I would still do the clay project with the class. Although I'm in my 2nd year of teaching and don't have that much experience, I've found with my wild classes, I start about by saying, "We are going to do a very fun clay project. Clay is very expensive (a little stretch of the truth) and very messy so it is a privalege that we get to work with clay. I know it is fun to play around with the clay, but if I see ANYONE throw the clay or use it inappropriately, the clay will be taken away from them and they will also get a detention." Since I've started the project by saying those words, I have not had anyone act up! While I do give them a lot of freedom in my classes, I am strict about certain things like that. The first quarter I taught I did have a problem with some immature 8th graders rolling up little balls and throwing them at their friends. I decided I would not tolerate that kind of goofing around and as long as I explain my expectations ahead of time, I haven't had a problem since. I don't know i
f this would work with 3rd graders or not, but it works for my middle school classes.
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