Keeping noise volume down and students on task can be challenging in an active environment like an art room. I noticed this year that my 4th and 5th grade students needed a little extra reinforcement to keep their noise volume in check. So, I decided to add to my classroom decor with a simple ART sign using three wooden paint palettes strung together with fishing wire. My younger students think these paint palettes are nice addition to the art room surroundings, but my older students know these letters hold meaning.
When a class has trouble with noise control or remaining on task, a warning is given and the letter T is turned over. If the problem persists, the R is turned over and the students must work for 5 minutes in silence. The last letter (I rarely get this far) represents a silent class (basically strike 3).
Posted on 06. Sep, 2011 by Guest Author in All Posts, Challenging Students, Clean-up and Transition, Clssrm Mgmt, Conflict Resolution, Off-task Behavior, Organization and Preparation, Positive Reinforcement
The following is a guest post written by Scott Russell about his classroom management system using visuals. Scott teaches at Ball’s Bluff Elementary in Leesburg, Virginia.
My classroom expectation system has evolved in connection with our school-wide PBIS framework. As the Ball’s Bluff Tiger we ROAR = Respect, On task, and Always Responsible. So what does that look like in my art room? Here are my expectations communicated visually:
Respect – A hand in the Air will keep art fair. – We all have important ideas and questions, the only way to let everyone share in the knowledge is to be fair and respectful to everyone in the class. Download PDF
Respect – Success comes to those who try, failure comes to those who “can’t” – I despise the “I can’t” phrase! I discuss with my students how they are all learning (even me) and what happens when we say “I can’t”. What if one day I said “I can’t” teach you”? What would they learn? So I set the expectation – no “I can’t”; we always try our best. Download PDF
On Task – Busy pencils mean Artists at work. I don’t mind if students are talking. I encourage the sharing that comes in an art class. I do discuss that while they are in class the artwork needs to be worked on—so they can talk as long as their pencils are moving. This way the discussions tend to stay on the art and they develop the correct work habits. Download PDF
On Task – Show creativity. What would the world be like if all art were the same? What would the class be like if all the student art looked exactly like mine? The goal is to develop their ideas through the lessons and skills we experience together. Download PDF
Always Responsible – Van Gogh knows. Use your ears. Listen and learn. Then you hear the directions and the questions of others and have the most time for YOUR art! Download PDF
Always Responsible – Safety First. No running with scissors! And this connects to so many things – ultimately – making good choices. Download PDF
My class learns like the Mona Lisa. It is great to talk about Mona and use her memorable pose as a model for daVinci. The mystery behind her intrigues the kids so much and we can learn a lot from her for art class too! We discuss how her eyes follow you (just like their eyes should follow the speaker), her mouth is a quiet mysterious smile (because what teacher wants to look out at frowns?), and how her hands are still (hold them still just until you can dive into your artwork)! When I need the student’s attention I say “MONA” and they reply with “LISA” and the students immediately stop what they are doing to make their best Mona-pose. I “look for my Mona Lisa’s” as they come in to class, etc. And it hits home – I’ve had students count the Mona’s in my class (I apparently have over 35). One student said, “Thanks, a lot of eyes watching me!” I think he got it! Download PDF
There are so many others, I welcome you to take a look at my other management visuals and share your own. These work for me!
Art teachers are always on the lookout for creative ways to reach their students. From museum field trips to outdoor hikes to search for still life subjects, art teachers have learned over the years that the more interactive the lesson, the better student engagement. However, with the invasion of smartphones, it’s become increasingly difficult to engage students. While this is generally not an issue those who teach at an online school, teachers at brick-and-mortar campuses are trying to figure out how to engage students who would rather spend their time texting and updating Facebook. The answer, if you have access to smartphones for your classroom, is surprisingly simple: there’s an app for that. Teachers can take advantage of a wide range of applications that can be used in the classroom, integrate them into lesson plans, and lasso reluctant students into engaging in rich learning experiences.
How to Introduce Smartphones to Your Lessons
The problems with smartphones in school are generally thought to outweigh the benefits, leaving many teachers leery of allowing them in class. However, it’s important to remember that while cell phones might be the bane of a teacher’s existence when student phone use in class is a distraction, the devices are only tools can just as easily be used to help rather than hinder classroom activities.
One option for incorporating smartphones into the classroom, is introducing school-purchased smartphones that can be properly monitored rather than regulating students’ use of their own smartphones. For instance, in 2007 Qualcomm issued smartphones to 3,000 students in four North Carolina school districts as part of Project K-Nect. The study, detailed in Education Week, shed light on how smartphones can be used in school. In addition to continuing training to develop smartphone-based science and math lessons, the teachers were given considerable power over students’ devices. Teachers could see what students were doing on the phone at any time, monitor instant messages, report misuse, and even shut the phone down if necessary.
However, school-issued devices aren’t the only way to use smartphones in class. With good direction and supervision, students can usually be trusted to use their own devices productively if given the opportunity.
Teaching Strategies for the Smartphone Classroom
For art teachers, there are tons of ideas worth considering, from straightforward museum tours and art history lessons to modified lesson plans developed by teachers in other fields.
Liz Kolb is the author of the book “Toys to Tools: Connecting Student Cell Phones to Education” and an associate researcher at the University of Michigan. She provides a database of ideas for teachers looking to meaningfully incorporate smartphones into lessons. While the suggestions aren’t specific to art classes, a quick perusal of her ideas and the ideas of other teachers who post to the site will yield plenty of lessons that can be adjusted for the art classroom. Among them:
• Use wiffiti.com, which will display text messages sent to the teacher’s account, to have students write short opinions of a famous work of art. The teacher can display these for students to discuss.
• Use phones to take photos of art in the community and send them to flickr.com. Students can use the compiled photos to create a classroom definition of art.
• Have students utilize a teacher-established account on a site like polleverywhere.com to gather real-time feedback when asking multiple choice or true/false questions. Instead of just one student’s response, teachers get feedback from every student.
• Have students create podcasts in which they describe a painting in detail. Each student will then listen to another student’s podcast and attempt to draw the painting based upon the description.
Of course, Kolb doesn’t have the market cornered when it comes to smartphone integration in the classroom, and a number of websites discuss how art teachers can integrate different apps into lessons. Teachers can find such a list in one of this blog’s previous posts, which is a great resource for those with access to iPhones in the classroom and also provides plenty of search ideas for those without.
The study in North Carolina cited above found students taking an active role in creating new course content and assisting one another improved their test scores and understanding of course material. Granted, Project K-Nect studied how students engaged in math classes using smartphones, but you can bet that art classes will show equal enthusiasm given the opportunity to use familiar technology meaningfully. Educators need to revise their thinking about the presence of phones in the classroom and develop ways students can engage in lessons that go beyond classroom walls. Why not let art teachers, with their enthusiasm for creativity and willingness to think outside the box, lead the smartphone charge?
Posted on 05. Mar, 2011 by Theresa McGee in All Posts, Challenging Students, Clean-up and Transition, Clssrm Mgmt, Conflict Resolution, Off-task Behavior, Organization and Preparation, Positive Reinforcement
Kindergarten is my toughest class. Some teachers are “naturals” at teaching Kindergarten, but not me. The first time I taught Kindergarten was in my first class of my first teaching job. As it turned out, it was one of “those” classes that come around once or twice in a career. Lucky me.
Here are a few highlights during my first month teaching Kindergarten. . .
- A couple boys thought that they were “puppies” and decided that crawling under the tables and barking would be a good idea just at the very moment the principal walked in the room.
- The “potty train” to the bathroom was getting out of hand until the one day I said – “No more- no one else can go until after class”. Then a child promptly peed right on the floor.
- Another day, I was handed a lovely lock of hair (draw your own conclusions on what happened).
And those are just a FEW of the highlights!
I did survive get through Kindergarten that year, but it has taken several more years to really feel like I can manage a class effectively. Below I have listed a few suggestions that work for me.
Lesson Ideas. It is hard to teach art without the lesson ideas. Here are a few successful art lessons I have used with my Kindergarten students, along with a list of art ideas from other teachers.
Classroom Management. This will make or break you. I love the post written by Jessica Balsley “Teachers, Forget Your Lesson Plans“. She discusses how important the classroom management details are to implementing a successful art curriculum. The following is a list of strategies I wish I had during my first year teaching Kindergarten.
- Create a supply table or counter-top. Pour the paint, set out the paper, organize materials. Make sure you have enough of everything so that you’re not running around during class trying to replenish supplies.
- Label front of smock with child’s name. Have them wear it to every class until you know their names.
- Don’t bother with seating charts. They forget where they sit. If you are continuing a project from one class to the next, strategically place artwork from the previous class around the room with name side showing so that you can separate students appropriately. However, sometimes it is necessary provide “learning locations” (aka assigned seats) for few children – just write it down so you’ll remember from class to class.
- Only put on their table the supplies they will need at that very moment – everything else is just candy and causes more problems than it is worth.
- Smile. You can be a kind, nurturing teacher and still have students meet your expectations.
- Check out the whole brain teaching strategy described in a great guest post by art teacher Katie Jarvis.
- Name on paper. Always make this the first direction before anything else. Check to see that it was actually done (because not all Kindergarteners are capable or even want to write their name) Then move on.
- Get students attention quickly. Try these attention grabbing strategies in art.
- Find things that make kids laugh, it can grab their attention, but don’t be TOO funny (there is a backfire point for everything).
- Before you give any instruction or demonstration, wait until all eyes are on you, bodies are sitting up, nothing is in hands, and all voices are off. Don’t say a word, just wait. It might be 1, 2, or even 4 minutes. It will kill you to wait the first time. If necessary, give hints to kids quietly that you “wish you could start but you’ll just have to wait”. Wait until everyone is looking, with mouths closed for a full 8 seconds. Wait as long as it takes – it might take months to see real progress, but it WILL happen if you remain consistent!
- Eliminate distractions. If you have the space, pull all the kids together for demonstration or discussion.
- Pace your lessons. Show only a couple of steps and let them try it. Gather the class together again, and show a few more steps. This will not only help all your students feel successful but it also slows down the rushers and buys a bit more time for the slower workers.
- Don’t let a demo or discussion last longer than 10 minutes. Even if they’re sitting quietly, chances are you’ve lost them.
- SLOW DOWN. Yes, I know sometimes it is impossible – a clay project that has to get finished or one last step in a painting process (occurrences that only art teachers can fully understand). But the beginning of Kindergarten, make sure you build in extra time or alternate your “messy” lessons on one day to “not-so messy” on another. Use those classes that don’t HAVE TO have artwork completed to teach classroom procedures.
- Don’t get mad if students are not following your procedures. Just practice the proper behavior until they get it right. Complement the children when you see them doing the right thing and let their homeroom teacher know when they do a good job.
- If students are still not following your procedures, walk students back to the outside of their regular classroom and start class over. They hate it. Waste their time now, then you will get more time back later.
- Teach them the “need to know” rule otherwise known as the Tattletale Trauma.
- Potty trains. Rule: One person to the bathroom at a time. No one is allowed to go to bathroom while you are giving instruction. (yes, once in a while if a kid is giving you “the look” and holding himself, that would be a good time to make an exception)
- Transition activities. I have several different puzzles set aside for students to work on as students finish their artwork. Train them on your expectations for sharing, quiet play, and clean up. Students who have trouble with these expectations should lose the privilege during that class.
- Absent kids. If you’re working on a project over two or more class periods, and a child is absent on the first day, grab a piece of paper that the children are creating art on and add the absent student’s name. The next week, you will see if anyone was absent or not by the blank piece of paper left from the week before. Group absent kids together to give instructions for catching up at the same time.
- Don’t expect your students to remember a list of clean up procedures. Give them a visual – create your own clean-up map.
- Brushes. Train the students to drop brushes in the sink or in a soak cup. As much as you may want to teach them how to clean their own brushes, with limited sink space, it needs to be used for hand cleaning, not brushes.
- If you use sponges, squeeze them out for the students and only give them to children who are sitting at their seat. The table signals that they are finished by stacking all the sponges. Peers pressure each other to follow the procedure and it gets the sponges out of the hands of “enthusiastic” cleaners.
- If the room is still a mess, ask the children to each pick up 10 (or 20) scraps off the floor.
- When it is time to line up, send only a few at a time. You could choose to have students who sit the quietest, clean up most efficiently, or who are most helpful to one another.
- Have students SIT in line. It is harder to bump into someone when they are in one stationary spot.
How do you manage your Kindergarten classes?
Posted on 05. Nov, 2010 by Hillary Andrlik + Theresa McGee in All Posts, Art Games, Books, Clean-up and Transition, Clssrm Mgmt, Cool+Creative, Music+Art, Neat Video, Off-task Behavior, Organization and Preparation, Reviews, Tech Stuff, Techniques, Tools and Miscellaneous
It’s those 5, 10, or 15 minutes when students finish assigned work early that can send a teacher into an internal panic. Instead of panic, be prepared. We have pulled some of our ready-to-use ideas together to help you fill those last few minutes with meaningful content.
Independent Activities for Early Finishers:
- Zentangles: In a sketchbook or on a piece of paper use pencils and pens to create continuous interlocking patterns. Here’s how others have used it: Woody’s Kaleidocycle NAEA 2008, Squido.com, Flicker Zentangles Group
- Odd art jobs
- Create a bulletin board to display ideas for early finishers.
- Draw a still-life: Pick an art tool from around the room and sketch it! You can also have a box or shelf of still-life objects for students to pick from (i.e., blocks, fake plants, toys, fake fruit, containers).
- Create an imaginary, symmetrical bug
- Color Sudoku
- Doodle Loop: Draw a line that loops over itself in several places. Now fill each new shape with a different pattern. See examples of this along with other ideas in the Doodle Lab
- Value Scale: Draw a long rectangle in your sketchbook and then divide it into 5 equal sections. Mark one end white and the opposite end black. Now try to color each space in from lightest to darkest. Challenge: Create another value scale, but use a colored pencil to fill it in such as red or blue.
- Art poster puzzle
- Utilize a Friendly Loom
- Create reading corner / area where individual students can pick a book to read on a variety of art topics.
- Create a free draw area with How To Draw books, paper and a variety of media for independent exploration.
- Check out laptops for a digital area (if you can anticipate early finishers)
- Fill out a paper or electronic assessment form
- Work in Sketchbooks:
- Sketchbooks in Schools: Using sketchbooks to inspire, motivate and engage (Amazing resource for using sketchbooks. Topics covered include, but are not limited to constructing sketchbooks.
- 149 Sketchbook Ideas
- Sketchbook Ideas
- Incredible Art Department: Sketchbook Ideas Elementary or Middle/High School or High School/Advanced Placement
- ArtTeacher’s Resource Sketchbook Assignments for High School
- Sketchbook Ideas compiled from The Getty
Large Group Activities:
- Online quiz games in MyStudiyo and PhotoPeach
- Start a book. Check out these read-aloud recommendations for elementary and for older students.
- Explore art in Google Maps. Find some ideas in this SchoolArts article.
- Play Art Toss Ball, Art Memo, Flexible Hexabits, Pictionary on the whitboard, Sculptorades, Zolotopia, or Teledraw.
- Art Vocab quiz. Give a choice is it 1, 2, or 3 (list possible answers on board with corresponding #). All hold up number of their answer (all participate)
- Music & art integration ready-to-use resources.
- Show a short video from our YouTube and Vimeo favorites
- Free Online Games by Artsology or explore these other online art games
- Magic Pocket Name
- Show Slideshare “Brilliant Examples of Photo Manipulation Art“
- Put up an art print and have students describe what they see in writing. Another option for younger students is to work in groups and generate a list of words they think describes the picture.
- Hold up artwork for a show and tell
- Critique artwork
- Quiz about art concepts to get to line up.
- Sculpture Freeze: Have your students use their body to create a human sculpture. Get specific by asking for a particular type of pose (symmetrical/asymmetrical, precarious/stable, seated/standing)
- Play Simon Says for line vocabulary. Students use their bodies to create a line (vertical, horizontal, spiral, diagonal, etc).
- Eye Spy. Ask students to find examples of art throughout the room or create your own Eye Spy.
- Swat Game. Write art terms on the board. Group the students in teams. Read a definition for an art term that is listed on the board. Armed with fly swatters, the first student to “swat” the correct word wins the round. Fly swatters are then handed to next student on team to continue play.
- Sing some art songs (Red, Yellow, Blues You Tube Video)
- Show an art teacher-created video from Art Class with Ms S or Fugleflicks
The following is a guest post written by LeAnne Poindexter. She teaches art at Lowes Island Elementary in Sterling, VA. You can also follow LeAnne on Twitter.
One of the recurring fundamental concerns that I hear from art teachers is noise level control! Just about every teacher I’ve ever talked to has come up with one way or another to let their students know when the noise level is out of control. I’ve heard of using traffic light symbols, wind chimes, using “My Turn/Your Turn” signs and many, many more. I stumbled upon a magical way of making my students aware of when their noise level was too high! I have a magic wand that I refer to as “The Whisper Wand”…don’t laugh; it works for me! The story goes like this: Whisper Wand needs a lot of sleep. When the noise level gets too high, Whisper Wand “wakes up” (a.k.a. Mrs. Poindexter waves the wand and presses the button) and the students know that they are talking too loud. (I tell the kids that I think they would much prefer for me to do that than yell at them, they always agree!) The first time Whisper Wand wakes up it serves as a warning. I tell the students that if it wakes up again, it’s REALLY hard for him to get back to sleep so we have to have silent art for five minutes. I actually have kids ask me to wake up the Whisper Wand because they are disturbed by the noise level! They LOVE it!
Can’t see video above? Try viewing on YouTube.
I love the buzz and energy of an art room filled with students actively involved in the creative process. Because of this, I allow my students to talk during art production, as long as they remain on-task and the noise level doesn’t become disruptive. However, some of my classes have a harder time with this freedom than others. Enter . . . “Noise Control“. This iPhone app has been very effective during times when I need students to keep noise down and raise concentration. While I can’t promise this will forever solve noise issues, a little extra help never hurts. Watch the video below to see how it works:
Can’t see video above? Click here.
Here’s a few tips to get started:
The following is a guest post written by Katie Jarvis. She has been teaching art for nine years and currently teaches at Cameron Elementary in Alexandria, Virginia.
At the beginning of every year, art teacher’s everywhere make up a “rules poster” to review with students on the first day of classes. Throughout the year I would find that the students would claim to forget or not know the rules. While researching art room rules last year I came across a teacher on Youtube, Chris Biffle, a college professor who taught what he called Whole Brain Teaching.
How does it work? At the beginning of every class the students and I recite the art room rules. The rules have hand motions and each week we change the style in which we say them- squeaky voice, deep voice, sad, happy, fast, cowboy, etc. The kids love it! In fact if I try to skip over doing the rules even my 6th graders complain.
I created a video to illustrate how I teach these rules on the first day of art. Trouble viewing video below? Click here.
There is also a scoreboard to help with classroom management. I mark “smiley faces” and ”sad faces” on the board as the class earns them (see monkeys in image on left). When the class earns a smile they get to cheer. When the class earns a sad face everyone groans. The points are tallied at the end of each class and a gold paintbrush is awarded for more smiles than frowns, a silver paintbrush for an equal number of smiles and frowns, or no brush for more frowns than smiles. Four paintbrushes earn the class a free art day. Each silver brush is worth 1/2 a gold brush (2 silvers = 1 gold)
The most effective tool I’ve learned from Whole Brain Teaching is getting the students attention. When I say “Class” they say “Yes!” I vary the way I say class to keep them on their toes. For example if I say “Classsity, Class” they respond “Yessity, yes!”
Whole Brain Teaching involves lots of hand gestures and verbal responses from students to keep them engaged and entertained. Using WBT creates a “peaceful classroom full of orderly fun”. Students have more fun following my rules, since I switched to Whole Brain Teaching, rather than ignoring them.
There are all kinds of behavior incentive systems. Not all are practical for the art room where you literally have hundreds of students passing through your room each week. With the high number of students and the limited amount of contact time, what can effectively track behavior, motivate a class and target a specific undesirable behavior? Well, you might want to try the “Magic Pocket Name,” a simple but effective incentive program that I picked up from my colleagues. It can work in concert with other behavior systems you might already have in place.
It works by focusing on a specific undesirable class behavior such as talking without raising their hand, putting their own supplies away without being prompted or keeping hands and feet to themselves in line. For my classes it was paying attention and not talking any time I gave directions. My goal was to get students to focus their attention faster so that the class could receive directions and start working as quickly as possible.
Here’s the rules as you can explain to the class:
- Tell the students that you’ve picked one student and written his/her name on a piece of paper or a customized ticket, which has become the “Magic Pocket Name”.
- Put that ticket in your pocket and explain to the class that every student will eventually be the Magic Pocket Name.
- At future classes, remind the students that you have a new Magic Pocket Name – perhaps let them see that you’ve written it and are putting it in your pocket.
- **IMPORTANT: Never announce the name. Since no one knows if they are the “Magic Pocket Name” they all stay super quiet.
- Throughout the class, secretly watch that specific student to determine whether they were paying attention, following directions, etc. (or whatever behavior you wish).
- If the Magic Pocket Name student demonstrated good behavior, announce their name in line at the end of class. I’ve found that the rest of the class will show support and applaud the winning student. It’s really cute.
- Tell the students that that student’s ticket will go into a weekly drawing to win a prize from the prize box, or something similar. Each class should have their own prize drawing with multiple winners.
- If the Magic Pocket Name student was not cooperating or demonstrating the key behavior you desired, simply announce to the class that there is no Magic Pocket Name winner today.
**Now, this is important, you never say the name of a student who “lost” the Magic Pocket Name. First, it could potentially have negative consequences by embarassing the student. Second, by keeping the name unknown, they all reflect on their own behavior. It makes them think about their own actions during class. It also helps you rotate your attention through out the class for monitoring student behavior and gives you another piece of data for assesing student behavior. I simply make a note in my grade book to keep track of the Magic Pocket Names. On the other hand, when a student “wins” the Magic Pocket Name, it reinforces their positive actions and develops class comraderie through encouragement as they often remind one another to be on their best behavior. It’s a simple system that you can use on a regular basis or selectivley with challenging classes.
There are 10 minutes remaining in art class and everyone is working hard on their latest art project except for your two chronic early finishers. It never fails that some students work faster then others. When students have extra unfocused time this leaves an opportunity for behavior problems to develop. What can you do with students who finish early?
Since you never know how many students will finish early or how much time will be left in the class you might consider utilizing an “Odd Art Jobs” chart.
What are odd art jobs?
They are all those little things that eat up a lot of time and energy, which could be focused on creating great lessons, grading or helping other students. The art room wouldn’t function if these tasks weren’t completed but really anyone could get them done. An odd job could be anything from sorting scrap boxes to labeling artwork. Another added benefit is that your students take ownership and pride over the art room, its equipment and school displays.
The type of odd art jobs that you let your students do is totally dependent on how your classroom is structured. You should also take into account the characteristics of your student population. One year you may have a amazingly independent group of fifth graders that are responsible enough to look at a check list, pick a job, and complete it without explanation. The next year it might work better to keep the list as a reference tool for yourself then have kids ask you what jobs are available to help. The key is to create a system that works for your art room. In my experience, a one-size-fits all approach never works for education. In my classroom the odd art jobs chart works best for small pockets of early finishers. It’s not a good solution for when an entire class completes a project early. Check out the list of odd art jobs I’ve had students do in my classroom located below.
Odd Art Jobs
- Wash paint containers with special sponges (Usually I let them use a fun scrubbing tool I pick up at the dollar store.)
- Sort scrap boxes (I have my paper scraps sorted by color so that it’s easy to access what I need for certain projects or for classroom teachers to borrow.)
- Count out paper I need for certain grade level projects (For example, if I need 65 sheets of three different kinds of paper for my next kindergarten project I will have a student help count it out for me. This way all I need to do is cut it to size and I have exactly what I need!)
- Sort marker bins and throw out dry markers (I have the student helpers take a scrap piece of paper and make test marks on it. If a marker is dry it goes to the trash. I might even have them save the marker caps for when students lose theirs during projects. This is a great job for any age level!)
- Make signs to label different areas of the art room. (I make a list of things I would like labels for as I work around the classroom. You could spend hours labeling your supplies and cabinets. Sometimes I will pre-print the signs and the student helpers will color, cut and attach them. Some examples of signs students have made for me are how to draw book categories, warm colors, in-box, watercolor paint brush sizes and newspaper.)
- Take down bulletin boards (All of my hallway displays are at student height so I don’t have to worry about step stools. The bulletin boards are also visible from the art room or the office for teacher monitoring. I usually send students out in teams of two or three but no more. And I make sure that they know exactly what to do.)
- Glue project paragraphs to the back of artwork (I attach a short paragraph describing the art process and what students learned to the back of each project for Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grades. I try to give them as much hands on time as possible so we don’t always get time to glue the project paragraphs to the framed art. This is a great job for early finishers to help with.)
- Have older kids glue or staple frames to younger kids completed art projects (I usually write the student names on the projects ahead of time. Then all my student helpers need to do is glue or staple the artwork on to the pre-cut frames.)
- Sharpen pencils (To save time while my classes are drawing I like to have my pencil bucket ready for action. Instead of kids sharpening pencils while I’m talking they simply exchange their pencil for an already sharpened one in the pencil bucket. It cuts down on interruptions and lost work time. So periodically the bucket needs to be sorted and the pencils sharpened.)
- Make Tracers for other grade level projects (I will make two or three tracers and then have student helpers trace them onto heavy cardboard. Then, I put the cardboard in our parent volunteer bin for the adults to cut out. Takes a little forethought but saves me a lot of time and energy.)
- Sort classes artwork and stuff portfolios to send home (At our schools we use portfolios to transport art work home about three to four times a year. If I have a larger group of student helpers I will have them sort a particular classes art projects into plies for each kid. Then they simply slip each students art work into the pre-labeled portfolios to send home at a later date.)
- Set up supplies for the next art class. (I often have little time in between classes to set up new supplies. So I might switch from 3rd grade to 1st grade to 5th grade. Well that’s a large amount of supplies to have out at one time and I don’t have enough counter space. So I will have early helpers take out the materials for the next class and set it up on one counter. Then when the class is over they clean up their art supplies and put them totally away. Now I have a new counter free for that class to set up supplies for the next class following them.)
- Cleaning tasks (i.e., sweep the floor, erase the board, wipe tables, clean clay tools)
- Refill art product containers (I will have students that I know can do a good job refill glue bottles, switch watercolor refills or any other job of that type.)
- Hang bulletin-boards (I usually reserve this job for older students and it is a huge treat for them. Remember, all of my hallway displays are at student height and visible from the art room or the office for teacher monitoring. I usually send students out in teams of two or three but no more. And I make sure that they know exactly what to do. Sometimes I even hang the first three or four pictures so that the student helpers can see what I expect them to do.)
- Cut out items that have been laminated (I have parent helpers laminate papers for me then I have a cut laminate box located in my room where student helpers can grab some laminate and cut it out.)
- Empty the drying rack (This is fairly self explanatory but, student helpers will take art work off the drying rack and put it into the proper classes box.)