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Take time to teach.

Remember the story of the tortoise and the hare? I often felt impatient as I wanted students to finish a project too soon. I was bored going over and over the skills.

As the teacher, I could envision the finished piece. I had already walked the path to the end product. I had done the planning. I may have even created a sample product.

What I failed to realize was that my students had not. They needed time --to think, to internalize, to plan. They needed time to achieve a quality product, time to meet the expectations of the assignment, and time to experience and enjoy each part of the process. They needed time to achieve success and develop self-confidence and pride.

Too many times we rush through the skills necessary for an assignment--then we wonder why the kids don't get it.

We all learn in different ways: some more quickly, some through reading, some through demonstration, some by example. I often use an illustrated handout to accompany a demonstration.

When you plan your lesson, figure out the steps, skills, and time it will take to complete. Set up the expectations and assessment criteria so there are no surprises for anyone. And don't forget to plan things for students to do when they finish a project early. In such cases, we critique the work to determine if students have solved the problem and have met both the assignment objectives and their own expectations. In pottery and crafts, I usually have them move on to the next project or work on an independent project. In drawing and painting, the students do additional sketchbook work.

--Annita Shaw, Silverdale, Washington
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Title Annotation:Bright Ideas
Author:Shaw, Annita
Publication:School Arts
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2005
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