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Classroom management tips - elementary/middle


From: Judy Decker (jdecker_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sat Aug 16 2003 - 16:40:02 PDT

Dear Art Educators,

I was also going to get classroom management tips on the site -that is now
added to my fall "to do" list. But I will forward four emails full of tips
(I have sent them to several Survey respondents already). I will only
forward for TWO days - after the end of TWO days if you want them - ask the
list and someone else will forward.

Here are some words of wisdom I found in the archives (look around March
2000 for more). I was surprised more of our threads didn't come up when I
did a google search.
I was actually searching for discipline tips when I found this post. I
started with artsednet discipline - then switched to classroom management. I
wont' be hunting down any more Getty posts in the archives for either topic.
I was just curious to see if I could find the threads. New members might
want to check the archives to see what all is there.

>What are some of your class management tips?

I have discovered lots of little tricks in my years of teaching elementary
viaual art. With 24 back-to-back classes and 600+ kids, these come in

Here are some of them:
I choose 1 table a week to be the helper table. It is the same table in
every class. They are responsible for passing out, collecting supplies and
work, clean-up of common areas, and whatever else I need help with.

For tempera painting I have 7 old cafeteria trays (one for each table)which
I cover with a piece of newspaper, and set up paint(the primaries and black
& white in small plastic containers with lids like the restaurants use of
condiments), a large plastic container of water in the middle, 4 "stancup"
paper mixing cups, and 4 popsicle stirring sticks. After tables are covered
with newspaper, which the students do, I bring them a tray. They mix a
color and go to the shelf where I have brushes set out in covered and
labelled coffee cans, to choose the size brush they need. When done with a
color, they toss out the paper mixing cup and get another one.
When the class is over, I instruct them to drop their brushes into the water
container on the tray, snap the lids back on the paint cups, throw away
their trash, and put their paintings on the drying rack. I collect the
paint trays and take them to a sink where I dump out the water containers
and brushes, wash and refill the water container, wash the brushes and have
a helper resort them into the proper can. Then the paint trays are ready
for the next class.
This goes very fast after awhile and the closed plastic containers keep the
paint from drying out.
When they do get cruddy, I toss out the newspaper from the tray and pour the
remaining contents of the plastic paint containers into new ones and the
entire setup is fresh again.

I do the same with watercolors with 7 other trays.
I keep both of these sets of trays set up and ready to go for as long as I
need them.

I do the same for other media that is in use.

Those finished early have several choices. I have a stock of art games that
I have either made or collected. Students may play a game with a friend. I
also have cards labelled "art starts" which I keep in a box. Each card
gives an idea for a drawing. Students go to the box and pick 2 without
looking. After taking these to their seat, they read both of them and
choose the one they would like to do. They are all different and they seem
to like them. there are also art books they can look at- both about artists
and drawing techniques.
I also keep a large box of scrap papers that can be used for paper sculpture
or whatever.

Hope this helps.

Andrea Dunmire ( I don't know if Andrea is still s list

Judy Decker - Ohio
Incredible Art Department