Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Experience summary

  When it comes to planning and preparedness, I believe that I have definitely grown. I learned form last year that it was more important than I thought it was. I worked really hard at communicating with my CT and other people in the school to make sure I was prepared to teach everyone in that class.

When it comes to teaching, I feel it is something I need to work on. My CT stated in her eval that I need to work on my teacher voice and classroom management, which I agree. I have not taken classroom management yet, so I am hoping that that will help.

Assessment at the age level I taught is not always my favorite thing. 2nd grade students don't usually get a full out rubric (at least of what i've seen), they usually get graded on a 1-4 scale. To compromise, I made the rubric, with a total of 16 points, then gave a 1-4 grade based on their score. All of the students received a 3 or 4. There was only one that was a point away from being a 2.

Learning from Mrs. K was amazing. She provided me with numerous learning materials and taught me about mediums I didn't know existed. The most important thing she taught me, however, is the importance of community and being a part of it. She grew up in the town she now teaches in, and sees her students throughout their K-12 lives. It's truly an amazing thing, that creates a tight bond in the school amongst everyone. Being that figure in a community was the best thing to observe this past spring.

The biggest thing I took from all of this, this whole experience in the last year, finding out I had to re-take 208, working on my grades to get to re-take it, and re-taking it, gave me such a bigger appreciation for all of the hard work that goes into teaching, and working hard at my grades and growing proved to myself that this is where I want to be and this is what I want to do. I still need to work on my confidence, but I know I can improve.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

When you're here, you're family

The best thing about observing Mrs. K was that she obviously cared about her students. She helped them with career advice, and graduation. The students are able to discuss issues with the school, such as what lunches are offered at school, and rally together to change that. They also know Mrs. K's family, and babysit her children.

Not only that, but she cared about her school. She helped put together fundraisers and posters for events. She even painted a picture during the schools talent show for a lucky family! She knew she played an important role in the school.

The big reason she did all of this, of course, is because she is a part of a tight-knit community. She grew up in that community, and her students are doing the same. She knows what they go through at home. She does everything she can to care for them like family. I can only hope that I become a valuable part of a community like her.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Assessing students

Mrs. K has an interesting way of assessing students work. At the end of a quarter or trimester, she would go through all of her students work that they had done through ought the quarter or trimester. While she does so, she asks her students to help clean up the room, cleaning table tops and the sink areas. Her older students turned in their sketchbooks, so she could check that they did the assignments, and they could take their other work home. Her Middle school students brought up all of their work that they had done during the trimester, and she graded it on the spot. Her older students also helped sort the elementary school work into the correct students portfolio. I think sketchbook assignments are a great concept to use for older students.

There were other times I saw her assess. One time was when she started a new middle school trimester. They had gotten into groups and make a cave art drawing together. She then had the students do a self assessment of how they thought they did on the project.
This was the rubric she gave the 6th graders.

Then she had some of her older students present an art based career to the class, such as interior designer or graphic design. They had to do specific research, such as what this job offered for a salary, what they do, etc. They also had to present for 5 minutes. When I observed, only two students were left. One only had two slides to his project, with almost no information, and only presented for 30 seconds. Mrs. K only gave him a 1/9, and I had to agree with her. She gave them time to work in class. Even with one class period of research time, they should have had more to show for their work.

Overall, I think assessment is important, and it's important to have students participate. They need to seriously think about the work they put into their projects. It helps to resolve any issues they may have during the class period and work time.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Why you should never say the word fat in front of second grade students

I love observing a K-12 school. You get to see a tight-knit community work together well because they have known each other their whole life. The teachers have known them just as long and are as motivated as the student themselves to see them succeed. 

I loved observing the older students, because I could have an adult conversation with each of them. About career choices, family issues, and college. I love that they are mature enough to have those conversations.

The hard part was, I forgot about this when I taught my lesson to the second grade students.

I taught the students about symmetry, and we did so by making bugs. The students used scrap paper, which they folded in half and cut out shapes for their bugs body, so that both sides were equal
One of the projects a student made.

I was explaining to the students that they had to make their bug big enough to fit on the leaf. Then one boy asked the question.

"Could we make a fat bug?"

I do not know what told me to say "Yes, you could make a fat bug if you want to."

I realized right after I said those words what a huge mistake I made. The students were shocked that I had said fat. they giggled and looked at each other. One of the boys tapped on my shoulder during the demonstration and told me that I shouldn't have said that word, that it wasn't very nice. I apologized to him and agreed with him. 

I regretted what I said the rest of the day. I still regret saying it. It wasn't okay. Something in that half of a second before I responded said that they were mature enough to understand what I meant by the word. I watched the words I used after that. It's something I am not going to forget saying. Ever. It will follow me through my teaching career.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Students success

  I am continuously surprised by the knowledge and skills of children. Seriously.

In grade school at my practicum, only one of the girls followed the instructions on how to paint the grass exactly, leading to praise from the teacher. She was so happy.

The 6th graders were even more impressive. Her first group had a choice project at the end of the trimester, with which they chose what they made. one student constructed a whole bridge out of paper straws. in her second group, One boy discussed with me the logistics of creating a hover board. This boy also reads Stephen King novels and knows what he wants to do when he grows up (either be a body piercer or own a bike shop).

In the high school classes, one of the girls is amazing at creating portraits. She can even mix odd colors together to make amazing results. Some of the other advanced students have also worked really hard at personalizing their own styles. A lot of these students have high hopes for their future. One senior refuses to work at her moms bar. She does not want to be stuck in a small town her whole life, and although small towns do have their charms, I agree that it is important to get out from under a parents wing and explore the world.

These students have hopes and dreams, and it was amazing to watch them grow.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Practicum curriculum

My CT teaches all different grades, therefore, she has different curriculums for each.
   Her elementary students usually do activities that add to their basic knowledge of art. My CT uses the blog "the art of education" for ideas on what to teach at what age, and activities to do. I myself find the blog extremely helpful, since it has detailed lists of what to teach at what grade.
  Her middle school students are a little different. She decided to do an around the world theme with them, following their history textbook and the countries they learned about. They started with a Canopic jar, on which they wrote their names in hieroglyphics. They also got to choose which animal they used for the lid. They also did henna drawings, Greek columns, and Chinese dragons.
  Her older students are on an entirely different level. She had to mix different classes together during the same period, so that her students could all take the art they wanted. The main chunk of students in the class worked on the same projects, usually ones that centered around their interests, like painting something they liked, or printing a shirt relating to them. Her other students that were more advanced usually got to work on whatever mediums they wanted to work in. As long as they didn't copy anything directly from Pinterest, she didn't mind. I really liked that method, but I feel that only works in a small school, where the teacher can know their students better. I do feel older students should have more freedom to work with the materials they want, to a degree.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Rules in my practicum

Mrs. K does not post rules around the room. She instead makes sure to go through the rules very thoroughly at the younger levels, so that by the time she sees them at an older level, they are aware of her rues and what is expected of them. There are times where she does put posters on the wall, such as her Mr. brush poster, telling students how to treat their brushes when painting. She usually does not send students out of the room, unless they are disrupting other students and their learning. This only happened once while I was here.
  There was one incident when I was not there where two of the older girls, who had been friends for a very long time, were ending their friendship. One of the girls was very snippy during class, making comments out loud directed towards the other. She made note of the situation, but didn't interfere. The next day, the girl apologized to Mrs. K for her behavior. She had been in trouble with Mrs. K before for swearing in class, and she had to write a letter apologizing to Mrs. K. Mrs. K asked the girl to write a short apology for her behavior for the class, and that was the end of it.
  Overall I thought it was a great way to handle these situations. I like that the students have gained respect for her after years of having her as their teacher. I only hope that I can gain that kind of respect in my future classroom.

Monday, April 24, 2017

My practicum school

   My practicum is at a small K-12 school in the middle of rural Wisconsin. There's a little less than a thousand students in total. My CT is Mrs K. She is a Stout alumni who is now teaching at the school she went to. She didn't have art in grade school, but when she went into 9th grade she loved it. She originally went to Stout for graphic design, but decided she wanted to be an art teacher, despite what her family told her to do. She started out as a substitute art teacher after graduation then got hired at her old school.
 She currently has two small children and one on the way. Her and her husband dated through college and got married when they were both done with school. Mrs. K seems to have a close relationship to her students, most likely due to it being a small town. She is aware of her older students strengths and weaknesses.
 I have never observed older students before, so this should be an eye-opening experience for me.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

New semester, new me

   So I'm going to get to hang out with kids this semester! I'm very excited about this. Although it's weird, I kind of hope to get older level students. I have two sisters, one in 7th grade and one in 9th grade, and I would really like to get more experience with children at this age. This is usually the time in their lives where they're like, "What do I want to do after school?" "What am I supposed to do with my life?". I want to be one of the hopeful voices that gets them excited for their future. I want them to know that art is an important part of all of our lives, even if they don't realize it! I want these kids to have a great time, and I can't wait to get in touch with my partner to get things started!!!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

My Art Education Philosophy

   Throughout the last two years of my life, I have discovered how much hard work and passion goes into properly educating students today compared to previous methods used in the past. As a student, I knew what I wanted in an educator, and now that the tables have turned, I know what kind of role model I want to be for my students.
    As an Art educator, it is important to note that most children are visual learners. We use expressions to show how we feel. We use colors and symbols to know when it is okay to cross the street. We tend not to care about something until we can physically see the damage that it is doing to us and our environment. Art itself is a powerful medium in which to express what it means to be human. It is not only important to teach students through visual mediums, but to also teach them how expressing themselves visually can be impactful on others.
   Another important aspect of teaching art is that it teaches students how to use creative problem solving in difficult situations. Many students have come up with different ways to answer math problems compared to the methods that were taught. Though these students may configure the same answer, many get shot down for not using the approved method that was instructed. Instead of being told that what they are doing is wrong, students should be praised for finding a different way to complete a hard task that works for them. Creative problem solving can be applied in every occupation. Art class is where students start to use creative problem solving skills, because the only limit to art projects is your imagination (and the school’s art budget).
   Art also helps students who are visual learners in other subjects that may not be visual subjects. Subjects such as English, history, and even science constantly ask students to draw or make graphs to add a visual or artistic aspect to what they are learning. When art and main subject teachers integrate their lessons, it can form a strong connection to that subject for students. An example of this would be my youngest sister. During my first year at Stout, I was in the play “And Then They Came for Me”, which was put on through Arts Integration Menomonie, about two Holocaust survivors. One of those survivors, Eva Schloss, came to two of our performances to discuss her experience after the show. My sister saw this show, and afterwards she wanted to learn everything she could about the Holocaust. Integration has always had an important role in education, and will continue to be so. It is an art teacher’s role to explain the importance of integration to their fellow teachers and to work with them whenever necessary.
   The best part about art education is that anyone can be an artist. Yes, some are better than others, but you don’t have to be smart or popular to be successful in art. Art doesn’t judge based on race, or religion, or sexual orientation. Everyone can enjoy art. Everyone can make art. It has no limits. The only limit is what the teacher can provide to the students. Accommodating for disabilities and cultural differences can make a big impact on a student and their family. Creating a lesson that could be difficult for a disabled student or one that is insensitive to a student’s culture can be disastrous. Every student can create art. A great teacher finds a way to each their lesson to all their students, despite disabilities, and a great teacher educates themselves on a cultural subject before they present it to their class. A great teacher is always learning.

  In today’s practice of education in the United States, teachers need to have passion for the subject they teach. Teachers get paid so little for the impact they make on a child’s life. However, being a teacher isn’t about the money, it’s about knowing that you are making a difference. That may sound corny, but many teachers provide safe spaces for students in their classrooms. Some inspire to students to turn their education in a subject into a career, and some make school a place students can call a second home. School is an escape for some children from everything they go through at home, and making classwork difficult can make things worse. A teacher’s passion to help their students needs to equal their passion for the subject they teach.  I understand that more than anything right now, and intend to apply all of this to my future classroom.