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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als. All students were given a 6 x 9" (15 x 23 cm) envelope in which to keep their handouts and miniatures. Each class had its own basket of student envelopes. The Trading Cards Most students embraced the project and always looked forward to creating their cards. Some opted to produce several pieces with a theme, while others made a collection that was diverse in subject matter and mate- their collection. The cards that were available for trade were to be neatly spread out in front of their area. The class was asked to stand and very slowly walk around the table to view what was available for trade. Trading was not allowed until all available work was viewed. Once students reached their starting point, the trading began. I had three sessions and each progressed in a similar fashion. Another concern I had was that some students might experience put- CardS Teaching Tip: Artist trading cards present some added benefits to the teacher. On those days that a substitute must cover your class, assigning an artist trading card can be the perfect answer. Do you have a student who finishes a project before the rest of the class? Assign an artist trading card! Kathleen A. McArdle Right: Accordion-fold pocket books, used for storing artist trading cards. rial. Students created miniature paper weavings, paintings, drawings, computer art cards, and small works in relief. Many enjoyed designing both the front and back of a card. The Trading Session As the end of the year approached, the anticipation for our trading session began to grow. The plans developed to incorporate our session with our endof-the year party. Would students take the trading session seriously or would theperioddissolveintopartytime?I knew I had to structure the session in some way. Work tables were pushed together to create one large island. Students were asked to put their favorites in an accordion-fold pocket book that they had made to store downs or a lack of trading activity. I prepped students by asking them to remain respectful of everyone's creative expression. I also encouraged them to trade by explaining to them that they were actually building their first, authentic collection of original art, and that they were also collecting meaningful mementos of their classmates. I was so pleased with this project that I plan to keep it as part of my curriculum for next year. Not only was the freedom of choice in these small works important, but the difficult social skills involved with making a trade while displaying proper etiquette and empathy was handled extremely well by these young adults. Kathleen A. McArdle is a visual arts teacher at Glen Rock Middle School in Glen Rock, New Jersey. NatioNal StaNdard Students use the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of their experiences and ideas. Web liNkS html SchoolArts August/September 2008 49

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