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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24 comments:

  1. I love this idea! I have tried so many things! Thank you Cassie for sharing!

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  2. Thanks. This is fantastic. I'm going to give it a try.

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  3. Love love love!!! I already have table colors/caddies/folders... this would be easy to integrate into my classroom management system!! I also like that the kids are responsible for tallying their scores- it always ate into my time for me to do it myself (small thing, but the tiny things all add up!!)

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  4. What are the other tables that didn't get all 5s doing on party day? And do you start over every 9 weeks? What if they get a 4 in the first couple of weeks? Can they redeem themselves?

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    1. I would also like to know the same thing!

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  5. Thank you so much for sharing! I'm having trouble getting your paint cans, am I doing something wrong?

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    1. I am unable to get them to open as well! Not sure why...

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    2. Anonymous1/03/2018

      Me too. Did you ever figure it out?

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    3. Did anyone figure out how to download the paint cans?

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    4. :( they won't work for me either.

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    5. I clicked on the paint can pics in the post to enlarge them,then right clicked to save them. Then I printed out the picture on 8.5x11 photo paper. You do see the Velcro dot on the pic, but I'll just cover it with a Velcro dot of my own.

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  6. Hey Cassie - A tip for drying rack that helps for my situation is I label the drying rack shelves. I loop a piece of paper in the center of the rack for red, orange etc. So the next day I come in - take out their folders....pull the red ones out and into the red folder they go. If/when the kids say "my work isn't in my folder" then I remind them that means they didn't put it on the right shelf of the drying rack. Good luck!

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  7. Very nice idea - party time! I also used silent time in my class - like 'Do you think you can be silent (which means nobody is allowed to talk) for 10 mintues? Then I set up a clock. If somebody speaks - I stop the clock and it starts with 0 again. The kids love it! They enjoy the silence and relax. The trick is that I give them scrap paper and that they are able to write things down. Wonderful post - thank you for sharing!

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  8. Hi Cassie,
    Thanks for ideas... I do a management system where as a whole class, the students earn stars and can earn a party...My question is how do you reward one group if they get all fives but the other groups may not have earned this-what do they do if the other ones earn their celebration? Thank you! Mary

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  9. Laura Waggoner11/28/2017

    Love all of this! Already have colored tables and the Blabber Brush system in place. also doing the clips on my table baskets.
    WHAT IS IN THOSE FOLDERS??? I'm sure it's art teacherin' goodness!!!

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    1. Student work goes in the folders. This way you don't have to pass out every person's work. One student per table simply needs to pick up their table's folder. At the end of class, work goes back on the table folder or on the drying rack :)

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  10. Thank you for the awesome management tips. You have helped me introduce better management, play, and the gong into my classroom. Your tips and helps have really helped my students have more time to create beautiful work and enjoy the class even more! I really appreciate it. I am also not able to open the downloads, but I would LOVE to have them. I use a stop sign in my room during carpet time to remind kids not to ask questions or tell stories until the intro is done and it is super effective, so I feel like these would work great. Thank you!

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  11. Thanks so much for this Cassie. I am going to roll this out, with some tweaks to fit my school next week (post-winter break). I made a video and song to go with, featuring our art room mascot Painty the Paintbrush! :) Thanks again for sharing the great idea! I'm excited to see how it goes!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztKz4giVUbM&feature=youtu.be

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  12. Cassie, First off - you're just amazing! I love your posts and they have inspired so many of my lessons. Thank you!
    I really like the cloth pin idea to monitor each table's behavior. I use a Yacker Tracker (https://www.amazon.com/Yacker-Tracker-Noise-Detector-5-5/dp/B001AZ2O2Q) to monitor the volume of the whole class and give out a star if they keep it under 5. These stars are hung outside their classroom door, which creates a little competition between the classrooms. The issue with rewarding the whole class is some table are better then others yet their positive behavior is not recognized. I already use color coded folders, so I can add the score card to them. Thanks again.

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  13. Dea Neal-Dwwyre5/27/2018

    These are awesome. I use something similar, but I like this better. I will let you know next school year how it works.

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  14. Thanks for sharing great thought,I appreciate your work
    must visit

    Handling Emotions
    managing your emotions

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  15. I want thank you for so many helpful and time saving tips! You are so generoud to share for FREE. I would like to use the PDF files for the paint cans. But, I'm haveing some trouble downloading the files. I was curious wondering if there is an technical issue or is it just me? Thanks again!

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  16. Thank you for sharing! I am unable to load the paint can PDF's as well?

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  17. Do you have the cart that’s printable?

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