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Lesson Plans

Re: Unmotivated third graders

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Christine Merriam (
Fri, 12 Sep 1997 14:05:46 -0600

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PicasoLovr wrote:
>I have one class of third graders that are just putting in their 45 minute
>art time. They are handing in art work in ten minutes that a kindergarten
>class might do. Does any one have any motivational lessons or suggestions? My
>vice principal suggested I reduce lessons to a second grade level, but I
>don't want to do that. Any ideas?

Hi Sue,
Every once in a while I get the same feeling you do. I figure the classroom
teacher and I have very different teaching styles and expectations. Lately, I
am trying this... I tell the kids, that they are in the art room, this is what
I expect, and show them some really great work from other classes. I emphasize
that I might not teach like their classroom teacher.... There was one class
who I felt were acting like preschoolers :( The teacher had moved from
teaching first to third, so was not accustomed to giving the students more
responsibility, and due to time restraints, I emphasize that the kids are in
charge of what they choose to do with the lessons I present. I deliver a
presentation that requires a lot of listening and following directions skills,
and say, "sorry, I was not listening to the teacher, so I do not know how to
do that" when they mess up... it works.. think it is called tough love.
Another line I use a lot is : "The first one done is not the BEST one done."
and once again, I use student work to illustrate my point, having them choose
which artwork they would be proud of when I hold up two pictures (one done in
a hurry, the other done by someone who took their time).
Have fun! I love the openness of third graders and their willingness to try
anything!! With a little coaching, you will see their best efforts.
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