I make my 8th graders draw silently for the first 10 minutes of every class. I decided to do this because it was impossible for them to come in quietly and get instructions. It took the first 10 minutes for them to settle enough for me to get their attention. When they come in, I have their "drawing journals" out and the previous day's work graded. The can choose to re-do the past day's work (if the grade was bad) or take the grade and go on to the next day's theme. They have 5 minutes (3 minutes of passing time and 2 minutes of class time) to get to their seats and start drawing silently. I set the timer for 10 minutes. They have to keep working on the same drawing for the WHOLE 10 minutes--the whining is incredible. If they talk, they come in after school and work on their journal silently for 40 minutes. ( I am sooooo evil!!) When the timer goes off, before they start to talk, I give instructions, etc for the rest of the work time. So far it has been working pretty well. However, I'm starting to run out of journal ideas, and haven't been as selective as I need to be ( "if you could get anything for a gift what would it be....." Answer: stripper!! with the little black-out-T&A-squares like on COPS)
>>> Iteachart7@aol.com 11/20/00 03:52PM >>>
In a message dated 11/20/00 5:46:07 AM Eastern Standard Time,
> I love your concept of Sustained, Silent Drawing. I know you have mentioned
> this in the past, but could you give a few more details? What are the
> students working on? Is it a still life or do they bring in their own
> objects? Is it observational or otherwise?
Thanks. It is something I've been using since I started at this school. I
used it at first because I thought I was going to loose my mind! 1st year
teaching and a prep school and these kids just couldn't stop talking! Then
one Friday, which I always set aside for observational drawing, I said NO
TALKING. Didn't yell, just repeated it every time a question was asked-NO
TALKING. That was for sanity. Then I realized and they did too, that-hey,
look what happens when I actually concentrate!!! The allowance of
CDs(theirs) came later with much begging and promises, I gave in, and things
got even better!
So, to answer your question (sorry about the rambling) The SSD is strictly
observational from still-life, Sometimes on each table, sometimes on the back
wall. They get their drawing boards, paper, drawing pencils, viewfinders and
listen for instructions. I say begin, headphones go on and I'm in heaven! (
or the politically correct version, like MACY's the night before the one day
Anyway-while they draw, I have my board set up and draw right along with
them. I circulate and praise answer questions, etc., then go back to drawing.
Haven't dared to put my headphones on -haha- but I do place music for those
without. It's a nice break from our structured pace.