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RE: unruly class (long and windy)


Date: Sun Nov 05 2000 - 10:44:50 PST

I have a class of second graders that has been increasingly disrespectful,
out of control, rude and can't even sit still long enough to hear the
directions which adds to the problem. Finally after seeing they were out of
control with a printmaking lesson, I stopped the lesson and gave them 20
minutes (yup 20) to clean up. All they had to do was put their printmaking
stuff (rollers and inks) in the sink (I did not ask them to wash them as they
were so out of control) and put artwork on drying rack (with me standing
there to help them!) It was bedlam...and after 20 minutes....the room was a
bigger mess. The 5th graders who came next had to spend 10 minutes washing
tables before they could use them. So...I told more complicated
art media and that I was cancelling their clay lesson for next week and that
they would only get drawing media (colored pencils, crayons, pencils) until
they could manage themselves better. So this week they came in with appology
letters in hand (teacher had assigned them as homework) and we had a
talk..they had a drawing lesson with colored pencils. All was going very
well....I stopped them with 15 minutes left in the class to clean up...all
they had to do was put colored pencils in a tennis ball can and put drawings
on counter...again...pandemonium. So....what I am doing next week is this.
#1. I am writing them each a personal note to respond to the appology
letters. (I believe it is important to respond to each of them on an
individual level) #2. A VCR will be in the room when they come in. At the
first sign of nonsense, the lesson will be stopped and they will watch an art
video (I have the Penn and Teller series on the elements of art) and that
will be their lesson. I am also doing this with the 5th grade that follows
as am having similar issues.

If the children as a collective (like the BORG!) cannot manage themselves
enough to even listen to and follow through with 2 very simple
directions...then they will loose their studio time and we will do a
different kind of art lesson. On their own, they are fabulous kids...when
they are put together....things do not look good...and it is only November.
We had a 3rd and 5th grade who behaved like this last year...and I feel it is
good to step on that behavior early. If you consider I have only seen the
students 8 times and over half of them have been spent discussion behavior
issues....I just flat out tell the students, we are not spending the year
like this. Either they manage themselves, or I will give them lessons that
they can mange. IF that means no studio lessons...then that is what it
means. TOUGH LOVE!