Let's start with middle school.
I have finally seen all of my students and everyone has started on the first "project" - building sketchbooks. The start of school is always so disjointed - shortened class periods, assemblies and student schedule changes make it hard to get all of the classes started and on the same page. Add the day one / day two set up for 7th graders and it is easy to have one class way ahead (or way behind) the rest.
For the past 3 or 4 years I have started with the construction of a sketchbook in all grade levels. The 7th graders build a simple 3-hole bound "book" using 11X17 paper and a standard 2-pocket folder. The either graders use a more advanced binding technique with multiple signatures, tapes and hard covers. Both "books" are fairly easy to construct and hold up to the abuse of middle school students relatively well. I use sketchbooks with my students in two different ways depending on the grade level. For 7th graders, the sketchbook is just that - a place to sketch or take notes during class and plan projects. The 8th graders also use the sketchbook for drawing assignments which are graded monthly. I made a new list of sketch prompts this year and I am looking forward to seeing what the students create.
During the construction of the 8th grade sketchbooks I was really pleased with the more advanced students willingness to help students who had differing ability levels. One student in particular took on the role of mentor to a classmate and really helped that child to be successful in the construction process. I don't often utilize the students in class who finish early as assistants but I feel that this group of 8th graders is going to change that. They are very kind and patient and I believe the entire class will benefit from a more collaborative learning environment.
I set a goal early in the week to get on top of the paperwork situation and for the most part have achieved that goal. I have even completed the Student Growth Objective paperwork and submitted for approval - over a month EARLY! I'm still not sure how this is all going to work out, but I am definitely curious to see the results. My supervisor and building principal are both pleased with what I wrote and even asked to share my plan with some of the art teachers who are having issues with the concept.
Also in the paperwork category, I wrote up and distributed my QR code permission slips. I'm pleased with the letter to parents and my principal is on board with the idea but I don't think I sold it as well as I could have to the kids. So far, of the 24 slips I distributed, I got back 3. This could be because kids don't take things home and don't turn things back in without being poked about it repeatedly...or they are not interested and I didn't sell it right. I think I will take the class on a tour on Monday or Tuesday and discuss the QR codes that are near the public art projects in the building. That way, they can experience the "magic" (oh brother...) of these little black and white patterns first hand and get excited.
Lastly, the college class... I cannot believe that I filled 4 hours. 4 hours without art making. That is just mind boggling. What is even more mind boggling is that the students were engaged for that whole time. What a difference - teaching a course that is filler to teaching a course that relates to your chosen profession... I could get used to this.
Middle School Art Educator. Adjunct Art Education Professor. Non-Profit Arts Organization Board Member. Artist. Arts Advocate. Dog-Mom. CrossFit Enthusiast.
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