Showing posts with label classroom management. Show all posts
Showing posts with label classroom management. Show all posts

Sunday, May 6, 2018

In the Art Room: Maker's Kit Grab Bags

Well, howdy, friends! Have you started the End of the Year countdown yet? I have not...as I'm in the middle of the Art Show Countdown (Tuesday, May 15th, eep!) and cannot seem to focus on the end-of-the-school-year/light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel as I still have SO.MUCH.ART.SHOW.PREP.TO.DO. Thankfully, I'm surrounded by my amazing Art Show Mom Army who are handling the bulk of the work (matting, hanging, finding my coffee/sanity/half-eaten-burrito all at the same time). As most of y'all know, it's really just a matter of getting the kids to FINISH ALL THE UNFINISHED THINGS.
Case in point: I scored an extra hour with my doubled up fourth grade classes on Friday (doubling my fourth and third grade classes is the only way I can get them for an hour. It's busy but it's worth it!). I created a To Do list for them that I posted on my big screen T.V. Here's what was on their agenda:
That's a lot! Thankfully, it's a matter of finishing projects...so no new set of instructions was required. However, you know how this can sometimes go: THE UNENDING ASKING OF QUESTIONS. 

What do I do next?

Where does this go?

Where can I find that one thing that is always in the same place every time but I'm going to ask you again just to test the limits of your sanity?

Insert waving of white flag here. 
Recently, a class reminded me that they'd never "cashed in" their Awesome Artist points because their art teacher is an inconsistent hot mess. Well, they didn't say that last part but it was HEAVILY alluded to. So, I told them that the following art class they'd be able to. "What are we doing?! Are we having a party?! Will there be pizza? CAN WE MAKE SLIME?!"

No. No. ANNNNNNND no. 
 I don't have time for parties (c'mon, y'all. Everyday in the art room is a party anyway!), I ain't got money for pizza and IF I NEVER HAVE TO MAKE SLIME IN MY ART ROOM IT WILL BE TOO SOON. And, just 30 minutes before classes arrived...I got the idea for Maker's Kit Grab Bags. Here, let me 'splain:
If you follow me here, then you know I'm in the middle of cleaning out. I'm decluttering like a crazy person...it's been put to kind of a standstill for the sake of the art show...but the minute that's over, I'm going right back to decluttering. I've managed to knock out cabinets in the art room and corners of my INSANELY PACKED storage closet...
And I've set most of it aside for the EPIC YARD SALE I am planning to host. But a lot of it...I started thinking...the kids might want. 
 So I popped open 34 lunch bags (another item I have a TON of) and started throwing my unwanted craft supplies inside: popsicle sticks, stickers, construction paper in weird sizes, tubes, yarn cones, ribbon and just all the stuff that I have been donated over the years and never found a use for. 
 I LIVED for grab bags as a kid. Whenever I had the opportunity to buy a toy, I always sprung for the grab bag. I told my students that these were Maker's Kits. They were to inspire them to create something, ANYTHING, with the aid of supplies they might already have here at school or home. The hitch? They had to work their tails off all art class, in order to cash in their table points and score their bag. Y'all. I never ONCE had a kid ask me what they were to do next, I never ONCE had a kid off task, I hardly even heard a peep out of them. But, best of all, they started coming back to art with their creations...even sharing them with me on social media!
This was just a spur of the moment idea that I am so excited about! Next year, I hope to create a competition out of this...to really inspire my kiddos to keep on creating. As for now...it's helping me clean out and keep them motivated to the bittersweet end. Do y'all do anything like this?! I'd love to hear how it works in your art room!
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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Art Teacherin' 101, Episode 43: QUIET CRITTERS!

 I've been teaching for many a year and it's always just been my assumption that kindergarten is loud. Like REALLY loud. It wasn't until recently, when I popped into a kindergarten classroom, that I noticed that they aren't ALWAYS this way. I walked into this room and they were working...calmly. Quietly. Like, frighteningly so. As if they were up to no good or plotting the next time they were coming to art and going to drive me bonkers with their incessant jib-jab. When I asked the teacher why they were so quiet, she was all, "what do you mean? They're working. They always work this way." 

SAY WHAT NOW?!
Not long after that, @art_with_mia who I love and follow on Instagram, shared that she recently started using something called Quiet Critters in her art room. Now I've heard of teachers using stuffed animals as quiet incentives before...but these small sparkly pompoms seemed like an easier alternative. With the noise level in my art room with kindergarten on the rise, I was determined to give it a shot. And, you guyz, IT WORKS.
If you read my last post, you know that I've named each of these critters after an artist. Every other art class, I'm introducing that artist to the kids. This one is Andy (Warhol). When a student earns a critter, I simply place them in their table caddy. I do think this would work with slightly older grades...but my older kids already use the clip system (which is what the clothes pins are all about. You can read about that here.) Since it works for them, I'm not about to reinvent the wheel, you know. However, I'm super stoked to find something that works for my wee ones, yay! Finally, I can hear myself think! 

Do you use something like this in your art room? I'd love to hear how it goes!
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Sunday, November 26, 2017

In the Art Room: Art Room Management

 A couple of weeks ago, on my Facebook LIVE chat, I had my art teacher buddy Kaitlyn Edington. I "met" Kaitlyn via her IG account which is AMAZING. She's not only got a beautiful art room with some amazing project ideas but has INCREDIBLE classroom management.  She's also fabulous at sharing her methods. I had her chat with us one night during LIVE (the chat is still archived here) where she shared her system. I loved her ideas...but, like y'all, I had to think of how I would make it work in my art teacherin' world. I'm a firm believer, just like Kaitlyn, that we are all different and should totally celebrate those differences. There is no "once size fits all" for art teacherin'...so the trick is finding out what works for YOU. After mulling over her system and imagining how it might work in my art room, I came up with this:
I rolled this out with my students a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving break and, I gotta say, it's been working out wonderfully! The kids are really responding well. My first grade has really taken to it well...the grade that I thought would not at all. I think they crave the structure the most out of all my classes this year so it's really worked for them. My second graders LOVELOVELOVE art (all my kiddos do, but these kids are IN.TO.IT.) so they hardly need reminders...although their enthusiasm can sometimes be their downfall. This system has really helped them focus. 
 My older students are loving this too...I have those big, doubled up classes so the noise level was a constant battle. I don't mind chatter...if it's work focused. A lot of times, with my third graders, it is not. So this has helped them quite a bit. However, with my older kiddos, I have them for an hour...I can't even stay quiet that long! So I usually move the brush to yellow about half way into their art class. 
 Okay...I just realized I've not explained this system to you at all! I just assumed you'd watched the video. But, if you can't stand the sound of my voice (you and me both), I'll give you the Cliff's notes. 
 I have these three paintings hanging in my art room. I've created FREE downloadable PDF's for you so you can simply print and laminate. You can find the red can here, yellow can here and the green can here. I added velcro dots to hold the paint brush...but a drawing of a paintbrush would work just as well. 

So the deal is this: the cans let the kids know the expected noise level. Red is silent, yellow is whispering and green is indoor voices. I prefer my students to work quietly. I only see them for 60 minutes a week (if I'm lucky) and I want them to create as much as they can during our short time together. I usually keep the brush on red...except for midway through the classes of my older kiddos. 
 How does this expected behavior get monitored? Each table of four kiddos has a color coded table caddy. I found these caddies at Dollar Tree and simply spray painted them to match the tables. Then I placed red duct tape on one side of the caddy and green on the other. Each table begins with 5 clips on the green tape. I went with 5 because 1. That's what Kaitlyn suggested; 2. it makes it so the kids don't think of themselves as a clip...meaning "Joe had to move his clip!" It's not like that...the TABLE had to move a clip because of a teammates behavior and 3. Because it's a lot easier to count the scores by 5's! 

I remind the kids before I had them their table folder (which is also something new I'm trying and LOOOVING) what color the paintbrush is on. When they head to their seats, they are expected to pass out the artwork and get started quietly. This has really helped the kids settle in and get started. If I have to remind a table more than once, I ask them to move a clip. Clips are moved based on not following directions, chatting, not cleaning up...just general behaviors that need improvement. At the end of art class, I do a little shout out:
 "Who still has all 5 clips? Please write a 5 on your folder and line up!" Then I go down the line with 4 and then 3. I just noticed that the green folder has an extra 5...we're still working on understanding this system. Obviously. 
 To monitor the amount of clips and scores, I taped these papers to their table folders. I have a couple things to add here:

1. WHERE HAVE TABLE FOLDERS BEEN MY WHOLE LIFE?! This has made passing out and collecting (dry!) artwork so stinkin' easy. 

2. WHAT IF WORK IS ON THE DRYING RACK?! Well, a friend recently suggested to me that have the kids write their names on the back in the same color as their table. So it's on my To Do to place color coded color pencils on the tables. As for yellow, I'll ask the kids to circle their names in that color.

3. THE LABEL KEEPS THEM ACCOUNTABLE. Having that label where they keep their score instead of me works much better for me...I can't keep up with my life but I know they'll be able to stay on top of the scorecard. 
I hope all that makes a little bit of sense...I'm so excited that this system as been working so well. My art room is more calm, I can spend more one on one time with my students and the craftsmanship has been much improved. Not to mention the teamwork! The kids have been working harder to get along and help each other. Thanks for letting me share!
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Thursday, August 3, 2017

In the Art Room: Art Room Rules

Yesterday, some pretty big and exciting news was released: I'll be teaming up with The Art of Education in the creation of Everyday Art Room, a podcast dedicated to all things elementary art teacherin'! I sat down with Tim Bogatz, the co-'caster of Art Ed Radio to share the fun news. You can listen to our chat here and catch my very first podcast next Thursday. I'm super excited! I do hope you'll take a listen. 

In one of the first podcasts, I'll be chatting about how I start my school year, which, as you can imagine, is with rules. My rules have changed...drastically...over the years as I learn and change as I go/grow. Recently, with the reading of The Growth Mindset Coach (you should totally join our book club if you haven't already. Like/follow here to stay tuned), I've been thinking of my art room rules as being more like life rules. Rules to follow to become a happy, compassionate and fulfilled person. With that in mind, I created these three art room rules life goals. I thought I'd share them with you in the form of a free downloadable PDF if you are interested. 





But before we get to that, when I shared these paintings on my Instagram, I got a lotta questions about how I hang things on those unstickable concrete walls. My go-to is usually hot glue but that does have a weight limit. It can also damage walls and artwork. My latest love are these Command Velcro Strips. Y'all. These bad boys can hold up to 16lbs and can be removed without damage. If you are hanging something heavier or from an actual hanger, you might wanna check out Hardwall Hangers by OOX. These hammer easily into concrete walls but are difficult to remove and leave behind some holes. Of course, if you are just hanging posters, Blue Dap (aka sticky tack) works great as well. All of these can be found at your local hardware store. 
Here is the download for the letter A

When writing rules, keep the following in mind:

* Keep Your List of Rules Short. The list of rules should be so short that you can easily memorize them. Any more beyond five rules and you might be confusing your rules with your routines/procedures. 

* Know the Difference Between Rules and Routines. Rules are the broad brush strokes. Routines are the finer details. I have 8 routines in my art room. I'll be covering those in my very first podcast that will launch here next Thursday. Confusion between the two can lead to confusion in the art room.

* Keep in Mind the Take Away. When your students reflect on creating, what do you want them to think? Feel? Be inspired by? Your rules should help you create that environment where they feel safe, inspired, confident, successful and encouraging to others.

With those thoughts in my head, I decided to create three rules, based on the word ART. You are more than welcome to use these in your art room. I've created downloadable PDFs of each letter and rule. Here is the download for the painted letter A.  

If you'd rather paint your own version of your rules, go for it! I had a great time coming up with these and bringing them to life in a colorful and exciting way. I scored the canvas panels, which I used for the letters, at Michael's in a package of either three or four. The long canvases were sold in packs of two. 

I picked up my favorite colors in acrylic paint. I laid out the canvases and quickly painted them. I tried not to overthink it...keeping in mind that one can always just paint over it! 
Once dry, I added some dry brushing of paint where I wanted the letter and rules to go. From there, I added the text, details and designs. The beauty of acrylic paint is that fast dry time! I did manage to mess up my spacing of letters so there was some serious repainting...but it was not a big deal.

Growing up in the 80's, where there was a strong resurgence of 1950's style and fashion, I've got a love for all things kitsch, colorful and tacky. This explains my color palette and design aesthetic clearly, doesn't it?!

Let's be honest: with rules like these, some explaining, modeling and role playing will need to be done. When teaching rules, always expect that your sweet kiddos know nothing. After all, what seems like common sense to you, an adult who has been on this Earth years beyond that wee person you are teaching, is news to the petite peeps. Think of everything as new, exciting and noteworthy...it will make teaching what we might deem "the mundane", the magnificent. 
Not even gonna lie, strong Pee Wee's Playhouse and Bebo influence here! 

Tell me if you do this: when thinking of lessons, plans, arrangements, whatever in your teaching environment, do you put yourself in your student's shoes? I do this...all the time. I often think of what excited me as a kid: seeing my third grade teacher in a silly costume; that teepee my second grade teacher had in her classroom; the parachute we played with in P.E. It's with that in mind that I craft my own teaching environment. I know I'm not alone in this...maybe it's for selfish reasons...but I use what excited me as a student now as a teacher. 

And it usually works! I used to think that the notion of bringing what I loved as a kid to my art room was successful because that joy I experienced was universal. I loved XYZ as a kid, therefore all kids love XYZ! Now I know...it was my passion about XYZ that inspired my students. Staying passionate, whether that be by taping into those childhood loves and/or brining what you love to your art room, is what keeps us excited and excitable as an art teacher.
But that just might be the back-to-school jitters talkin'. Let's talk about how you can print and hang these bad boys in your art room! Simply print out the letters and rules as is or blow them up! I did this with some items I purchased on TpT. I just made them as large as I could and then, once printed, taped them together puzzle style and ran them thru the laminator. You can't tell the difference!
Feel free to print and hang where ever you wanna share the love of art. Remember to tune in next Thursday for my first ever podcast, eep! So excited!
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Saturday, March 18, 2017

Art Teacherin' 101: Episode 32 CLEAN UP

Ah, yes. Clean up. You know, everyone dreads clean up: the kids because they are so into what they are creating and me because I have a different idea of clean up than my students (ahem). I've come up with some things that work and I've slapped 'em together in this here Art Teacherin' 101.

Also in this video, you'll see a clip of my students participating in something I've been calling The Clean Up Contest. This has been working fabulously with all of my classes, grades kinder thru fourth. My room is left spotless, the kids all clean, working together to make their table look the "even better than how you found it". My big rule is that they must do it silently...which really cuts down on the silly and helps them focus on tidying. 

I'll also be sharing with you how I do the Smartest Artist. This is a simple game that all of my students love.

Please share your tips and tricks on Clean Up Time! I know I'm always looking for ways to make this process more streamlined. 
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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Art Teacherin' 101: Episode 30

Don't forget to join the chat tonight, Wednesday, at 8pm CST over on my official Facebook page. We'll be talking about the Art Teacher in Training badges: how we are using them, how they've been working and the rest. We're also sharing our favorite art supplies. AND, lastly, let's chat about that dreaded thing called CLEAN UP. See you then!

Today I thought I'd share with you how I've been using the Art Teacher in Training badges in my art room and how they've been working for me. I LOVE THEM! Check out this episode of Art Teacherin' 101 to find out more. 
I often times will talk myself out of introducing new things to the kids with the mindset that "I'll do it at the beginning of next year". But now my motto is: Why wait?! I actually think it's the perfect time when the kids are starting to get that spring fever. Anytime I introduce something new and present it in an exciting way, the kids are always game. Here's the video that I've been showing them to explain the badges. Feel free to use it in your art room. 
Be sure and check out these other badges created by art teachers and how they are using them too. See y'all tonight! 
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Sunday, February 5, 2017

In the Art Room: Art Teachers in Training!

Hey, art teacherin' buds! If you joined last week's Facebook LIVE which is archived in the link, then you know I did a feeble attempt at a Make and Take. Those who joined were gentle and kind enough to almost convince me that it wasn't a bust but I knew the truth. I LOVED the idea of a Make and Take and I really wanna make it work in the future...but that will take some work on my part. But let's focus on what we created: Art Teachers Badges!
 In a previous LIVE chat, which we do right here nearly every Wednesday night at 8pm CST (to join the chat, simply "like" my page and I'll pop up in your feed 8-ish), the idea of creating "art teacher apprentice" badges came up. I loved the idea so much, I invited everyone to join in on the makin' and the takin'. What EXACTLY is an Art Teacher Badge?!
I can only tell you how I plan to use mine: I have four tables in my art room. Each table will have what I've dubbed Art Teacher in Training. These kids are responsible for listening extra carefully to directions and answering the questions of their fellow artists at their table only. If they cannot answer the question, they are to seek out another table's "trainee" and ask them. If all else fails, FINE, you can ask me. My goal is to create an environment where I am free to spend more quality time with my students and not repeat myself 5983 times. Ahem.
How will I pick these kids? I plan to let them know that the moment they walk in my door, they are being "interviewed" based on their actions, behaviors and ability to follow our long-established but sometimes forgotten routines. I also created this video to explain to the kids just EXACTLY what the roll of the "trainee" and the rest of the class is. 
Feel free to share this video in your Land of Art Teacherin'. It's general enough that it could probably work in your setting as well. 

MANY of the fine folks that joined the chat sent me their badges and how they plan to use them. I love the creativity of seeing what everyone created and hearing how they plan to use them. I do plan to laminate mine and have them on a lanyard. 

By the way, be sure to follow these art teachers on Instagram. I've added their link if they have an account. We learn so much from one another! 
Margaret McDonald created these fun badges for her kiddos! She says: I teach Art PreK-6 at Herndon Elementary in Herndon, Virginia. My classes come once a week. I have 6 tables. Each week a different table does art room jobs. I plan to allow each weeks table to be the "art room assistants." I plan to talk them up like VIP/backstage passes since I used gold shiny paper! You can find Margaret here: My instagram @missbrightbluehue and 
My Twitter @msmcdonaldart

Darla Kendrick created these cute and colorful badges. She says: here are my Art Teacher assistant badges. I get tired of repeating my directions non-stop, even when they're written on the board!  My plan is to assign one student per group/row/area of the classroom as the Assistant. S/he will be responsible for helping students nearby until I can make my way to them. Hopefully this will eliminate the repetitive, "I wasn't listening" questions.

My art teacher insta is: @art_at_hart_on_a_cart

I teach in Bakersfield, CA. Grades TK-6, SDC and VE

Carissa Parr shared: my class is 3rd-5th grade, so I'm planning on using the Protégé badge with only the 5th graders. They'll be the go-to kids for the younger ones. The Timekeeper will help keep ME on track! The Encourager will help keep things positive, as there are a few kids that compare their work to others and end up frustrated. I teach in a homeschool co-op and we meet once a week, so most of the lessons take two weeks to finish.  The kids will keep their badges for 2 weeks and change/rotate badges at the start of a new lesson.
Amber Click says: I have created my badges, just need to laminate and get lanyards. :) I decided to go with art teacher's sidekick. Kinda like a superhero. :) I teach in Corpus Christi, Texas. Grades Pre-k through 8th grade. I plan to use these badges to cut down on the amount of times I repeat things, like "drying rack." lol I think especially for my younger kids they will love the assistant title and I hope it'll turn out to make them feel special. 
My instagram link is: www.instagram.com/art_teacherlife
Emily Burlingame says: I have 4 tables in my room and each has a rotating (weekly) job to do. One of the jobs was 'Direction Experts' (DE's). This one always seemed to get neglected... until NOW!

We went over all the jobs again and I introduced the new 'DE' badges and a reminder that this job was to be my helpers. They had to know what the directions for the day were, had to know where to get supplies and how to clean up, had to know how to be encouraging and helpful. They basically had to be mini versions of me.

They embraced it with open arms today and knocked it out of the park. Even my 3rd grade 'Bob' rocked it {this is code name for our friends who are sometimes off-task}. Told me he served 6 clients for the day! Ha! Great. And it totally freed me up to wander the room and help where needed.

So each week a different table group of students will have their own chance to help one another out!!! Yessss! Art Teacher win. Think I'll try it with my 1st-5th graders and just put the badges in the table basket that has the DE job for that day.
Emilie Jones says, I used lanyards, painted the paintbrushes with acrylic paint, and used scrapbook paper inside the badge-holder-thingy... they all have the words: TABLE LEADER in sticker letters (former scrapbooker in the house!).

I am NOT an art teacher, I'm just a parent who LOVES art, was upset that the school my son goes to does not offer art (even though the kids have LOTS of free time) so I volunteer and every Wednesday and Thursday.  I go to my son's second grade class and we do art. 

These second graders REALLY need to work on their listening skills and I ❤ed your ideas about going to the art assistant to ask for directions because i was being asked the same question like 15 times (which gets a bit annoying). I have 23 kiddos and 4 tables, so one leader per table. Today I hyped up the table leader's responsibilities and then hit up Hobby Lobby (I currently live in no-where Oklahoma and it was either that or Walmart) got the lanyards, badge holders, and brushes. 
Alexandra McBride says: here are the art expert badges I've been using since before winter break. Kiddos are LOVIN being experts! I usually pick six different kids before I start any explaining and these kids are then who all the other kids go to if they have questions. They are feeling so proud wearing them! The best part?! When I get done with directions and that one kid is like "what do I do!?" Ahhh I just breathe and say "Go find an art expert"! You can find me on Instagram @kidsgetcreative. I work at the elementary level at cherry creek schools in Colorado! 
Carol Sustaire says: I want have one badge for each of my 6 color coded tables. However I probably won't use all 6 every day. Maybe only 3 per class and they wear the badge that corresponds to their tables. 

I teach k-6 in Fort Worth TX. I introduce a lot of new ideas to these kids so I am probably going to let the kids that "catch on" first at each table get picked to be the art teacher apprentice. I may also pick based on who I think needs a boost of pride that day. 
Lindsay Lowery says: I've never done this before but it sounds like fun! I decided to keep them simple using my #artsnacks products I get in the mail each month. I plan to pick someone from each table as soon as I finish giving directions and hopefully it will be something they really enjoy. My instagram is @beakerlinz and I teach in Pflugerville, Texas K-5.

Do y'all use something like this in your art rooms? LOVE to hear how you put it into action! 
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