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Pres

Those who can, do, those who can't teach

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maorili    0

*******************

Another time, guidance had my class, and that taught by the other teacher, in the same room, at the same time. She thought I had started teaching the class in the new room I moved into. The room was good for drawing and such, but it was a Ceramics class, and Ceramics had always been taught in the other room, where the kiln was, the wheels, extruder, glaze storage, project storage racks, you know everything I'd need. I told her, that I had never said, that I was teaching that class anywhere else. She said, she couldn't see why I couldn't teach it in the new room. I told her, it was because I'd have no space, and she disagreed. So, it wasn't just that she made an error, but that she was telling me that she knew better, what would work for teaching my class. I was not amused. I'm fairly certain, to this day, the scheduling "error" was not a mistake, and that the shared room conflict was intentional.

****************************

 

Interesting! This is what happened to me, because of a creation of a new school inside the old school. (in Germany, so I don't explain the details).

But for more than half a year, "suddenly" three crafts courses had to share two working rooms, and I was forced to take another room, normally a storage room (no windows..no good air circulation...!) because the other ones had to use the woodworking tools available in the normal rooms.

Of course, no washing facilities in our room.. so what about clay working without water?? Kiln is in an extra room, working tools in another room..

 

At the moment, I'm just waiting for this rest of schoolyear to end, for the situation now (I joined in one of the other working rooms with my clay class) is unbearable.. loud, noisy, crowded...

 

To avoid this I go outside with my students, last thursday doing barrel firing in my yard (while a thunderstorm was passing by *smile*), next thursday go to icecream shop to test our new icecream cups.

 

Infact, it is only an afternoon art class, but under these circumstances, how can you teach anything?

 

*****************************

Well, the still life wasn't their cup of tea, so they rushed through it. Later on, when we do projects, where we select the subject matter, they had ideas, but the shading suffered,

*************************

 

I know about these problems with trying to teach new methods to pupils, but they are not interested in the project, so they miss the new technique and can't use it for the next project, where it is necessary.

 

Because clay work is mostly about "producing" something, some of them tell me they have "enough stuff at home", they don't want to create new things.

But they are not willing to do the "production" for school exhibition or wall decoration either.. so it is only an excuse for not doing anything.

 

Blame the system, the teacher or the children? I don't know, but I stop doing these courses this summer.

 

It'll be my hobby again, maybe working sometimes with interested adults or selling some pieces on ebay, etsy, dawanda etc.

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Benzine    610

*******************

Another time, guidance had my class, and that taught by the other teacher, in the same room, at the same time. She thought I had started teaching the class in the new room I moved into. The room was good for drawing and such, but it was a Ceramics class, and Ceramics had always been taught in the other room, where the kiln was, the wheels, extruder, glaze storage, project storage racks, you know everything I'd need. I told her, that I had never said, that I was teaching that class anywhere else. She said, she couldn't see why I couldn't teach it in the new room. I told her, it was because I'd have no space, and she disagreed. So, it wasn't just that she made an error, but that she was telling me that she knew better, what would work for teaching my class. I was not amused. I'm fairly certain, to this day, the scheduling "error" was not a mistake, and that the shared room conflict was intentional.

****************************

 

Interesting! This is what happened to me, because of a creation of a new school inside the old school. (in Germany, so I don't explain the details).

But for more than half a year, "suddenly" three crafts courses had to share two working rooms, and I was forced to take another room, normally a storage room (no windows..no good air circulation...!) because the other ones had to use the woodworking tools available in the normal rooms.

Of course, no washing facilities in our room.. so what about clay working without water?? Kiln is in an extra room, working tools in another room..

 

At the moment, I'm just waiting for this rest of schoolyear to end, for the situation now (I joined in one of the other working rooms with my clay class) is unbearable.. loud, noisy, crowded...

 

To avoid this I go outside with my students, last thursday doing barrel firing in my yard (while a thunderstorm was passing by *smile*), next thursday go to icecream shop to test our new icecream cups.

 

Infact, it is only an afternoon art class, but under these circumstances, how can you teach anything?

 

 

That's rough. The issue I ran into was more of a power play, by a coworker. It failed, because it was just ridiculous.

 

*****************************

Well, the still life wasn't their cup of tea, so they rushed through it. Later on, when we do projects, where we select the subject matter, they had ideas, but the shading suffered,

*************************

 

I know about these problems with trying to teach new methods to pupils, but they are not interested in the project, so they miss the new technique and can't use it for the next project, where it is necessary.

 

Because clay work is mostly about "producing" something, some of them tell me they have "enough stuff at home", they don't want to create new things.

But they are not willing to do the "production" for school exhibition or wall decoration either.. so it is only an excuse for not doing anything.

 

Blame the system, the teacher or the children? I don't know, but I stop doing these courses this summer.

 

It'll be my hobby again, maybe working sometimes with interested adults or selling some pieces on ebay, etsy, dawanda etc.

 

 

Yeah, I always find it is difficult to create things, that they want to keep. They generally try hard, to get a good grade, but then they don't want the piece(s) afterwards, even the good ones.

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Pres    896

They generally try hard, to get a good grade, but then they don't want the piece(s) afterwards, even the good ones. Sounds like a good time to run an auction of student work at the end of the year. We did it around our school every few years and proceeds went to students and to worthy causes.

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Benzine    610

They generally try hard, to get a good grade, but then they don't want the piece(s) afterwards, even the good ones. Sounds like a good time to run an auction of student work at the end of the year. We did it around our school every few years and proceeds went to students and to worthy causes.

 

 

Good idea Pres.

 

Any ideas for the "Not so good" pieces? I did have a custodian come to my room, at my first teaching job. He wanted the biggest, ugliest, unclaimed thing I had. He was doing a "White Elephant" gift exchange, and wanted a good entry. I was happy to oblige.

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TJR    359

Benzine,Pres;

I had a lot of great landscape paintings in acrylic. I thought I would donate them to a nursing home in the area. They were rather innocuous-the paintings, not the people. In the end, we painted them over with white latex paint and reused the canvas.I use a lot of MDF board which can be painted on two sides. In the end, I end up throwing a lot out. The clay stuff I smash with a hammer, the paper stuff I recycle.

TJR.

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Benzine    610

Benzine,Pres;

I had a lot of great landscape paintings in acrylic. I thought I would donate them to a nursing home in the area. They were rather innocuous-the paintings, not the people. In the end, we painted them over with white latex paint and reused the canvas.I use a lot of MDF board which can be painted on two sides. In the end, I end up throwing a lot out. The clay stuff I smash with a hammer, the paper stuff I recycle.

TJR.

 

 

Yeah, I reused what I can. The paintings we do on canvas board and masonite are gessoed over and reused, if the students don't want them. For the stretched canvases I have them make, I do keep the unwanted ones, but I only use them in a pinch, if someone needs a canvas in a hurry. Otherwise, i have each student cut and assemble their own stretchers and stretch their own canvas. It's a skill I think each student should leave my painting class with.

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TJR    359

Benzine;

I buy the pre-stretched canvases for my Gr.12's. You can get them pretty cheap. I think they come from that country with the large population that supplies Dollar Stores.Most of the students seem to value them.

Graade 10's paint acrylics on paper. Gr. 11's use MDF. 12's use stretchers.

TJR.

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Pres    896

Benzine,Pres;

I had a lot of great landscape paintings in acrylic. I thought I would donate them to a nursing home in the area. They were rather innocuous-the paintings, not the people. In the end, we painted them over with white latex paint and reused the canvas.I use a lot of MDF board which can be painted on two sides. In the end, I end up throwing a lot out. The clay stuff I smash with a hammer, the paper stuff I recycle.

TJR.

 

 

Yeah, I reused what I can. The paintings we do on canvas board and masonite are gessoed over and reused, if the students don't want them. For the stretched canvases I have them make, I do keep the unwanted ones, but I only use them in a pinch, if someone needs a canvas in a hurry. Otherwise, i have each student cut and assemble their own stretchers and stretch their own canvas. It's a skill I think each student should leave my painting class with.

 

 

Ugly pots make great planters when stuffed. The look great on decks and porches. Ugly paintings can really be cut into small squares 3X3 or so, glue onto Masonite panels and acrylic over, then merge areas with abstracts of color. These come out looking great with bold lines and stripes with transparencies.

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Benzine    610

Benzine;

I buy the pre-stretched canvases for my Gr.12's. You can get them pretty cheap. I think they come from that country with the large population that supplies Dollar Stores.Most of the students seem to value them.

Graade 10's paint acrylics on paper. Gr. 11's use MDF. 12's use stretchers.

TJR.

 

 

I do acrylic on paper, in my "Intro" type class. For my focused Painting class, all acrylic is on a much better surface. The only thing we do on paper there, is watercolor, sketches, and the color wheel I make them create, because I'm a ########.

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TJR    359

Benzine;

I buy the pre-stretched canvases for my Gr.12's. You can get them pretty cheap. I think they come from that country with the large population that supplies Dollar Stores.Most of the students seem to value them.

Graade 10's paint acrylics on paper. Gr. 11's use MDF. 12's use stretchers.

TJR.

 

I do acrylic on paper, in my "Intro" type class. For my focused Painting class, all acrylic is on a much better surface. The only thing we do on paper there, is watercolor, sketches, and the color wheel I make them create, because I'm a ########.

 

Benzine;

You sound like my kind of guy. I'm pretty structured when it comes to technique as well.I wanted to send you an Email with some images, but your address is not listed.

TJR.

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Benzine    610

Benzine;

I buy the pre-stretched canvases for my Gr.12's. You can get them pretty cheap. I think they come from that country with the large population that supplies Dollar Stores.Most of the students seem to value them.

Graade 10's paint acrylics on paper. Gr. 11's use MDF. 12's use stretchers.

TJR.

 

 

I do acrylic on paper, in my "Intro" type class. For my focused Painting class, all acrylic is on a much better surface. The only thing we do on paper there, is watercolor, sketches, and the color wheel I make them create, because I'm a ########.

 

 

Benzine;

You sound like my kind of guy. I'm pretty structured when it comes to technique as well.I wanted to send you an Email with some images, but your address is not listed.

TJR.

 

 

TJR, I PMed you my email.

 

And yeah, I found, that even in my short time teaching, structure helps maintain sanity, as well as to get better educational results. If you want to talk about how big of a ########, I can be, you should see my Photography class. We start with the basic concepts, and very simple cameras, and by that I mean I make them construct their own pinhole camera, and use it to take several photos. They really don't like it, but I continue to do it, because it gives them a sense of history, and helps them learn the very basics of the photography process first.

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Pres    896

Benzine;

I buy the pre-stretched canvases for my Gr.12's. You can get them pretty cheap. I think they come from that country with the large population that supplies Dollar Stores.Most of the students seem to value them.

Graade 10's paint acrylics on paper. Gr. 11's use MDF. 12's use stretchers.

TJR.

 

 

I do acrylic on paper, in my "Intro" type class. For my focused Painting class, all acrylic is on a much better surface. The only thing we do on paper there, is watercolor, sketches, and the color wheel I make them create, because I'm a ########.

 

 

Benzine;

You sound like my kind of guy. I'm pretty structured when it comes to technique as well.I wanted to send you an Email with some images, but your address is not listed.

TJR.

 

 

TJR, I PMed you my email.

 

And yeah, I found, that even in my short time teaching, structure helps maintain sanity, as well as to get better educational results. If you want to talk about how big of a ########, I can be, you should see my Photography class. We start with the basic concepts, and very simple cameras, and by that I mean I make them construct their own pinhole camera, and use it to take several photos. They really don't like it, but I continue to do it, because it gives them a sense of history, and helps them learn the very basics of the photography process first.

 

 

Pottery Making Magazine had an article about 5 years ago on making pin hole cameras. One of my Saturday adult students, who teaches JH art, made one and got some great pictures with it.

 

Structure helps immensely when running a class period. We had 50 minute periods, and you had to be on task from beginning to end to get things done. I never sat at my desk, as it was always a roaming situation. My demonstrations were set up before hand, and usually lasted 20 minutes with time for work afterwards. Many times though when a moment would arise, I would be doing 5 minute demos on particular problems some one would end up with.

 

My electronic studio arts kids had to do a sketchbook, and every year I had them do flip books to prepare for specific types of animation: bipedal walk sequences, flying sequences, quadrapedal walk sequences. etc.

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Benzine    610

Benzine;

I buy the pre-stretched canvases for my Gr.12's. You can get them pretty cheap. I think they come from that country with the large population that supplies Dollar Stores.Most of the students seem to value them.

Graade 10's paint acrylics on paper. Gr. 11's use MDF. 12's use stretchers.

TJR.

 

 

I do acrylic on paper, in my "Intro" type class. For my focused Painting class, all acrylic is on a much better surface. The only thing we do on paper there, is watercolor, sketches, and the color wheel I make them create, because I'm a ########.

 

 

Benzine;

You sound like my kind of guy. I'm pretty structured when it comes to technique as well.I wanted to send you an Email with some images, but your address is not listed.

TJR.

 

 

TJR, I PMed you my email.

 

And yeah, I found, that even in my short time teaching, structure helps maintain sanity, as well as to get better educational results. If you want to talk about how big of a ########, I can be, you should see my Photography class. We start with the basic concepts, and very simple cameras, and by that I mean I make them construct their own pinhole camera, and use it to take several photos. They really don't like it, but I continue to do it, because it gives them a sense of history, and helps them learn the very basics of the photography process first.

 

 

Pottery Making Magazine had an article about 5 years ago on making pin hole cameras. One of my Saturday adult students, who teaches JH art, made one and got some great pictures with it.

 

Structure helps immensely when running a class period. We had 50 minute periods, and you had to be on task from beginning to end to get things done. I never sat at my desk, as it was always a roaming situation. My demonstrations were set up before hand, and usually lasted 20 minutes with time for work afterwards. Many times though when a moment would arise, I would be doing 5 minute demos on particular problems some one would end up with.

 

My electronic studio arts kids had to do a sketchbook, and every year I had them do flip books to prepare for specific types of animation: bipedal walk sequences, flying sequences, quadrapedal walk sequences. etc.

 

 

I stole my pinhole camera design, from the guy I replaced, at my second district. I went to a new district, and took a copy of the templates with me, no need to reinvent the wheel. They take a fairly good picture. The students are always amazed, of how well they do.

 

I am often up and around as well Pres, especially once I have students working on the wheel. I tell the rest of my students, that if it seems like I am ignoring them, it's just because things on the wheel can go from bad to worse, a lot faster, than when working with slabs or coils.

 

Here's a question I may have asked before. How did the rest of you handle wheel throwing projects? By that, I mean how many did you require. I'll add that I have these students for nine weeks, minus the drying and firing times of course, I have five wheels, though I may limit one of them to just trimming, and I usually have around twenty students. I have pretty much always assigned groups of students to the wheels for about a week, so five days. They had to work on the wheel for half a class period (we are on a block, so forty five minutes is half), and had to create at least one piece. I'm thinking of changing it, so that each student will have to create three pieces, but will not be limited to a certain week. They will have most of the term. Previously, there were no specifications for their wheel produced projects. But I'm thinking that one of them will have to have a handle, and at least one will have to have a trimmed foot. I didn't go over trimming much recently because of the time it takes for them to get the hang of it. But I purchased a Giffin Grip, so the students shouldn't have as much of a problem with trimming. And to all those purists out there, I will still go over tap centering as well. I thought that on one of the projects, I will give them a decent amount of help, but the other two, they will be on their own. That way, they at least get one good piece, in the case that they just don't "Get it".

 

I think that if I open it up a bit, it will be less work for everyone. Currently, when I have had the week long groups, that meant that I had to demo the wheel each week. That's good because it allows me to see that everyone is paying attention, as opposed to a large group, where it is hard to tell. However, going over it every week can get overly repetitive, especially considering, that without fail, one of the assigned students is gone the day I go over the wheel with their group. So that means I have to go over it, whenever they return. On top of that, I've had students get sick and be gone their entire week, so I have to find time elsewhere to fit them in. So I was thinking I could do what I do with my Photo student and the Darkroom. I have a sign up sheet for the first and second half of class. The students get to sign up for enlargers, first come first serve. I could do the same for the wheels.

 

That sound doable?

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Pres    896

I took a different approach with my II students. They came in knowing that they were required to work on the wheel for the semester. They were also told on the first day that there was not a production requirement for the first marking period. Their goal was to be a 9" cylinder using 3# of clay. The Benchmark for the marking period would be a 9" cylinder out of 3# of clay. I told them I could not teach them how to throw on the wheel they would have to learn it. I told them I could guide them with correct positions for hands and body, technique, and pressures. I would give them options on all of these. I told them that their grade depended on their performance and participation involving area maintenance, time spent on the wheel, attitude, participation and other skills. I had a checklist that each of them had a copy of listing these attributes as a rubric. I emphasized quality over quantity, as I believed that throwing on the wheel at that level required learning several things. One of the most important for that age group was when to slop! It wasn't about keeping the accidental cylinder that collapsed to a dish because it was off center, but about not being off center, not pulling too thin in the middle and not allowing the clay to move you. I always told them to learn to move the clay, not let it move them.

 

Second marking period was about making a series. They had to complete two series of 6-10 depending on complexity of the form they chose. One week of choosing through research and magazines. One day of demonstrating by me as to the nuances of the form. Again, quality was stressed over quantity. If they came up with a form that I was unfamiliar with, I practiced at night until I could get it right. Only one that I had not done, donuts for stirrup vases. Benchmark for the marking period was a teapot. This was completed after sufficient demonstration, and research on their part with some handouts from me.

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Benzine    610

Interesting Pres. I kind of like the idea, of the students making a basic cylinder, as a benchmark. I had to do the same thing in college. I might have to try that, thanks!

 

The reason I'm thinking about changing my approach, is that I feel that the way I have done it, is too brief. It doesn't give the students enough time to learn and build. As I mentioned before, this also has been more work for me. Each time, I would demo it, for one of the week long groups, I'd try to cover waaaay too much. That's a lot to throw at a student, pun not really intended. If I approach it more like I do Photo, it might work better. Start with the basics "Here's how you use the enlarger to make a basic contact print/ exposure, he's how you develop", to "Here's how you use the enlarger to enlarge a negative and make adjustments if need be." So for the wheel, I could start with the basic cylinder for a demo, then do another that shows how to make different forms, then another for trimming, and handle attachments......Hmmm, why didn't I think of this sooner. It's like those Guinness commercials from a few years back, "Brilliant!!!"

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Pres    896

Interesting Pres. I kind of like the idea, of the students making a basic cylinder, as a benchmark. I had to do the same thing in college. I might have to try that, thanks!

 

The reason I'm thinking about changing my approach, is that I feel that the way I have done it, is too brief. It doesn't give the students enough time to learn and build. As I mentioned before, this also has been more work for me. Each time, I would demo it, for one of the week long groups, I'd try to cover waaaay too much. That's a lot to throw at a student, pun not really intended. If I approach it more like I do Photo, it might work better. Start with the basics "Here's how you use the enlarger to make a basic contact print/ exposure, he's how you develop", to "Here's how you use the enlarger to enlarge a negative and make adjustments if need be." So for the wheel, I could start with the basic cylinder for a demo, then do another that shows how to make different forms, then another for trimming, and handle attachments......Hmmm, why didn't I think of this sooner. It's like those Guinness commercials from a few years back, "Brilliant!!!"

 

 

I made it smaller than that. I started by showing a demo of the wheel, and a vase out of a cylinder. However, once they had 10 3# balls wedged I did another demo of mstering, and centering the clay. A week or so later making first pulls, then later pulling and necking etc. Small steps for each part.

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Benzine    610

Interesting Pres. I kind of like the idea, of the students making a basic cylinder, as a benchmark. I had to do the same thing in college. I might have to try that, thanks!

 

The reason I'm thinking about changing my approach, is that I feel that the way I have done it, is too brief. It doesn't give the students enough time to learn and build. As I mentioned before, this also has been more work for me. Each time, I would demo it, for one of the week long groups, I'd try to cover waaaay too much. That's a lot to throw at a student, pun not really intended. If I approach it more like I do Photo, it might work better. Start with the basics "Here's how you use the enlarger to make a basic contact print/ exposure, he's how you develop", to "Here's how you use the enlarger to enlarge a negative and make adjustments if need be." So for the wheel, I could start with the basic cylinder for a demo, then do another that shows how to make different forms, then another for trimming, and handle attachments......Hmmm, why didn't I think of this sooner. It's like those Guinness commercials from a few years back, "Brilliant!!!"

 

 

I made it smaller than that. I started by showing a demo of the wheel, and a vase out of a cylinder. However, once they had 10 3# balls wedged I did another demo of mstering, and centering the clay. A week or so later making first pulls, then later pulling and necking etc. Small steps for each part.

 

 

I like that idea, but I'm not sure I'll have enough time, on a block schedule.

How did you deal with students being gone, during your demos? This has become a worsening issue, due to students missing more and more days, generally just because their parents will call them out for anything.

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Pres    896

Interesting Pres. I kind of like the idea, of the students making a basic cylinder, as a benchmark. I had to do the same thing in college. I might have to try that, thanks!

 

The reason I'm thinking about changing my approach, is that I feel that the way I have done it, is too brief. It doesn't give the students enough time to learn and build. As I mentioned before, this also has been more work for me. Each time, I would demo it, for one of the week long groups, I'd try to cover waaaay too much. That's a lot to throw at a student, pun not really intended. If I approach it more like I do Photo, it might work better. Start with the basics "Here's how you use the enlarger to make a basic contact print/ exposure, he's how you develop", to "Here's how you use the enlarger to enlarge a negative and make adjustments if need be." So for the wheel, I could start with the basic cylinder for a demo, then do another that shows how to make different forms, then another for trimming, and handle attachments......Hmmm, why didn't I think of this sooner. It's like those Guinness commercials from a few years back, "Brilliant!!!"

 

 

I made it smaller than that. I started by showing a demo of the wheel, and a vase out of a cylinder. However, once they had 10 3# balls wedged I did another demo of mstering, and centering the clay. A week or so later making first pulls, then later pulling and necking etc. Small steps for each part.

 

 

I like that idea, but I'm not sure I'll have enough time, on a block schedule.

How did you deal with students being gone, during your demos? This has become a worsening issue, due to students missing more and more days, generally just because their parents will call them out for anything.

 

 

Usually I did not have a whole lot of kids in my 2's as I taught that at the same time as my 1's. It was the only way to get it through. If I had a scheduled demo, it only lasted 15-20 minutes. Some of these were maybe 10 minutes. In this manner, if I had to redo for an absentee it did not take a lot of time. I had my demo list down to a T. They knew of all the demos for mp ahead of time. Each one was designed so that it could be in and out quickly as I had other students (1's) to get back to. When the ones were in the midst of a project it was easy to spare time for the 2's. I took time to work with each of the 2's with hand positions, getting them to feel the pull with me using their hands as my tools. In the end it was tiring, but it worked for me.

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Benzine    610

Interesting Pres. I kind of like the idea, of the students making a basic cylinder, as a benchmark. I had to do the same thing in college. I might have to try that, thanks!

 

The reason I'm thinking about changing my approach, is that I feel that the way I have done it, is too brief. It doesn't give the students enough time to learn and build. As I mentioned before, this also has been more work for me. Each time, I would demo it, for one of the week long groups, I'd try to cover waaaay too much. That's a lot to throw at a student, pun not really intended. If I approach it more like I do Photo, it might work better. Start with the basics "Here's how you use the enlarger to make a basic contact print/ exposure, he's how you develop", to "Here's how you use the enlarger to enlarge a negative and make adjustments if need be." So for the wheel, I could start with the basic cylinder for a demo, then do another that shows how to make different forms, then another for trimming, and handle attachments......Hmmm, why didn't I think of this sooner. It's like those Guinness commercials from a few years back, "Brilliant!!!"

 

 

I made it smaller than that. I started by showing a demo of the wheel, and a vase out of a cylinder. However, once they had 10 3# balls wedged I did another demo of mstering, and centering the clay. A week or so later making first pulls, then later pulling and necking etc. Small steps for each part.

 

 

I like that idea, but I'm not sure I'll have enough time, on a block schedule.

How did you deal with students being gone, during your demos? This has become a worsening issue, due to students missing more and more days, generally just because their parents will call them out for anything.

 

 

Usually I did not have a whole lot of kids in my 2's as I taught that at the same time as my 1's. It was the only way to get it through. If I had a scheduled demo, it only lasted 15-20 minutes. Some of these were maybe 10 minutes. In this manner, if I had to redo for an absentee it did not take a lot of time. I had my demo list down to a T. They knew of all the demos for mp ahead of time. Each one was designed so that it could be in and out quickly as I had other students (1's) to get back to. When the ones were in the midst of a project it was easy to spare time for the 2's. I took time to work with each of the 2's with hand positions, getting them to feel the pull with me using their hands as my tools. In the end it was tiring, but it worked for me.

 

 

Well, my demos would just be for my Three-Dimensional Art class, I have no specified "Ceramics" class. However, after teaching one section of it, using the previous instructor(s)' projects after coming to the district, I decided to do things my own way. The previous instructor, did a single clay project, and didn't even use the five wheels that we have. They were coated in dust and debris, when I got there. That's the only class I have that works with clay though. There used to be a pottery class offered, but it hasn't been in a while, and my Principal, didn't seem to think there would be time to fit it back in.

So I have to try to get all my ceramics taught in this one class, including the wheel work.

 

As I said, absenteeism, has become a worsening issue, not just at my district, but all around the state, and from the sounds of it, the country. My district is actually working with the county attorney, so that when students miss so many days, their parent/ guardian gets a letter warning them that legal action can be taken. The parents and students get really upset and defensive about the whole thing, "Why do you guys care if we miss days, especially when they are excused?!" I tell them, that the State and Federal government, hold us responsible for their learning. If they are not in class, they can't properly learn.

I have increasingly, put the responsibility on the students. If they are gone, they need to go out of their way, to come to me, and ask what they missed. Even then, ,like you said Pres, it does get tiring.

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Pres    896

Here in PA, the local schools have pretty well conquered the absence thing, at least in my area. The attendance,guidance, and security offices take a pretty big bite out of truancy of any kind. Excused days have quite a paper trail, and homework is assigned to augment something like a trip. These may be loges by the student with insights about where they visited, regular class assignments, and even research papers. I would often get an assignment sheet to fill out for an absent student. At the last year or so I gave them a list of U-tube videos to watch on pottery. Each one had to have a written assessment. I didn't like to take absenteeism laying down and when I got a chance, I would make them pay!smile.gif

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Benzine    610

Here in PA, the local schools have pretty well conquered the absence thing, at least in my area. The attendance,guidance, and security offices take a pretty big bite out of truancy of any kind. Excused days have quite a paper trail, and homework is assigned to augment something like a trip. These may be loges by the student with insights about where they visited, regular class assignments, and even research papers. I would often get an assignment sheet to fill out for an absent student. At the last year or so I gave them a list of U-tube videos to watch on pottery. Each one had to have a written assessment. I didn't like to take absenteeism laying down and when I got a chance, I would make them pay!smile.gif

 

 

Hmmm, maybe we should look the Pennsylvania as a guide to fix our problem. Sadly, as I mentioned, the biggest issue tends to be the parents. They'll call them out/ excuse the students, for a headache, or just because they don't want to be there.

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Pres    896

Here in PA, the local schools have pretty well conquered the absence thing, at least in my area. The attendance,guidance, and security offices take a pretty big bite out of truancy of any kind. Excused days have quite a paper trail, and homework is assigned to augment something like a trip. These may be loges by the student with insights about where they visited, regular class assignments, and even research papers. I would often get an assignment sheet to fill out for an absent student. At the last year or so I gave them a list of U-tube videos to watch on pottery. Each one had to have a written assessment. I didn't like to take absenteeism laying down and when I got a chance, I would make them pay!smile.gif

 

 

Hmmm, maybe we should look the Pennsylvania as a guide to fix our problem. Sadly, as I mentioned, the biggest issue tends to be the parents. They'll call them out/ excuse the students, for a headache, or just because they don't want to be there.

 

 

I don't know if it was my state, or my district that made such an approach. At any rate, it did work well.

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Benzine    610

Was it a lot more work, for the staff? It seems, that any time that we are trying to hold the students accountable, it also comes with a lot more work for the teachers.

 

For instance, my district is talking about going to standards based grading, and by talking I mean, we are going to do it, just no one wants to say as such. I don't have a problem with standards based grading, because that's essentially how my class is set up anyway. One project covers a couple different skills. However, since standards based grading, only allows students to progress, once they have "Mastered" the previous skills, student are allowed/ required to redo work and retest. There are a couple of my coworkers, who have been dabbling in such grading the past year. They talk about how much extra work it is, because of all the students coming in, to redo everything. Also keep in mind, that standards based grading, also gets grouped with the "No zeroes" concept. And with that concept, you are not supposed to accept zero work. The question would then arise, "How do you get the students, to turn in something that you can actually grade?" The response, "YOU keep on the student, YOU call parents, YOU make them stay after school." See the problem? It was putting a lot of the work on the teacher. Multiply this by the amount of students, who didn't want to hand in proper work.

 

So that's why I ask about the attendance. Who was it making missed classes a hassle for, students, or staff?

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Pres    896

Was it a lot more work, for the staff? It seems, that any time that we are trying to hold the students accountable, it also comes with a lot more work for the teachers.

 

For instance, my district is talking about going to standards based grading, and by talking I mean, we are going to do it, just no one wants to say as such. I don't have a problem with standards based grading, because that's essentially how my class is set up anyway. One project covers a couple different skills. However, since standards based grading, only allows students to progress, once they have "Mastered" the previous skills, student are allowed/ required to redo work and retest. There are a couple of my coworkers, who have been dabbling in such grading the past year. They talk about how much extra work it is, because of all the students coming in, to redo everything. Also keep in mind, that standards based grading, also gets grouped with the "No zeroes" concept. And with that concept, you are not supposed to accept zero work. The question would then arise, "How do you get the students, to turn in something that you can actually grade?" The response, "YOU keep on the student, YOU call parents, YOU make them stay after school." See the problem? It was putting a lot of the work on the teacher. Multiply this by the amount of students, who didn't want to hand in proper work.

 

So that's why I ask about the attendance. Who was it making missed classes a hassle for, students, or staff?

 

 

Hassle with this approach is obviously on both sides. However, when I had a problem with a student, I would give warning that they had to step up, or there would be consequences. This would be performance or discipline type problems. Over the years I would give my warnings, change seating if needed, do other "interventions". When those did not work, I started calling home. Doing this means really having your facts in front of you, making certain to explain your position and the reason for you call, not as a whiner, but a concerned teacher. These included a statement that I would have to be in contact with principals if I did not see improvement, as I already had a paper trail of documentation. In 90-95% of the cases, major improvement that lasted. If it came to sending the student to the principal, they were usually removed. The principals were of the opinion that I had so little referrals, that when I did best to remove the student. Word gets around, when the students found that I was not afraid or too busy to call home, my )(*^&% level went way up!

 

I would think that the small step demos, the rubric of performance steps and constant monitoring even though tedious in the beginning would make the step toward your standards based ed easier to swallow. Think about the way you do things, if you base your classes on acquired skills, you may find that things like grading become so much easier. As far as mastery, there are degrees of that set you bar where you think the working student will succeed. Ex. 9" with 3#? or 3.5#? or 4#?

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Benzine    610

Was it a lot more work, for the staff? It seems, that any time that we are trying to hold the students accountable, it also comes with a lot more work for the teachers.

 

For instance, my district is talking about going to standards based grading, and by talking I mean, we are going to do it, just no one wants to say as such. I don't have a problem with standards based grading, because that's essentially how my class is set up anyway. One project covers a couple different skills. However, since standards based grading, only allows students to progress, once they have "Mastered" the previous skills, student are allowed/ required to redo work and retest. There are a couple of my coworkers, who have been dabbling in such grading the past year. They talk about how much extra work it is, because of all the students coming in, to redo everything. Also keep in mind, that standards based grading, also gets grouped with the "No zeroes" concept. And with that concept, you are not supposed to accept zero work. The question would then arise, "How do you get the students, to turn in something that you can actually grade?" The response, "YOU keep on the student, YOU call parents, YOU make them stay after school." See the problem? It was putting a lot of the work on the teacher. Multiply this by the amount of students, who didn't want to hand in proper work.

 

So that's why I ask about the attendance. Who was it making missed classes a hassle for, students, or staff?

 

 

Hassle with this approach is obviously on both sides. However, when I had a problem with a student, I would give warning that they had to step up, or there would be consequences. This would be performance or discipline type problems. Over the years I would give my warnings, change seating if needed, do other "interventions". When those did not work, I started calling home. Doing this means really having your facts in front of you, making certain to explain your position and the reason for you call, not as a whiner, but a concerned teacher. These included a statement that I would have to be in contact with principals if I did not see improvement, as I already had a paper trail of documentation. In 90-95% of the cases, major improvement that lasted. If it came to sending the student to the principal, they were usually removed. The principals were of the opinion that I had so little referrals, that when I did best to remove the student. Word gets around, when the students found that I was not afraid or too busy to call home, my )(*^&% level went way up!

 

I would think that the small step demos, the rubric of performance steps and constant monitoring even though tedious in the beginning would make the step toward your standards based ed easier to swallow. Think about the way you do things, if you base your classes on acquired skills, you may find that things like grading become so much easier. As far as mastery, there are degrees of that set you bar where you think the working student will succeed. Ex. 9" with 3#? or 3.5#? or 4#?

 

 

I don't have many discipline problems, and I've rarely had to call home. Sad thing is, in the cases where I do, not much gets done, because the reason they are a problem in my class, is because there is no discipline at home.

When I do call, I'm like you, I've got the facts, and stick with those, i.e. your child did this, here's what I'm going to do. My coworker, sadly goes beyond that. He tries to provide insight, as to why the students are acting in such away, filled with a lot of assumptions. I've listened to him, make quite a few of those calls, and I cringe a bit. If I were the parents, I would not appreciate the approach.

 

Speaking of calls, the administration tried to push us, to make calls home, when they were absent, for whatever reason. They wanted each teacher to call. This meant that if a student was gone all day, even if was excused, each teacher would call the parent/ guardian. The administration then back off on this, when it was pointed out, that it most likely would not be pleasant for either the parents or staff, to make those calls. Imagine if you were the teacher, who was the last to call home. In high school, this meant that the parents had received three other calls already. For the middle school, this meant you were the eighth.

My second school district had a similar expectation. We were supposed to sit down every Friday, and tally up the absences for each student. So we were supposed to go through and do that for ninety some students, that we had each day. Keep in mind, the school has an attendance keeping program. Why the office couldn't take care of that, I have no idea. Not that I cared too terribly. In my time there, I never once did the absence tally, not one week. I never heard a thing from the administration.

 

I'm not worried about the switch to standards based grading. My very first teaching job, had something along those lines, and I helped write the curriculum for it. The important thing is to keep the standards and benchmarks fairly loose, so it doesn't tie you in to a specific project. Even better, if you keep the standards and benchmarks so open, you can use them for each class, instead of having a set for a specific class.

The only problem I have with standards based grading, is when it is grouped with the whole "No zeroes" idea. I'm also not a fan of the four point scale either. In art, the assignments/ projects aren't something as simple as a homework assignment. They are time consuming, invested works. It doesn't seem fair to give the student four points, for something that took them weeks to do.

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