For those of you that teach elementary school, here's an idea that has been
very successful for me: I have a "magic carpet", or large rug, that I
utilize at the beginning of every art class K-5. I use this system, or
routine for all the classes, as I only have 40 min. per class:
The children file in and immediately sit in rows, pretzle-style on the rug.
During the first 5-10 minutes, I have a captive audience to discuss, review,
explain- whatever. This rug is placed in front of my desk, which is in front
of a huge blackboard. I also have a standing chart holder- you know, the
kind that the classroom teachers have big paper on. It is a standing metal
rack and has two huge rings on top so you can flip paper on it. I use it to
hold laminated prints of famous art, which I can easily flip. That is placed
in front of the rug, also.
After our initial discussion/review, from the rug we might go to the demo
table in the middle/back of the room. I use this for clay or painting demos.
I designed the demo table, with recessed shelving all round it. The shelving
holds supplies- the scissors, glue, paper- the "staples". I have one row of
three tables, 4-5 students to a table on either side of the demo/supply
table. All six tables have easy access to this.