Sunday, August 14, 2011

Almost there...

School starts in just over a week. I'm mostly done with my classroom, just a few small things to help establish routines and maybe a few things to jazz it up as well. I'm excited about what I have so far, so I'll share what I have.
Look at all my borrowed ideas... I loved the idea of a job chart for every student. I got this idea from Mrs. Picasso's art room, but used self-portraits of famous artists. Each bubble will be filled in with a job for that day. 
A view of this wall. I only have very small strips of bulletin boards above the white boards, so I am taping onto the white boards at this point. I also found this unmounted bulletin board in the back room, so I will be adding that as well. I do not love that I have the boxes of clay in the open shelving, but I'm just working with the storage that I have (obviously, not great.)
Another borrowed idea, though it sounds like she is looking for a new plan for assigning seats. In the past, I usually have just assigned tables and told students to sit in any chair at that table. I decided that I needed a new plan this year.
Another shot of my desk, smartboard and the kiln in the storage area.
Another view of the storage area in the back and wall of windows.
Color coordinating all of my buckets for supplies. 

I had mentioned before that I was spending the summer reading about classroom management. That has seemed to always be one of my lowest areas and was definitely last year. From much of my reading, I decided that procedures was probably the specific part of classroom management where I needed the most help. Previously, I did not practice procedures very much at the beginning of the year. I would explain procedures, which changed frequently based on media. I decided this year that I had to make as many procedures as possible clear from the very beginning. That was the biggest thing I liked about the bulletin board where each student has a job and knows where to find it. Even if the job is completely different, at least it is clear who will be doing what job each day. It is a whoa..whoa..whole lot of work to figure out every procedure that will be basically needed throughout the year. This will be a learning process for me. 

Of course, I spent the summer reading about classroom management, read books, blogs, etc. And then, I find out that my new school had a three day workshop, which turned out to be about classroom management, basically. So, my new rules plan, etc is changed. Sort of. There was still talk about establishing procedures. The workshop was called "Changing Kids' Hearts," and includes creating a contract for behavior, so I will be working on that with my students in the first week and a half. Hopefully, spending time establishing procedures and having students buy into our social contract will give us more class time later in the year, so I'm not spending so much of my time correcting students. 

Any suggestions you have for establishing procedures would definitely be helpful. Looking at my photos, I really want to jazz up the room, though it might not happen before school starts. I can always add items later. 


  1. Defining procedure is good and productive. I need to be better about it, too.

    Behavior incentives are also good. It's too bad that we have so many wonderful, interested, hard working kids in our classes and, yet, we have to focus on Changing Kid's Hearts. The few challenging kids make it hard for us and for the rest of the class.

    I like to get my kids really interested in the project so they will want to settle down and work on it. That doesn't always work, so I use bribes! Er, um, incentives, I mean.

    One of my incentives is Lunch with the Art Teacher. 3 of the most focused, most industrious, and most considerate kids get picked [usually through a lottery of the best ones]. They love it! The whole class tries to behave so they can get as many lottery tickets as possible.

    By the way, notice I didn't say 'most talented' in my list.
    One of my

  2. I haven't used behavior incentives before. Honestly, I've felt like "they get to make art," shouldn't that be enough incentive. However, maybe not. I may institute them later in the year.

    I feel similar about having to focus on those few. The thing I liked about this workshop was that it was meant to have kids become part of a group and, to some extent, self-manage. I would very much like to spend less time focusing on the few kids who are causing problems.

  3. You have such a beautiful art room (and your daughter is so sweet!)! You are blessed to have such a wonderful place to teach! Hope your 1st grade and kdg classes lighten up.


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