DISCLAIMER: If you teach in a dream school with no behavior issues do not read on. It will waste time you could have been dreaming up a real lesson plan!
#1 TEACH THE RULES
I used to have a class contract and students would develop the rules and sign the contract but when I started teaching 21 different classes this got confusing and time consuming. So here's what worked last year.
The Five Class Rules
|FOLLOW DIRECTIONS QUICKLY|
|RAISE YOUR HAND FOR PERMISSION TO SPEAK!|
|RAISE YOUR HAND FOR PERMISSION TO LEAVE YOUR SEAT!|
|MAKE SMART CHOICES!|
|KEEP YOUR DEAR TEACHER HAPPY!|
You can download these posters for free from the wholebrainteaching website.
To learn the rules we say them. We sing them. We say them in a high voice, low voice, fast, slow and always with dramatic hand gestures. It is more like acting together then saying the rules. With the little ones we say them on the carpet before attendance EVERY class. Yes EVERY class. Soon I pick a student to lead. The student stands in front does the hand gestures and says the rules with the class. The coolest thing about this is you can ask any kid in the hallway what are the rules in the art room and they will be able to tell you on the spot!
For each of the rules that are followed there is a point system (pretty much whenever I feel like being positive to keep everyone on track). The rules are very "Alice in Wonderland". . . I am the Queen of Art and I make up the rules for points as we go. For example, "Jose you just gave Carlos your seat. Thanks!" and I'll put a point on the board, the class will do our cheer. I can put a points up for anything! The kids totally buy into my little world and start being really good. I will get into the point system later and talk about what I do with those little black sheep who don't want to be part of the "cool" group who does their work. I have a few different ways I've gotten those kids on my "side."
In the beginning this will shave away a good 10 minutes of your art time, to say the rules and do the points. Pretty soon though it will get down to about 5 minutes and your sanity!