Kirstin (thatxsunrise) wrote in arted,

One Class Period Assignments- any ideas?

I've got what I hope is sort of an unusual situation at my school.  We have a 5th Grade- ALL BOYS class with boys from ages 10 - 13 years old.  It's the only single gender class at the school and it was created because the teacher, a preacher wanted to have the chance to be a good influnce on these boys with severe behavior issues.  There are constantly fights in the classsroom- and I'm talking about fights where people are punching each other in the head and body slamming each other.  They've had quite a few fights in Art as well- but it just comes with the situation with these boys.

So, despite all of their behavior problems I'm supposed to be able to teach them Art for 40 minutes a week.  Of course I spent most of that 40 minutes trying to get them to stay in their seats and keep the volume to an acceptable level.  We have been working for about 4 weeks on Self Portraits- and I have some students who have NOTHING on their paper, some who have ripped the paper up, thrown theirs away, refused to do anything, some who have drawn things NOT related to the assignment and only a few who have actually tried to get any work done.Now we're 9 weeks into the school year and they have almost nothing to show for it.  I've done a lot of thinkng about this and how to handle this- reaching out to parents doesn't seem to help.  The parents know these kids have behavior problems and administration just wants me to get them to be productive- and that's a failing effort right now.  It's becoming hard to calucate class participation or grade anything- because they are doing so little!So, now I'm considering switching gears and instead I'm going to try doing 1 class only assignments when them (like I often do with the Pre-K's and K's) so that we have proof that they either did it or they did't- they tried or they didn't bother.  We have some proof that daily they are doing something! 

I'd love some opinions or ideas about how you think this would work.  This is my VERY first year teaching and I'm going through an alternative certification program- so I'm new to everything.
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