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[teacherartexchange] classroom management-- Stacie


From: Sheri Fried (sfried68_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Tue Sep 27 2005 - 18:35:01 PDT

Hi Stacie
I teach K-5. I have a few clean up routines that work
for me.
For a non-messy project, one that does not involve the
sink or getting out of their seats, I get their
attention and inform them that the table that follows
clean up directions the best (not the quickest) will
get an art prize :drawing paper/coloring sheet/tracing
paper/etc. - they truly like this. I know a lot of
you out there are against prizes, but sometimes it
really motivates students to work together and follow
directions. I then explain that they must organize
their tables for the collectors by working as a team,
and stress NOT getting out of their seats, that will
disqualify their table. They can not yell at a
tablemate, or grab something out of their hand. I
find that with the peer pressure to clean up quickly,
quietly, and politely, this technique works for me. I
also tell them that I will write down names of kids
who don't work with their table/teams to organize, and
those students will lose some of their next free
choice time.
For messy clean ups, painting, etc. : I first explain
the procedure so they all know what is expected. They
are to keep painting until I call their table. When
called, they are to leave the paint trays/brushes and
go wash hands. While they are up, I grab their
paintings and put on the drying rack. After washing,
they get a coloring sheet (something associated with
the lesson) and markers or crayons, go back to their
tables and color quietly. Again, I tell them I am
watching for the table that follows these directions
the best, and that table will get an art prize. You
might be wondering when do the kids wash the paint
trays and brushes? They don't. When I first started
teaching, I thought it was so important for my kids to
learn the skill of properly washing brushes and trays.
 I have learned that this is not as important to me as
a calm, orderly classroom is. So, I have a tub of
water prepared and simply dump all paint trays and
brushes in it, letting it soak til I have time to wash
them. Usually, I have students who finish early and
want a job, or students who stay after school in a
latch key program who help me. I seriously don't feel
I am keeping my students from learning an important
skill by not making them wash their stuff. (maybe
their middle school teacher might think so!)
Enough already--
 good luck.

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