SchoolArts Magazine

AUG-SEP 2008

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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Meeting Individual Needs First Days Marisa J. Main H arry Wong, author of The procedures, and unofficially and First Days of School, tentatively identifying exceptional stresses the importance of students. Through careful evaluathe very first days of school tion of class discussions and student and how they set the stage for the behaviors, it is easy to identify the entire year. No words are truer. extremes of the learning curve. By The first making notes days of school The first days of school are crucial. on the class are crucial. lists throughNot only are you setting up Not only are out the day, procedures that become routines, I am able you setting but you are also identifying and to create a up procedures that become usable seatsorting learning criteria. routines, but ing chart to you are also identifying and sortbenefit the various personality types ing learning criteria. Unfortunately and abilities. This process begins the the art teachers are often the last to first day, but is ongoing throughout receive the latest IEP's (individualthe school year. ized education plan), or learn who is in the process of testing for learning Collaborative Learning disabilities. For this reason, art teachA typical artroom has tables that ers in particular have to rely on their allow for groups of five to eight stuexperience and intuitive thinking. dents and are easily set up for collaborative learning experiences. When Observing Behaviors a gifted student is placed next to a My first days of school are spent student with special needs, the gifted performing trained and careful obserstudents is often innately drawn to vations while initiating classroom help the special needs student. If 12 schoolartsonline.com there is a combination of skill levels at each table, it encourages understanding of individual needs, and also keeps the quick and gifted students from becoming bored. These combination table environments are much more successful than the old system of dividing the class into high and low achievers. Allowing students to interact and function in an integrated fashion allows them a more realistic view of the world, and helps to create good citizenship and understanding of others. Resource Wong, Harry K. and Rosemary T. The First Days of School. Mountain View, CA: Harry K. Wong Publications, Inc., 2004. Marisa Main is an art educator in Huntington, West Virginia. minmj@adlephia. net or mainmj@comcast.net Web Link www.harrywong.com

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