Thursday, August 7, 2014

Welcome Back Kiddos! :)

Yes I covered my desk with zebra-print
contact paper! :)
So here we are... already 3 days into the school year. Whew!

I've spent A LOT of time getting my classroom ready (ie. redecorating) during the past couple weeks... five hundred projects at a time. :) This is apparently how I work; I start a project... then get distracted by something else and start another one... which inevitably leads me to something else.. and so on - EVENTUALLY it all gets done though. ;)
Before I get started on this little art room tour, I must apologize for my not so pretty photos. I love my Galaxy S3.. but it does not take pictures NEARLY as well as the iphone!
Here are a few whole-classroom photos...

View from my classroom door!

View from my window!
Front of my classroom and my beautiful new rug!!
Desk area!

You'll notice that I once again went with the tape around the edges of my tables to distinguish table colors. I love this method - even though the kids love to pick at it!
I also use a sharpie to write seat numbers along the side of the table which correspond with my classroom jobs chart.




The photos above show you my word wall! I created word wall cards that feature the vocabulary word AND also have an illustration to help communicate the word's meaning. At the end of class my students line up along this wall - so they are constantly looking at them!

My pretty shape posters!
And pretty window decorations!
When I commit to a theme.. I commit!
Gotta remind myself of this sometimes. I teach elementary art. Even though sometimes I feel like I'm going insane and I want to scream... it could be SO much worse!

Yes I spent a huge amount of time wrapping my furniture in wrapping paper and adding a chevron backing with contact paper. :) I told you I commit!
Even had to change out the paper strip on my box to make it match!
Where I organize and store student work for the week. (I see the same group of kids for an entire week.. then switch to my next rotation the following week.)


Changed out my table buckets this year too! The old ones were just dirty and some were even broken! So this year I bought bathroom caddies from Wal-Mart and added some decorative ribbon to the handles!

New art centers storage! :) 
Yes I added a custom chevron backing. hahaha

This year I also decided I wanted to change up my classroom management system. For the past two years I'd been doing the 'ART' letters on my board. When a class was disruptive or talking too loudly, they lost their 'A'. If the behavior continued, they lost their 'R' and their right to talk. Then if they lost their 'T', they lost the rest of their art lesson that day and had to clean up early.
Last year I even took it a step further and tracked what letter classes ended up on at the end of class. Then at the end of the year as an added incentive.. the class with the most greens won an art party (which ended up being an ice cream party - yeaaa needless to say I gained some weight). Unfortunately although it started out as an effective classroom management system, it lost steam as the year went on. Whole classes ended up losing letters because of a few students.. and classes who left many times on yellow and/or red figured they weren't going to win the art party anyway and gave up caring.
Class Dojo app on my phone!
Well not this year! I'm over the 'whole class' model of classroom management as well as end of the year incentives! So this year I'm doing a table group point system on class dojo!
I've set up my class dojo account with 6 classes (one for each grade level). Then inside each class I've added 6 "students" (my table colors). When students are doing well (come into the room quietly, participate, use good manners, work hard, share well, clean-up ON TIME, etc...) they can earn dojo points! When they do the opposite, they can lose dojo points! *I also love class dojo because you can download it as an app on your phone.. so you can give and take away points from kids even when you aren't at your computer!!
So whhhhhyyy do the kids care if they win points or not? Great question!! Because now when we do art centers (if they finish their projects early or I decide to have a centers day), they can only pick from centers that they can "afford" with their dojo points! Hehehehee! Ingenious!
Naturally all of my super awesome centers (window drawing, jewelry, modeling clay, origami, etc) require a larger number of points.. while some of my less exciting ones require less (weaving, pattern blocks, etc). Table points reset at the end of the week so the next time my group see's me, they have a fresh opportunity to win points!
Now there is no more class vs class competitions, waiting until the end of the year to be rewarded, and no more buying prizes! Instead the kids are rewarded weekly with new art opportunities and experiences!

My 'analog' point system.. in case I don't have the class dojo screen projecting. Points are recorded for each table next to their color magnet!
My pretty pretty DIY magnets!

What are your classroom management plans for this school year??

5 comments:

  1. Looks great! I like the idea of the colored tape around the edges of your tables. I put labels on the table but if i have the painting placemats out you can't see them! I also love the bathroom caddies you turned into the table buckets! My buckets have seen better days and i was going to go looking, now i know where to start! Hoping you have a great year! I have 3 weeks left until we start on the day after Labor Day. I am starting to go into room organization mode now though! :)

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    1. Better to get in that mode early - that's for sure!! :)
      Enjoy the rest of your summer!

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  2. I LOVE your classroom, it is so vibrant! Your centers area is making me jealous, what a great system and storage unit you have! It is super cute :)

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  3. Will you be continuing your Class Dojo system the same way this coming year? I started it last year but I did individual students, not groups. I am open to trying a new way. Any suggestions?

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    1. I honestly don't know what I'm going to end up doing.
      My new school doesn't have the same rotation as my last did. I'm going from seeing my students 5 days in a row each rotation to seeing them 2-3 days each rotation.
      My system worked out perfectly before because we almost always had at least a little bit of time at the end of the week for centers.. but now I'm not sure.
      I think I'm going to start using the same system.. but instead of reseting their points at the end of each rotation, I'm going to do it every other rotation. That way they have the opportunity to do some of the higher point centers.
      I don't know how effective it's going to be though - so I guess I'll just have to wait and see. *sigh

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