms cannot incorporate all of these things the way the art room does.  In relation to the myths article, art education embraces imagination, something that gives children their innocence and purity. Imagination manifests itself over time into a way to perceive the spaces around us in a more accurate, three-dimensional way. Imagination gives engineers and doctors the ability to see what they will be doing before they do it. By fostering the ability to perceive in one’s mind at an early age, art education is really a career training system, starting in elementary school!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Presenters about the Union


Last week our class listened to two presenters: Mr. P and Mr. C. Both were members of unions, and were in our class to present us more information about Unions, what they do, and how WI Unions have undergone drastic changes in the past year.


Both presenters were very energetic, excited and influential as teachers. Both have a history in education and have worked in a variety of school settings. I really enjoyed that they used a smart board presentation and really focused on getting the class involved and interacting. I will be honest, before this presentation, I didn't know much about unions at all. 

I googled about unions and found this:

"A union is an organized group of workers who come together to make decisions about the conditions of their work. Through union membership, workers can impact wages, work hours, benefits, workplace health and safety, and other work-related issues. Under U.S. law, workers of all ages have the right to join a union. Having support from the union to ensure fair treatment in the workplace is one of the key reasons people join."

I really enjoyed learning about tenure, hire/fire techniques, tenure, merit pay, dues, political party affiliation, legal representation and other important topics within unions. I left the presentation with a better understanding of a union, but I am still looking up more information about what unions do, how they work, and how Walker has changed the effects that unions have in education. One day, I may be joining a teachers' union... unless they become even more obsolete than they are right now. One thing I am ready to do before I become more established in my career is to understand how the political side of my job will affect some big parts of my life as an educator!

How does Mr. R incorporate other cultures into class?

Today I asked Mr. R how he incorporated multiculturalism into his class. He began by telling me that each lesson has a cultural component integrated into the history and research section of the sketchbook assignments. For example, the 3D coil pot weaving project relates to Native American weaving techniques. All of his projects have the potential to be integrated into a multicultural curriculum. He also likes to think of his students from other cultures as well. Creating a self portrait or integrating a Western European culture project would also be considered a multicultural lesson for many of his students. The high school has many exchange students and students visiting from abroad. It is a great thing for them to experience the American culture as well. His answer was fairly short, but to the point. He integrates multiculturalism into every lesson that he can but he has never tackled an all encompassing "multiculturalism" lesson like our class did a few weeks ago. Because there are many language courses, and a specific "Multiculturalism" class offered at the high school, he knows that the students are getting similar information in other classes as well. Although he believes in cross-curricular development, he also thinks that art class is for creation of any sort of art, not just art from foreign cultures.

Day 13 (2.25 hours)

Today was my last Friday working with the high school students. It was another day of work time, although there were many more disciplinary problems. I was able to walk around with the 6th hour 3D class alone while Mr. R took inventory. He had me take attendance and do what he would most of the hour. It was nice to be given a little freedom, but I think that some students saw that he wasn't walking around and proceeded to go on twitter, facebook and other social networking sites instead of brainstorming for their projects. I was able to tell them to exit those programs, and I think I handled it pretty well. I quietly walked behind the student on twitter and whispered to her, "You better exit out of that site." I then asked her what else she was working on and luckily, she had some pretty nice ideas. The rest of the hour, the whole table continued to snicker and giggle, so of course, I knew they were on another site. That time, I told them that I can take their computers from them, or sit with them the rest of the hour. They chose to exit off of the sites as I stood around and asked them about their ideas for the next project. I didn't know what sort of disciplinary action to take, so I just babysat! I'm hoping that was a good option, although I would never do it in my own classroom. It was an interesting test that although I wasn't prepared for, I handled it on my feet and felt like it wasn't the worst way to handle it.

The seventh hour class was finishing their self portraits. Only two or three students turned in the final project today, the official due date. I was surprised that the other students were so far behind. Even the students that turned it in were not truly finished in my eyes. I wish that Mr. R would think about pushing back the due date in order to get better work from the students, but his classes aren't set up the best way to allow for that. Too many students take advantage of his system already to have them take advantage of an extension. The students in seventh hour were also very loud, other students were drawing on a girl's work (because she asked them to, although she didn't admit it) and raised a discussion of cheating. I didn't know what to do when I saw it, but Mr. R caught it right away as well. He said that when another student works on a piece of art, that it is just like another student working on a test for someone. I agree with this, but I didn't know how to handle it, or his thoughts on it either!

 The resource hour was also another disciplinary hassle. One student used both hands to show a offensive gesture to a friend across the room. I was helping a student while this happened, when Mr. R just happened to walk into the room. Although he held nothing against me, he asked if I was aware of it. I didn't know that the specific actions had taken place, but it was much too loud in the room. I was happy that Mr. R walked in when he did, but I also think if I would have had one more minute after helping a student, I could have quieted them down as well. I learned a lot today, which was almost stressful!

Day 11 and 12 (5 hours) Observed Mr. R and Mrs. D, and Met Mr. Russel!


On Wednesday, I got another chance to present my mini lesson plan to the other Beginning 2D class. This class meets during 4th hour, which I had never worked with before. I had met most of the students during resource hours at the end of the day (from 2:30 pm to 3:05) but I hadn't met officially with their class during class time. A local artist, John Russel, was visiting the high school to do a mural project, so we had to move from the 2D room into the 3D room to utilize the smart board. I had never done a power point presentation with a smart board before, so clicking the spots on the board in order to make the lesson move along was a new experience! Although I have worked with smart board technology before, this felt totally different, but very easy.

My presentation went pretty well. Once again, I followed the same power point and examples that I gave to the other class. Because I didn't know the students, it made it feel a little less personal because I couldn't as easily call on students or even think of examples within their own work. One student was even falling asleep during my presentation! I even called on him to wake him up.... it sure was interesting!

While going over the presentation with Mr. R, he had some great things to say. He really liked that I was able to incorporate it into the current lesson so well. He wished I would get to know names better so I could make it a better experience for the students. I also asked questions to the students during my presentation and because they were all so quiet, I allowed them not to answer, and kept moving on. He advised that I never do this. He said "They expect you to be talking the whole time. When you pause, it is an attention getter. They will start to pay attention and feel the tension in the room as you wait for them to answer." This was great feedback, and I really appreciated the little pieces of advice. I even noticed that I went through the power point a lot faster, and didn't go into everything as thoroughly. I definitely wish I would have taken more time in this second presentation, but it still went fairly well.

This is the mock picture of a mural that the students were working on with Mr. Ruseel
After this class, they continued to work on their projects, and I got to know Mr. Russel a lot better. He was a great person to work with and really had a neat story to tell. His wife was actually from my hometown! What a small world. Mr. Russel was a true gentleman who grew to love the arts after taking photos for the Navy in WWII and then attending UW Madison to pursue a degree in the arts. He was an educator for awhile, but found his love for journalism. The rest of his life was devoted to journalism and creating illustrations for each article he publishes. He was an amazing man to work with, and I enjoyed seeing a lot of his work!

During Mr. R's prep session, I spent an hour with Mrs. D, an agricultural education teacher. She teaches vet science, animal science, horticulture and internship (a sort of work-study program for seniors to experience the work force). I really enjoyed learning about her class. It was a great experience to see how another classroom works. Mrs. D reminds me a lot of the type of teacher I want to be. She has a great relationship with her students, is able to talk and laugh with them, while still remaining very respected and looked up to. She told me "Sometimes they are too comfortable with me and seem to think that I am only their friend, when really they should respect me because I am their teacher." I really thought of this as a piece of advice to always remember that I can be a great educator and role model without being too close and personal with my students. I always want to have the best relationship possible with the children I teach, but I want to remain professional as well.

Mr. R was nice enough to show me around the greenhouse and animal room that Mrs. D utilizes for her classes! She has snakes, rodents, a turtle and even a pot belly pig! It was very fun to see the courtyard that houses the pig, Rosie, and to see the plants that Mr. R has a hand in growing as well. I could see today that his relationship with other teachers is very good, and I really respect that!

Sixth and seventh hour continued to work on their projects in process today, all of the students were well behaved and on task, which doesn't happen as often as one would think! I had a wonderful day at the high school, and came home very motivated to get back to the classroom.

How Does Mr. R prepare to be observed by his Principal?

When I asked Mr. R how he prepares to be observed by his principal, he made sure to note that sometimes, he doesn't get formally observed. Due to the school switching over from a block schedule to a seven hour day this year, a lot of logistics in planning and scheduling have changed. I was very interested to hear the troubles that they are having with this system, compared to past years. Nevertheless, Mr. R noted that he doesn't really prepare for getting observed at all. At this point in his career, he knows that what he does works. He is a tenured teacher with a lot of experience under his belt. He has the confidence to know that no matter his review, he is a great teacher. He advised that in the early years of my career, I should cover all of my bases and make sure to prepare for the observations done by the administration. I definitely agree with him. I loved hearing about how comfortable he was with his position, but at the same time, I worried that he was almost too confident in himself. He has made a great name for himself in the school and has a lot of respect from his peers, which is well deserved.

I really enjoyed hearing about the system they use to evaluate teachers. There are seven criteria (although Mr. R didn't remember all of the criteria) most of them encompassed the basics of DBAE as well as classroom management, organization and so on. He was not shy to tell me that he doesn't care about these requirements, and doesn't even care if he doesn't match them. I, on the other hand, feel as though I would be very concerned with these criteria while I am teaching in my first year. Again, he noted that I would want to be very aware of these things, but with experience comes a sense of freedom as well.

This conversation was very nice to have with Mr. R, but I did feel like the advice he was giving me was opposite of what he does. Either way, his words of wisdom did resonate with me, and I will definitely be making sure to keep up on my curriculum, lesson planning, classroom management, environment and DBAE principles!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Day 10 Gave A Presentation! (3.25 hours)



On the 16th of April, I was able to watch Mr. R present a new project to the students. Because he doesn't have a specific start date to any project, he likes to wait until half of the class is ready for the introduction, although some are already working on the new sketchbook assignments and some are still on the previous project. It is very hectic in the classroom most days due to this, but as soon as the whole class is gathered around Mr. R to go over the new lesson, it all seems to work very well again.

In 1st hour, I was writing notes on the smart board with the pen and converting it to text. Mr. R uses the smart board to take notes and involve students. Sometimes the students will do what I was doing today. The vocabulary and associated words for the new sculpture project is:

Armature - skeleton
Found object
Paris craft - plaster coated fibers
Poured Plaster - powder plaster mixed into a liquid in order to cast shapes
Finished surfaces - can be white or painted but must be pristine

In the 6th hour class, the beginning 3D students were introduced to the soapstone project. This is called "sculpture" project in the class by Mr. R, but is really a carving project with soapstone. He talked about the different characteristics of the soapstone as well as how to select the correct stone for their subject. He had the tables of students grab a box of stones and brainstorm the shapes and things that they saw in the stone (like Michelangelo did!). They were told to look at the stones like they used to look at the clouds in the sky as a child. The students found some very interesting shapes, and gained some new ideas for the sculptures instead of using the predetermined ideas they had already done in their sketchbooks. I am excited to see them work on this project more in class! The lesson took the whole class period, but was very fun to talk to each student about their new ideas.

7th hour 2D was a day for me to present my lesson! I loved presenting my power point about finishing techniques. I showed them some of my own work and gave them some ideas as far as backgrounds, textures and how to make the drawing look finished. I really thought that the presentation went well, and I had the students answering questions and reading the rubric with me! It was great and I really felt awesome about it. I wish I was able to have the projector in a different area, because the students were sitting all around me, so I felt like I was doing circles! After my presentation, the students said that the information I gave them was very helpful, especially about value and texture. One student even said "You're doing a good job!", which always makes you feel great.


Day 9 (2.25 hours)

Today, I was able to walk around the high school during Mr. R's prep hour. I hadn't gotten the chance to explore the environment, how the building works, or how other teachers arrange their environments. When I am a teacher, I know that I will be working with many other teachers, no matter if they are art educators, science teachers and so on. I am from a very small town, so I loved seeing this larger school and how many resources the students have! The science section of the building really amazed me as I walked by lab after lab. We had five science classrooms between the middle and high school in my small building, so to see that there were over six classrooms designated solely to science was awesome. Mr. R has two classrooms to work from for art class (one geared toward 2D and one geared toward 3D) which is still amazing to me as well.

After I walked through the building and got to see all of the two floors, I was able to spend the next two hours with the beginning 2D and 3D students. The 3D students were continuing their coil pot projects, and were much further along than the last time I saw them! It was great to see how their sketches were coming alive, or how they had evolved the design further. Some students went for the easy route and simplified the project as they were working on it, which was  little disappointing to see them give up on themselves in a sense.

The 2D students had started their self-portrait project, which is the class and lesson that I will be presenting to on my own. I was very excited to get into the classroom to see where the students were in their progress, and things they needed me to help them with when I present my lesson plan. Because Mr. R didn't want me to integrate a new lesson, I will be reminding them some of the finishing techniques and rubric requirements for this project. It should work out where I present them a few tips and tricks as well as review the requirements so they turn in the best project they can!

It was another successful day at the classroom!

Day 7 and 8 (2hours)

The students in first hour advanced 3D were continuing to work on their batik projects. Most of the students are now finished with the late projects that they were working on, so everyone is focusing on the current lesson plan, which is great! The students who have been on task all year are finishing up the batiks and using irons to melt off the wax. They do this by using newspaper and old irons that have been donated to the art department. Mr. R says that it is hard to buy irons because he knows they will be ruined after one use (taking wax off can be messy and some students don't stay on the paper!) He was happy to receive numerous irons from the past and has plenty on hand for his students. I love how art teachers are always bombarded with people who ask if the art department needs anything! I can see myself becoming a hoarder of donated supplies when this happens to me in the future!

I am learning each day, especially as I work with this class more and more, that they are starting to trust my judgement and enjoy what I have to say about their work. They have been very courteous and respectful of me, even some of the "trouble making" students. It is a great feeling to know that I can be someone they want to do well for, as well as someone to ask for advice. I love finding out that I really am in the right profession!

What did I learn from the diversity lesson? (Extra Credit Post!)

After spending a lot of time reflecting on the multicultural lesson plans that we worked on and presented in class, I have a lot of amazing things that I learned from it. There are so many that I need to list them!

1. Integrating an all encompassing "multicultural" lesson is even more important than learning about separate cultures in specific projects
2. Multicultural lesson plans are also ways to reach topics of unity, hope and awareness. Bullying and other social issues in schools and life can be tackled.
3. Many things other than heritage, race and background an be multicultural. Things like religion, sexuality, and language, social issues and economic status can be incorporated as well.
4. Collaboration was a huge concept in this project for many teachers in our class. I really like the idea of unity and working together that can be emphasized with a concept like this!


We had a wonderful time in class, and really learned a lot from each other not only about multicultural lesson planning but also about teaching techniques, ways to use the smart board, and how to engage the class in different ways with different age groups. It was a very productive and fun project to work on!


Multiculturalism Microteaching

A few weeks back, our class had our second micro-teaching seminar. We all broke up into groups and presented a smart board activity and an original lesson plan based on multiculturalism as a whole. My lesson plan had to do with creating a folk art quilt, as a collaborative project. Each student would look up their heritage and ancestry, pick two or more that they wished to further investigate, and create a paper quilt block with colored pencil. The students would base their designs from the folk art traditions of their cultures. Folk Art is a great way to introduce principles and elements of design as well as discussions about aesthetics and Art vs. Craft. Folk art is the art that is indigenous to a group of people in a specific location. For example, I worked with Folk Art patterns made from my Polish and German backgrounds. Folk Art is found on personal adornment, home decor, furniture design and other decorative and functional pieces in everyday life. Folk Art isn't traditionally regarded as "high art" so it is a fun way to get the students thinking about what art is to them! By creating a quilt with the squares from all of the students, it sends a positive message that we are all in the world together, no matter our backgrounds. There were some awesome projects in my class as well, and I invite you to watch this amazing video one of my classmates made! It's spectacular!

Untitled from Jonathan Wheeler on Vimeo.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Day 5 and 6 (2 hours)

This week, the Advanced 3D morning class was still working with their batiks. It was great asking all of the students how they are turning out compared to how they planned it. Some students didn't plan correctly and had to change their design, but others are taking it slowly to make sure to master the tedious process. One student is using only one color, pink, but is using a dye bath for various amounts of time to get a difference in color intensity. I am so excited to see her project when it is finished because she has been taking the most time to use the wax over the new intensity of pink in order to create shading. She has her project planned out in almost a "paint by numbers" fashion. It's so interesting to see her approach compared to a few shirts that are totally covered with wax, or being painted on without any wax used. I am so excited to see all of them in their final stages.

At this point, a few students are totally finished while a few haven't even started. I can tell that Mr. R gets extremely frustrated with the students who are very far behind, but he hasn't said a word to those students in two weeks.... I'm definitely observing Mr. R as much as I am trying to interact and understand the thinking behind all of the students. I have been taking more time with them than he has, so I hope that I can motivate them enough to finish this project on time!

How Does Mr. R Assess Student Artwork?

After the first two weeks of observations, I asked Mr. R, "How do you assess your student's work?"

Although he did not give me a straight answer, I did conclude this:

Mr. R uses rubrics to grade his work. He gives the rubrics out at the beginning of the semester in a packet. It is the student's responsibility to keep these rubrics and refer to them as he is introducing the assignment and while they are working on it. If they ever misplace these things, they can be found on the school website and printed out for free at school. Although many students forget about this, Mr. R doesn't remind them of it, he expects it. He doesn't seem to have too many problems, although he said he has had a few in the past.

While letting me know about assessment, he let me know that curriculum mapping is required, but that he is behind in his maps due to lack of staff in the art department. Although it seemed like he held a little resentment, he was letting me know about all of the ways in which the art department works. He noted how the curriculum maps are constantly revised and renewed, and sometimes changed altogether. This year, the school switched from a block schedule to a seven hour day schedule, which really threw him off balance. It has been a test for him, but he seems to be going with the schedule as easily as possible and being as flexible with it as possible. He, just like the students, are still getting used to it!

I was most concerned with the rubrics and what he notes as "Advanced", "Proficient", "Basic", or "Minimal". These four categories have descriptions that give the requirements in order to gain those point ranges. All of his projects are worth 25 points.

Advanced = 25 - 23 points
Proficient = 22- 20 points
Basic = 19 - 18 points
Minimal = 17 - 15 points

He tries to match his instruction to his rubrics each time he introduces a project, and if he forgets to cover something, he either expects questions, or he will interrupt the class while they are working to remind them of this requirement.

High School Practicum: Day 3 and 4 (2 hours)

In order to spend more time in the classroom with Mr. R, I began attending his first hour classes on Mondays and Thursdays. In this hour, his advanced 3D students are working on a batik process. I had a wonderful time with this class this week and have enjoyed getting to know each student a little better. In order for a student to take the advanced course, they must complete the beginning 3D course. I was interested to see that the curriculum went right from beginning to advanced, instead of including an intermediate level course as well.

The students were just beginning the batik process, and were either completing sketchbook assignments prior to working on their batiks, or finishing the last assignment. In these two hours, I noticed how many different paces the students are at. Even more than the Friday afternoon hours, this 3D class has every student at a different pace and level of skill.  It was a great first day with the class, I got to know a few names and faces and enjoyed talking to these students about what they were doing for their projects.

The batiks were to be done on T-shirts or sheets of fabric (in order to make a wall hanging). I liked the idea of incorporating 2D and 3D  by thinking two dimensionally and applying it to a three dimensional concept. My favorite part of these two days was reminding the students with T-shirts how they can engage the viewer by having a part of their  design wrap around the shirt in order to make them want to see the front or the back from a staionary view. They enjoyed hearing this concept and I heard a lot of, "I hadn't ever thought of that"'s. Although it was only one hour, I enjoyed this 3D class and look forward to working with them more throughout the semester.

Some things that I asked the students during these days was "What do you draw in your free time?" I got a lot of different answers and loved hearing the interests of the students. I let them know that they can incorporate those ideas into their artwork at school, and many of them thought that was a weird statement. We talked a lot about liking what you do and how it is valuable to be interested in your work in order to make it fun and enjoyable. Although Mr. R doesn't preach this in his classroom, I enjoyed asking the students (as a student myself) about what they enjoy and how I could incorporate those into my own classroom someday.

High School Practicum: Day 2 (2.25 hours)

After spring break, I was anxious to get back into the classroom to get my practicum experience moving along. After speaking with Mr. R about how he assesses student artwork he gave me a task for the day. I was to go around and ask the students how they are assessed on their artwork to see the similarities and differences between Mr. R's opinion of assessment and their opinion of how he analyzes work. I was excited to take the challenge and actually very surprised by the responses I got!

The 3D students were working on a coil pot project in the fibers unit. They were creating these pots out of rope and yarn. By weaving, wrapping and almost sewing the ropes in a coil fashion, they were creating different vessels. I have never seen this project before, so it was exciting to hear about how they learned how to do it! I asked the students all of the requirements that they were given. After visiting the whole class, this is what I concluded:

-the pot must be a vessel/vase of some form
-the bottom weaved section is not being graded, instead it is used as "practice"
- 6 - 8inches height requirement
- must have a "belly" and "neck" to the vessel
- incorporates 3 colors of yarn
- tightly coiled pot with no holes or weaknesses
- no rope showing, fully covered in yarn
- must incorporate a pattern other than stripes of color

I enjoyed asking the students if they thought this was art or craft (I am so interested in that!) and almost all of them said "craft" instantly. One girl pointed out a nearly finished pot that was in the class and said how that was art because the girl was so talented. I made sure to note to them that craft can easily become art if you put thought and knowledge into your process, just like they noted about their classmate.

The 2D class was working on woodcuts. Surprisingly I have never done a woodcut, and thought that i was a great project for the students to be introduced to. I also enjoyed asking them the requirements of their project and got some great answers back as well. The 2D class seems a lot quieter than the 3D class and they seem to be more understanding of rules, policies and expectations to stay on task while in class. Just like 3D, the students are at different parts of their projects, but there aren't many students who are so vastly different from one another. In the 3D classes, there is always two or more students catching up from the last project or moving onto the next.

The woodcuts require:

-line
-at least three different textures
-craft (neatness and technique)
- must create 3 prints from the woodcut
- pattern

The students seemed to understand what each requirement stood for and they even showed me how to do some of the techniques. I enjoyed helping a few students with the ways to hold the carving tools as well as how to arrange their designs with or against the grain of the wood. I haven't done many of the projects that the students work on, so I find that I am learning with the students as well as teaching them.