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Planning [Question]

Lesson planning

Started on Apr 15, 2012 by artistgirl1967
Last post on Sep 09, 2012

I am looking for advice. I work in a very urban, low income, high diversity school. All of my teacher training has been done in affluent community schools. The lessons I teach, that are-in theory-age appropriate, takes these students FOREVER to finish. Does anyone work in this type of classroom?

2 Keeps, 0 Likes, 7 Comments

  • tree_arts 04/16/2012 at 07:51pm
    Yes...It can be be a challenge. What I try to do is differentiate instruction based on my students needs, but also challenge them to do their best in a reasonable amount of time..I make sure they know there is a time limit on their project and that I have high expectations for them doing their best with our time restrictions. My time with students has been cut short: some classes get 25 min, some 30, and some 40- once a week. I remind students of the short amount of time we have together...there comes a point where some students just don't finish but others work very hard because they know they wont see me until the following week.

  • lightARTed 04/19/2012 at 06:06pm
    I also have the same issue. Large class size, poverty issues, constant new students and students moving, and behavior issues prohibit getting much done. I have not changed much in my art curriculum because they still should have the same high expectations and be challenged as the teacher above has mentioned. I have known teachers to dumb down their curriculum and that is not whats best for the students. I have resigned myself that we could get 3 to 4 pieces of art done in the year. (I see them every 6 days for 45 minutes.) I have come up with mini projects that I have students create if they finish early, graph art is one them and I posted it on the exchange. I think next year I might allow my top students to make extra projects at home but haven't figured out how I might do that yet. Thinking of doing a challenge project and post it on a bulletin board for extra credit or a party, Good luck and hang in there!!!!

  • rlaurenzi 04/22/2012 at 09:03am
    This was one of my biggest problems when I began teaching, as well. I used to worry that they were making too few products, and that others in the building were wondering what in the world was going on in the art room. I also thought about "dumbing it down," but I couldn't bring myself to give up on the projects I was really excited about, and I wanted to continue to challenge my students instead of letting art become "play time." The issue still exists, but I have chosen to look at it differently. I now think of it as quality over quantity, meaning I am more pleased if they make two high-quality products in 9 weeks than if they make one hurried piece of junk every week. Over time, the rigor of the lessons has set a tone in my classroom - students know I expect a lot out of them and that it is their decision whether or not they are going to step up to the plate. I also make sure that the projects allow for students at every level to feel successful, so their insecurities don't become a contributing factor. My best advice is to stick to your teaching philosophy and standards, regardless of the time it takes to finish a lesson. And as far as some practical tips, I also do this: students are allowed to talk while they work for the first half of the class, and the second half is "focus time," during which they have to work quietly. They get a lot more done, and since they still get to talk for some of the time, art class does not seem too strict. I also have them fill out a self-assessment rubric at the end of the lesson, which has given them more accountability as far as participation. They actually love the rubrics, and it has encouraged many to work harder because they want to give themselves a good score on the rubric.

  • 3DpaintDigital 05/25/2012 at 09:50am
    I started in a school similar to the one you are at and I think the point that has been made is a good one, keep up the rigor and expected level. It helps to have completed samples and an established formula that they can understand. If each project is using skills developed in the previous projects they will gain confidence in the skill set they are building up. I like to do skill exercises before getting into deeper long term projects. Some projects need to be graded in stages. I offer studio hours where I am in my classroom after school and students can come in to complete projects. Finding contests is another form of motivation that students are drawn to. If you know that you have multiple contests that your students can get into, then you can sell that to them at the beginning. If they work hard they can turn the school work into money and kids like money.

  • Artist_RhiCG 07/08/2012 at 12:20pm
    I can definitely relate with your problem. I began work at a high school last year where the students seemed to think the art room was 'Romper Room'. Pulling work out of them was like pulling teeth. I have to admit it was mostly the Seniors that gave me grief but some of the underclassmen chimed in. I heard things like, "Its only art" "Its only an elective" "I don't have to pass art to graduate", etc. Some days I was just ready to walk out the door and never look back. However, in EVERY class I had at least one student who was interested and wanted to learn, wanted to complete projects on time. So I learned to use those students to my advantage. Those students enforced my original thoughts that the students could indeed do the work and complete it on time. Therefore, I just kept teaching at the same pace and quit extending deadlines. By the end of the year the atmosphere in the art room had taken a turn for the better and the students were completing the work on time. Of course, you will always have those few who are as I classify it "Lazy" and just won't do the work. For those few I can only say "I'm sorry but that is the grade you earned".

  • Jenncook678 08/21/2012 at 05:51pm
    Wow guys! This is really motivating and comforting. I often feel that I am in a different situation (rural, low-income and low diversity) but with similar problems. You've all pretty much covered how I feel about these issues, it's nice to know that I'm on the right path and that things will get better. I haven't been at my school for long, but with each year I've tried to raise the standards and expectations so that it increases their confidence and feels attainable but challenging.
    Each student deserves an exceptional art education.

  • Taurine75 09/09/2012 at 01:47pm
    Wow! All great suggestions. Much of the way I handle my situation can be tracked off of my previous discussion contributions on this site.

    My situation:
    - 99% Student population qualifies for free lunch.
    - 30% Truancy and absences.
    - Almost ALL of my students have and use cell phones in class
    - 250+ students (over 40 per period)
    - Gang infestation around my school setting
    - MANY teenage pregnancies on campus

    Despite all of these "complications" I end the year with a majority of my students earning an A+ at the end of the year creating pretty sophisticated art pieces.

    Check out my stuff here: