Do You Let Them Practice?
If athletes practice before the game,
why don’t we let our students practice more before the final art project?
This year, I’ve given special attention to allowing my students to do some practice work and drawing exercises BEFORE we start that final project. Because I only see students 45 minutes a week, it always becomes too easy to have students start the final projects right away with the fear of not finishing on time or rushing students at the end. However, the element of practice becomes so very important when we think about building art skills as well as confidence in the art room. Are we teaching for the final beautiful project or are we teaching for artistic behaviors and skills that students can translate to all areas of their life? Do we have to choose between the two?
A conversation with colleagues emerged recently about this and I wanted to explore it a bit further with all of you.
Do you allow students to practice before the final project, or do you jump right into “follow me everyone- We are going to make a picture like Van Gogh Today”.. (we are all guilty of it and I am not saying it’s wrong, because it does have it’s place). I just wonder if art teachers give students a chance to try and fail before we immediately assess them on a one shot and done basis. Is it fair? Or do we even have a choice with the limited time we have?
One solution I’ve come up with is to use white boards for quick practice drawing time when I am introducing a new technique. This does not use up a lot of resources, take a lot of time, but does get at the end goal- a time for students to try without fear of failure and hopefully learn something new to enhance the next art project we are embarking on?
Weigh in with your thoughts on the issue- I am very curious to hear!