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#41 Pres

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 06:00 PM

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.

Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/


#42 Benzine

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 08:18 PM


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.
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#43 Pres

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 09:17 PM



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.

Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/


#44 Benzine

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 09:01 AM




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.
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#45 Pres

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 09:49 AM

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!Posted Image

Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/


#46 Benzine

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 11:51 AM

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!Posted Image


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.
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#47 Pres

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 07:52 AM


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!Posted Image


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.

Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/


#48 Benzine

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 08:58 AM

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?
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#49 Pres

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 01:07 PM

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#?

Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/


#50 Benzine

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 02:32 PM


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.
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"




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