Now is the time to sit back and think about what DID work last time around?
Which lessons grabbed their attention? The more involved they are with their
project the less discipline problems you'll have. Gear your lessons around
THEIR interests. I you want them to do a still life, don't think about the
objects that you enjoyed drawing - bring in what they like. If there are a
group of them into sports, then bring in an assortment of sports equipment
(talk to the coaches, PE teacher, etc to see if you can borrow, or go to the
This semester I got a new group with a few "challenging" students. Although
I had never had them in my classroom, their reputation preceeded them. I
knew they didn't like lecture classes, as those were the classes they got in
the most trouble. So on the first day I told my class "I only have one rule
this semester - do the right thing". Then I started in on letting them know
where supplies were, what their responsibilities were, that I didn't have an
assigned seating chart but that they could "earn" one. Then we started in on
a perspective drawing - with me showing them step by step what to do while
they drew along with me. We did my perspective art hallway (new ms lesson on
my site). They were SO excited that the next day they were all sitting in
their seats with their drawings in front of them, ready to begin, before the
final bell. Here we are at the nine-week grading period and their behavior
is still overall good. There are days when they are abit bouncy, but they
want to come to class, and they want to do art. I challenge you to think
about what YOUR ideal classroom looks like. I personally like a noisy
classroom where you can SEE the students actively engaged in their projects.
Yes, they visit while they work, but so do I when I'm in a classroom
environment. I play instumental music, and I deal with them with humor. As
long as you feel you have control, then what might appear chaos to the
outside observer could very well be active learning taking place!
K-12 Kansas Art Teacher
> Tomorrow I get my last batch of middle school kids. I've been warned that
> have some very difficult students once again. Many are on behavior
> with the school, so I am determined to do this better this time around.