Sunday, August 30, 2009

Restroom and Water Fountain

This sign is posted outside of my art room. Of course, it's OK to use the restroom during art, too. I find that once students are engaged in learning, they seem to forget their need to use the restroom!

Must... Touch... Door Handle

What makes the door handle so attractive to hang on and turn?

(oops! I need to fix the word "Hande" to "Handle")


There are 3 sinks in the art room. 

The student sink is the only sink at a low enough level that all students can reach the faucet.

There is a sink in the middle of the counter but, that is blocked until we need to use it. There is usually art materials near the sink. Water splashes up on the counter even when I'm careful so, it's a "Do Not Use" sink most of the time.

I've designated the sink closest to the door as the "Teacher Sink" for a few reasons:
1. It's near the printer (this is the only place the intranet cable for the printer works)
2. I want a sink I can have things near that are "hands off" for students.
3. Most importantly, I've un-screwed the low flow washer so the water comes out fast. The other sinks take forever to fill up water buckets or to plates and brushes.

How to Wash Your Hands

There is a procedure for everything! New this year, "How to Wash Your Hands" signs which also includes, how to use the soap, get a paper towel, wipe the sink, throw the towel away and check to make sure you threw it away.

I also added little artworks that "speak" to students.

Be Kind to Your Brush

I tell students that I can hear the brushes scream when their hairs are bending. (only art teachers can hear the brushes)

I tell students to be kind to their brushes and their brushes will help them paint better.

I say, "Your brush and your paint are your best friends while you are painting."

I need to make some more brush care usage signs:
- Don't twist the brush hairs
- Don't tap the brush on the side of the water bucket... etc.

Raise Your Hand

I've already found this sign helpful! I just have to point to it when students are shouting out answers without raising their hands. It's located above the chalk board.

When I explained this sign to my classes, I actually had them all raise their arm/hand and wave it back in forth while we said this sign out loud.

I asked students to explain what I mean by "Keeps Art Fair."

Glue Crew (additional post)

The Glue Crew rules sign posted!

Art Rubric and Criteria Chart

Rubric Chart
I talk to my students about their grades using this Rubric Chart. I tell them that they can know their work is good in art by checking their work against the Criteria Chart that goes with each art project along with what is listed here which applies to all work: creative (your own ideas) neat, clean work, craftsmanship, name and teacher code on work, etc.
Criteria Chart (not shown)
We go through what a Criteria Chart is. Each project has it's own criteria chart. They create one for what a drawing should look like. Then I show them a drawing I've done and they give me a grade. They really get what a Criteria Chart is by grading me. 
I'll Try vs. I Can't
How can they make their work better? One way is to have a positive attitude and say, "I'll try."  But, also by listening, following directions and the Art Room rules.

Choices: Good and Bad

Good Choice Rewards. Bad Choice Consequences.

Guidelines for Success

Our school's Guidelines for Success are:

1. We are Responsible, Respectful and Ready to Learn.
(As you can see, I mistakenly put Respectful first but, you get the idea)

Give Me 5

Our school wide attention signal is "Give me 5". Students also know that my mini "Give me 5" is when I say, "Eyes on me or Ojos a mi." They say back, "Eyes on you or Ojos a Usted." (It's the abbreviated version of 1, 2, 3 Eyes on me.)


Who does what? This year, I'm assigning students at every table to be one of 3 helpers for the semester.

I number the spots at the table. There are 8 stools/spots per table. There should be a # on each of these signs but, I haven't talked to students about Helper procedures yet.

(I used to have a VIP of the day according to seat number but, this got to be too complicated for me and the students)

Clean Up Procedures

                                                                                * It's hard to stop what you're doing when it's time to clean up so, I give a warning before it's time to clean up. Especially if we are painting or doing something messy. No use pouring paint onto your palette if art is almost over.
* I will say, "5 minutes to work. 5 minutes before it's time to stop and clean up." Sometimes I even temporarily ask everyone to "freeze" to go over what will happen at clean up time: what everyone will do when the bell rings.
* Visually, the numbers of the timer serve as a reminder that our time is limited. I manually make the bell ring.
Clean Up
1. Tools: Everyone stops using their tools. The tool helper collects the tools and puts them away.
2. Artwork: Everyone stops working on their artwork. The paper helper collects the artworks and puts it all in the table folder.
3. Silent: Everyone sits silently waiting to be called to line up.

That is a PERFECT cleanup scenario. It rarely is that straightforward. For some reason, Clean Up Time seems to be when even students who have been working quietly all class become excited and talkative. There is a necessary amount of communication that needs to happen but, it's the "Sitting Silent" that seems to be the hardest for students to remember to do.

Unless things are getting completely off track, after giving my pre-cleanup instructions, I usually hang back and watch the controlled chaos of the classroom clean up happen. It's amazing to watch a class get it done without any intervention from me! That is a great feeling and the ultimate goal. Sometimes and especially in the beginning of the year, I will stand by the Clean Up sign and silently point to "#3 Silent." If it works how I want it to, a ripple affect happens and students catch on to my hint. For this to really work, you must allow a few extra minutes to have the students catch on to what you are doing, praise them for doing the right thing and perhaps reflect on what could be done better next time.

A Class Reward: Art Bucks

The class earns an Art Buck if all 3 A.R.T. letters are up on the board when their teacher arrives. I look for a student who has consistently set a great example of making good choices throughout the art class to hand the Art Buck to hold. (I remind students of this and that I probably won't give you the Art Buck to hold if you ask for it.)

The Art Bucks go back to their classroom. Most teachers display these in their classroom. Students know it is up to them to keep track of how many Art Bucks they receive. Each Art Buck is worth 5 minutes of time towards a Super Art Day at the end of the semester. As a class, we figure out the math on my white board. How many Art Bucks do we need to have a full 45 minutes of Super Art Day time? They need 9.  I let them know I usually see their class 11-12 times a semester. So, if they don't earn an Art Buck every time they come to art, even if they don't earn an Art Buck 2 or 3 times, they still have a very good shot at earning an entire 45 minutes of Super Art Class time. We also discuss that 40 minutes is still great but, the goal is 45 minutes. Going over 45 minutes? Perhaps there will be a bonus surprise during their Super Art Class time. (Thanks my former team mate, Ms. S, for giving me the idea to make each Art Buck worth something so it's not an all or nothing incentive.)

Keep A.R.T. to Earn Super Art Day Time

The A.R.T. letters are a tool students use to know how they are doing with their behavior as a class. Sometimes, it's a tool for me to help pinpoint where the behavior issues are coming from. Perhaps it's not the whole class not making good choices.

 The goal is for the class to keep all 3 letters for the entire class time or at least have earned back all 3 letters by the end of class. If all 3 letters are there at the end of class while they are in line, they earn a Super Art Buck. (see next post about Super Art Buck)

If all of the letters are up, they are doing great.  If I give a whole class warning about (for example) using quiet voices and the behavior does not improve, I take down the letter "A" and put it next to the rule "Work Quietly". The class then knows this is the Art Room Rule they need to work on to improve. If students begin to work with quiet voices, I will put the letter back up. The class can always earn the "A" and "R" back for making better choices.  If they don't, I take away the "R" and put this next to the "Work Quietly". If their behavior still does not improve, I take away the "T" and that means "No more Art". We stop working, put away materials and put our heads down to think about what happened. Depending on the grade level, what just happened and the amount of time left for class,  I may have students reflect and talk or write about what was happening and what should have been happening. It all depends on the circumstances. I always allow some silent time and then talk to them calmly. The ultimate goal is to do art!

Art Room Rules

Art Room Rules
We review the rules at the beginning of class. Are we going to follow the rules, how and why? At the end of class. Did we follow the rules, how and why?

It's great to include images to go along with procedure signs. Not only do images assist non-reader or ESL students understand what the sign means, make the sign more meaningful and attractive but, they provide real world examples to students of how to illustrate text. I don't remember the words on most posters in my childhood but, I do remember the images.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Paint Distribution Made Easier

Here's a better way letting kids squeeze out the paint they need without the waste.

- Empty plastic ketchup/mustard squeeze bottles (the kind you see in diners)
- Clear plastic bags food storage bags (not ziploc)
- Paint

Line the bottle with the plastic bag. Fill with paint. Put top on bottle.
I have yet to try it but, this is going to be life changing... I can just feel it!

Friday, August 21, 2009

One more glue sign

New Signs for the Art Room

It's never too soon to think about GLUE! This year, students will learn the procedures for glue and then officially become lifetime members of "The Glue Crew"! This is in addition to their membership in the "The Click Club." (It's the sound you should hear if you have clicked the cap on your marker to keep it from drying out.)