We tried to do this reward thing years ago and it didn't really work--for one thing the kids that are left out (the bad kids) tend to get special treatment by their teachers--either one on one help, or feeling sorry for them you talk to them, which they usually love in a small group. I've always had trouble making a student come in after school because I inevitably start chatting with them--not a negative. I also have always found that having kids come in and "Use my stuff" is always a bad thing for me. For one thing, they think they want to paint or whatever, but we have no control over them, like a grade, and they just mess around and waste stuff. This year my school is trying the opposite approach--no zeros allowed. The VPs intend to have a lunch or after school detention for any kid who gets a zero in any class until it's made up. I think the number of kids will be staggering, but it's worth a try. Sid
>>> Betty B <firstname.lastname@example.org> 8/17/2007 6:26 am >>>
My middle school had a real crisis last year with
large numbers of students who simply refused to do any
classroom work, turn in homework, etc. Nothing seemed
to work - free after school tutoring (they didn't
come), free one-on-one mentorships, nothing. So now we
are going in a different direction, rewarding the
students who are both eligible and who have had no
detentions with an every-other Friday afternoon
activity - while the others are in study halls. We
have a new flat screen TV in the cafeteria that will
be part of it, and yesterday I was asked if I would
let them come in my classroom and "make something".
Well, hmmm. My issues are - I really don't do
"crafts", and I really don't want these "not in my
class" kids to have free access to my supplies, AND I
don't want this to cut into my budget. On the other
hand, I am very supportive of this program and admit
I'd really rather spend the hour with these kids than
the ones in study hall!!
I think we can work out the above issues, but I
haven't come up with instant ideas - what can I do
without wrecking my classroom, with a limited quantity
of supplies, not super messy, with kids who are
probably not my own students, that doesn't feel like
"class"..... but that still has some meaning??? ...And
that they can start and finish in 1.5 hours??
I really felt like they were disappointed I didn't
just jump on it, but I simply went blank - so the
chairperson of this committee (a young coach)
suggested I teach them how to tattoo, and that broke
the tension at least!
Any suggestions appreciated. My only idea is that my
art II kids have the option to make different chains
with aluminum links - byzantine, twist, box chains,
and they like that a lot.