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Re: Seeking advice on getting kids to finish their work on time.


Date: Fri Apr 18 2003 - 12:33:58 PDT

I have a "guest book" for discipline in my room. It lives in the back
of the room, and I have classlists for each class with a table to put a
check mark in the appropriate area for: Being disruptive in group time,
loud voice level, not working, rudeness, not cleaning up, not following
directions, unsafe behavior, and "other". It usually takes care of the
most disruptive and off task kids pretty quickly. The first time they
check their name off, nothing else happens. The second time in any
given category results in a ten minute to full period time out,
depending on severity. If any child has three checks in any given
category, I call their parents and put them on red and green shapes to
take home after every art class for a while. Red means that the child
still did not work on their noise level, talking out in group,etc.
Green means that they had a great day. I have green die cut crayon
paper shapes and red turkeys for my shapes, but red and green stars or
whatever would work. The times I am most likely to use it are during
discussion time, if I have kids who act up for attention, or at cleanup
time if nothing is happening fast enough, or during class if someone
gets off task after several warnings. It works pretty well to keep all
kids moving and doing what they are supposed to do, and it's easy....I
just say, "John, or Susie Q., you need to go sign the guest book", and
the kid leaves the group to go check off the offense next to their
name. It's worked for years. I even decorate it to look like a hotel
guest on the cover, and so on...Kinda quirky. It has
a page the front that tells them to try not to visit often.
As to kids who need extra time. Mine are usually needing extra time for
one of several reasons....more ambitious projects, ADD daydreamers, or
just plain slow. I am at school til 4:30 or so every day, so I tell
them the room is always open to come in and finish something. Or they
can come at recess, or they sometimes take home materials to finish with
and then bring it back. I have one child who is so spacey that she
NEVER finishes anything on time. Her mom and I just have a deal...she
takes her work home when we all finish, and she must have it back by the
Monday after the kids all finished. She's a special case...poor thing.
I've never seen such a spacey kid, but she is artistic and very
talented. It's not lack of motivation here. She's quiet and well
behaved, she just moves at a snail's pace. When she paints, she watches
the brush go slowly into the paint, she very carefully wipes it off on
the cup, and then the transit of the hand to the paper takes about 3
times longer than average, and each stroke is folllowed by a reflective
observation about how it looks, etc....maddening. I have tried to speed
her up many times. She's a perfectionist to boot. She's the same way
in the classroom. Occasionally I have kids who are just hyper and not
motivated to do their artwork, and they end up getting in hot water more
than average. They go on the green and red shapes and things change
pretty quickly . Nothing like a call home.....isolate the problems and
resolve to try to deal with them indiividually. Hope this helps.