Giving Feedback

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Giving Feedback

Post by hodgkisb on Wed Sep 23, 2015 6:51 pm

I know this is A LOT of information but here are some practical tips:

1) Try to avoid negative words like "no," "can't," and "shouldn't."  Instead use phrases like "I recommend you do this instead" or "in my experience, you'll get better results if you try it this way" or "I'd prefer if you follow the instructions for now, but that's a great idea to try when you get home!"  If a student is misusing/abusing the materials, try to redirect them by reminding them of the proper use (e.g.  "Let's be careful with our brushes--we have to share them with the whole school!" or "can you wait to use the clay until we're ready?")

2) Your young artists will ask for feedback.  ("Do you like mine?")  Try to avoid making subjective judgments (e.g. "It's beautiful!")  After all, we all have different tastes and beauty is in the eye of the beholder!  Instead, try objectively describing what you see.  "I see that you followed instructions very carefully" or "Wow!  Look at the contrasting colors!"  or "Isn't it cool how your horizon line gives a sense of perspective?"  Bonus points if you use art terms concerning the line, value, shape, form, space, color, or texture! (Google "art terms for elementary students" for more ideas)

3) When a student hates his/her work, try to encourage them without invalidating their feelings. Depending on what this issue is remind your artist that a) the samples were done by adults who are A LOT older; b) our inspiration artists had MANY years of experience. What we see in galleries isn't their first attempt. They took a long time to learn their skills, with many years of frustration and false starts along the way; and c) learning new things (sports, academic skills, video games) takes time. It's EXTREMELY rare to have success in your first attempt! Praise students for taking risks and trying something new, even if it didn't turn out how they would hope. If the artist is willing, plant the idea "what would you try differently next time?"


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