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Re: [teacherartexchange] Elementary students/directions/and discipline

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From: Gayle Parent (gayleparent_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Tue Feb 19 2008 - 05:22:29 PST


Thank you Donna. I didn't write the original email, but this will
help me. Sometimes I forget to notify parents. I switched from the
regular classroom (17 years) to art this year, and I have struggled
with 6th graders. My former students, inner city 4th graders, were
awesome almost every year. With them every day for 6 hours, I was
able to build a kind and cooperative community. Forty minutes twice
per week with 6th graders has been a struggle for me. Your reminder
to involve parents will help!

On Feb 19, 2008, at 5:27 AM, Donna Pumphrey wrote:

> Do you have a buddy who can watch your class while you take a
> student to call parents at work or home to explain what they are
> doing and why they are doing it? I have a cell phone and that
> helped for me when I was in a similar situation. I figured it
> wasn't me disrupting class it was them and they needed to explain
> to parents what they were doing to disrupt class and why they were
> doing it. If that didn't work , parent conferences with principals/
> assistant principals in attendance sometimes helps, but calling
> home is about the only thing that I found that works. You may have
> to call every day for a bit, but most parents are supportive, and
> the ones that aren't eventually get tired of it and try to reign
> junior and junioress in. Also document, document, document. I used
> to document the behavior, and give a copy to the classroom teacher.
> They then had that as well as the documentation for their class on
> a student. I can almost garantee that the same students that are
> giving you problems are giving the CRT problems as well. Sometimes
> the CRT appreciates knowing that it isn't just them.
>
> Also you don't say what your Expectations-read rules-are for the
> class. I assume you have them posted and refer to them as you need
> to, when the need arises. Does your school have a unified rule
> system for the whole school? A couple of schools I've taught at had
> this and it helped. What was a rule in one room was a rule in another.
>
> And I don't think it is a cultural issue, I think it is a societal
> issue. I have changed schools recently from a "poor comunity
> school" to one that is "country." I have some of the same issues
> here as I did there, but they are finding that I don't take stuff,
> and will make good on my intentions to have control in my class.
> They also know I care about them and will protect them. Parenting
> now days seems to me to come with blinders for what many children
> do, and many children are running their houses. Watch how they
> treat their parents at PTO. Don't intervene, just sit back and
> watch. You may be amazed.
>
> Also one technique I use is that I put the word ART on the board.
> When it gets loud, excessive talking, I erase the A. Loud again-not
> working, I flip the R. If I flip the T then art is over, we put
> away the supplies and we put heads down and wait for the CRT to
> return. Another thing I've done is to have a time out space and
> seperate the offending student/students. Art for them is over for
> the day, and they get to draw the rules. In cases where that
> doesn't work I had a buddy next door that I could bounce a child
> to, to sit and ponder while the rest of the class went on working.
> This takes away the "audience factor" which is something no one
> addresses in the fancy behavior systems that get sold to schools.
>
> I know this is long but I hope it helps. Hang in there.
>
> -Donna <http://www.donnasart.typepad.com>
>
> Donna Pumphrey
> Harmony/Union Grove
> Art
> + I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't
> say any other way--things I had no words for.-Georgia O'Keefe
>
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