Art class can be a messy whirlwind of chaos if expectations and routines aren’t established or consistent. Routines provide sanity and safety for both the teacher and the students. When students know what is expected of them, there’s less room for confusion, and in turn, less room for misbehavior. Below are the essential routines that allow my art room to function like a well-oiled machine.
1. Entering the art room in a consistent, quiet manner
This can work week-to-week or day-to-day. I use a visual prompt at my door each day for students to read as they enter.
2. “3-2-1, Show me the Mona Lisa”
This is an awesome attention-getter I learned in the AOE Managing the Art Room course! Students know to imitate the Mona Lisa when I call for attention. This happens to work for my Kindergarten through sixth grade students. Here are some other great attention-getters! Whether it’s verbal or not, the idea is to keep it consistent so that students know how to behave when the prompt is given.
3. Clear and concise communication
This is specifically for demonstrations, general directions, and directions for transitions. I aim to only share essential information with my students while giving directions of any sort. This way, I don’t over-burden them or lose attention as I drone on. My daily directions may change, but the routine for students to transition to their seats remains the same.
4. Getting my attention
Two of my biggest headaches occur when students shout my name over and over or follow me around like a row of ducklings. I am clear that I help those who raise their hands and wait patiently. This is the trickiest routine for me! Students are so eager and excited, sometimes even I forget and give in to their blurting.