How rigorous do you make your HS art classes?

Discussion in 'Art Teachers' started by a teacher, Dec 26, 2014.

  1. a teacher

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    Dec 26, 2014

    And how do you maintain a good place in the school culture when art is seen as a "fun" class where kids aren't expected to be challenged?
     
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  3. LisaLisa

    LisaLisa Companion

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    Dec 27, 2014

    Make it meaningful to the school community. Murals, visible art projects, guest speakers, performance art.
     
  4. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Our art teacher is beloved by the kids. They know if they work hard in class, their only homework is weekly sketches in their sketchbook. She struggles sometimes with the more beginning art classes. She wants them to learn about different countries' art. She lectures and then quizzes them. However, the kids don't study for the quizzes.

    Ceramics is really popular at my school.
     
  5. a teacher

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    Dec 28, 2014

    Can some art teachers please speak up with specifics?
     
  6. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Dec 28, 2014

    I'm not sure how many art teachers we have on this board...
     
  7. Securis

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    Dec 28, 2014

    When I was an art teacher, I instituted rigor by scaffolding skills and Asking students to develop more than one idea per assignment. I'm not sure how relevant Bloom's Taxonomy is these days but I tended to center my q&a sessions on analysis and synthesis levels.
     
  8. a teacher

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    Jan 9, 2015

    Does anyone lecture?
     
  9. Securis

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    Jan 9, 2015

    If I wanted to behavior manage a rowdy class or if I wanted to mix it with a powerpoint. Not as a staple, though.
     
  10. a teacher

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    Jan 11, 2015

    You mean your rowdy classes will calm down for lectures?
     
  11. Securis

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    Jan 12, 2015

    No. I mean that they behave better in other aspects to avoid lectures and note taking. My experience has shown that lectures aren't effective and usually punish both students and teacher.

    What I discovered as most effective for an art learning environment was to start with some hands on discovery activities followed by Q&A comparisons of concepts to experience. Then I might scaffold in a theme or history and have them develop a project from the concepts and a selection of available materials. My curriculum at the time dealt with some very general concepts that I could match up to whatever subject matter I or my students found interesting, within limits.
     
  12. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Jan 12, 2015

    In our school, art history and studio art are two separate things. In the fine arts survey course, students learn art history and appreciation. In studio art, students only learn history as related to the particular element they are learning at that time, and in a very casual and informal way.

    I teach film, and when I lecture I include as many film clips and chances for students to get up and get involved as possible. That seems to help!
     
  13. a teacher

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    Jan 12, 2015

    Can you provide an example?
     
  14. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Jan 12, 2015

    Well, if I'm teaching low angle shots, I show some film clips, paintings, etc. shot from a low angle. Then I let the students get up and work in groups to stage their own scenes. Sometimes for a quick group activity, the people being lights make their hands twinkle like stars, and the camera acts like cranking a camera. For assessments, we get out the flip cameras to record the scenes.
     
  15. a teacher

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    Jan 15, 2015

    Can you provide an example?
     
  16. Securis

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    Jan 15, 2015

    Let's say I am introducing gesture drawing, blind contour drawing, and modified contour drawing to elementary or any age group really.

    My discovery activity is usually scribbling and erasing. I have students draw lines as heavy and as dark as they can. We see whose line is darkest. We debate it and celebrate a winner. Then I have them draw the lightest line possible and repeat the show and tell. After all that, I have them erase both lines. We talk about which was easier to erase. I do the same thing with holding the pencil and scribbling with a tight grip, loose grip, elbow on the table, elbow off the table, and any techniques that might help.

    Then, I intro the concepts reminding them to use techniques. And I keep scaffolding drawing skills. And after we've gotten some good sketches then we develop one into something more substantial using positive/negative space.
     
  17. Guitart

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    Jan 17, 2015

    Last sem I taught BD art in hs. I was allowed much flexibility due to sped dept. I made my own curriculum and lessons. Focused very little on drawing. Cut n paste activities, a couple worksheets, and a few movies. The movies were the easiest way to get them motivated. They loved the Banksy movie "Exit Through the Giftshop" and "Basquiat". My students were inner city at risk. Anything I could you to make a connection with their culture worked well.
     
  18. GeetGeet

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    Jan 18, 2015

    For me it totally depends on the class. I teach AP Studio art and Advanced level art, and they have to be more rigorous. I do give homework in those classes. I want those groups to think about composition and design as well as concept and how those all work together. They are expected to explain their ideas in writing.

    I have had students take notes for those classes and for Drawing and Painting, but not often.

    Other classes, like 8th grade or printmaking, are less rigorous. I don't give homework in those classes and art historical references are discussed as they relate to a current project.

    In my school what classes I teach is determined by how many kids take them. Therefore, I kind of have to make the classes appealing, which means they have to be a little less rigorous than I would prefer. But that's just how my school is.
     
  19. ArtTeacher01

    ArtTeacher01 Rookie

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    Jan 18, 2015

    I'll chime in... In my High School art classes, I try to find a balance between rigor and giving the students the open space to explore and engage in art.

    For grading, I have a five column rubric. It contains pre-planning, aesthetics, concept/idea development, effort, and critique. For preplanning students keep a sketch journal and develop ideas. I require their sketchbook to be submitted with their final project. The three middle columns are pretty straigtforward. For their critique score, we do whole group critiques; they must participate (often I have to prompt more shy students) and then I give my "two cents." By hearing me use art vocabularly in the context of a critique, the student see that modeling and learn to talk about art and start that process of really thinking through their next project...

    This model seems to work for me, regardless of the medium. The project changes, but the teaching format stays the same; it provides a process that the students come to expect and can anticipate.

    As for presentation, I mix it up. I use power point presentations all the time, but I keep them short. I find that students can become power point zombies pretty quickly, so I keep lectures short and frequently engage them in the process. Like I would do a two minute peer share after 5 mins; where they might share their opinion of the piece of art we are working on with a neighbor, or identify examples of a principle of design with a neighbor for two mins... This keeps them engaged...

    The majority of my time is spent with the student working on their projects. I like to move from table to table and conference with each student for a few minutes. I let them explain their thought process and where they are in their project. I give some opinions, talk about their art, reinforce the lesson objectives, etc...

    I hope that helps...

    Adam
     
  20. a teacher

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    Jan 19, 2015

    How exactly do you all incorporate art history?
     
  21. a teacher

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    Jan 19, 2015

    How exactly do you do the peer share? Do they write something down? How do you monitor it?
     
  22. ArtTeacher01

    ArtTeacher01 Rookie

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    Jan 19, 2015

    I typically listen in on their conversations... Genuinely they stay focused on the topic because I make keep it short (like 1 to 2 minutes). A way I sometimes monitor their activity is to volun'tell one of them to share their groups discussion! :)

    If I incorporate any writing, it is generally for a short group activity and they use their sketchbooks.
     
  23. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Jan 19, 2015

    Again, slightly different, because film and not studio art, but if we are talking about jump cuts, I'll show examples of directors known for their jump cuts. Then maybe show a few minutes long biography of one of those important directors.

    Where do I find these biographies? Each grading period, my students have a choice of a major project to do. They can: create a short film that demonstrates the terms we have been learning, write a report about a major figure or movement we discussed, build or create an example of a device we learned about (zooetropes are popular during that unit) or make an instructional video about terms or important people we've learned about. Over the years, I've collected a few really good video biographies of important figures in film history, which I then integrate into my classes! But students get to choose from at least five options for each project, and if they choose to create a film, they can work in groups.

    We don't do a lot of writing. Our big writing projects are a shot by shot analysis of a music video and a scene of a screenplay. Most of our assessments are projects or quizzes about the films we watch and terms we learn. But, I feel like the course is very rigorous.
     
  24. a teacher

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    Jan 21, 2015

    Interesting that you have all these components. Most film teachers around here seem to be concentrated exclusively on production. I alternate every week between film studies and film production. But I can't imagine students choosing to write a report rather than make a film. In fact I've gotten a lot of resistance to any writing assignments I've assigned.
     
  25. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Jan 21, 2015

    I just expect it of my students, and they do it. I don't really let them resist. I explain why we're doing the assignment, and then they do it.

    My syllabus looks like:

    Unit 1: Speaking and Writing About Film
    - vocabulary
    - view: Casablanca, City Lights
    - no major project, several small group projects to demonstrate vocab terms

    Unit 2: Film History
    - multiple lectures about inventions and artistic movements leading up to the invention of motion pictures, and leading up to color and the Production Code
    - view: Citizen Kane, M, several earlier short films
    - choice of project

    Unit 3: Horror
    - read horror short stories, lecture about horror genre, related ethical issues
    - view: The Birds, Psycho

    Unit 4: Comedy
    - lecture about comedy
    - view: Abbot and Costello shorts, students vote on other film
    - Shot by shot analysis of music video

    Unit 5: Editing
    - lecture containing numerous clips
    - project to demonstrate editing techniques

    Unit 6: Screenwriting
    - walk through screenwriting process over multiple days
    - view Music and Lyrics
    - Screenplay (2-3 page scene)

    Unit 7: Western
    - lecture about westerns and the frontier
    - Socratic Seminar about the cowboy code
    - view The Magnificent 7 and High Noon

    Unit 8: Sci-fi
    - lecture about sci-fi
    - view Metropolis, Contact, and Star Wars
    - space western project

    Unit 9: Production
    - numerous lectures about jobs on a film set
    - break into groups and create films

    Unit 10: Musicals
    - Lecture of history and influence of musicals
    - view: Showboat (1936) and Hairspray

    That's how my class is set up, and it's always worked for me. I also always fit in a unit on minorities in Hollywood, but where it fits depends on where school breaks fall on the calendar.
     
  26. ArtTeacher01

    ArtTeacher01 Rookie

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    Jan 21, 2015

    That's funny you brought this up. I sometimes allow my students to turn in a written critique of their artwork rather than stand up and present their work to the class and I'm always surprised that many would prefer to write than present.

    It might be this way with film as well...

    Adam
     
  27. a teacher

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    Students would rather do almost anything than speak in front of a class, so no surprise there. But write rather than play with a video camera? Never!
     
  28. a teacher

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    Jan 21, 2015

    This is an awesome syllabus. Thanks for sharing it!

    I am observing two important things:
    1. You seem to be showing a lot of features full length
    2. Students aren't making many complete films

    At my school the kids have to like the electives or they won't sign up and then we have problems. I realized fairly quickly that I need to hook them with making films right off, and then gradually bring in the stuff I care about: film studies.

    I alternate every week. One week we'll watch a full feature and the next we'll work on production. I split up screenplay, storyboarding, videotaping and editing for a final 3-5 min. film. I lectured a lot last semester but I'll do a lot less of that this semester. I don't see the need to go into much more than the basics of early history, camera, mise en scene and editing. Film jobs would be the least important to teach for me.
     

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