This is my seventh year in my little art room and my seventh year teaching! I love beginning a new school year and making things new and exciting for my students. I try to make a few purposeful changes each year to help things go smoother in the classroom. This year, I'm focusing on cleanup procedures and having my students be more independent during cleanup time. I'm also expanding on what my students can do when they finish lessons early, again focusing on independent work.
For cleanup, I am assigning basic clean up jobs, like paper collector and table supply organizer by colors that correspond to assigned seats. Students can view their weekly jobs on a pocket chart near our Today's Cleanup chart with visuals for cleanup. So far, about half of the classes are really getting it, but some are having a hard time staying at their table for cleanup or doing only their cleanup job. I think all this will take time and practice, but it will be worth it in the long run. I always want to give my students opportunities to be independent and not need to hear specific, repetitive instructions from me on a daily basis.
This year, students will have opportunities to create with drawing books, blocks, modeling clay, white boards, and other activities based on how much class time is left when they finish their work. I want to avoid the quick free draw that ends up in the trash. This was inspired by Cassie Stephens' free choice art area. So far, teaching these new procedures to my upper grades has been fairly simple and successful. I started introducing blocks, shapes, modeling clay, and books with my younger early finishers last year, so I think it will go well this year, too.
I'm excited for the little changes in the art classroom this year and for all of the things we will create and learn.
I am an ninth year art teacher with degrees in Art Education from Flagler College and the University of Florida, living and working in northern Florida. Each week, I teach over six hundred students in grades kindergarten through fifth. Here you will find what we are learning virtually and in the art classroom!