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As a new teacher I have much to learn. My "A" day class is
helping me to learn quickly. I have three extremely special need
students who I can't leave behind, 12 students who have discipline
files 1-3 inches thick, and the 5 who sit waiting.
It's been difficult to keep them on track or simply
to get any work from them at all. (except the five). At the
beginning of Dec. I decided to do an assessment of the projects they
should have been working on. (Although I have figured out that they
need shorter and simpler projects) I based the assessment like a
rubric (scoring from a 1-5, whether they had the work, the effort put
behind the work, participation- daily sketchbook, etc.)
It took 2- 90 min. class sessions to go through the class. At first
they did not seem to mind or care about the assesments. Even though
I made each one read the consequences for the "groups" they were
being divided into. The normal working group. And the other groups
of varing degrees that will have to work their way back into doing
the "fun" projects like the rest of the class. The assesments had to
be signed by their parent/guardian too. I even offered those in the
lower groups a "bump" up if they brought it back signed by the next
Amazingly (at least to me) only 6 students even brought back the
assessment the next class. Needless to say I was mad. So I told the
class that only the students who brought back the assessment were
allowed to work on the new Endangered Species Quilt project. I stood
my ground and started to hand out copies of pages to work from from
one of our text books. Of course they complained, but I would look
them in the eye and ask, "Did you turn in your assessment?" They
looked away as I walked on.
The next class students came early -just to give me their
assessment. Behavior among this class is tough. as well as their
wanting to be in school. But, taking away their time to do "fun"
stuff sure seemed to ruffle their feathers. BTW its written into the
assessment that they are not guaranteed to stay in the working group.
They can be demoted back to book work in a heart beat.
Oh, BTW the book work subtitutues for a regular project grade. The
worksheets are considered in with their participation grade and the
tests they take are a project grade. I give them no help. If they
can't find an answer, I tell them to look it up. There is no time
limit. And I tell them, "I'm busy working on the project" Although
before the winter break, most of them were asking if they were
working hard enough to get back to the working group. So I think
something is working. : )
in Virginia Beach
> WHAT DO YOU DO WITH THE KIDS WHO SIMPLY DO NOT TURN ANYTHING IN?
> I have recently switched from elementary to secondary and am astounded by the
> number of kids who (1) don't give a rip (2) dare you to make them learn
> something (3) have parents who apparently do not care that their kid is
> flunking everything and/or (4) are totally unmotivated by anything (sports,
> band trips, activity nights).
> PLEASE let me know how you are handling this. We need all the ideas we can
> Kim in Oregon (who got 25 of 63 portfolios - this is 7 weeks of work!!!)
"Promoting Excellence in Art and Theater"