Middle school art students. I had just spent the day before and part of this period in lecture/discussion reviewing the elements of art, and relating them to a Van Gogh painting and to the art projects the students just completed. Now they are working on a critique worksheet I just finished explaining in depth. The worksheet has six questions to ask another student about their work, then four critique questions for the student to answer on his/her own. HereÂ are someÂ overheard comments from third period.
Boy: “Did anyone listen to what she was saying?”
Girl: “Nobody did.”
I especially described unity and gave several examples.
From several separate students: “What’s unity?”
Girl, to me: “I don’t understand question four [about unity.]”
Me: “Were you paying attention when we were discussing unity just a few minutes ago?”
Earlier, after I had just finished a sentence about what “interviewee” meant (“the person whom you are interviewing.”)
Boy one: What’s interviewee?
Boy two: It’s a typo.
I did everything I could to engage the students in thoughtful discussion about the critique they were about to do. First and second period did pretty well with this. I’m at a loss on how to convince third period students to pay attention in their own self-interest.