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Landscape Critique Lesson Reflection

Before the lesson began I set up the classroom with the desks into four groups and
had a prompt or activity about reflecting on your own artwork. In the first group there
was a variety of many vocabulary words that consisted of artistic elements of design and
descriptive words, all with the definition. The students were to create a list in their
sketchbook of all the words that could be connected to their artwork and a brief note of
why they chose each word. The second group had a prompt that was to be written in their
sketchbook, what materials and techniques did you use and why? Why or why not was it
successful in your artwork? The third group had a prompt as well that focused on the
decision making during the process of creating while reflecting on problem solving and
experimentation. The fourth group had the prompt to identify meaning in their artwork
and the features in their art that supports the meaning. I also wrote the objectives on the
board that will be discussed in class and as a reference for students to refer back too.
When class began I started with the objectives and then asked the question why
do we talk about art? Giving the students plenty of wait time to reflect, no students
would answer the question so I had to call on a few. Hearing the responses from the
variety of students I was surprised about how in depth and thoughtful their answers were
because no one wanted to share them with the class. I proceeded to ask, what is
meaning? Again after a sufficient amount of wait time no one wanted to share their
thoughts so I called on more students. I felt almost like a bully embarrassing them by
calling them out in front of their peers.
I explained the different stations and the students actively participated in the
activity. Although I gave few reminders of time checks at each station, my biggest regret
is when time was running out and students still needed to visit other stations I said dont
worry about detail and just write all your thoughts, make sure you get to each station I
regretted it the moment I said it and if I had done that now I would have told the students
that I take it back and that it should be detailed. Time management was a huge success;
every student had a great amount of thoughtful writing from each station. After the
students reflected on their own artwork they got into four groups and critiqued each
others with questions and statements for each group to consider to help them get going.
No one said anything; the students didnt even look at their peers art. I ask the students
to get up and walk around the table and that generated some conversation. It wasnt until
I visited each group and started having a conversation about one or two artworks and
making connections and differences with other ones in the group that really got them
talking. The students changed groups four times so each student could experience new
ideas to think about when critiquing. By the end of the class every group was having very
engaging conversations about each others artwork. I thought I had gotten this group
talkative enough to move into a class discussion.
The last part of class we gathered together and talked about what the students
noticed, discovered, realized, etc. when talking about art using the different prompts and
just as a whole. Again the students wouldnt volunteer their thoughts and I had to call on
more students. This felt more natural because I have already called out a few before.
Through this discussion it was clear the students had met the objectives I had explained at
the beginning of class. At the end of class the students handed me a ticket out the door
that was a quick reflection of their art piece and what they learned in the lesson. Although

they were quiet in class it turned out they really enjoyed the lesson and they said the
different prompts were really helpful. The students met the lesson objectives and had a
strong understanding of critiquing art from different perspectives.
Teaching this lesson has improved my teacher voice in a way that I realized I
have patience for wait time after questioning, I can handle a quiet group which I didnt
think I could at first, and that it is more important for students to think critically in one
subject matter than to not put as much thought into many subject matters. Having this as
my first lesson in front of high school students, I really felt like a teacher for the first time
and moving around the class during the lesson was really helpful to stay motivated in the
activities myself. Even though I was comfortable talking to the students and moving
around the class I was still flustered about the concern if my lesson will be successful.
Looking back at my lesson experience I realized it is a great thing to take a risk when
teaching and if it doesnt work try something new. I learned to never be afraid of teaching
a lesson because then that is wasted energy when teaching when you should be focused
on class engagement and assessment. Planning out time in my lesson really helped
manage the class and helped managed time to get everything done. Management could
have been improved if I had numbered/colored note cards or some sort of system to have
the students transition from groups and stations more efficiently.
I discovered I have a really interactive teaching style, I like to keep students
moving and thinking a lot. I think my teaching style is maybe a little fast paste with all
the different stations and groups; I need to work on slowing it down just a little bit. My
instructional planning always starts with procedures and objectives and then I move in to
think about standards and preparation. My main focus in my teaching philosophy is to
guide students learning through problem solving, experimentation, and engaging
activities. I have never planned an entire lesson around a critique before so I was
intimidated at first with connecting it to the standards.
Thinking about the students and how to make the lesson relevant to them as an
artist made the connection between lesson and standards really easy to find. In my
teaching philosophy I stated that assessments are for the teacher to check for
understanding but more importantly for the student to see their understanding and growth
in learning. Writing the reflections and the ticket out the door helped me understand that
it was a successful lesson but really helped the students see their critical thinking of their
own art into words and showed them how much meaning and landscape painting they
painted has from their own artistic intentions.