I'm still a newbie (2nd year teaching art/middle school) but I've
observed and talked to some awesome art teachers and have put their
ideas into my own plan. I have tried something new with every new group
of students and improve on what works. Although the art room is unique
in many ways, I find Harry Wong's "First Days of School" applicable to
any subject matter or grade level.
During the first week of class, we dwell heavily on rules and
procedures. I have them (and their parents) sign a contract on the
first day so that they not understand the rules but understand why we
have them. My rules are very generalized like "respect" but we discuss
what it means- no put downs, even to your own work, etc.
Every class period is broken up into 4 parts:
-Bell Work: posted when they come in. Usually 5 min. This is when I take
roll, catch up absentee students, and pass out work & supplies.
-Directions and Discussions: The only time I talk. "Eyes on me and
pencils down" before I begin. This is sometimes longer when I give a
demonstration. I don't talk until they are quiet and show me "eyes" and
-Studio: I reward them with their own favorite music and being able to
talk while they work. Sometimes, I might start studio with
"intense drawing" or a few minutes of working without talking.
What works for me is to use talking and music as a reward for good
behavior. If it is too loud at any time, I say "Strike 1, .. strike
2...strike 3.. and then give them 5 minutes of silent art which they
serve during their studio time. Class rewards and punishments do not
always work. For individual students, I give 2 warnings and then lunch
detention and a phone call home. Most of them really hate to miss their
social time to serve lunch detention.
Good luck- I'd love to hear others!
Michelle H. Harrell
North Garner Middle School
Garner, North Carolina
( ) "Art is the form of the picture that has come
! ^ ^ ! into being through the nerves, heart,
^! * * ! ^ brain, and eye of man."
! \ ^ / ! -Edvard Munch
( ( 0 ) ) 1907
\ --- /
\ ! ! /
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