Sunday, December 8, 2019

In the Art Room: Noise Levels in the Art Room

A question I see asked in art teacherin' Facebook groups again and again is this:

What noise level do you have in your art room?
Do you have your students work quietly?

I think noise levels in the art room is really just a matter of preference. You are the master of your art teacherin' domain. You can decide what the noise level should be. And, once decided, the way you manage your classroom should be able to make that happen. 

But, let's be real, that's all a whole lot easier said than done, isn't it? So I did a big ole podcast episode on this subject. I'm share more details here and providing some visual backup to the podcast. Here's the episode:

 My thoughts on noise levels in the art room have changed a bit since this post I did a couple years ago. While I still use my paint cans as an indication of my desired noise levels, I no longer keep up with table points on a folder for each class. That was just too much for me. In the podcast episode, you'll hear me talk about what I now do instead. The key with anything in life is finding what works best for you. I think it's always a good idea to try out different methods and styles. Keep what sticks and works for you and your kids. And don't beat yourself up over letting some things go. You do you, boo-boo. 
 I love acronyms and this one T.A.L.K. really helps me explain to my students the kinds of conversations I hope to hear in my art room. I want to hear them teaching and learning and discussing art all in a kind-hearted way. Providing examples when introducing this concept will really help. In this episode, you'll hear the examples I provide to help my kids learn what T.A.L.K. in the art room is.
This conversation of HOW we speak to our friends comes up in nearly every single art class. Honestly, I often feel frustrated that so much of my art time is "wasted" discussing K.I.N.D. but, you know what? It's necessary. If I can help my kids grow in to kind adults, then I've done my job. If they never pick up a paint brush again but they know to speak kindly then I'll be forever happy. Again, providing scenarios of what K.I.N.D. sounds like helps them understand. And, when you hear a student speaking kindly, point it out. Shout it out! Make it a big deal. It will encourage others to follow suit. I never mind a noise level of kindness!
 Regardless of the noise level you strive for in your art room, I would really recommend beginning the creative process with 5 Minutes of Focus or Gimme 5! It works wonders to help my students gather supplies and settle in to work. Often, when my timer goes off after five minutes, my kids will continue to work quietly. And, if they talk through those five minutes, you better believe they owe me 5 more. 
In this episode, I'm also sharing my favorite quiet classroom hacks! You can read more about my Quiet Critters here. I'll be talking more about music to play and books to read that will help your young artists reach your noise level goals. 

Have fun! 

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