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need a "timetakerupper" and help with troubled kids


From: Puhl, Kristen K (puhlk_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Oct 02 2003 - 19:37:54 PDT

Well, I'm teaching my first ceramic lesson (slab "memento" boxes) while student teaching and I'm looking for something to do on the two days when their boxes will be firing in the kiln. It will be the last days that the kids have art before they begin their next "exploratory" class.

I have two groups: an 8th grade class and a 7th grade class. Both classes are about 10 kids (the other half are weaving with my cooperating teacher.) Because I offered the clay project as opposed to weaving (requiring much patience) I got the "alphabet"kids as my dad (a teacher) calls them. Half of my kids are LD, CD, ED or autistic. Just recently they've developed behavior problems (they've always been squirrely) but now it's getting serious. Without getting into the whole story, I'll just tell you that I've talked to the principal twice, one of the kids has been suspended twice, and between about three boys, I constantly think that they'd beat one another (2 against 1 new kid) up if they got the chance. The new kid is passive and a wonderful student, but reacts of the others is simply a beligerent's a strange situation. The "passive" kid threatened the bully that he'd bring a knife to school; I had to write up a report- I'm finding that I really don't know these kids as well as I thought I did. However, I'm learning a lot...

Anyway, I need something for these kids to do the day we're bisque firing and the day we do the final firing. I want to do something fun, but maintain the structure that they need. Any suggestions?

And if you feel like REALLY helping me...any suggestions on how to get a kid (the bully) with a consistently negative attitude who slops through his work just to get done to ....I don't know... change? or at least cooperate?

Thanks for ANY advice,