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Re: quiet on the first day of lessons


From: menichino (menichino_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Jul 05 2001 - 15:01:58 PDT

Hi Leah --
If my 3rd, 4th or 5th graders are working on a lengthy assignment, I usually
add a new skill or fresh step to it every lesson or two. For example, our
3rd graders design, stitch and sew a pouch using burlap and 4-ply yarn.
>From the very first day (just practice with yarn, needle and tying knots)
through to the last lesson (evaluating themselves with an assessment paper
and viewing everyone's finished pouch) takes 10 lessons. But in all the
years I've been doing this they don't seem to lose momentum or interest.
For 4th/5th graders I think the longest I've gone is 4 or 5 class periods.
However, I feel so often (especially when viewing other school's art
exhibits) that maybe I'm not letting my kids work long enough on their
drawings and paintings. I guess I'm afraid they *will* get bored (which
equals discipline problems!!) so it's only a few that actually color in or
paint their entire backgrounds, for example, or bring the work to a
satisfactory completion. I see other schools' students' work looking all
wonderful and finished and impressive and I feel kind of ineffectual at
getting my kids to really finish their work properly. I sometimes
rationalize this by saying -- well my job is to introduce them to the
techniques and media and then if they want to do more artwork on their own
they will have the know-how to do so. But then the little devil on my other
shoulder tells me that I am training these kids to not have the perseverence
to finish a job (my mother's mantra "once a job is first begun never leave
it till it's done....) Anyone have any thoughts on this?
Liz in rural NY

----- Original Message -----
From: artappeal <>
Subject: quiet on the first day of lessons

> > I find that on the "first day" of any new lesson, the students are very
> > quiet and concentrating.
> > Carolyn
> I find this to be true, also. So, I've been thinking about shortening my
> lessons for fourth and fifth graders (I teach k-5). The things I've been
> teaching them take more time to learn and carry out (they have to
> more skills, do more planning), therefore lessons often go on for four or
> five classes (40 min.). However, I'm finding that they are losing
> and excitement towards the end. Those of you that teach elementary, how
> long do your fourth and fifth grade projects/lessons last? What do you do
> to keep them going?
> Leah