Sunday, September 1, 2013

Room Tour: Part One

I don't know about you, but I LOVE looking around in other people's classrooms! Seeing how they organize, what colors they use, even what fonts they use on all their signs!

Here are some elements of my room that I think work really well! Some are tried-and-true management things that have worked well from the beginning, some have evolved over the years, and some are brand new this year.   

The Drying Rack
How to Organize the Drying Rack

I love my drying rack! It is tall, square, and has permanent shelves. I know some of you love your drying rack with the movable shelves, but not this art teacher! If they lifted up and down, I wouldn't be able to make THIS system work.

I'll explain - each student is assigned a number in their homeroom. I use those same numbers in the Art Room. So, when Student #1 is finished with an assignment, they put their art on Shelf #1. When Student #2 is finished with an assignment, they put their art on Shelf #2. I pull all 25 pieces off and they are alphabetized and ready to be photographed for Artsonia! 
I only label Shelves 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 because I've got smart students and they can figure out where their art belongs (most of the time). These binder rings and colored masking tape have held up really well over the years and work really well!

Point Charts
Point Charts in the Art Room
There is a lot of back-and-forth about rewarding students for doing what is expected, like listening and turning in assignments on time. For me, I like having a tangible reward for hardworking classes. They can earn one point per week if they follow all the rules. If they go down on the Noise Chart or are not cleaned up before their teacher picks them up, they lose their point and can try again the following week. After they earn five points, they fill a row on the sticker chart and get a prize. I usually have stickers, pencils, erasers and the ever popular Jolly Ranchers. Most classes work really hard, for over a month, to get that small trinket, and for me, that makes these worth the work.
This year, I couldn't find a farm themed point chart, so I made them with graphics from Lettering Delights. LOVE that site for super cute fonts and graphics!

Supply Stations
"Supply Stations"
These are new this year, but I can't wait to see how they work! After some measuring and some shopping, I found these little storage units at IKEA for 14.99 each. I've got 7 tables, so you and my penny-pinching husband, can do the math. But an organized room is priceless (or so I keep telling him!)
Each "Supply Station" has three drawers. The top drawer is for drawing and coloring - it has bins for pencils & erasers, colored pencils and crayons. The middle drawer is for collage materials - big scissors, little scissors and glue bottles. The bottom drawer has a "Clean-Up Kit" - a spray bottle with water, a sponge and a reusable paper towel.
I am hoping that by having the supplies close at hand, there will be less roaming around the room. But, by having the supplies UNDER the table instead of ON the table, it will stop the kids from touching all the supplies while I'm giving directions! I'll let you know how these work out later in the year!

That's it for now - I'll continue the tour a little later on. I've stalled long enough to work on my seating charts. UGH! Does anyone else hate making those?!


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