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class of the extreme

updated sun 28 jan 01


Diane Mead on thu 25 jan 01

Hello Clayarters:
This semester I have a Large class that is boisterous and unlike my other
classes, prone to doing nothing productive.

How can I convince a couple dozen rowdies to do what they need to?
They are all a bit more active than any other class,
and it makes for very little productive work and a lot of frustration on
my part.
I am at the point where I might just have to make them
sketch vessel forms on paper and define terms all semester.
I've laid down the law but it is still way wack...
Thanks, all
diane in Georgia
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R12396@AOL.COM on thu 25 jan 01

I've been teaching in a high school with much of the same problem you
describe. Many of my students are short on home instruction on self
discipline, controlling anger, utilizing time wisely and knowing how to
properly treat each other. Much of their negative behavior is directed toward
each in of the form of put downs, name calling and bullying each other. I've
tried various things, but, I've found what works best for me are projects
that required help from each other, students helping students.
Assign two or several students to work together. I use what I call,
collaboration tiles. It's a favorite place or event that each student enjoys
doing or have done. They combine these memories into one descriptive clay
tile, either flat or into a L-shape tile. Once the first one gets done, the
fever starts. At least for a while, until the next assignment.
I hope this information has helped. Good luck! If you need more info.
Email me. G. Ramirez- " The Clay Stalker"

Diane Lamb-Wanucha on sat 27 jan 01

A successful assignment for a large rowdy high school ceramics class is The
Ceramic Dinner Plate. This can be introduced by looking at Pop Art-Claus
Oldenburg, etc. Students take three magazine photos of foods that they like
that would make a good meal. Students create a sketch. Directions like at
least 3 different foods , a variety of textures, good composition, etc.
Start out by usind a Strong chinette paper plate as a drape mold to make a
slab plate. While the plate is still leatherhard and supported by the plate
construct and add the clay food. My class casted a spoon, an ear of corn,
even blueberries. We shared these molds as well as freehand sculpting as
well as the use of lots of texture materials. We strove for realism. The
students loved it when they got peas to look real and when lace pressed in
clay looked like lettuce,and when a potato masher created a great waffle.
When greenware, plates were painted with underglazes and when bisued they
were coated with low fire glaze. The class came together and the students
learned so many skills. The exhibit in the main display case was a big hit.
Hope this helps.
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iandol on sat 27 jan 01

Dear Diane Mead,

Though the following suggestions may not be options, they will work.

Go in for Sculpture of some form or other. If it has to be clay, get =
them to model portraits of their other teachers, as cartoon characters. =
Base for face is a tall slender coil or slab pot. Using a slab is fast.

If you have access to stone carving tools, make some 2Kg plaster blocks =
and have the same subject.

Those kids (they sound like grade nine going on ten) will find focus =
fast and you will have great learners.

Best regards,