Friday, May 20, 2011

Spring Semester 2011

Spring 2011... what a crazy semester. I have finally finished three important classes in my academic career: Curriculum and Assessments, Technology Applications, and Elem. & Sec. Observations. By far, the Curr. & Assess. class was the hardest. It was the final project that did me in. I had to create a Scope and Sequence for a high schoool Digital Media II class. What that means is, I had to plan a curriculum for the whole year, six 6-week units. To be fair, I was the one who picked Digital Media, which is not necessarily my forte, but I have a great interest in digital media being used in the classroom.

For the first six weeks, I had to create four lessons, each culminating into an art project, that included all the PowerPoints, rubrics, handouts, and any other additional material needed to conduct those classes. These lesson plans included the day to day planning, including questions for dialogue. Since this was for a Digital Media II unit, I decided to create a website instead of handouts. Talk about time consuming. There are essential questions for dialogic interactions among the students and teacher. These units have been designed to be student-centered, meaning that students identify and create responses to issues that affect them in their lives. All the while, students will be taught to reflect critically on those issues with the hopeful outcome of instilling and promoting students to become active citizens in local and global communities with a heightened awareness and sense of responsibility.

Who said art class was an easy 'A'?

I think a lot of people feel that way about art, but honestly, if you have ever taken an art class with a good art teacher, there is way more to art than cutting and pasting. Art is not about the materials, it is not about painting 'happy trees' (Thanks, Bob Ross), there is more to art than the splattering of paint or the drawing of lines. Art is about something.

Have you ever tried to just sit down and create something? Anything? Try it. Sit down right now with a blank sheet of paper and pencil. Now, CREATE!

It's not easy... is it? There is a lot that goes into an artist's process. There are source materials, reading, viewing, experiementation, etc. Being an artist is a never-ending process. We are constantly putting ourselves through professional development everytime we go to an art museum, everytime we pick up a newpaper or read an article, everytime we talk to people or other artists. I digress...

The point is, we teach children art so that they may see in different ways, become creative and innovative thinkers, have a voice that can be expressed visually (or otherwise, the arts is a huge category!), and become critical thinkers in today's society. Not everyone is cut out for art class, some students would rather read or play sports, but for those that need something else, WHY NOT ART?!

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