Wednesday, July 31, 2019

In the Art Room: The Easiest (and Maybe the Only!) Classroom Management Tool You'll Ever Use!

I've got three new podcast episodes for you this week that I think you'll least I hope! I've been TRYING to jump start my art teacherin' brain these last couple weeks because, GULP, I go back to school tomorrow, y'all. That's MAN-AN-A (where my tilda at, blogger?!). In case you missed, I've been chatting up all things art teacherin' over on my podcast, Cassie Stephens (available for download here, Apple Podcasts, Spotify or simply click on the link!). This week, I covered why our kids are misbehavin', what my three consequences are and...the easiest classroom management tool EVER! 

Take a listen to to that one right here:
This is also THE CHEAPEST classroom management tool you'll ever all you need is a dry erase board, a marker and a happy/sad face. Shoot man, just draw a happy and a sad face on your board and you are set. Now, if you are like me and you need a visual to go with the podcast, here's a video I made a couple years ago:
In my podcast episode how I started using this board...making it way too complicated. These days, it's super easy and super effective. I think you'll love it. Take a look at this vintage photo below. My art room has changed so much over the last couple of years. You wanna know what's not changed? Me using this board! My desk still sits in this same spot, it's just rotated outward, toward the kids. But the Happy/Sad Board still remains. It works with all of my students, kindergarten through fourth. 
Below is what my art room looks like now. Look how much crapola I used to have...EVERYWHERE. I was a big believer in more-is-more. I guess I still am but now I'm a bigger believer in decorating to educate. Which is what I hope I do!
What's missing from this photo? MY HAPPY/SAD BOARD! At the end of the school year, the little easel it sat on broke. I've since ordered me a dry erase board stand that I plan to place front and center. 

One thing I failed to mention in my podcast is what I do with the board when the kids go to their seats to work. Usually the kids are merrily making and need very few reminders. However, when we do, I will sometimes assign a student to be in charge of the board. They'll take it to their seat and mark lines under the happy or the sad as they see fit. Does that mean we sometimes end up with 3452 happy face tallies? YES. But usually the kids do well with it. Every so often, when the class gets a little too chatty or off task, I'll say, "Hey, T, how many happy/sads to we have?" and that will usually get everyone to fall in line. Easy right?

If you wanted to extend this, you could totally use it to keep a class tally of behaviors, if that's your thing. Personally, I cannot keep up with class parties, table tallies, behavior charts, stickers, clips or popsicle sticks. But you COULD use this system at the end of class to determine if the class has had a successful day and deserves to work toward some reward. For me, I'm much too crazy to keep up with any of that stuff...and just racking up the happies seems to work for my students. AND THAT'S THE KEY... you do what works for yourSELF, your STUDENTS, your SET UP and your SITUATION and you'll be amazing. Happy New Year!
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