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Larry Seiler <email@example.com>
Declaration of War on 8th graders!
Started the new quarter, and everyone warned me about the 8th graders I'd be
Having received the early word...I set up parameters for a preeminent strike
and frontline assault, initiated first with heavy textbook artilery and
orders to take no prisoners.
In fact...the first wave attack went so well, I wonder why my war generals
have not come up with such a battle plan in the past. The students were
dazed, some wondered what hit them? A few accused me of enacting a prison
system, but by week's end...I could tell that the majority of students were
relieved that the prime offenders were not going to be allowed to usurp
authority and take over the class.
By week's end...I am very pleased with the effort being put out, the more
serious atmosphere. By week's end, I was able to explain the atmosphere I
wanted and demanded that would ensure the environment for right brain
creative focus with optimum possible results.
I'm sure some of you have constructed such a battle plan...perhaps have even
shared it...but I wonder where my head was?
Oh...I have used various methods with varied success...but the textbook "I
will teach you how to study" approach rendered their defenses weak. I had a
small uprising attempt to outflank me, but reserved reinforcements quickly
quelched their meger effort.
Here's what I did....I have the text book "Art Talk"...and hardly ever use
it really, having been more frequently hands on with exceptions of history
lessons and such. I remembered a system for studying in college that I
didn't learn 'till about my junior year that took a blank sheet of paper,
drew a vertical line 2" from the left side of the paper. As you take in a
lecture or study a book, you sum up what you hear (but in this case...) what
you just read in one paragraph. Sum it up with one good sentence that will
remind you what that paragraph was about. Then, on the other side within
that 2" border area, you write one or two descriptive words of your summary
That really gets them to think about what they are reading, and especially
so because they will have to characterize this with few words.
The beauty...is I will give them a test. They will not be able to use the
book, but will get to use their notes. Of course, in college...we didn't
get to use our notes, but this is all so new to them.
I begin each day's block with their hittng the books for 15 minutes. We are
in chapter six on shapes and form.
During this time I am assessing their efforts to convince me they want to
begin hands-on. I let them know certainly that making art will be a
privilege to be earned in my room. If I am not convinced, I told them that
art can be book learned, or hands on learned and it is their choice. If
their privilege to work is not earned, I'll tack on an addition 5-10 minutes
or if necessary we'll use the whole period. It is possible to isolate one
table, and have that group work the text longer.
Amazing...the students began policing themselves. I began to see peer
pressure work within their ranks. One table this week initiated some
negative reaction, but the rest of the tables told them to be quiet and just
get to work. I have seen kids who thought it was fun sitting with trouble
makers now opt to sit elsewhere. Offenders are finding less pay off for
Now...if I have students that finish their work early, and especially if I
determine it is due to a lack of caring to do their best, they know that
what awaits them is the instruction to get their textbook back out and
continue on where they left off.
I have seen students go back, get their drawings/work back out of their
drawer and take it back to their table to put more work into it.
I have had a few teachers come into my room this week that had this group
this past quarter, and their eyes grew big to witness the civility and
One can change this evaluation for the project
I will forward it to you.
The basic idea of the "limited choices" technique explained in the book
mentioned earlier is that you present 2 choices to a student: one being the
correct choice you desire, the other being an undesirable outcome for the
For example (keep in mind these are all generic situations, but the concept
can be applied to many situations):
(1) Bobby is playing with a small toy at his desk when he is supposed to be
drawing. I would approach Bobby and say, "Bobby, you have two choices. You
can either keep the toy in your pocket for the rest of the day, or you can
give it to me to hold onto until after school. What would you like to do?"
Bobby will, most likely, put it in his pocket. If he takes it out again, I
would say "Bobby, I will now hold onto your toy until the end of the day."
(2) Joey and Jake are friends, but they are bickering at their table during
work time. I would approach them and say, "Boys, I know you like working
next to each other, but you need to work nicely. You have two choices: you
can either work nicely next to eachother or I will have to separate you.
What would you like to do?" If they keep bickering I would separate them.
Be Respectful: Every student has the right to a safe and secure classroom;
you do not have the right to impede or jeopardize that in any way. Be
respectful of yourself, your environment, your fellow classmates, and your
teacher. Treat others the way you want to be treated.
Be Responsible: The Oxford Dictionary defines responsible in this way:
"Liable to be called into account. 2 morally accountable for one's action,
capable of rational conduct." Act rationally; choose wisely. Recognize your
own role in building a fun and productive community of learners. Understand
there will be consequences, both good and bad, for your actions.
Be Safe: Think about where you are and whom you are with. We must guarantee
against harm or injury to another. Think. Ask yourself is it worth it? Would
I want this done to me? I will not tolerate, nor should you, any behavior
that takes away from the safety of this classroom, nor will the school.
Be Cooperative: Time and again you will be asked to do something that you
may not like or think is worthless. Be mature; work through it. You may find
that "getting there" is half the fun. Our world demands that you work well
with others. Think-choose wisely.
Be A Worker: Do your job! Challenge yourself to be productive. You are here;
use your time wisely.
Be Peaceful: Here again, The Oxford Dictionary defines peace as: "Freedom
from disorder. 2a quiet; tranquility, b serenity. 3 a mental calm." Simply
put, be kind to each other-exercise self-control.
Grading Policy in Art Class
In Art the grades are recorded on each student's report card (grades 1-5) in
the areas of :
. Skill usage
Each project or activity is evaluated in the following areas:
. Effort shown on project or activity
. Direction following for the required tasks
In calculating a letter grade for the marking period, and the year end
grade, the areas are totaled and weighed as follows
. Participation = 50%
. Preparation = 25%
. Behavior =25%
. Skill is indicated, as the ability to perform tasks required, not
as artistic talent.
The students are required to bring a pencil to each Art class.
what helps me a lot (and helps the kids, so they know what to expect), is
that I practice my standard signal for being quiet and returning to their
seats. For example, I show them my signal, then I give them about 30
seconds to talk quietly with their neighbors, then I do the signal, then we
do the same thing for a slightly longer time (usually the first time they
don't really talk), then I let a certain number of students out of their
seats (I position them at typical classroom places, such as the pencil
sharpener, sink and garbage can). This really helps show the kids how to
follow my signal, and it makes things a lot more interesting and "real" than
just telling them that they must sit down and be quiet when I say so.
I do like the point of focus on positives - what you can do. I
have one wall totally devoted to student work with printed
quotes (positive) such as, "well done", "knew you could" "great
team work", etc. I need to change that. The list came from
"101 ways to say well done"
101 WAYS TO PRAISE A CHILD
WOW - WAY TO GO - SUPER - YOU'RE SPECIAL - OUTSTANDING - EXCELLENT - GREAT -
GOOD - NEAT - WELL DONE - REMARKABLE - I KNEW YOU COULD DO IT - I'M PROUD OF
YOU - FANTASTIC - SUPERSTAR - NICE WORK - LOOKING GOOD - YOU'RE ON TOP OF
IT - BEAUTIFUL - NOW YOU'RE FLYING - YOU'RE CATCHING ON - NOW YOU'VE GOT
IT - YOU'RE INCREDIBLE - BRAVO - YOU'RE FANTASTIC - HURRAY FOR YOU - YOU'RE
ON TARGET - YOU'RE ON YOUR WAY - HOW NICE - HOW SMART - GOOD JOB - THAT'S
INCREDIBLE - HOT DOG - DYNAMITE - YOU'RE BEAUTIFUL - YOU'RE UNIQUE - NOTHING
CAN STOP YOU NOW - GOOD FOR YOU - I LIKE YOU - YOU'RE A WINNER - REMARKABLE
JOB - BEAUTIFUL WORK - SPECTACULAR - YOU'RE SPECTACULAR - YOU'RE DARLING -
YOU'RE PRECIOUS - GREAT DISCOVERY - YOU'VE DISCOVERED THE SECRET - YOU
FIGURED a OUT - FANTASTIC JOB - HIP, HIP, HURRAY - BINGO - MAGNIFICENT -
MARVELOUS - TERRIFIC - YOU'RE IMPORTANT - PHENOMENAL - YOU'RE SENSATIONAL -
SUPER WORK - CREATIVE JOB - SUPER JOB - FANTASTIC JOB - EXCEPTIONAL
PERFORMANCE - YOU'RE A REAL TROOPER - YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE - YOU ARE
EXCITING - YOU LEARNED IT RIGHT - WHAT AN IMAGINATION - WHAT A GOOD
LISTENER - YOU ARE FUN - YOU'RE GROWING UP - YOU TRIED HARD - YOU CARE -
BEAUTIFUL SHARING - OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE - YOU'RE A GOOD FRIEND - I TRUST
YOU - YOU'RE IMPORTANT - YOU MEAN A LOT TO ME - YOU MAKE ME HAPPY - YOU
BELONG - YOU'VE GOT A FRIEND - YOU MAKE ME LAUGH - YOU BRIGHTEN MY DAY - I
RESPECT YOU - YOU MEAN THE WORLD TO ME - THAT'S CORRECT - YOU'RE A JOY -
YOU'RE A TREASURE - YOU'RE WONDERFUL - YOU'RE PERFECT - AWESOME - A+ JOB -
YOU'RE "A-OK", MY BUDDY - YOU MADE MY DAY - THAT'S THE BEST - A BIG HUG - A
BIG KISS - SAY I LOVE YOU - P.S. REMEMBER, A SMILE IS WORTH 1,000 WORDS
Art Grade Rubric - How to get an A in Art
(revised from rubric published by Woody Duncan)
A/A+ = WOW!!! It is amazing! You showed initiative and originality.
You did something extra special
or - You went beyond all expectations
or - You broke the rules in a creative way.
Your craftsmanship is exceptional!
Excellent solution to the problem!
You "out-did" the teacher on this one! (90 to 100 points)
B/B+ = It is GOOD! It is all I ask for. You were a "self starter".
You did everything I requested - followed all directions the
You met all expectations - but did not push the boundaries.
You did a very good job. Good use of design principles.
Shows mastery of skills and craftsmanship. (80 to 89 points)
C/C+ = Well OK.. It is not up to snuff
You did just enough to get by.
You did minimum requirements necessary for a C - nothing more.
You might have thrown it together? Didn't care much for this project?
Poor craftsmanship - lacks skill. Design principles "off".
You did not try very hard. (70 to 79 points)
D/D+ = Woops!! It is not finished.
You did not meet the lesson objectives
You did not follow directions - You did not try very hard
You forgot to finish it. OR you hurried through.
Lacks understanding of design principles.
Low effort - below expectations for skills. Poor craftsmanship.
You didn't finish -- Shall I leave your grade unfinished too? (60 to 69)
F = Big Fat O!! It is missing.
Did you forget to put your name on it?
Were you absent?
Did you lose it or throw it away?
I saw you working on it - but cannot find it now?
No effort - no participation. Poor work.
No project - no grade. (0 to 59 points)