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Hi...I also have my mid. school kids sitting at tables 3 or four to each. I
have 11 tables so you see why I always have a mass number of "buggers"
(ha!) in my room. Anyway...beginning with the first day of 6th graders, I
begin training them to decide amongst themselves who is going to get what
supplies. I tell them what is needed for the day and they discuss the
necessary items between themselves. For the beginners I "test" them by
asking all who are going to get the brushes and palettes for each person at
their table raise their hand. Who is going to get the newspaper, big bucket
of water, etc.? I've designed my room so the items are in diff. locations
around the room (or I will move items off the supply table as I'm talking
and locate it elsewhere for the class time and their eyes will follow me).
When I give a signal everyone moves to get their items and there is no
exaggerated pile-up of people in one area.
The beauty of this lies in clean-up. All people responsible for brushes and
palettes wash them and return them to me for clean-check. (I have a piece
of paper on my desk and the paper must be clean after wiping the brush.)
All newspaper people toss the paper in the trash. All bucket people dump,
rinse, and stack the buckets. I don't need to delegate clean-up jobs EVER.
It's just a routine they learn (and they've had a hand in creating
themselves) and when reaching 7th and 8th grade, they know the ropes
without prodding. All items are checked by me (la "big bugger") before the
bell rings. Anything missing, we find before they can leave. No rewards
needed, no whining by me, no threats or detention or marks on the board.
It's simple. Toodles........
Bunki Kramer - Los Cerros Middle School
968 Blemer Rd., Danville, California 94526
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