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Next, usually follows a demo.(5 min.) Children stand around a big table and
we say,"Hands by my side and one step back". After a while, they say it
automatically and it eliminates pushing and everyone can see demo.
Art project next.(20 min.) If using glue, reminder of how much they use
goes like this..we all say(in little high -pitched voices)... An itsy bitsy,
teeny weeny, tiny, whiney drop of glue...Thank You! If they are mixing paint
on their papers, you might have them sing to the tune of Row, Row, Row Your
Boat: Yellow, yellow, yellow and red, yellow, yellow and red, Mix yellow,
yellow,yellow and red...get orange instead! I could go on and on...make up
your own ...it helps them focus on what they are doing. Trust me, they love
The bell....When I ring the bell once it's a signal that everyone puts down
whatever is in their hands and folds them "prayer-style". Eyes are on me and
no talking. I call this "Grandmother's Fingers". I explain at the beginning
of the year that I have a grandmother who lives next door to me. Every day
after school I tell her all about my wonderful artists and what they are
doing. She sits with grandmother's fingers and looks right in my eyes when
I'm talking, so I know she's really listening. So, I further explain, when
they show me "Grandmother's Fingers" it reminds me of my dear, sweet
grandmother!! Works every time and with all ages. Infact, the kids are so
conditioned that it kinda reminds me of Pavlov's dogs....Now two rings of the
bell signals clean-up.(5-10 min) But, that's a whole other e-mail!
The last 5 min. of class I call a Museum Moment. Each table has a turn to
stand in front of the room and show their art work. Often there is applause
from the rest of the class. They all want to do this and it builds self
esteem. They then line up quietly by tables to leave.
Anyone who teaches elementary school knows you need a lot of ENERGY and
CONSISTANCY! Hope I didn't bore you by rambling on....Good Luck! Sue