We are completing our second week of school today. I see my students every other day, so I have seen most of them 3 times. The first class was almost all introductions to the room, the supplies, the rules, and to me, with the exception of the Prezi slide show that I had made for them. It provided a nice break in the talking: Mona Goes to Middle School
The second and third classes have been dedicated to making folders. The folders will store student work, both finished and in progress. At the end of the term, the folders will go home with the students. At that time, along with the student’s sketchbook, they become a portfolio, showing growth and progress in the student’s work. Creating folders at the beginning of a term are a great way to assess student ability and afford an opportunity to visit with each student and get to know them a bit. I always choose a relaxing drawing activity for the folders.
This year we are creating Zendoodles within a 10″ square on the face of the folder. Asking students to create a square using a ruler is a good first assessment activity for me. It gives me a chance to see who may need support with fine motor activities and other considerations. Zendoodling is something I have done my whole life; I always just called it doodling. I would not have survived my schooling experiences without doodling. When I am listening to a speaker, doodling keeps me grounded and focused on what they are saying. If I don’t doodle, I daydream and miss everything.
In this activity, our doodling is somewhat structured as we break up the square field with intersecting lines that go from one side to another, creating sections within the space. Within each section, we add different line patterns. We are using Sharpie markers for the initial line patterns and adding layered and blended color with colored pencils (simple materials until we learn the set-up and clean-up routines of the room). It is going well and at times the room is so quiet (this is the Zen part) that I have to remind the kids that they may chat softly with their classmates.
Quote of the Week
One student was inspried by the Zendoodle activity and completed a full page of doodling outside of school. Her comment:
“I did this after you showed us how to do it in the last class. I did it at home and at my Grandma’s house. It seriously took me 20 hours to finish it. No bathroom breaks. Literally. Just kidding”… 🙂
I know exactly what you mean about ‘doodling’ – Not being an auditory learner myself, I cannot maintain concentration without a pen in my hand! Perhaps it’s human nature!! A lovely way to set the tone for the rest of the term too 🙂
Thank you, Elizabeth!