Basic Classroom Management

A few very basic things I do in my room to create an atmosphere that is safe for students to create, explore, and try new things -- along with keeping supplies organized, projects from getting lost, and making the students feel this is their room when they only see it for 45 minutes about once a week.

I set up the room to give the students the most independence - remember independence for 5 year old students is very different then 10 year old students.  To meet everyone's needs, and keep things clean and organized I have a few tricks: 1) Clear Expectations 2) Material center  3) Folders that are coded to a grade, teacher and then table color.  4) Done chart and cart  5) Clean up Song!

1) The expectations in my room are easy: 1) Ask Questions  2) Problem Solve  3) Be respectful

2. Material Center: Normal supplies used in the art room all at student height.

A trick I learned after teaching Kindergarten: Take pictures of supplies and tape them on the shelf where they go.  This is also great for student who struggle with reading.
3. Folded poster board with some colored duct tape on the crease.

The colored tape corresponds with their table color.  This drastically cuts down on the time it takes to collect and hand back student work.

 4) The done list and cart are great for those students who finish projects with quality and need something to do.  At the beginning of the year I explain the activities on the cart.  When they are done they may choose something off the list to do.

5) Last but not least - a clean up song.  I dreaded the thought of a clean up song because I was sure I couldn't listen to a song about cleaning up 5 times every day -- then a friend asked why I couldn't pick my own song.  I have no idea why this didn't occur to me on my own - but it didn't.  So after her suggestion I started to look for my own clean up song and settle on "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything" by Relient K.  This song is silly, school appropriate, and I have been able to listen to it for 5 times every day for the last 3 school years!  This song is just enough time for students to put their work and supplies way - it also takes the responsibility of cleaning up off of me and puts it on the students.  I encourage them to play the air guitar in their seat when they are done cleaning -- a task many of my students take very seriously!


Katie Morris said...

I like the air guitar idea. It seems like my students would enjoy that!

Ms Novak said...

Ha! They also LOVE to air drum.

Kristina said...

So many fantastic ideas! Will definitely think about the cleanup song, and the materials pictures! Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

I love your ideas - but it should be the FINISHED file. I tell my students you are done if you are a steak on the grill. . .

Anonymous said...

So funny, I hate the phrase "I'm done" It's lazy language and my bug bear!, my students now tell me they have finished their artwork or I've finished my painting etc...took awhile.