I have struggled with the most effective way to present the art room rules. This fall I plan to try something new – an engaging rules project like the one Elizabeth Stroud uses in her art room.
Ms. Stroud’s rules lesson is an example of project based learning. I love how Ms. Stroud’s students work as teams, and come up with so many ways to demonstrate the art room rules. Even very young students were able to articulate examples of the rules!
Do you have a creative way of teaching the rules in your art room?
Ah, the first days of art. It is so neat and clean and organized in the art room….I just had to share some photos before the room reverts to its natural ‘studio’ state. Here are seven photos taken on opening day.
1. Table Colors and Numbered Seats
In the photo above you can see tables organized by color. All the seats are numbered – four seats to a table.
2. Rotating Jobs by Seat Number
Last year I rotated jobs by table. This year I am rotating jobs by seat number.
These boxes fit perfectly on my shelves, and are big enough to hold 12×18 paper and all my supplies for each project.
I have a big shelf unit on wheels. I filled it with these yellow catering boxes from the local Jamba Juice smoothie shop. Three boxes fit perfectly on a shelf. The boxes are large and great for organizing all the supplies. They will be really helpful for organizing prep for our parent volunteers.
(Note: see all that cut wire in the 5th grade prep box? Our parent volunteers just cut 100 3-ft. lengths of it in preparation for our Calder wire sculpture project next week. It all fits in the box with room to spare!).
6. Lesson Plan Organization
Lesson plans go into individual manilla envelopes.
I completely cleaned out all my lesson plan files this year. Each lesson plan (plus samples) is stored in an individual manilla envelope. I turned each envelope ‘landscape’ and labeled each one. Once turned sideways, they fit perfectly in my file cabinet. This makes me SO HAPPY. Imaginary angels sing when I open the file drawers and see all the organized glory.
This year I tried a new classroom management system in the art room. It worked so well I had to share it. If your classes are getting a little unruly as summer approaches, it maybe time to review your rules.
I have just six art room rules, which the students have to recite at the beginning of class. They are:
Rule #1: listen when your teacher is talking
Rule #2: follow directions quickly
Rule #3: work quietly
Rule #4: raise your hand
Rule #5: make smart choices
Rule #6: clean up after yourself
During class, I observe both individual and whole class behavior. Both are recorded and sent to the classroom teacher using my art room support report.
The form makes it super-easy to record individual behaviors as they occur, both positive and negative. All of our support teachers (music, science, P.E., media center and computers) use similar reports, although they have different rules.
The section marked ‘Drops in the Bucket’ is for unsolicited extra-kind behaviors that make kids feel good. Helping struggling students or prepping work for a child who is absent are just two examples of behaviors. The entire staff gives out ‘drops’ which are then entered into a whole-school raffle for a prize. It is a really nice part of our school culture.
If a student breaks a rule, I just write down the child’s name and the rule number. A check means the student broke the rule more than once. Rule #5 (‘make smart choices’) covers a lot so I have to specify the behavior.
Group behavior: smileys and frownys
I draw a smiley face (positive) and a frowny face (negative) on the whiteboard, and keep a tally. I give out lots of smileys, generally for listening, sharing, hard work, asking good questions. The rare frowny is almost always for noise.
(This is working well – the smileys have trounced the frownys all year!)
At the end of class, I rate the class behavior ‘coyote’ (best), ‘star’ (good) or ‘oops’ (unacceptable).
The classroom teachers reward or give consequences based on the rating.
I like this because:
It is very specific, both in the rules and who broke them
The classroom teacher can reward the vast majority of kids who follow all the rules