I agree with you on them being keyed up over the tests. I know in the past
when I've gotten a fifth grade class or other after having morning tests, I
usually let them have a talking session while working with modeling clay.
After working out their frustation pounding and talking, we clean up and get
to work on our regular project.
I do feel that the classroom teacher should have been more supportive. It is
important to communicate with your staff and tell them you would like to
handle unruly students by sending them back to the classroom. I use that as a
last resort as I am sensitive to the fact that it is their plan time. And
because I only use it when all else fails, I never have a problem.
You can also have an unruly class leave the artroom and practice coming in
until they get it right. If you have some kids ready to work, let them do
the lesson and the others do a writing assignment. Something dull like
copying definitions out of the back of the art book. That way, they are still
learning art but miss out on the more fun hands on part. I had to do that
once. The key word is "once" That class was much better after that. But I
worked hard with their classroom teacher in learning to deal with the more
difficult students. It has to be a team effort when you have a difficult