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." 

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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  1. Love it! Why do classroom teachers keep so many secrets from us, as if their tricks wouldn't work in our environment.

  2. I LOVE this fabulous idea!! I can totally see this woeking-- even on a cart like I am. And I think if I pondered a sec or two, I could think of a way ro make these criiters portable!

  3. Anonymous3/13/2018

    I love this idea but can't help thinking a few of my hyper kids wouldn't savage the poor critters! How do you stop them from being mauled?!

  4. Amazing will be trying out in my room

  5. Anonymous3/14/2018

    I made a bunch of small quiet critters so each kid could have one at their seat, if they were quiet. I thought I'd use them for K-3 grade. Well, the 4th grade saw them and wanted to know what they were. They loved having a critter and were sooo quiet. Then 5th and 6th grade wanted them too. My room has never been so quiet!!! Even some 7th graders asked about them. One girl said, "I want a quiet critter". Hey, whatever works! lol I can't wait to see how the K-2 respond tomorrow.

  6. Anonymous3/15/2018

    Wow! Love, Love, this idea! My 1st grade classes were so loud and chatty yesterday that I was ready to throw in the towel! I am going to make these this weekend!!!!!
    Thank you!

  7. I just listened to this podcast this morning on my commute to work and loved the idea so much that I made them right away and used them with a crazy 2nd grade this afternoon. They were a huge hit! I'm going to post pics of them to my Instagram and share with you. Thank you, Cassie and @art_with_mia!

  8. I like be this idea and want to try it. Can’t seem to find where to purchase. I looked at Michaels and amazon. I can’t seem to find any larger than about 2 inches. Is this the size You used? Could anyone share where they purchased them? Thanks!

    1. Cathy, I found the giant ones at Hobby Lobby today. They were on clearance--4 for a dollar!

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  10. Soooo....do the kids take them home??? Or do they stay in the classroom for the next time they are quiet??


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