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Re: Help for students losing focus


From: Frances Briggs (frances.briggs_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Fri May 09 2003 - 21:16:49 PDT

I find that assigned seating definitely helps to maintain order in art

----- Original Message -----
From: "kcaraway" <>
To: "ArtsEdNet Talk" <>
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.
> Thanks,
> Karla Caraway
> ---