Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Occurred to me today...

It suddenly dawned on me today that one of the biggest hurdles I have to overcome or one of the "things" I am having the most trouble with in attempting to do this CB model is that I do not have the time or the opportunity to teach the finer points like I used to.  For example, rather than being able to show more specialized or intricate methods of construction on a paper mache project, I really only have time to give the bare bones basics before the kids get started.  There are so many different things going on at any given time, that I flight and flutter from one media to the next, drawing, collage, paper mache, etc.  If I really look deep and stop to think about it at length, I think that part of me feels I am doing a disservice to the students in not having a chance to teach them the finer points, but it's a struggle because I see how glad they are in having a choice...perhaps I will be able to figure out some type of happy medium somewhere?  Hopefully. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Drawing...can we take our time please??

Okay, so I'm back in full swing in the room now.  4th quarter has begun and I am getting back in gear after having my second student teacher of the year.  I was feeling a little disconnected from everything, but not anymore!  I have started CB back up, and I've modified it from the model I chose to employ during 2nd quarter.  I've changed quite a few things and added some more structure.  I have implemented set due dates, in an attempt to give the students a goal to work toward so they won't feel so panicked and rushed during or even at the end of the quarter (hopefully).  I have required each student to work in each of the five categories, clay, drawing, painting, sculpture/3-D and collage/mixed media.  I am also implementing supplemental worksheets on the side to verify and enhance upon categories to make sure concepts and ideas are understood.

So far things seem to be going pretty well, we're just at the end of all the demos and informational Powerpoints that I have been giving them to get them educated and set up for the rest of the quarter and soon they will be set loose.  But....

Students have had a fair amount of time to work in class already on the categories that have already been opened, namely drawing and collage.  The problem I'm starting to notice is that they seem to be working at warp speed to get their drawing projects done.  Mind you, this is the majority of them, and not all of the students, but enough that I'm certainly getting concerned about it.  I have given them the 5 categories to work in and there are 7 work days between each project deadline.  Some of these students are finishing their projects in a day or two and just can't be prompted, encouraged or bothered to go back and work on them longer to be developed more.  I'm not quite sure what to do about that, other than to make note to myself that I should probably assign more than one drawing project.  This is a big problem across the board with all grade levels...the lack of fortitude and wherewithal to imagine and develop an idea and really stick it out to the end even if its "too hard".  (which is a common thing I hear from students, and which is totally annoying to me!)

So I'm not sure, maybe it's unrealistic to me to think that they would spend more than 2 days working on something, but I don't think it is.  When I go the traditional classroom model route (where everyone is doing the same project at the same time), I do have multiple work days in a row for a project and the majority of students will use that time to work.  I'm sure it has to do with pacing and the fact that because I'm teaching only one thing at a time I'm able to go more in depth and "peer pressure" may force the students to spend a little more time than they would have as they watch other students work.  That's my best guess. 

I just wish that I could successfully encourage more students to work longer on to do that, how to do that....?