I see that as being really difficult. I have caught students sticking things in their pockets on occasion. It usually happens when we are working with Model Magic. They save pieces to take home. I try the direct approach by saying "Are you planning on taking my stuff home?" Usually if they have something they will sheepishly give it back. But you kind of have to know who's the culprit to take that approach. Perhaps instead of scissors for every student for example give one or two per table and they have to share them. Then before they leave the room all supplies go to the center of the table so you can see if each table has their allotment and nothing is missing. If they get less to work with then maybe they will stop?? Not sure but it's a thought.
I dont' seem to be having my responses posting to the list serve for some reason so not sure if this will get through? If someone reads this can you acknoledge it? I think my post should also come back to my e-mail address but that is not happening.
>From: chris massingill <email@example.com>
>Date: 2006/10/14 Sat AM 06:49:17 CDT
>To: TeacherArtExchange Discussion Group <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Subject: [teacherartexchange] theft in the art room
>While we're on the topic of supplies, I am having a
>lot of theft in my room lately and I'm having trouble
>stopping it and I thought you might have some
>suggestions. Last year I taught at extremely poor
>schools no one ever stole anything - this year I'm at
>a school where most of the students come from middle
>class homes and things are disappearing from my room
>like crazy - nothing really valuable, just little
>things - scissors, pencils, the magnets off my
>whiteboard, - yesterday we made some flour and salt
>papier mache paste and someone in my first period
>stole some salt!! When I spoke to my students about
>the problem they told me that one of my students has
>been selling little yarn balls in his study hall!
>I started off the year with little plastic caddies on
>each table with crayons, 4 pairs of scissors, pencils
>and a hand held pencil sharpener - about half the
>scissors are gone now as well as the pencil sharpeners
>- I've tried assigning table captains, I've tried
>ending class early and counting things up - which has
>been more effective but seems like a monumental waste
>of time - in order to do so I have to have clean up
>time 10 minutes before the bell instead of 5 so that's
>a quarter of a 40 minutes class we're spending with me
>counting scissors and tape, etc.
>Surely, there is a better way to go about this -
>Chris in Central Arkansas
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