Friday, October 24, 2008

Same Lesson--Different Day

As an art teacher, I teach the same lesson several times in one week. I have the opportunity to improve and tweak lessons as I go. The turn around between lesson, reflection, and reteaching is pretty quick. Usually that means that I can rework a weak lesson and make it stronger in the same week I introduce it.

But I always find it puzzling when one day, the lesson gets hit out of the ballpark, and the next day it is a foul ball.

I knew yesterday that I was pressing my luck getting a class that all produced home runs. Today, with a different class, the outcome was not quite as stellar.

Though they practiced a variety of line making techniques, many of them reverted to the one line they felt comfortable with. They didn't get that I wanted them to produce lines that went from subtle to bold.

They missed the part about demonstrating their knowledge of the cricket's anatomy, of which they should be "experts" by now.

And they didn't get that they were not just supposed to copy each other, or their idea of the exemplar.

I did spend more time on discipline in this class, and as a result they had less time to spend painting. Because of this, there may have also been less time giving clear instruction. Also, because I had to locate myself close to some students in order to keep a lid on the behavior, I had less time to walk around and interact with the rest. There absolutely were amazing paintings in this class, but probably about 60% less than the other class.

This tells me that I need to tighten up the behavior in this class. I like to think that I run a relatively tight ship anyway, but there may need to be more tightening in order to run the ship more effectively.

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