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classroom management- talkative class - middle school (long but good!)


From: Judy Decker (jdecker_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Mon Aug 18 2003 - 10:44:38 PDT

Talkative class - discipline woes etc.

This is from Carol (Joy) - This is so close to how I used Mona Bucks that I
won't go on about them here: (warning my
site is loading slow today)
I will not ask Carol(Joy)for her Blue Buck template - but have asked for her
reflection sheet and computer generated template she uses for each class. I
recorded my Oh-oh's on this form:
And this was one of my "reflection" papers - borrowed from a list member
(but re-written)

From Joy/Carol:

Like most people on the job, I've encountered my problems with
classroom management. It seems to have become a more difficult issue
in the past five years and continues in the present. Kids are more
street wise and not easily won over. Here's how I approached the
     I saw this at a workshop given by two junior high homeroom
teachers.They found that immediate reward and immediate consequence
gave them the best results when it came to dealing with the small
difficult annoyances. They used monopoly money, kept a daily tally,
and when the kids had the correct amount saved, they used it for
reward day.The kids who didn't have enough after many extra chances,
had a different room that they had to go to in order to finish work
and fill in a reflection sheet about the situation.
     I realized that there were behavior problems in individual
classes and across the age spectrum. From my observations, I
created 6 art room rules and I noted some minor difficulties as well.
I created a oversized template for a dollar with included two designs
and printed it on screaming blue paper. One design has the portrait
of the school's namesake and another is blank. I wanted the kids to
utilize their "doodling" energy on the blank one.
     Next I set up the structure. I have a computer generated sheet
that I set up for each class. I note who is absent and there are
places for a daily grade and behavior mark and for the number
of "blue bucks" earned. This is great for substitute teachers and
for tabulating information for report cards.I have about 1000 blue
bucks cut and in stacks.
     For the kids, it's like this. The whole class comes together
and on time, each student earns a blue buck. They walk into class
without any delay or problems, another B$. All show that they are
ready to listen, another B$; asking questions with a raised hand and
not talking out, another B$; quietly working- B$, finishing the
day's assignment on time-B$, stopping on time and assisting with
cleanup-B$. Any inappropriate behavior, they are "fined" a blue buck
but only losing one per misdemeanor(sp?). We collect the B$'s at the
end of class and keep a running record. I did build in chances for
kids to make up for their bad days. I have a list of blue buck jobs
that they can do with out any attention from my part. Some of the
kids were coming to my room during their small after lunch recess to
work, during free time from their homerooms and after school. Most
of the jobs are housekeeping chores but occasional things do come
     At the beginning of each month, I tell the kids when "BLUE BUCK
DAY" falls and what the reward is. Sometimes its a video and a big
snack from me with a drink. Other days it is a special project. I
had the kids making buttons with my badgeaminit machines and tee
shirt transfers using crayola crayons. Each student has to earn and
keep 5 blue bucks for each attended art class.
     The results that I have found so far vary. My classroom is
cleaned by the students quite a bit. My plants have been receiving
very good care. I have classes that run more smoothly and smaller
number of students sent out for behavior reasons. Grades are up and
attitudes are better. The snacks and drinks are running up a big
tally but it has been worth it so far. My voice is in better
condition, my nerves are too. The kids don't always remember to give
me their blue bucks so some kids end of having an enormous rollover
from their previous class(es)and the well behaved kids seem to always
earn more than those individuals one needs to reach. Still, this
will be year 3 for the infamous BLUE bucks coming this fall. It will
evolve some more.
Judy Decker - Ohio
Incredible Art Department

P.S. for folks still reading - I only took money away if the kids didn't
return an art room supply in good condition. All they had to do to borrow a
pencil was to tell me something they wer thankful for (Pencils = count your
blessings). If the pencil was not returned, they owed me a Mona Buck
($1,000,000 - most kept their money in their lockers so they wouldn't lose
them). Pencils are part of the Art Room Survival Kit - idea sent to me from
Roberta Dunkle years ago.
If anyone wants my Mona Buck use - ask off list ( Folks
I am only "bridging" topics between the lists when it pertains to issues you
all are interested in. I won't be able to keep up with this when I am
working on the sites again.