In the past I encountered the same situation and perhaps you can
my mistakes and successes.
Often a group of students (usually middle schoolor immature H.S) take great
pleasure in pushing a teachers buttons. They also enjoy a good game of "I spy"
thus the more elaborate measures you enforce, the greater the effort by these
students to outsmart you.
First- when the students are not around, do an exhaustive search of
and storage areas....I mean really exhaustive (behind radiators,under stacks
in all student drawers and files. If this is a game,the stuff is probably
your room (or an adjacent empty locker)!
Second- have you been finding broken pencils, pieces of erasers, shattered
pens when cleaning up (check your baskets when you dump them)? You may have a
disturbed student in one of your classes who vents his/her frustration in
destruction. This happened to me once and since the culprit was feared by
most students..no one
would report it. My solution to this was underhanded-but it worked. I
noted the area
which the supplys were dissappearing and accused a student (one not easily
intimidated by other students) of doing the dasterdly deeds. The real
perpetrator was named in 3
Get rid of the vidio camera---it even makes me want to outwit it!
Call a truce........hey you guys we are running out of supplies check
artspaces etc. and see if we can't get some of this stuff back in the room.
particularly care who finds what lets just get it back in the room (arrange
for the students to have ten minutes locker clean up time- some kids have so
much junk in their lockers they wouldn't even notice extra art supplies).
Tell them they will really be bummed out sharing an eraser between 4
students-or how about 2 to a pencil.
If you must sign out supplies have one student sign out for group or
table. They (the group)don't leave until all supplies are in. If your in a
hurry and haven't signed
out supplies just announce I'm short (3)pencils and an eraser check your
boxes. I would sometimes do this even if I wasn't short and stuff would
materialize- even from good kids. Remember- as an artist- these students
often have work in progress and put the supplies they are using away with
their project---like you would.
If none of these methods apply to your situation. Give all of them a
period of time with no supplies (except ditto paper-byo pencils) lock up
everything else and see what happens............
Don't worry so much about the who? Just
eliminate the what>
Yours, Brian Foster
Since this year I'm teaching K-5 I don't have this...or any similar...
Experiences above are from ten years of M.S.& H.S.experiences.