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Re: quiet on the first day of lessons

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From: artappeal (artappeal_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Jul 05 2001 - 18:25:38 PDT


Liz wrote (snipped) in response to my question about the length of
lessons/projects in elementary.

> 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.
That is a good idea. I'm going to try to do that more. Perhaps if kids are
presented with one task at a time, I will repeat myself less, and they may
concentrate more on the task at hand. If they finish early, I could have
skill building activities for them to do, like a sketch assignment. That
would allow for the different interest levels (some will use more or less
time, but we'll move ahead at about the same rate, which will solve some
problems-forgive me, I'm brainstorming).

> 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,

I'm also concerned about this. If I make my lessons shorter, I want to
change them so that the product will have a finished quality. I know that
is not always the point in "lessons" and "exercises," but I have an art
show, and students, parents, and colleagues like to see nice work. So do I.
Often, success is judged by everyone, including the students, by the
product.

>. . . But then the little devil on my other
> shoulder tells me that I am training these kids to not have the
perseverence. . .

This concerns me, too. Originally, my lessons were planned to be completed
over so many classes so that the students could think, plan, solve problems,
etc. However, that is not what is happening with some of the kids. I need
to build into the process, lessons that teach thinking, planning, solving,
without the students getting bored or frustrated. It's what all of us do,
and it's a TALL order. I want to challenge the children without turning
them off, it's such a delicate balance especially with the short attention
spans and low frustration levels I often encounter. Some people just don't
enjoy a challenge, it's a good thing we all do!

Leah

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