Last year I found that we were wasting a lot of time at the end of the class lining up. It took too long, students used that transition time for talking, and weren't pushing in their chairs. To solve this problem, I created our line-up cards.
These cards hang on a push pin near the door. The "Star of the Day" is responsible for getting the cards and lining up his/her class by flipping the cards silently.
At the beginning of the year, I go down each class list and alphabetically assign every student a letter to stand on for our line-up. The letter stays the same the entire year. I also have a picture of a little star at the beginning of the alphabet on the floor in case the class has a "line leader." Having the students line up the same way everyday prevents arguments about who is first or behind so-and-so and makes the line-up very efficient. If we don't line up quietly, then we lose a letter and practice first thing the next art class.
Watch Mrs. Harris' 4th grade class line up.
One of the ways I encourage good behavior in the art room is my Art Party Gameboard. Each class has the opportunity to win 3 points each 45-minute art class. These three points are represented by the "A R T" letters above the gameboard. If the class gets a little too loud, is especially talkative during instruction time, or doesn't line up silently at the end of class, a letter gets flipped, starting with the letter "A." If it happens again, the "R" gets flipped. A third time (which rarely occurs) results in the "T" getting flipped. The back of the "T" card states "No talking." I set my timer for 5 minutes and the students work silently for those five minutes. After the timer goes off, students earn their "T" back and continue working and talking quietly. The number of letters remaining at the end of the class designates how many spots they move on the gameboard. When they reach the end, they earn an Art Party! It is possible to earn one art party per quarter.
What is an Art Party?
I set up three different stations -- free paint, modeling clay, and shaving cream. Each student spends about 10 minutes at each station. They paint, build, or draw their choice of artwork at each station. The shaving cream station is usually the favorite:)
Congratulations to Mrs. Mitchell and Mrs. Bendixen's class! They were the first to earn an art party this year and had a blast!