The art classroom is a unique place and conventional classroom management techniques don’t always apply here.
As an art teacher I really struggled with finding the right methods to fit my classroom. Since I teach elementary grades up through high school in the same classroom (private school), I needed to make sure that my methods were good for all the ages & any visuals (posters & signs) needed to not be to cutesy or elementary or too “old” looking. That’s really tough to do! So here are classroom management tools that I have found online or created to use in my classroom. They work well! I hope this will give art teachers ideas for classroom management in their own rooms! Most of these ideas are best when started at the beginning of the year, but can be introduced later in the school year if needed. Remember the key to successful classroom management is CONSISTENCY!
The smoothest run classrooms have clearly defined & practiced procedures-especially in the art room! Students need to know what do they do when they walk in the room, who gets supplies, who puts away artwork, what do you do with wet artwork, what do you do with dry artwork, etc.. The first 2-3 classes of the year NEED to be dedicated to teaching & PRACTICING procedures. You will be able to produce more art if you class is running effectively (I have learned this from experience!). Managing the Art Classroom is an EXCELLENT resources for most of the classroom management issues we run into in the art room!
Grabbing students attention while they are working can be challenging, but this method works well for me especially with my 2nd-5th grade classes. This method was developed by Harry K. Wong in his book The First Days of School: How to Be an Effective Teacher, 4th Editionis the ‘Give Me Five’ technique. Simply, the teacher says, “Give Me Five,” and the students go through five steps: Eyes on speaker, Quiet, Be still, Hands free, & Listen My list is:
- Eyes on Me
- Ears Listening
- Mouth Quiet
- Hands in Lap
- Body Still
Help manage the voice levels in your classroom!
My classroom transformed when I started giving students art jobs for each class!
Art Jobs: Every table is labeled with a 1-8 at the top of their area (you will need to print out several sets of the numbers-one set per table & one for your sign). I put a magnet on the back of each of the 1-8 numbers & rotate them every week. Jobs change each week so the student isn’t always doing the same job.
8 Art Room Jobs are explained in the PDF:
- Table Captain
- Clean Up Monitor
- Supply Steward
- Artwork Curator
- Volume Patrol
- Floor Monitor
- Sponge Crew
- Chair Checker
Picasso Passes are incentive tickets that students can earn. I developed the passes for my secondary art classes because we needed some positive rewards that worked well with their ages. This pass has really helped with my middle school art and high school art classroom management!
Classroom management in “specials” classrooms looks different than the traditional classroom. The class palettes art classroom management system is a 5 point-based system loosely based on the book “Classroom Management for Art, Music, and PE Teachers” by Michael Linsin. This book was a huge game changer for my classroom!
Books, Blogs, & Articles on Art Classroom Management
Classroom Management for Art, Music, and PE Teachers by Michael Linsin
Smart Classroom Management
The First Days of School
Managing the Art Classroom (Love this Site!!)
What are some of your classroom management techniques? I’d love to hear from you!
If you choose to use this lesson or to repost it (written info or photos), please link it back to my blog. Create Art with ME