Please don't apologize for the length...I should! THe more advice I get, the
I don't have any more tables and have begged for some. I ended up bringing
in an old bent up card table to put in the corner so that I could have a place
to sit a student alone. Even if I do get an extra table or two, the room is
very small. My students are really on top of each other. Before this seating
arrangement, I had 8 to a table (two rectangular tables pushed together to
make a big table!) Now there are four to a small table. They are very squished.
It just seems impossible to get 33 kids to clean up in under 20 minutes.
I've tried 15 minutes and it was a disaster. I walked around with a trash can
and asked them to dump the paper plates and napkins. Then by table, they were
supposed to rinse their four brushes and rinse out the two cups of water.
That's it! They couldn't do it! That's why I thought it would be easier if only
16 of them were painting at a time.
No phone in the room and we are forbidden to use our cell phones. We cannot
give a detention unless a student has been completely disrespectful, has
destroyed school property, is late to class or is chewing gum. For everything
else, we have to go through a system of behavior logs, rule writing and essays.
It's really kind of a pointless system if you ask me. Students really don't
care about writing an essay. They just won't do it. Then they get detention,
and they don't even really care about that it seems.
I actually haven't given out any rewards yet, so I'm really not locked in to
anything. The kids have no idea that I've been thinking of incentives at all.
Some teachers say I shouldn't even start it, but I thought that it might
encourage them to do better if they saw some students getting rewards. I was
going to do a buck system and allow them to cash them in every so often...maybe
ever two weeks or once a month...but I kind of like the idea of them having to
earn four in order to get a reward. I might do that. I need to buy a bucket
or bowl to put stuff in. So far I have cute pencils, erasers, stickers,
cheapo notepads and mini calendars and some stuff from the dollar store. Nothing
is over $2.00.
Maybe I could have captains check the bins, but don't I need some way to make
sure the captain is doing his or her job? How should I reward the captain so
that it's beneficial to be one?
I have given some of my troublemakers jobs so that they know I'm not against
them and because I hope that giving them responsibility will help. Sometimes
it does, sometimes it doesn't. I did make a point to ask the "peeing in the
trash" boy to help me pass out rulers on Friday.