Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Rethinking the entire process!

Back in August, Nic Hahn from Mini Matisse posted a video on critique and feedback from Ron Berger at Presumpscot Elementary in Portsmouth, Maine.  The video was the story of Austin's Butterfly.  She encouraged her followers to both watch the video as well as share it with their students.  I have share it with all my students grades 1 - 5 with terrific results.  Here it is if you haven't yet viewed it for yourself.

This is how this video has restructure most of my teaching for this year.  To begin with, all my students are regularly reminded to "see like a scientist".  They draw what they see not what they know.  This week we began observational drawings in 3rd and 4th grade and students immediately began to assist one another with positive critiques and to talk about changes they would make with their next drafts.  I love the impact one short video has had on the way my students are thinking about their art making.   I am challenged to expect more from my students and recognize that I can encourage them to grow this year as artist as they also challenge themselves to improve on their skills and to cast aside the "I can't" mentalities of the one time lesson.
One of our first attempts have been observational drawings of a harvest still life and a skeleton.
4th grade Harvest Still life
4th grade student Harvest Still Life

3rd grade Skeleton Drawing

3rd grade Skeleton Drawing

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