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first minutes of the period....


From: Bunki Kramer (bkramer_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sat Jul 14 2001 - 16:07:40 PDT

from: Bunki Kramer (
Los Cerros Middle School
968 Blemer Road
Danville, CA 94526
art webpage -
>>(snip) "bell work" assignment....this also allows me time to take
>>roll and do the paperwork type stuff that we teachers always have to do at
>>the beginning of class.
>> I'm really keen on getting students to enter a room (in a civilized
>>manner) and know that they should get their work and go sit down. It puts
>>them in the frame of mind to begin their art work. Plus, I need the space.
>>Not having students come up to you and ask you fifty questions at the
>>beginning of class will be real nice.
> I agree > that the beginning of class can be the most stressful.
>Some students just want to talk to you, but this will help them establish
>a routine and allow you to get ready for the class.

I'm not disagreeing with these statements....well.....maybe I am...for me
anyway. I'm sure others will strongly disagree with me. I used to feel that
my students had to get busy right away when they entered the room and it
made me a happier camper. But you know? They seem to do that anyway with
their general enthusiasm once the project has started it's time frame. But
upon introduction of a new project, I now don't prefer "sponges" or prompts
to get started. Maybe it's because I've gotten into a different mind-frame,
maybe the kids are better, maybe it's age, whatever...but I LIKE to get to
know my diff. kids' personalities and what their day is like and what's
their mood and it's done quickly before class begins. This is the only time
I feel I can really relate to them. It's quick, it doesn't last long. A
smile and eye contact is often all that's required. Of course there's always
that one sometimes who drives you nuts! I have a seating chart for each
class so I can take roll in the time it takes to snap my fingers...then it's
on to intro.

Maybe you guys/gals have more instant paperwork than I do. Boy...I can
remember those olden days when it was NOTHIN' but paperwork plus those old
hand-cranked copy machines...that's how olden (smile). I never DID learn how
to fill out those ancient attendance sheets corrrectly (now talk about
stress those first five minutes of the period!). But it's gotten much
simplier nowadays. 'Course...everybody's stress level is different and I
think that has alot to do with age and experience....don't you? Also it's
what you think is the most ethic or student/teacher
communication....or maybe the perfect blend of both. I guess you have to
pick your "stress".

Now...anyone wanna talk about those non-motivated students who just don't
want to do anything and cause your stress level to boil? Gurrrrrr.