I've used some calming meditation music during class(they have to listen
closely to hear ocean sounds etc). To get children in the right frame of
mind for art ,I have them do some deep breathing exercises to relax them. It
worked especially well this week after their Terra Nova tests.It makes the
beginning of art class kind of Zen like,so I get about 25 minutes of focused
work and then of course clean up begins and chaos starts all over again!
----- Original Message -----
From: "kcaraway" <email@example.com>
To: "ArtsEdNet Talk" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Friday, May 09, 2003 12:49 AM
Subject: Help for students losing focus
> I have a number of students on the brink of tears this time of year. They
> have so many things to worry about. Seems it's hard for them to remember
> they are in art class when their math test is next hour and they didn't
> finish their Spanish final project.
> What to do? They want to come to class and socialize, but I really
> they need to be using most of the little tiny itty bitty short period to
> their artwork. I believe the quiet, introspective "in the flow" time
> help them through it all, but only if they want to do it, and it takes
> one or two to wreck it for all. I want them to value their time and to
> forward to doing art. Some say they do the work at home and shouldn't have
> to work in class too, and get huffy when I try to explain the benefits of
> learning to get truly focused when they want to.
> Also, it's that time of year when they seem to be interested in nothing
> except --well, you know -- looking around for someone else to blame for
> getting everything done on time like they had hoped to do at the beginning
> of the year! (I'm thinking of putting a big target on my smock!)
> I wish I had compiled some inspiring words of wisdom to use at such times,
> and hope to do so this summer, maybe posting something new every few days.
> Meanwhile, anybody got any great motivational art quotes that would help
> them realize that their art time is valuable? (Did I mention the class
> period isn't very long??)
> Or perhaps you have ways to allow them to switch from doing focused
> and then allowing them time to visit and exchange ideas, without
> how to do focused work again? So far the only thing I have found that
> is assigned seats, and that saying "get in the flow" works better than "be
> quiet and get back to work".
> I would be curious to know how many use assigned seating as a general
> and not only for those who get out of hand with talking. I'm thinking of
> starting off the year assigning them next year, and allowing those who
> extra good habits to earn the privilege, and keep it until they show they
> can't handle being near their buddies.
> I want to be positive, without resorting to blatant bribery. What works
> you? It's getting harder every year.
> Karla Caraway