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RE: Noise-difficult class

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From: kimberly herbert (kherbert_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Oct 28 2001 - 09:16:09 PST


I'm doing something similar (5th grade G/T class). We have a long sheet
of butcher paper hanging in the room. Divided into 5 parts each part
covered with 4 pieces of paper. Each part of the butcher paper is part
of an ice cream party. If the whole class gets through the day without
losing Recess for talking (my biggest problem) on piece of paper comes
down. For each section they have to go 4 days straight to earn that part
of the party.

Next to the butcher paper hang 3 pieces of construction paper that
overlap each other. Red on the bottom, yellow (warning) in the middle
and Green (Doing Great) on top. At the beginning of each subject they
are on green. I have to ask for quiet 1 time they go to warning, twice
they go to red. If they go to red they "reset to Zero" - They loose all
privileges for that day (must stay at desks, all group work/projects
cancelled for the day and replaced by more controlled lessons
(worksheets, read book and answer questions)). If they get a bad report
from any other teacher (except the G/T pullout teacher but I already
vented about that today), it is automatic reset to Zero.

Kimberly Herbert
-----Original Message-----
From: Larry Seiler [mailto:lseiler@ez-net.com]
Sent: Saturday, October 27, 2001 10:00 AM
To: ArtsEdNet Talk
Subject: Re: Noise-difficult class

I used the "ART" thing on the blackboard a few years back, and erased
the
"T" then the "R" and finally the "A"....
when the word art was gone, or "NO" art was on the blackboard, no art
was to
be in the classroom. Heads down, and all that stuff.

However, someone here shared a marvelous thing a couple years ago that I
tried instead with a few modifications and it works quite well. That,
and I
mix it up with a reward system that now a number of other elementary
homeroom teachers are implementing using marbles.

What I have is about eight 4" x 6" cards I made up. Red construction
paper
on one side, green on the other, and had the AV person laminate them.
If a
student is talking too much, goofying around too much, etc., I lay the
card
on their desk "red" side up. That amounts nearly the same as yelling in
a
way. It is a symbol to that person in particular that if they don't
turn
their behaviour around by the end of the period such that I'll turn the
card
over to its green side...(that is, if the card remains on the red side
right
up to the end of the class), then I will be calling home that night to
speak
with their parents. You may have to follow thru a few times just to get
the
message across that you will indeed do this. IT is for the most part an
alarming proposition for the young people.

When I turn the card over to green, it remains on their desk as a
reminder
that I can come back and turn it back over to red. It works quite well,
and
now I only use it occasionally.

After a couple years of using this, my system of marbles as a reward has
taken over to have greater impact by self-policing or peer pressure. A
class can earn as many as five marbles each class period. One for
coming to
class in a line and quietly, then taking their seats quietly. One for
sitting quietly for me to begin the class and give instructions.
Another
for the class "as a whole" working well. One for the class doing a good
clean-up, without chaos and undo noise. Finally, the fifth marble for
returning to their homeroom in line and quietly. After 20 marbles
accumulate for that class, I give them a free day consisting of- a
video, a
gallon of ice cream I scoop up, and they can bring in a soda. I have
little
tupperware containers with pop up lids for each class, and do this for
grades 3 thru 6.

The nice side of this is, kids know I can remove a marble as a penalty
if
one of the rules is severely compromized.

You begin this way too, to really see a pattern of which class (year) is
more difficult...as it seems some groups as better or worse than others.
It
may sound counterproductive giving up one class period for a free day,
however...those free days are not as common as you might think. On the
other hand, when one class earns a free day, the buzz of it reverberates
throughout the elementary wing of our school and suddenly other classes
halfway there, etc., work that much harder to get it themselves. The
end
result is you have more quality time on the non-party days, which in my
book
makes it worth not having to yell, get frustrated, and the kids think
you
are cool!

I know of 3 other elementary homeroom teachers now that are doing this
due
to the success I'm having, and no doubt kids enjoying it enough they
have
asked their teacher to do it. The sixth grade just had a pizza party
this
past week, which the teacher provided instead of the ice cream. So,
between
the cards and the marbles...things sail pretty smooth for me. They
provide
leverage.

At the high school level, I have a sheet of my rules and expectations
and a
in-school suspension room next to the principal's office (with his
blessing), where I can send a student to sit the whole period and copy
word
for word my sheet. That is for extreme misbehaviour, which really
doesn't
happen too often. Came close, but not once this year yet. (crossing
fingers and knocking on wood!).
Larry
http://lseiler.artistnation.com

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