•What an art supply is used for
•How it should be stored
•How it should be distributed
•What your elementary student is going to do with it.
All this in a quick reference style accompanied by real experiences from the art room.
I have decided to share some sections from "Your Art Room's A Mess" right here on my blog. Enjoy!
Art class gets a bad rap. The non-traditional classroom set-up and unstructured work time is often perceived by others as crazy non-productive free time. We know this not to be true, but the key is convincing others that you truly are the most important part of your students’ week and vital to their education. As the art educator in your building you also have to be the art advocate. Having a behavior plan and keeping the behaviors in check is essential. Because of the non-traditional set-up and unstructured work time, elementary students can easily get carried away and it could easily turn into crazy non-productive free time!
Have a behavior plan. Make sure you follow it. Philosophies and school districts differ, but start the year with a behavior plan and stick with it. Are you keeping points for clean and well-behaved tables? Do you follow the school’s established rules? Does the classroom teacher’s plan carry into your room? It doesn’t matter what the plan is. Have one and stick with it.
Putting a poster on the bulletin board with a list of rules to follow is not a behavior plan. Clearly and concisely put forth the consequences and rewards for behaviors in the art room. If you can have the classroom teacher and administrators full support, the better. Be sure the plan is visible and refer to it often.
Some suggestions on behavior plans:
Have the students list the POSITIVE qualities of an art student and of an art teacher. Make these the basis for the positive behaviors that should be happening at all times in the art room. Make yourself accountable too.
Have students work together in small groups or together with their team to earn rewards for positive behaviors. Use clipboards with seating charts or color-coded graphs to keep tallies. If you start a system like this, keep it up. Students will hold you accountable for rewards.
Intermediate students earn “Art Stars” and compete against the other classes.
Use tickets, bucks, or points to pit class against class in the race to good behavior. Make a chart or poster showing which class is in the lead. Make the winning class earn something small but valuable.
Possible art class rewards could be:
- A treasure box of toys, pencils, erasers, stickers, or sketchbooks.
- Free art studio time is a favorite, but only dole out limited minutes at a time. Too much time with free draw paper, markers, and coloring can make students restless.
- Art games like Pictionary, Win-Lose-or Draw, or Art Memory are favorites too. Students can earn time to play these games.
- An unplanned project with a fun media. Fifth graders finger painting? Fifteen minutes with modeling clay?
- Art movies are also a great motivator. Short cartoons about an artists life, a how to draw video with a fun host, or a video the class makes all together!