Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Creative Juices are Flowing...

This week they are finally stripping and waxing the floors in my high school art room so I've spent a lot of time at home working on school stuff.  I started making my to-do list for the room and the first thing I'm checking off my list has to do with critiques. A while back on Pinterest, I found this link for ping pong ball critiques and I LOVE the idea!  My husband bought me a box of 36 ping pong balls and I spent the night writing critique prompts on each ball!

Some of the questions came directly off of the free PDF download above, others came from my head and some came from other random pins.  Here's what the balls have written on them:

If I were the artist, I would have...
Are there any symbols in this artwork?  Give an example.
What would you title this artwork?  Why?
Does this artwork make you think of something else?  What?
What style is this artwork completed in?
What kind of composition does this artwork have?
Would you hang/display this artwork in your home?
What culture and/or country do you think this artwork comes from?  Why?
Can you trace movement with finger?  Where?
In my opinion...
Do you see any repetition? Where?
What art principles do you see?  Where?
What elements of art do you see?  Where?
Where did the artist use contrast?
What art medium/media is this artwork created with?  How do you know?
Does this artwork have a color scheme?  What is it?
Do you think this artwork belongs in a museum or art gallery?  Why or why not?
Did the artist create space?  How?
Where is the emphasis/focal point?  How is it created?
Is this artwork realistic or abstract?  Explain.
What is the subject matter of this artwork?
The weaknesses of this artwork are...
The strengths of this artwork are...
If I could ask the artist one question, I would ask...
Is there rhythm in this artwork?  Where?
Are there patterns in this artwork?  Where?
Does this artwork have depth?  Explain.
What do you think the artist wants you to see.
Do you think the artist was more concerned with emotion or realism?  Why?
Do you like this artwork?  Why or why not?
What creates unity in this artwork?
Where do you see texture?
Does this artwork tell a story?  What is it?
Is the balance symmetrical, asymmetrical or radial? Explain.
What emotion or feeling did the artist create?
How was line used in this artwork?

I plan to use the ping pong ball critique during class for group critiques (of personal and famous artwork), as well as for an exit slip.  I saw this pin on Pinterest and I decided to make a post-it note exit slip poster.  I have made one for both Studios, both 7th grade art classes and electives, all of which will be laminated.  There will be times I will give students a specific question for an exit slip and other times we may use the ping pong ball critique questions.  Students will get a post-it note to write their answer on.  They'll use the same post-it note until it's filled up and then they'll get a new one.  Each student will be assigned a number for the year so they don't have to put names on their slips.  
This will help ensure that I am getting students to review content before leaving class (that was something my superintendent noted on my evaluation as something I needed to work on) as well as having a closure of some sort.  Since I made a poster for each class, I won't have to look at their answers until after school during our 2:45-3:15 teacher time, thus making sure I have my 3 minutes in between classes to get between the classrooms.

The ping pong ball critique questions will also be great to use as a bell ringer too.  I think I want to plan on having students use their sketchbooks as a place to write bell ringers, notes, project sketches and homework sketches.  I envision having a famous artwork on the board when students come in, ask them to grab a ball and answer the question in their sketchbook.  As students get settled, I'll ask for some volunteers to share their responses.  I feel this would be less of a waste of paper to have students do bell ringers in their sketchbooks instead of on copied slips of paper.  Plus, it will ensure that sketchbooks are brought to class every day and not wasted.

Since all of my SLO's will be coming from high school art classes this upcoming year, my gears are drastically switching.  I am going to be more concerned with getting classroom management routines down in a way that works (such as the bell ringer and exit slip...something I haven't used before).  I would eventually like to work a bell ringer/exit slip into the elementary art room, but I don't want to stretch my time too much now that I only get those kiddos once a cycle.


On a side note, I just figured I'd share some artwork I did today...for the first time in forever!  Very rarely do I sit down and do artwork for myself.  Two years ago I did similar up-close flower paintings for Christmas gifts for my family (we were on a tight budget that year ;) ).  I usually have to be in the right kind of mood to do any artwork, or even scrap booking for that matter.  Any time I'm creating something, it's usually a project example for school or posters/displays for my classrooms.

Acrylic on preferred choice of painting medium!  It's actually kind of ironic because in college, I did not take a painting class.  I did sculpture, ceramics, printmaking, drawing, photography, digital design and the mandatory art design class.  I was never able to fit the painting class in my schedule (and to be honest, I was not very fond of the professor who taught it), so I've never been trained in oil painting, or painting for that matter.  Painting with acrylic was something I picked up and enjoyed in high school.

In this instance, my husband has been given a promotion to which he now has his own office.  He is a kitchen manager for Thatcher Kitchen at SUNY Potsdam.  Now that he has moved into his office, he's been begging me to come decorate!  I surprised him today with these paintings for his office.  Tomorrow I'll go pick out paint for him to paint his office with and decide where he needs to hang his artwork!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Graffiti anyone?

Before school was over, I polled my 6th grade students about what they wanted to do next year in 7th art.  One of the first things many of them suggested was graffiti art.  I have decided that my first project with them will be to create a tag to design the cover of their art journal.  Does anyone have a really great power point they'd be willing to share with me about the history of graffiti...or a site that has good handouts/information about graffiti?

Bookmaking Class Pack
 I purchased the class pack of 30 6"x9" journals from Dick Blick.  The covers are cardboard and they are spiral bound.  I plan on having the students design the front cover with a tag of their name.  They'll be able to use tissue paper, paint and I'm thinking the Crayola Airbrush Marker Kits I have (which would make it even more authentic...closest thing to spray paint!).

I have a very vague knowledge about the history of graffiti.  I know that prehistoric art can be considered graffiti, and that graffiti dates way back in history to the Egyptians and Greeks.  I also know of the political reasons behind graffiti in the 60's and 70's and that Keith Haring was a subway graffiti artist during a point in his life, but I need some good vocabulary and some reading information about the topic to make a good, solid unit.  I'd even be willing to purchase a book about graffiti if someone highly recommends one!  I currently have a $50 gift card to Blick that I could spend and there is free shipping on orders of $45 or more that expires at midnight tonight, so any feedback would be great, especially if Blick has a book that would be good to order!  Thanks in advance!

Friday, July 26, 2013

2013-2014 Schedule!

Phew, after weeks of administrators being on vacation, I finally got my finalized schedule for the upcoming school year!  I had it at the end of the year, but there was a conflict with a high school and elementary class.  Consequently, decisions couldn't be made about my schedule until the district figured out if they were hiring a 3rd gym/health teacher on full-time or part-time, and administrators were out of the building at different times due to vacations and family needs.  Either way, here it is!  (And boy it looks hectic to me too...)

I will now only have the elementary grades once a 6-day cycle for art.  I'm a little sad about that, but the prospect of getting back to teaching high school is finally starting to get exciting for me!  I currently am scheduled to have two art 7 classes, two studio classes and an elective.  If I can grab the attention of at least 6 students from study halls, I have permission to create a second elective, which would happen opposite of the scheduled elective and then my lunch period will be moved.  I've had a lot of 8th grade students mention that they wish they had art in 8th grade, so I'm hoping they have study hall then and I can snag some!

Oh boy oh boy...let the planning begin!

Hubby and I spent another two hours organizing in the high school art room last night.  I'm pretty happy with results.  I have a drawer of old paint brushes to sort through and a tall, double cabinet of supplies left to sort through and I'm done!  They are scheduled to strip and wax the floors in that room next week, so I'll have a rest before my supplies are delivered to the room and I can start putting things away and decorating the cupboards and walls...let the Pinterest surfing begin!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

High School Room Progress...

I've probably spent about a total of 12 hours organizing this room so far, and I am happy to say progress has been made!  I probably have half of the cabinets organized and consolidated, or at least emptied out to store other stuff.  I wish I would have remembered my camera or phone yesterday when I worked in there because you wouldn't believe the amount of construction paper I unloaded from the tall double cabinet and four short seemed unbelievable to me!  I don't use that amount of construction paper in my elementary room!  Either way, I kept some paper supplies and donated the rest to the school overflow room.  I have cleaned out and gotten rid of all of the extra furniture that I don't want and hopefully by the end of the week, the custodians will have the floor stripped and waxed.  I plan on moving my pottery wheels from the elementary room down to the high school room to create a pottery nook.

As I'm organizing, I'm thinking about maternity leave in November/December/January and all of these supplies that my substitute is going to have to deal with.  I am thinking of locking cabinets during my leave and only leaving ones open that she/he will need access to for supplies...which brings me to a you label your cupboards on the outside?  I'm thinking about putting labels on the cupboards so it will be easier for the sub to navigate, but I don't want to make it easier for other teachers to convince the sub while I'm gone that they need supplies.  The only reason I worry about this is because teachers have been trying to scavenge supplies out of this room since the end of the school year when they found out the other teacher was retiring (as if they had to worry...I feel like I'm giving up and donating plenty of supplies!)  My other option I thought about was drawing a little diagram of the room cabinets and labeling everything in the diagram in my sub binder, but it seems more work intensive.  

This cabinet was full of yarn, yarn and more yarn!  I gave two boxes away, put there boxes down in the overflow room, and kept half a shelf and the boxed yarn that is new.  This is going to be my fiber crafts cabinet (and  I'm not too into fiber crafts but the time may come that I would want to do some basking weaving or something with the students, so I'm keeping this small stash of supplies.

This cabinet was FULL of construction paper.  I have turned it into the paper supply cabinet.  The top shelf has a small assortment of multi-colored construction paper and black construction paper (for framing artwork in case I run out of mat board).  The second shelf has white, manila and colored tag board.  The third shelf has tracing paper, manila drawing paper and the half used sketchbooks that will be used to supply white drawing paper when needed.  Fourth shelf contains watercolor paper, block printing paper, graph paper and art paper.  Bottom two shelves have the large drawing paper/tagboard/construction paper, watercolor paper and then some random packages of other art paper.  I have labeled each shelf with a piece of masking tape.

These two shelves also contained construction paper.  Now, the cupboard on the left is the sketchbook overflow cabinet and the cabinet on the right will hold art games and activities.

Again, this shelf had construction it houses the art VHS tapes and reference/resource books.

You can see the four cabinets that were in the room are cleaned out and gone!

The back nooks have been organized...The top middle one will hold the glaze that I ordered for this year.  Bottom right is for stained glass and the top right will be for all the canvas boards I ordered.  Middle right contains linoblocks.  Middle and top left contain 1/2 gallons of acrylic.  Bottom left contains Masonite board and the middle bottom has lots of clay boards.  The rest of the cabinets in the back of the room haven't been touched yet...

Aside from the cupboards I pointed out, there were four other short cabinets that had shelves full of construction paper...I kid you now, when I stacked everything that I didn't want on the tables, it was probably a 5'x5'x5' stack!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

I've got the keys...! my 2nd art room!  Hmmm, does this mean I need to come up with a new name for my blog since I will now be teaching out of art room 104 and 309??? ;)   Here's a glimpse and a little history about what I am now dealing with cleaning up in my new room...

The previous teacher had been in this room for at least 20 years.  Before that, she taught at a different district, but it was combined with another, and that's when she ended up in this classroom.  So, needless to say there is about 35 years of collecting in this room!  The previous teacher also had a COMPLETELY different organizational technique than me...meaning complete I have my work ahead of me if I want to keep myself sane this school year!  What works for one person doesn't always work for another...

I received the keys to the room yesterday and my hubby came in for an hour and a half with me yesterday to help me do some heavy moving and lifting.  Today I spent about two and half hours sorting and cleaning as well.  There are A LOT of extra cabinets and furniture in this room that make it feel very cluttered, so my goal is to get things sorted and consolidated so that I can get rid of that extra furniture.

There is also some lower grade paints that I will be donating to our new school supply room (a catch-all for unwanted supplies...teachers can come and give and take as needed), which will hopefully keep teachers from borrowing supplies from the art room!  Unfortunately, there is also a lot of paint that I will be tossing because it is completely separated and will not mix back together.  Same with about half the glazes.  They are either VERY watery or completely dried out.  Luckily, all of my elective requisitions were put through this year and I will get everything I ordered for the high school room, all of which will end up replacing a lot of the old stuff I plan on getting rid of.

Once the cleaners get the room cleaned and the floors waxed, I plan on having them move the three pottery wheels from my elementary room into the high school room so that I can have a ceramic nook, which has me really excited!

This is the door to the classroom.  The divider and brown cabinet has been cleaned out and removed from the room (extra furniture!).

When you enter the classroom, this is what you see on the right side.  All the tables and stools are pushed up against the cabinets because the custodians are currently working to clean the room as well.  The door way in the back is the dark room.

Inside the dark room, left and right respectively.  I plan to keep the enlargers for now, until those supplies are used up.  Ideally, I would love to turn this into a mini computer lab with Macs!

This is the front of the room, when you enter the door to the left.  Computer is under the sheet, storage behind the chalkboards much like my other room.

Corner of the room where the dark room is.  There are two sinks and plenty of counter space.  There is a grey metal cabinet that held lots of glazes and old paint that I cleaned out today for removal.  The other open cabinet has lots of basking weaving and yarn in it.  That will also be cleaned out, materials consolidated and that cabinet removed as well (I just got rid of the boxes upon boxes of yarn I had in my elementary room...there are THREE (yes 3!) cabinets full of yarn.  Some of it will have to go!

View from the corner where the sinks are to the opposite corner of the room.  The dark blue, low bookshelf will be gone, as well as the other two dividers in the corner and two of the three file cabinets that are behind the dividers.  Also, the tall cabinets and three short cabinets behind those dividers are FULL of construction paper!  Those will definitively be consolidated and donated to the supply room...There is more construction paper in this room than I have and use in the elementary room!  Construction paper is also another one of those items that teachers want to borrow from the art room, so I'm hoping if I give a lot of it up that I know I won't use, they'll leave me alone...(I know, wishful thinking right?).

And finally, the back of the room.  This is a small area that is adjacent to where the dark room is.  The kiln is back there, as well as more counter space, another sink (to the right) and more storage.  I have so far removed the curtains and consolidated the materials on those shelves.  All the paint and glazes I am keeping have been moved onto those empty shelves I created when I moved things around.

The extra counter space...kiln is to the right, outside the picture.  Sink and curtained shelves are behind me in this picture.

Stay tuned for more pictures as I share how I'm organizing this room to fit my needs and personality!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Friday: Day 3 of Extended Mural

On Friday we managed to get quite a bit done on our mural!  We touched up some of the background and we were able to paint two coats on each of the figures!  Come Monday, we'll have to put a third coat on the yellow figures and the football, get a ladder to paint the top of the sky, and start outlining everything!

I think that we will paint a little bit more...I decided that I would like to do some mini paintings in the white areas above and below the window in between each mural...I envision a cloud bubble with a single physical activity in it...that way we can do the mountain climber, tennis player, roller-blader and soccer player!

We also had a bit of time to do some glazing on Friday.  I pulled out a set of bisque bowls and let the kids go to town glazing.  We used the detail writers and textured glazes that I mentioned in my last glaze post.  Some got real creative with their drips.  I can't wait to see how they turn out!

I also bought a set of 6 of the Mayco travel mugs for the teachers to glaze!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Extended Day: Extending our Mural!

Woohoo!  We were able to get permission to extend our Keith Haring mural that we did last year during the summer program!  Yesterday and today we worked on coming up with some more physical activity ideas to draw on the wall and we painted the background.

We started out by using these awesome manikans I bought from Dick Blick.  These are just the Blick brand 12", hardwood male manikans.  The kids LOVED using them!  They posed them in sports positions to brain-storm some physical activity ideas.

After we had a plan, we got the cart ready with our painting supplies and mural paint, and headed down the hallway!  We are using the Chroma Acrylic Mural Paint.

Last year I had the kids trace each other on butcher paper, cut out the figures and trace them on the wall themselves.  Last year it also took us the entire four weeks to paint the mural, so I decided to draw the figures on the wall quickly for the students so we could get right into painting.

The end of day one's painting progress...

The end of day 2...we did a second coat everywhere we could reach so everything wasn't streaky. We have a hoola-hooper, a volleyball player setting the ball, and a football player kicking a football through the field goal!  Depending on how their attention spans for this, if it only takes us two weeks to do this section, we may start a second section...students wanted to do a tennis player, a roller-blader and a mountain climber too!

Last year, even though I knew you should always start with the background first in a mural, we started painting the figures and did the background last.  This ended up being part of the problem as to why it took us so long to finish the first mural.  This time, I made sure we started with the background, and I also bought some new colors of mural paint so we wouldn't have to mix too many colors.  Last year, we mixed the blue for the sky and the different heat and humidity caused the paint to dry differently in the sky, even though it was from the same batch of mixed paint!  We had to paint the sky almost four times to get it right!  Here's hoping we won't face that problem again this year!

Extended Day Summer Program Begins!

This past Monday was the start of our extended day summer program.  Our school was one of four in the area who received a grant from the state to do activities after school.  We are required to give homework time and also to provide fun, interesting and educational activities for the students to do.  The grant also allows us to do four hours each day in the summer for four weeks.  The grant is the reason I've been able to get a lot of the more expensive supplies for my art room, including two electric pottery wheels and the glass kiln.

Here is what we did on days 1 and 2!

On Monday and Tuesday, I decided to do ceramic tiles with the students.  This year is the first time I'm going to do some ceramic projects with the kids during the summer.  Once the kiln is as full as I can get it with projects, I'll fire it and return everything to the kiddos.  I purchased a bunch of bisque projects from Blick that only need to be glazed, and I purchased some new glaze materials that I learned about from the NYSATA conference back in November!

My tile from the Mayco booth at the NYSATA conference!

These Mayco Stroke & Coat Accents were what I used at the NSYATA conference.  They create a raised area of glaze on the tile.

I purchased the Mayco Bowls for a Cause Classroom Kit, which came with these small bottles of Mayco Stroke & Coat glazes.  I plan to use these for a majority of the summer program glazing projects, as well as some of my already opened glazes for use in class.

These are Spectrum glaze writers   The bottles with the red labels are supposed to create a raised area of glaze when fired, and the rainbow labels are basically just glaze in a bottle with a thin applicator tip.

These are some of the finished tiles!  I can't wait to fire them to see how they turn out!

Here are the steps we took for the tiles:
1.  Paint a base coat of a crystalex glaze on the entire tile to give the speckled-effect.
2. While the base coat dried, students drew out a design and drew it lightly on the dried tile.
3.  Using a foam roller and one color of Stroke and Coat glaze, students rolled some glaze around the edges of their tile and design.
4.  Next, we used the Mayco Accent glazes to outline and create raised areas where we wanted them.
5.  Using paint brushes and the colored glaze writers, we added the colored details!
6.  For the last step, students went in with the Spectrum raised effects writers to outline details if they needed it.

I also purchased some tile setters for firing the tiles in the kiln.  We shall see how they work!

***I am not a promoter for Mayco or Spectrum.  These are simply new products I have decided to try!  I do not receive any monies for promoting or talking about these products on my blog.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Interviewing for an Art Position: Part 2 (Text heavy post!)

In part 2 of my Interviewing for an Art Position post, I am going to share tips for classroom management, both from my three years of teaching experience so far and from my Classroom Management Survival Guide that was compiled from my student teaching experience.  Chances are, you can be guaranteed that you will be asked at least one or two questions in an interview about your classroom management style.  I was asked what my classroom rules would be and I was given two scenarios and asked how I would deal with each one (one included contacting a parent). This compilation was included in my professional visual arts teaching portfolio and it was something that I referenced during my interview for my current position.

(You can read  Part 1 about having a portfolio here!)

This survival guide was created during my semester of student teaching for my Classroom Management course.  This was the final product that needed to be turned in.  It included the following:

1. Notes from class discussion
2. Personal observations & ideas to enhance classroom management
3. Materials from course texts
4. Discipline strategies
5.  Classroom Rules & Procedures
6. Seating Charts
7. Letter to Parents/Guardians
8. Ideal classroom design and the explanation behind it.
9. Example of a syllabus
10. Journal entries from observations relating to classroom management.
11.Bibliography of texts

Since this post is mostly about classroom management techniques, I'm going to share some tips...some of which are techniques I use today and some of which are suggestions from my survival guide.  

Time Management
1. Don't leave school until you are ready for the next day!  
My first year of teaching, I never left school right when we were allowed...I was usually at school for at least 30 minutes past that time, getting materials organized for the next day.  Since that first year, the time I stay after school has decreased now that I've learned what organization skills work for my classroom, but there are often days where I still don't leave until 30-60 minutes past our allowed time!  On the plus side, it means I can get up a little later the next day! ;)

2.  Over prepare for the day!  Be sure to have more prepared for each lesson in case students finish early, or have appropriate centers/art games/art room jobs available for those early finishers.
My first year, I had a paper organizer that had coloring sheets available to students.  I had one coloring sheet that was equivalent to what each class was learning about...Ancient Egypt, still life, landscape, etc.  This was a huge waste of paper so the second year, I started over planning my lessons more.  This third year, I made a checklist for students to reference after finishing a project and this has worked the best so far for early finishers.

3.  Use your time wisely.  Stagger assignments when working a full load.  Don't assign each grade level/class a research project at the same time (that will take lots of your time to grade).  Don't start and end projects at multiple grade levels/classes at the same time...stagger them so it's easier to grade projects in a timely manner.
Similarly, think about space.  I find that it's easier to do multiple ceramic projects at the same time so I have a full kiln that can be fired right after projects are finished.  I hate having projects sit in a a half-full kiln for weeks until another class does a clay project...half the time students forget what they were learning about by the time you get around to glazing or painting the pieces.  On the other hand, I have to stagger sculpture projects because I have limited space to store large sculptural projects.


INVOLVE PARENTS AS MUCH AS YOU CAN!  Don't just call home about negative discipline when a student has done something very well or out of the ordinary.
Trust me, as a first year teacher it can be very nerve racking to call home for a discipline issue!  I admit that I never called home once during my 1st year of teaching, and I was sort of embarrassed by this!  Trust me when I say it gets easier and easier with each phone call made, especially if you have a good way to document incidences and you aren't just calling home about negative behavior!  During this last year of teaching, I finally found a system that really works for me.  I use the Making SmART Choices worksheet to document discipline issues.  It is a note that is filled out in class and sent home to be signed by the parent.  This is a way to keep documentation should you have to call home for a more serious offense later in the school year, and it also opens the doors of communication to parents easier than starting with a phone call.


Classroom Management
1.  Most classroom management situations happen int he first three minutes of class.
Thinking back on my three years, I can say that this is very true!  If you don't have their attention at the beginning, so many things can go wrong!  I've had a hard time trying to incorporate some sort of bell ringer at the elementary level, but since my 7th grade and high school students will all have sketchbooks that they will be required to bring to class every day, they will definitely have bell ringer activities to complete at the beginning of class each day in their sketchbook.

2.  Use a syllabus for class description but also as a way to communicate your rules, expectations, and consequences.  Have students (and parents!) sign a copy to hand back to you as a sort of contract.
All of my classes in high school had a syllabus like this, and I plan on implementing this at the high school level as well.  As soon as I have finalized my syllabus, I will definitely share!

3.  Use a seating chart.
I know many of you want the art room to be a place of freedom and expression, but in my experience, I find seating charts to be heaven sent, especially at the elementary level!  There are so many students that you will find just cannot be near each other.  When you have 16+ classes that you are teaching, a seating chart helps you memorize names faster and makes it easier for a substitute to take attendance and write down names of students who had discipline issues while you were gone.  Using a seating chart is also a great behavior incentive!  I use "Sit by a Friend" passes at the elementary level.  Students chosen as Artists of the Week get a pass that they can use during any art period to sit by whomever they want.  It's also a great, one-day award for entire classes to let them sit wherever for a day!  That being said, I do have one grade level that works much better when they are allowed to sit wherever they want.  You'll eventually learn which groups you can trust and which ones need a little more guidance.

4.  Allow student input on the classroom rules.  Don't allow them to make the rules per say, but allow them to discuss if they are fair and if your consequences are fair.  There may be a rule you don't have on your list that students may bring up.

5.  Learn which behaviors can be ignored.  Some students may need to tap their pencil or foot in order to channel extra energy.  Some need to do that in order to pay attention.  Get to know your students and what their personality and abilities are like.  This will tell you a lot about their controllable and uncontrollable behaviors.

6.  Pay attention to your own body language.  If you often stand with your arms crossed, it gives off the impression that you are unapproachable.  If students feel you are relaxed, they are more likely to feel comfortable around you and respect you and your rules.
I had a hard time with the arms crossed thing...especially during my first year of teaching and having hall duty in the morning!  I never knew what to do with my arms and hands so I would always cross them!  I started carrying a mug of tea with me in the morning, and eventually was able to lose the tea and feel comfortable with my arms hanging at my sides or with a hand in my pocket.  It's easier to wave at the little munchkins when they walk by if your arms aren't crossed! ;)

7.  Sometimes a student may need to be excused from the classroom due to his or her behavior.  Be sure you and your administration have an understanding and agreement on what to do in this situation.  Some students cannot be trusted to cool off in the hallway outside the classroom and some may need to be sent to the office for the remainder of the period.  Be sure to communicate with your administrator about this before you are forced to do it.  Do NOT let this student pursue an argument with you in front of the class...they often do this because they know and want to push your buttons!  The more heated you get, the bigger and more out of hand the situation may get.  Later in the day or first thing in the morning, after everyone has cooled down, speak with that student about their behavior, why it was wrong and what the student and you can do to prevent it from happening in the future.
You never know, you might have unintentionally said or did something to set the student off and offend him or her.  Again, this boils down to getting to know your student's personalities.


Respect and Responsibility
1.  Remind students to treat the desk and classroom with respect.  Threaten them with cleaning tasks!
In some ways, this is like a "make sure the punishment fits the crime" type of deal.  If you have students who aren't pulling their weight during clean-up, make them stay after to clean up other people's messes so they can get a taste of what it feels like to do someone else's work.  Obviously, make sure that this type of consequence is okay'd by your administrator and that they will back you up!  You can get into trouble by making students write 10x's each, "I will not..." and that most often is not something that will help them learn respect and appreciation!

On another note, if students in general are not using materials responsibly and with respect, don't be afraid to stop a project cold turkey and go to something "boring" for a while.  I had to do this while I was student teaching.  I had just started a clay unit and a student stole some red clay from the room and threw it in the school pool.  Later that day, the kindergartners had gotten changed to go swimming and they couldn't because they thought someone had pooped in the pool!  (Mind you, this happened two weeks after a chemical scare in the pool which lead to the school being evacuated.)  I made the decision to cut the clay project cold turkey until the perpetrator came forward and students were given a research project on a clay artist.  Eventually the student came forward after enough students pressured him into being honest because they wanted to do the fun project, not the boring research project!

2.  Encourage students to bring their own materials to class.  Aside from the required materials (pencil, eraser, sketchbook, etc.) encourage serious artists to get their own quality materials to use in class.  This will help encourage pride in their own artwork!
Likewise, if a student isn't bringing their required materials to class, require a swap if they need to borrow an item.  And don't just ask them to swap a pen for a pencil...make it something really important...that way they remember to return your borrowed item!  Cell phone?  Hat?  Agenda?  I also take points away from their daily grade if they are not prepared.  They need to be prepared for all of their other classes, what makes art class any different?  Being prepared also includes coming to class with a positive attitude!

While posing the risk of this post becoming too much like a college lecture, I want to give you one last piece of information, taken directly from a college text book...

What is a discipline problem?  (Levin, 25)
The following information was taken directly from a college text book, Principles of Classroom Management, 2007 by James Levin and James Nolan.  The information presented here is sometimes something I still forget.  I often try so hard to keep everyone in the classroom, happy and learning, that I try to hard to keep a discipline problem on task when it is too late, which in turn distracts from the learning of others.  Remember...a discipline problem is:

1. A behavior that interferes with the act of teaching.
2. A behavior that interferes with the rights of others to learn.
3.  A psychologically or physically unsafe act.
4.  A behavior that destroys property, including personal, school or another student's property.
5. Ineffective or inappropriate employment of classroom management strategies that interferes with the learning of others (on behalf of the teacher).

**A teacher may become a discipline problem!


With all of that being said, I just want to leave you with one last piece of advice for this post.  Don't be afraid to be flexible and change rules and expectations, whether the next year or the middle of the school year.  I've been teaching elementary art for three years now and each year, I have drastically changed my rules and procedures each year.  Only now do I finally feel like I have found techniques that work for me at the elementary level, and you can bet that I will still be tweaking them a little bit for the next school year!

I'm also going to essentially be "starting over" again as I venture into the high school level.  I did my student teaching at the high school level and also did two internships before that at the middle school level, but it's been a while!  You can guarantee that I will be tweaking my syllabus, rules, expectations and procedures as I figure out what works and what doesn't work for my teaching style, classroom management style and students!