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The Interesting Bits

One of the things I have become much better at during this internship year is being clear on learning targets and making sure students know them.  Each of my mentor teachers is quite good at that, in completely different ways.  One of my teachers and I were talking about staying on track with exactly what we are trying to teach by remembering that we must stick to the relevant information rather than the interesting information-relevant that is to the standards and learning targets.  In art class, as I am sure is true in other subjects, much of what makes the subject so engaging are the interesting bits.  Sadly, we do not have endless amounts of time with our students to ponder all of those, so we find methods to stay on track.  Planning is a large part of it.  The Washington state visual arts standards are clear enough to follow and flexible enough to give the teachers room to use a variety of art media, tools, and methods to teach those standards.

Watercolor mixing – new format

Teaching art need never be boring either to the teacher or the students.  So, once we know what we are teaching our students, we can decide how we will do that.  Then, students must know what they are learning and how they will learn it.  I have found that a class of high school students does better with one or two instructions at a time along with a constant reminder of where they are going with their art projects.  In Drawing and Painting that means reminding students that they are learning (for this lesson plan) how to mix a variety of colors using only the three primary colors of red, blue, and yellow.  Each day, I place either on the white board, or under the document camera, what the learning targets are for that day.

April 01

Usually, I include the criteria somewhere so students who are working at different speeds can stay on track.  I am a bit of a list-writer anyway, so this method helps both me and the students stay focused on what’s important and when I do that, I find there is usually a little time to include some of the interesting bits, too.

~ by anitawesto on April 13, 2013.

drawing & painting, teaching