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Re: motivations for an artroom


From: Bunki Kramer (bkramer_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sat Feb 22 2003 - 09:43:28 PST

from: Bunki Kramer (
Los Cerros Middle School
968 Blemer Road
Danville, CA 94526

>From: Maggie White <>
>..... Being able to see
> how the other students are doing in comparison gives them some
> inspiration.

I agree also. When doing our pencil drawings, I often collect them at
beginning of class and go through them at a table with the class. Seeing
that they are all at the same stages and sharing common problems gives them
legitimacy which motivates them on....a sometimes difficult project to
motivate. I get the best results after these demos.

Having a "choice" of materials is another good motivator when possible. I
don't do it often but I DO try to once in a paint OR long as they are heading towards the same goals. Also having
choices with extra credit motivates them to head in that direct on their own
when finished with a project. Good instructions and a small artroom library
with how-to-draw books and a couple of soda boxes with some run-off copies
of Jay Conley's how-to's are great incentives.

Working on an example of the "possibly next" project as they are working on
the first project is a motivator. I'll get a lot of "Can we do that next?"

Asking the secretaries or teachers on prep to come in and view work as it's
being done motivates. Did that yesterday and you should have seen how
pleased the kids were at the compliments and comments. Fortunately the
secretaries are artsy-crafty so they are all oohs and aahs. I usually do
that for more involved projects that need more motivation.

Motivation for picking up/cleaning up/doing something really nice for
someone without being told...I have a plastic black cauldron filled with
little silly prizes on a shelf in the room. It might contain little art
sample supplies (like NAEA give-aways) or little plastic rings, keychains,
pencils, rulers, dinasours, finger-size games, etc. When caught being good
WITHOUT ASKING, they get to thumb through and pick a prize. We also use it
for math classes if they catch me in a mistake. The first one to notice gets
the prize. I goof up (and sometimes NOT on purpose) sometimes to keep their
ears atuned to listening.

Putting up previous student examples WELL BEFORE the next two
projects useful.

Good, professional materials motivate so it's worth it to purchase good
things like 36 good quality brushes that will last. Stressing the worth of
these quality items motivates. Everyone wants to use a professional brush
instead of a kiddie brush. Scissors are also a good item. Big professional
scissors are always better than kiddie scissors. We know the difference and
the kids know the difference. They last way longer than the cheap stuff

Keeping a relatively clean and well-organized art room is a great
motivator...both for good production as well as good clean-up. Kids know
when you "care" and when you don't. You send a message without opening your

Good discipline with a smile motivates. When kids feel safe and know
boundaries, they are motivated to product better work when not threatened by
words or deeds from classmates. They will experiment more when they feel a
safe and nurturing evironment.

Having teacher enthusiasm for a project is probably the greatest motivator
by keeping your curriculum current and fresh...and constantly flowing with
new ideas (which is what this listserv is ALL about). Soooooo...visiting the
library once in a while, sitting on the floor at Barnes & Nobel thumbing
through art books, being a working member of a fantastic listserv, going to
state conferences and national conventions, staying up on the current new
products, experimenting on your own, creating new ideas from old ideas...all
of this is an indirect but very powerful motivator for kids.