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I'm a first-year art teacher in an upper elementary school and experiencing
behavior and volume problems with my 5th and 6th graders. These kids are
tough and respond poorly to negative consequences, so I've instituted a
classwide point system
as a competition between the grades (art project of their choice as a reward),
but am still having trouble with several in each class.
No sooner do I turn to answer someone or offer help --- they start shouting,
and supplies are being thrown. I've caught perpetrators on occasion, but they
are sneaky. They know I do not tolerate throwing of any kind, and they try
their best to do it as often as they can get away with it. I don't have eyes
everywhere at all times,,, and these classes are large, over 30. I've tried
giving them warnings and separating them to timeout ....and calling home,,,,
sometimes they improve, most times not... and there are so many, I don't have
enough room to find places for them to go as punishment. I'm tired of
reminding these older kids about the rules,,,, and I think my only recourse is
to police them by watching constantly for errant behaviors.. and 'silent or
whispering' art. I can't even help the kids that need it.
I hate to punish the 20-some odd that are following directions, but the half-
dozen or so others are so disruptive that they've ruined it for them. Is
there any other fair way to handle this besides chopping off tongues and
fingers in the paper-cutter?? :-)