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[teacherartexchange] Tomorrow is my final group


From: Jean Womack (jeaneger_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Tue Mar 07 2006 - 16:11:58 PST

It's important for a kid to know what he or she did wrong that is getting
them in trouble. Otherwise how are they ever going to change? How you tell
them is another matter. I find that classroom management is much more
effective when positive behavior management is used, i.e. praise the kids
who are doing it right and tell them what they are doing right. Walk around
the class recognizing and writing down names of kids who are doing their
work. You can grade a class on daily work that way, too. The kids I have
taught like to go through the rules against alcohol, drugs, cigarettes and
guns before I start the class. It's a litany that is comforting to them.
Teenagers like having limits set for them gently. That's what its all about
to be a teenager--finding out what the limits are. Of course if you have
had so much coffee that you are ready to take the boards off the classroom
walls, and the tiles off the ceiling, then you might not be able to tell
them gently what they are doing that you don't like.

I was walking my dog in a park near my home. I came across some dog poop
that showed someone else had not picked up after their dog. My puppy ran up
and ate it. Ugh. I couldn't get to him fast enough to make him stop. I
had brought him to the park a little bit hungry because I wanted to give him
treats to get him to come back to me when I set him loose. So that
backfired on us. However, I thought about all those kids who told me, "I
didn't put it on the floor so I don't have to pick it up," when I asked them
to pick up stuff off the floor. So the next time I went to the park, I
brought an extra plastic bag and picked up that other dog's poop too.

Jean Womack

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