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Getting the most out of art time

Started on Sep 15, 2012 by byhwdy
Last post on Feb 27, 2013

As a fairly new art teacher, I continue to find challenges in fitting everything in during my one 45-minute art class each week. How do you do it? It's especially a challenge for me if we're doing something that requires a lot of prep and clean up time (paint, clay, printmaking).

1 Keeps, 0 Likes, 11 Comments

  • pencilsandpalettes 09/16/2012 at 03:21pm
    Luckily, I have found some proven techniques that work with my class:

    1. A Timer- They love to be the quickest, cleanest table!
    2. Student Helpers- You always have kids that want to help!
    Also, work with one table at a time and divide the time evenly amongst the tables- for printmaking, you can have a portable station and you move to them while they stay in their seats. They can work on completing a less messy project before and after their table's turn!

  • imagiNATION 09/23/2012 at 07:31pm
    I do as much prep before school or during my planning time as possible. Have paint set out before (I use cups with lids), clay already separated into balls and stored in plastic bags, dry materials on tables, etc. Have a very clear clean-up plan (I actually find that having fewer helpers makes clean-up faster). I agree with the previous comment that a timer works wonders. I usually make sure our "floor time" (I teach elementary) is 5-10 minutes - this is the intro, etc. then work time is about 20-25 minutes and depending on what materials we are using clean-up takes 5-10 minutes. I can give you a more specific play by play for certain activities if you are interested...good luck!

  • She_paints 09/25/2012 at 07:27pm
    I introduce the days project after the students enter the room, 5 at a time. It may take five minutes to have them 'follow me with their eyes' as I walk to the various stations in the classroom set up for the days projects. At the end of the 50 minutes, I make an announcement that in five minutes we will be leaving the classroom as we found it. The next class is expecting the supplies to be where we store them. After 4 minutes I begin to call on the table which exhibits a clean station. Students then bring their portfolio to a box designated for their classroom. It takes practice. (The more consistent I am, the less frustrating their experience.)

  • AmyHall 09/26/2012 at 03:33pm
    Ahh!! Time!!!!
    I agree with the timer suggestion... although I often forget to set it.
    Having everyday supplies on the tables helps students use their time working instead of seatching for items. I keep pencils, scissors, sharpies, erasers, glue bottles and rulers in a container on the tables.
    Often, when we gather at the beginning of class, students want to tell me every little detail of their life since the last time I've seen them, which is adorable, but eats a lot of time...I tell them to tell me their stories once work time has begun.

  • jfrisco 09/29/2012 at 07:21am
    I find that it is easiest to prep in the morning. I have found myself exhausted at the end of the day. If I have everything prepped in the morning it makes for a more successful day. I also designate jobs to students.

  • remembertheshadows 10/02/2012 at 12:17pm
    The students LOVE to hand out supplies. For instance, 2 coffee cups contain freshly sharpened #2 pencils. Once I have ended the introduction (5 minutes) of the task for the day, I select two students to walk the room. Those who need a pencil, just raise their hand.

  • ArtKat0508 10/08/2012 at 11:46am
    Every table has a table captain that way everyone gets to help eventually. Each seat is numbered. I have supplies needed for each group set up and I try to leave them that way in storage as well. The table captain picks up that basket and returns it. I clean up early and try to have the next groups portfolio's on the table before the last group leaves.

  • Monlisamama 10/10/2012 at 07:29pm
    I have an unusual rule in my room that I implemented last year and it has made the world of difference in how my classroom functions. Students are not allowed to raise their hand when I am speaking (or another child is speaking) unless it is an emergency. I was finding that students would throw their hand up to ask what we were going to do, when we were starting, that their dog had puppies, that their birthday was in 28 days, etc. It slowed down the introduction and distracted the other students. At first it was hard for the kids to get used to it but now they understand the rule and if one forgets and puts his hand up when I am speaking, I just quietly gesture for him to wait. I also make sure to allow time for questions and comments.

  • rlaurenzi 02/01/2013 at 03:44pm
    Count down from 5 when they enter the room.
    After giving instructions, You can assign "question time" and when all the hands shoot up, pick the first two, say "I will take these two questions, and the rest you can ask me while you are working." If their question is legitimate, they will remember and ask it later.
    To manage supplies more quickly, I use a "Color Helper" system: I tape a piece of colored paper on the back of the chairs, so each table has a red, blue, yellow, and green chair. I rotate the colors per week, and students have assigned seats, so their color eventually comes up. When it comes time to pass out supplies, I call on the helpers to take care of their table, and they put the supplies away at the end of the class. They love it, and it cuts back on students asking to help, cause after a million times of hearing, "Are you the color helper?" they'll eventually stop.
    When they don't want to stop when it is time to clean up, I say "Hands free, eyes on me." When there are still a few that won't stop, I say "I can't see all your hands, or your bright sparkly eyes." and they love that. They all stop at that point.

  • MsAlkire 02/27/2013 at 08:17pm
    I also teach 45 minutes at a time. Procedures for me are key, like when to get pencils(from the supply box on the table) and how to pass artwork in or put it on the drying rack. I do also like the idea of doing the table helpers I've found some good ideas for that on pinterest (