There are many types of students who come through the art room each year. One type of student I have encountered over the years is the excessive question asker. Does that line look right? How do you think I’m doing? Where do I turn this in?
Now lets be clear on the characteristics of this type of student.
Excessive Question Asker Characteristics
- asks a lot of questions about every step of a project. Even if there are written & drawn reminders easily accessible. They have to talk to you (the teacher) about each step again before they can move forward.
- asks a lot of questions even though they are bright and (most of the time) understand the concepts without extended explanation.
- is most likely not disrespectful or disruptive to the class. They know the art room procedures and can work effectively within the environment.
Of course no two students are the same so there are lots of variations in what you might observe from the excessive question asker in your art room.
A colleague shared the idea of using a ticket system to help regulate students who are prone to excessive questioning. It’s pretty simple. The student gives the teacher one ticket and then can ask one question. When their tickets are gone for the class period they can’t ask you anymore questions about the project.
Now this could sound harsh or absolute but it helps force students to look at other information resources in the art room. So instead of taking the easy way out of coming to the teacher or looking for constant adult confirmation they will need to seek alternatives. You will notice that they pick up their heads and look at the board. They will survey the students working around them to compare their progress. They will ask classmates questions. These are all great strategies for kids to keep in the classroom loop. Plus they learn to discern which questions are really worth their time to ask.
I typically start with three question tickets per class. You can adjust the amount of tickets per class up or down to fit your students educational needs. The goal is to eventually wean the student off the ticket system. As students improve and learn to prioritize their questions you can decrease the amount of tickets per class.
Below is a PDF of printable Question Tickets that you can use in your art room. Just print, cut and laminate to reuse over and over.
Click here to download: Question Tickets
As a funny end note, I once had a student ask, “Mrs. Andrlik can I ask you a question about the question tickets?” At that point they had no tickets left and half a class period to go. It’s so hard for some students at the start. I just laughed and let them ask their question even without a ticket.
Don’t miss out on your chance to win a free online art class from The Art of Education! Just submit your lesson by May 31st and you’ll be entered to win. Click here for more details.
Classroom management really can make or break you as a teacher. Even if you’re a veteran teacher, there is always a new idea or creative solution to make your teaching life easier. For those of you using my favorite web 2.0 tool, Pinterest, you may have seen some of these images before, but for those who are not . . . enjoy!
Get Your Room in Order
Get those paper towels in the right place! Motivation at its best from Katie Moris at Adventures of an Art Teacher.
Short on counter space? Then maximize your wall space with these home-made magnetic containers. This would be great for art teachers on a cart too! Image source: Laissezfaire blog.
De-clutter your desk and get your paperwork in order. I love how this is labeled. Check out the makeover from the Venspired blog.
Every good art room needs a broom and dust pan – especially one that is named “Dusty”! This great idea comes from Theresa Gillespie at Splats, Scraps and Glue Blobs.
If you teach elementary, kids are always making pictures for you. But what do you do with them all? By adding them to a clipboard, you can display the most recent and still be able to look through pictures from the past. Idea from Clean & Scentsible blog.
Create a Classroom that Works
Just a subtle hint for your students (and their teachers) from Mrs. Hansen’s Art Room.
Bring peaceful thoughts to your classroom as students enter or leave. Image source Jankwilson on Flickr.
This video explains how to get a handle on the noise level in your classroom using plastic cups.
Sometimes you just need to say it plain and simple – keep order in your class by hanging a Peacemakers and Peacebreaker chart. This great idea came from Mrs. Lee’s Kindergarten class (though this would certainly apply at all age levels)
Teach with Visuals
I love this word wall Art With Mr. E created for his classroom using index cards with magnets on the back.
Help your students understand what careful artwork looks like with this craftsmanship rubric from art teacher Kathleen O’Malley at her blog, Art Moments.
Make the Most of Your Minutes
From a blog that brings organization to a whole new level, Jessica Balsey at The Art of Education shares how she has art questions ready when there are a few extra minutes left in class.
Looking for more ideas and visuals? Check out our classroom management section.
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!
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?
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 first week of school typically involves going over classroom rules and procedures. However, making these rules “stick” is a year-long challenge. The SlideShare PowerPoint below, created by an art teacher from Michigan, outlines her art classroom expectations and management solutions. This presentation could be useful to play periodically throughout the school year, during quiet work times, or even as students enter the room and get settled. Download for your classroom or use as inspiration for your own expectation presentation appropriate for your students’ grade levels. Click the green play button at the bottom of the screen to watch the presentation and hear the audio track.
(Trouble viewing this video? Try this link.)
The Power Teaching’s Classroom Management System is an active style of engaging students. I found a demo video on Youttube and thought it was very interesting. I use some similar strategies with direct instruction lessons for pacing my students, especially at the lower levels like kindergarten, first and second grade. I think there are numerous instructional techniques shown in the video that could be adapted for the elementary art classroom. What kind of active movements or vocal responses do you use with your classes to keep them engaged? Do you have any silly sayings that help kids remember art facts? Do you think the approach taken in the video would work for students with behavior issues? Give us your feedback, tips and creative solutions in the comments section.
(Trouble viewing this video? Try this link.)