Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Art Teacherin' 101: Episode 4

Make no mistake: that big toothy grin is one part love-for-my-Time-Timer and one (BIG) part it's-the-last-day-of-school! That's right, y'all! I gave as many of the kids a big squeeze and a "love y'all!" before booting them out the door and lunching with some teacher buddies. I'll be right back at school next week do work on some projects but tomorrow we leave on a jet plane to sunny So Cal and I couldn't be happier!

But, in the meantime, I thought I'd share with y'all one of my favorite tools in the art room, my Time Timer. This bad boy serves many purposes in my art room from classroom management to differentiated instruction to motivational tool. Lemme tell you the many ways I use that guy in my art room:
And to think I'm not even a paid endorser. Yo, Time Timer, call me! 
 Just to recap, I use it the following ways:

* After giving instruction, I set the timer for 5 minutes. During that time, my students gather supplies and begin work SILENTLY until the timer goes off. Then they can chat calmly with their table buddies. This allows them to collect their supplies and get settled and started in a calm manner.
* I use it for my longer classes when I have a lesson with many steps that needs to be broken down into bite sized pieces. For example, when we are weaving, I might give them the first steps of warping their loom. When the timer goes off, regardless as to whether or not they are finished, they are to hit the pause button and meet me on the floor for the next set of instructions. This breaks up the lesson so as not to overwhelm the kids with directions.
* I often have students who are "stumped". For example, I gave my students a writing task that I noticed was taking them FOREVER. So I set my timer and gave them only five minutes to complete their writing task. This made it so they were motivated and focused to complete their writing.
* Some students work best with a visual and with less instruction. For those, I use my Time Timer to differentiate. I'll give them fewer steps, set the timer and ask that they complete the steps before the timer. 
My kids love the timer as much as I do! I have several that have made themselves my designated "timer" who are in charge of setting and maintaining the time. It's so simple to operate and durable. I don't know what I did without it!

What tools do you use in your art room that are vital to your instruction? I'd love to hear! 

 photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png


  1. Great tool! Now if only I had an hour! Maybe I can squeeze 45 minutes with my 4th graders now that I'm going to be FULL TIME AT ONE AND ONLY ONE SCHOOL!! No more traveling to another school AND that means NO MORE MIDDLE SCHOOLERS!! YEEEEE HAWWWW!

    1. That's awesome, Charlotte!! I just found out YESTERDAY that I might not be getting my hour with my older students. I'm rather devastated. I'm excited for you tho!!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. I want one of these. It would be perfect for my mostly ESL students. I would love to see how you set up your supply area where your students get to go shopping. Do you limit the amount of things they can glet? do they have a basket or something to put their supplies in? I would have to limit the amount of markers because otherwise my kids would get every color of marker since that's all they seem to want to use. Do you tell them they must choose different materials, not just markers. Do you ever have basic supplies available at their tables such as pencils, erasers, scissors and crayons? Oh, and where can one order that timer from?

    1. Hi! You can see my supply set up for gathering in this blog post...

      The main essentials are on their tables: glue, pencils, scissors, and whatever we might all be using that day: sharpies, chalk, oil pastels, etc. What the collect at "the store" are things they have their choice of: paper (as in different colors), paint brushes, etc.

      You can order the Time Timer from many places like Amazon.

  4. I love this idea! I play a game called "beat the timer" during clean up time. I set the timer for 5 minutes at the end of art and if the room is totally clean and they are in their seats before it goes off, they earn points towards a free day. It works so well with little ones! They ask to play it and clean up is so much better!

    1. I am SO DOING THAT next school year! I'm actually thinking of having my tables be "teams" and this would be the perfect motivator. Thank you so much for the great idea!

  5. I have one too! It's great for sped students that need a visual to help them manage their time.


Thank you so much for your comments. I appreciate each and every one :)

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.