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re: difficult class

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From: Marvin P Bartel (marvinpb_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Oct 25 2001 - 13:21:24 PDT


Classroom behavior is a complex issue with many solutions. It is great to
find possitive ways so that punishment and anger are not needed.

One thing to try is to begin each session with an absolutely SILENT DRAWING
RITUAL that takes about 5 or 10 minutes. As they come in the room, they
must read the instructions and begin working without a word. For a few
minutes you enforce absolute monastic silence. They keep drawing
(repeating practice if time permits) and stop when you say stop. The
drawings are kept in their own portfolios and compared as the term
progresses. I have a few web pages that tell how this might work.
http://www.goshen.edu/art/ed/ritual.html
http://www.goshen.edu/art/ed/d-list.html

Other things to try.
For a problem created by certain individuals, I have placed them in
isolated seats in the room so they each have to work alone. If the room
does not allow this, I have put a work place in the hall next to the door.
The following session they are allowed to return to a regular seat if they
can control themselves.

If it is a more general problem, one might give the class a choice between
studio artwork time and academic time. Explain to them that this is art
class, but that art can be learned in several ways.

Tell them, "One way to learn about art is by doing artwork and solving art
problems with materials, but they can also learn about art from books.
Most children enjoy having at least some time to work with art materials as
their way of learning about art, but some children are not able to manage
their own behavior well enough. These students who fail to control
themselves will be using the reading and writing method. This is also a
good way to learn about art."

If inappropriate talking, noise, or behavior problems emerge during a
studio work class session, have them put away all the work and clean up.
The teacher has to make a judgment about doing this with the whole class or
running a dual session with one group quietly working on artwork while the
other group quietly does bookwork.

Tell them that you will give them another chance to learn with art
materials next time they come to class, but today they will be using the
book method for rest of this period. Have a pile of art books from a
library, art texts, and/or handouts. Give them handouts that explain the
assignment.

During this academic time they have to read new material about an art
style, an artist, or some other art topic. They have to take short notes
to remember the ideas as they read, but not copy anything directly. They
then have to write a report on what was learned that gets graded on content
and writing mechanics. The paper has to use complete sentences, correct
paragraphs, grammar and spelling. It also must be organized with an
introduction, main points and a conclusion. It must be written in their
own words, explaining new things that they have learned by reading the
materials. They must list the source that they used.

Require peer proofreading by two other students who must sign off on the
peer papers. Allow for rewriting after proofreading. Require rewriting if
there are careless errors of if the assignment was not followed. They are
required to hand in their reading notes and any previous drafts attached to
the back of their final paper for a grade. e careless errors of if the
assignment was not followed. Grade the papers at least as strictly as the
classroom teacher grades them on other writing.

Marvin Bartel

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