Once again, thanks so much for all of the support and advice. I survived my
first week...barely. It's really tough. I've never been so tired, and every
day is trial and error. I try new things, adjust what doesn't work, and so
forth...until finally I will have something that works. Friday was a little
better. I've started using my behavior book, and it seems to get their
attention. Next step will be calling parents if certain kids continue to turn in
projects or misbehave. Really, the kids are good. I do have a class tomorrow that
has a ton of attitude (fourth grade), but I feel like I'll be able to handle
it better just having been through last week. I'm trying that "NOISE" on the
board, and I think it will help. I've also told the kids that they must
whisper. If I erase the "E," that's a warning. If I erase the "S," that means
"silent art." Anyone who talks during that time will have to sign the book, and
if the whole class keeps talking, I erase the "I" and they have to clean up
and read a book silently. Of course, they won't be able to make up the time for
projects. If the project is not completed, they won't get full credit. The
kids have started lining their bookbags up under the board to make more room,
and I've told them not to get out of their seats to share art. There just
isn't enough room. I've told them that they may get up to wash their hands or
use the pencil sharpener, but only one person may get up at a time. The only
other times they may get up is when I ask them too. Other than that, they sign
the book. If they need help, I don't want them tugging at my sleeve. They
must raise their hands and wait.
We'll see how it goes. Tonight I'm going to finish all of my seating charts
and set up my gradebook. My middle school kids now have portfolios and
sketchbooks, so I can start assigning sketchbook assignments and journal entries.
So, here is what I now know at the end of week one. I have third through 8th
grade. I only have this group of kids for seven more weeks. Grades 3-5 only
come once a week, and the middle school kids come every day. It's really not
a lot of time, so my question is, what would you recommend I teach?
Tomorrow I plan on starting with the elements and principles of design for
the middle grades. The elementary kids are still finishing up their icebreaker
drawings and I need them to make portfolios tomorrow. I've decided not to
make them keep a sketchbook because there just isn't enough time.
I'm thinking about projects to get them working with lines and then doing a
lesson on color theory and maybe tying in Van Gogh. I know they want to play
with clay, but I haven't gotten any in yet.
If you had seven weeks (7 classes with grades 3-5/ 35 classes with grades
6-8), what would you make sure to teach?