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Young Artists

March 25, 2013

Young Artists

Giving a quiz can be a very stressful situation in Liberia.  After almost two years, however, I have a system that seems to work.  I give them sheets (so there is no yelling, fighting, or scrambling for paper) and I collect everything together at the end (otherwise they get up, leave, and disturb outside).  The trick is to give a quiz that most of the class can complete successfully but still keeps all of them busy the entire 45 minutes.

I used to ask them to write compositions when they were done.  “What do you want to do after high school?” or “Who do you admire?” (that was an excellent one because 80% of them said me).  It was never for points but I would mark their grammar and spelling errors.  Some of them really liked this but some of them hate writing so they’d disturb anyway or cause noise complaining to me.  So a few months ago I tried something different.  I was tired and I didn’t want to spend two days grading quizzes and compositions.

I wrote the quiz on the board, gave them a long look over my shoulder, and wrote “FINISHED??  Draw Ms. RB a beautiful picture.”

This has been one of my best experiments.  They love it.  I love it.  They stay quiet and get so into it they don’t want to give me their quiz papers when time finishes.  “But, Ms. RB, I beg!  I’m not done drawing your car!”  Thank god we have a system for passing papers so they know when I say, “You have one minute to pass your papers to the left and get them in my hand,” I mean it.

There have been many beautiful pictures, but today I wanted to share two with you from my 11th grade quiz last week.  One is a picture of the student giving me an award and the other is a picture of my brother.  Really, I don’t understand because I’ve never talked about my brother in class, but it delighted me nonetheless.  I held it up in class today so everyone could give the young artist his “bawk bawk.”

Really going to miss these ‘kids’…


6 Comments leave one →
  1. Andrea Penn permalink
    March 25, 2013 3:01 pm

    That is awesome! I love teachers who figure out creative ways to occupy students and BOTH the students and teacher find the time rewarding.
    Miss you and hope you are well 🙂

  2. blondie permalink
    March 25, 2013 3:37 pm

    Wonderful 🙂 I always enjoyed when teachers gave me something creative to do after exams. Love the pics!

  3. E.Lime permalink
    March 25, 2013 4:20 pm

    I love this idea–works with high school freshmen, too. Who knew?

  4. March 25, 2013 10:00 pm

    Great idea to keep the students quite while the others finished. And you didn’t have to grade any extra work. Doodling is a good stress reliever and a fun way to express yourself. Check the Zentangle blog at . Your students really admire you. 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

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