I thought I'd start out by giving you a tour of our classroom and routines:
Students sit at tables labeled by color (on the box and the paint bucket above). I also use a folder system with the kids... each table has a colored folder, and then each student has a folder within that. They actually complete their first project of the year on the front of this folder - I try to find creative ways to include their names into the art concepts that I'm teaching. Throughout the year, the kids keep their on-going projects in these folders. It's an easy way for me to collect and pass back artwork quickly, so that they have more time to create!
Most of the students' supplies are all kept in one place, our supply shelf, so they have easy access to paper, pencils, scissors, colored pencils, rulers, and oil pastels. The boxes on the tables have pencils, erasers, and crayons. My favorite part of this setup is the pencil system... one pot for sharp pencils and one for broken, so the kids can switch out their pencil when they need to... so much less time wasted at the pencil sharpeners! Also, this year (thanks to an amazing idea I found on Pinterest) I added some footprints to the floor near the sink... this is notoriously a loud and crowded spot in the room on our messy days. It's nice to see the kids taking turns and waiting patiently, I only wish it helped with the volume! :)
Our rules posted tell us how to be a considerate ARTIST! The students have also learned to "Show me the Mona" when it's time to listen. I wish I could remember where I first saw this on the Internet so I could thank them, because it has been amazing to see the students try so hard to be like Mona... Eyes on Mrs. Nofziger, Mouths show quiet smiles, Hands are still. They love it, and they're great at it! And if the students are on their very best behavior throughout class, I choose one person to put a paint glob (those colored shapes on the Mona door below) onto their Mona silhouette (to the right of the Mona). Classes compete with their grade levels to earn the most globs in nine weeks. The winning class earns an Art Party!
I hope you've enjoyed the tour of our classroom! I'll be working hard to get projects, mini-artist interviews, and more posted very soon! Stay tuned! :)