Students being difficult about classroom art and craft activity

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by cali*teacher, Aug 5, 2013.

  1. cali*teacher

    cali*teacher Companion

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    I am doing summer school with a group of 8 year olds this summer and try to periodically do some kind of arts and crafts activity at least once a week. I have two students in the group that are always seeming to want to show some independent streak and purposely start loudly whining and complaining during these activities. They always seem to want to do it some new and different way from the instructions I give for the class to follow. Of course it's an arts and crafts activity and should be fun, and I want to encourage personal creativity, but in order for the craft to come out halfway what it should look like I just have then follow the basic instructions and go from there and make it their own creation by personalizing it any way they want. I also let them choose their own colors often times, things like that. I don't know why some students just want to cause a problem like that. Would you just let the two complainers do their thing, or not tolerate the behavior and expect them to follow instructions. It becomes a little frustrating that what should be a fun time for the class becomes a problem basically because they are trying to create one.
     
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  3. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    I think it depends on the purpose behind the arts and crafts activity.

    If the activity is curriculum-based or mandated, or following instructions is what is being graded, or the craft is a mnemonic device, then they should be doing it. If they complain and are disruptive, follow your discipline system.

    If the activity is a break and for fun, then allow them the option of reading or drawing.
     
  4. cali*teacher

    cali*teacher Companion

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    That's an option! I will just give them that option the next time. The purpose of arts and crafts is to provide a creative outlet, and just some fun time for them, as well as providing for some of the classroom decoration. I usually base them around themes being taught for the week. When it's becoming a problem and apparently just another way for a child to act out, that can be annoying, lol. One of the two being difficult loves doing the arts and crafts stuff, but she also likes the occasional "power struggle" I have observed, and I believe it's more about being difficult than anything. I am just curious how some would approach it , which I'm sure everyone is different. If I have a certain thing in mind to be as a memento for parents, etc. then I do want instructions followed, otherwise, I model and just give more loose instructions and let them create from there. It just gets old when you have the same two creating drama over a craft activity! :dunno: These two will also be the same ones creating a problem when we make ice cream in the classroom later this week as part of a science demonstration and of course for the yummy fun of it! lol
     
  5. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    I think it's great that you're incorporating fun into summer school! As you can see, some people just don't see crafts as a fun and creative outlet. Perhaps they would like to write a poem or story, or a song, whatever their creative outlet happens to be. I would not just offer it to those two students; I'd let the class have choices within parameters you set. That way, it won't appear as though you are rewarding those two for their disruptive behavior.
     
  6. cali*teacher

    cali*teacher Companion

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    The funny thing is Gemstone, one of the two LOVES arts activities, and hers often come out as one of the best in artistic terms. The class has really created some beautiful classroom decorations this summer. She is very artistic and I do know that artists have that independent streak, but it gets old when every single time she creates drama about it. I think only once or twice she hasn't loudly protested about trying to change up the project. Upon thinking about it, she has kicked up a fuss every time about some aspect. The other one just likes to be a downer, -- i.e. saying he was "bored" at the beach, how can you be bored at the beach?? lol. To clarify, he's not a depressed child or anything, he's all smiles and can be a lot of fun, but gets stubborn about the arts and crafts stuff for some reason. But yeah, next time, I'm just going to say fine, put it up and read a book, or whatever else. I'll be curious to see what happens after that. I do try to give students choices in general at times, which I have had more freedom to do being it's summer school and with no stringent curriculum schedule. I'm definitely going to just give then the put it away and so something else option and see what happens.
     
  7. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    Seems like that one loves the power struggles more than crafts, as you said. Little stinker. Update us on what happens!
     
  8. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    I would guess you are doing too much product oriented art, instead of just letting them explore and enjoy the process. Give them the materials and let them create!
     
  9. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 5, 2013

    :thumb:
     

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