Tuesday, September 11, 2012

How did we differentiate today?

Differentiation is a hot word in education. However, it's something that comes very naturally to an art teacher by nature of our job. We have to teach a whole bunch of students the same standards but if one student is not understanding, it is our job to figure out a different way to teach that student (or small group) so he or she can learn the standard. (That is NOT a dictionary definition!) For me, that can include using different sized paint brushes, swapping out markers for paint is the main standard is color (where the material is not an issue but could be a deterrent), using book, flip chart, dances, or other whole body exercises to grasp concepts. We all do not learn the same and even though it is not easy, we should not teach the same to every child. Plus, I find it more fun as a teacher!

Today, some students made lines with yarn. They had drawn them and we made them with our bodies but this added another kinesthetic way to manipulate the string to form their desired outcome. I also gave the students a choice as to what materials they wanted to use (out of three) in another class. Using my example, they could see the results and then choose what they wanted based on their wished (many wanted to use oil pastels) and practical artistic brains (but some thought their drawings were too small to create a nice picture with the oil pastels. These budding artists were making choices! Awesome! We are learning and growing!

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