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[teacherartexchange] Update


Date: Tue Sep 27 2005 - 16:12:52 PDT

So things are going a little better this week. I gave out my first detention
today. Boo, but at least I did it, which should make it easier to give out
future ones...okay maybe not. Let's see, I've made a few changes, but not too
many...just haven't had the chance.

I started giving out bucks, and the kids got excited about it. Actually,
yesterday my 7th/8th grade class was working so well, I ran out of bucks! They
were working well on their own too...before they even knew bucks existed.
Today, they weren't as good...don't know why. I explained that I will give them
out on my terms, at random when I see someone doing something really good.
Once they get four, they can get something out of my box.

For my elementary classes, I started going through the project step by step
with them, which helped with the helpless hands. We made a color wheel
together, and they seemed to get it pretty well.

As for cleanup, it's still a little tough. Some days go better than others.
I'm still working that whole thing out, trying to figure out what will work

No more "silent Art." I've made it more simple. If I have to tell them to
quiet down three times, they will simply clean up and put their heads down. I
came very close yesterday with my sixth graders. They almost lost art, but
then they shaped up a little.

I made a rubric for each of the projects they are working on now. I have a
checklist and tell them that if they check off each item, they should get an
"A." This way they know exactly what I'm looking for. Then I ask them a few
questions about the project. They are supposed to glue or tape the form to the
back of their project when they turn it in. I think it's really going ot help
and plan on making rubrics for them for all projects in the future.

I slipped up and yelled today and got flustered. I need to work on that. I
need to figure out how to get the class under control when they are completely
out of control. This tends to happen during cleanup. Everyone starts to
forget the rules and gets out of their seat. They start putting things away
without my direction, and before I know it 30 kids are out of there seats, banging
into each other, hitting each other, screaming, laughing, falling down...etc.
 It can happen in a matter of seconds! I need to find a more controlled way,
more calm way to gain their attention and get them to sit down. Preferably
something that doesn't involve paperwork. Some days they can follow
directions: Sit quietly at their table with supply boxes ready to be checked and
portfolios in a nice stack. Other days, they forget everything! I have created a
checklist for the table captains so that they can start checking the bins
themselves and putting them away without me, but I haven't really figured it out
yet. I'm just worried that if I let them have that responsibility, they won't
care and will put the boxes away totally trashed. Since I've been "inspecting"
them, the supplies have stayed in much better shape.

I just found out that this is my last full week with my middle schoolers! I
thought I had two more weeks, but I only have three days with them next week
and then must turn in my grades and get ready for a new bunch. I'm supposed to
do some bike and walking home safety project with them next week, but many
are ready for a new project tomorrow. Do you guys have any suggestions?
Something fun and easy, something that will leave a good lasting impression? Forget
paint...too complicated, and if I get observed on Thursday, that would be a
bad thing. Should I let them choose their last project? How about a comic
strip of sorts? It needs to be something cool I can figure out tonight and
present tomorrow. Right now they are finishing up perspective watercolor drawings.

Thanks again for all of your help. I have printed out all of the replies and
have them in a folder so I can keep going back to them for guidance. I know
I still need to make a lot of adjustments!

Stacie in Miami

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