You are in the middle of a lesson demonstrating drawing in perspective and you use the word parallel lines. As you turn around from the board, you see blank zombie like stares. Back up, where did I loose them? As you look around the room at their sketchbooks you start to realize parallel lines was the zinger. What grade do they learn what a parallel line is? Should I move on to rays, acute angles, and foreshortening? Of course, but take the opportunity to teach these little sponges a mini lesson in math. Next time, you will be prepared with the book, Vocabulary for the Common Core by Robert J. Marzano and Julia A. Simms.
If you are an educator, you have already been introduced to CommonCore or have heard about it from the both positive and negative reviews it’s getting. The goal of the common core is to create learning standards that are common across any state. An advantage is if you are living in Illinois and move to North Carolina, the schools should be teaching the same standards. Students should not have to play catch up in their transition to a new place, therefore they will have a consistent flow.
As the Fine Arts teacher, you have your own set of state standards that are taught as well as including the CC. We know, you can’t teach art without teaching history, math, reading, writing skills, science, technology, vocabulary, etc… The sometimes difficult part is when we use vocabulary that comes natural to us, but the students may not be familiar with it yet. With help of this book and its easy breakdown, you can look up instantly when a particular term is used in what grade. A good reminder for kids, when you say, I know you were taught this in 2nd grade, let’s review!
The book is divided up into three parts: vocabulary instruction, vocabulary terms (with definitions and examples) and Tier 3 Terms by grade level for both reading and math.
Vocabulary Instruction is a brief chapter explaining reading readiness and ability.
Vocabulary terms explains it is a six step process to learning a new word. In this chapter, the steps are provided with descriptions, definitions, examples, visual application, engaging the student to use the vocabulary, discussion, and play with word to making connections to new ideas.
Part 3 has page after page of common vocabulary in graph form by grade level. For example: illustrator is listed for K, 1, 2 where as satire is 8, 9-12. This year, I was teaching gesture drawing to third graders earlier this year, and I see that gesture (in its other context) should be taught in that grade. Bingo! My answer to parallel lines is third grade, so maybe I was just too early before they hit it in math, but then again, maybe they learned it with me and it helped in their math class.
I look forward to using this book. Parts of it, I plan to make posters or handouts for the classroom so students can use the vocabulary in their critiques and discussions. Seeing and hearing the same vocabulary across the curriculum, I feel will help students to understand that the fine arts are not separate but connected together in many ways.