Art as Inquiry: Lessons in Persistence
For my first post to comment on, Mrs. Siwak discusses her experience with teaching art to her sixth grade students. She discusses how she has taught art before, but it has been a while since she has had to. On her first day with her sixth grade students, she starts with a discussion-How do you feel about art as a subject? I would have never thought about starting with this question, but it is such a wonderful idea. After asking this question and hearing some responses, she can get past the barriers and negative attitudes that some students may have towards art. She then talks about how the students responded. Some do like art, but more found art frustrating. When told, “tell me more,” many students figured out that the reason they get frustrated with art is because they start with an idea in their head of what their art should look like. Then, when their art does not meet that set expectation, they end up with those feelings of frustration. Siwak continued to surprise me while reading the post. The students start their art process with learning types of lines, and another discussion-“What is it that causes art to look bad? The students then come up with three key components as to how to produce quality pieces of art.
2. Reduced Speed
Here is an excerpt from my comment:
"I really enjoyed reading your post, because I love art and know how many students get frustrated with it. It was a great idea to change the concept of "creating a piece of art" to "experimenting." This takes pressure and stress off the student. I really enjoyed how through active learning, the students were able to figure out what it is that causes art to look bad. Persistence, slowing down, and focus are a key to doing almost anything 100%."
Communication, Communication, Yes ... and!
For my second post to comment on, Mrs. Siwak discusses how she broke down the processes of communication for students that she feels does not come naturally for most students. Most students shy away from true communication and collaboration. She discusses how hard it is for students to fully participate in integrative thinking, because the students have to learn how to be comfortable with hearing their own thoughts as well as others. She then talks about her results in watching the students collaborate. As students become more comfortable, the student’s body chemistry becomes more open and relaxed. Even if they feel uncomfortable, using this confident body chemistry will help them feel more confident. This is very useful information, because of how many students are uncomfortable with collaborating. She also discusses with her students a "yes, and..." idea, instead of a "yes, but..." By doing this, they can accept their own ideas and be positive for others ideas. Her ideas in the classroom are great lessons for upcoming teachers.
Here is an excerpt from my comment:
"I have seen adults who still lack in communication skills with others. I found it really interesting how your students, after working in groups and engaging in conversation, changed their body chemistry. I loved how you said, "I shared the research about body chemistry and how standing in a more confident position causes reactions within their bodies that allows them feel more confident." What a useful piece of information for your students! Also, I have never though about the "yes...and" instead of "yes..but." This really changes the ideas of students and their interaction. They do not have to disagree with anyone this way. For most students, disagreeing is intimidating, which enables them to speak less."