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Eventually, I could go to lunch and not have kids after school. All I had to
do was give them THE LOOK. But it was hard keeping track of 3 schools, having
to give kids 24 hrs notice for after school detentions. After being gone a
week to my other schools, I had to haul the kids in before classes, take them
to the phone to call home, and, if no ride home, I got permission to drive
them home. I had a few long distances to drive, and I stopped that.
I was determined to change their behavior. I had documented everything, so
when I talked to parents, I could state behavior incidences.
The problem was I told them the rules and procedures and did not practice nor
check for everyone's understanding BEFORE beginning art projects for the year.
The problem was discipline was inconsistent within the school. They could hit
in other classrooms, so they bucked my rules. The art teacher I replaced was
very laid back and let them do whatever. For 2 yrs, I had to live with her
The problem was I began my job in schools where the JH KIDS thought the
specials (art, music, computer, PE) were not real subjects, and we were not
real teachers. It was supposed to FUN.
Now I am in K-6, in a new district. The kids look at art in a different light.
I followed Harry Wong's book "The First Days of School". I am teaching the
rules, procedures, I am having kids act to demo each rule and solutions. I am
checking for understanding with tests and games. Test questions are written or
verbal, I read the test and explain and demo. Verbal tests are for the little
ones, they hold up a yes or no card to answer. I check for 100% correct. Their
reward is they get to begin an art project next time. AND THE KIDS ACCEPT ALL
I am doing simple things in class to PRACTICE the procedures, such as:
Transform a Mistake into Another Drawing
I draw a bee, they all draw their own bee, I ask for ideas to transform it
WITHOUT: 1.erasing, 2.turning the paper over or 3.wadding it up. I ask what
happens when you start over, (do you ever finish the 2nd?) I ask how do you
get rid of the mess of lines from the bee under the butterfly WITHOUT erasing?
They get their name written on the board, the 1st time they break any little
rule. They become real good because the classroom teacher returns and sees it.
And the teacher usually reinforces it. I copy it to my record on paper. So at
the beginning, if they slip, penalties are minor.
I can send my K-6 5 rules, my 5 penalties and my detailed procedures to you,
if you are interested. This new year hasn't had the test of time, yet.I hope
this works, it's a lot of work now, but I have to be out on time to go to the
Sue and Art on a Cart