Back to School Prep

I have had a crazy summer this year!  I traveled a lot, worked on committees, taught summer clay camp, and tried to fit in some swim time and play time with my kids.  However, it’s only a few weeks until school starts again.  I’m starting to panic a bit and lately have been pondering how best to be prepared this year. There are so many things that I needed solutions to… things that bugged me or didn’t work so well last year.  So here are a few of my ideas, some solutions I’ve found around other art teacher blogs, and from reading a few good books.

-   I hate when kids don’t write their names on artwork!  It makes me nuts finding it stuck in all sorts of places all year… so this is a great solution.  If there is no name, it goes in a bin and whatever is not claimed, gets tossed at the end of the year.  I’m hoping to really hammer home the importance of putting their name first on papers!!!  BUT in case they forget, here it is!  The No Name Bin

- My erasers kept walking away or were brutalized last year… stabbed, sliced, and used as projectiles.  Kids would not return them to the bins on their table.  No accountability!  So, I’m using some of my old ice cube trays as a way to get my erasers back in good condition.  IF I have it on my demo table and collect them for each person that borrowed them, I think I’ll have a better chance of keeping them around for awhile.  If they have to return them to me in person, then when it’s damaged, I can hold the person accountable.  Hopefully!  *** got this idea from the Teaching Palette’s Classrooms 2010

- Classroom management has been a struggle at the elementary level for me.  I always knew how to handle the older kids in HS or MS but K-6?  Well, that is another ball game.  I guess I was trying to either be too lenient or too tough on them.  I need consistency!  I read this book and am excited to try the strategies in it!

It’s premise is simple and consistent!  He has a blog that has great tips too!

 I plan on making my expectations and behavior plan and stick with it!  I hope it works and brings the fun back into my daily teaching!

- The Pencil Exchange!  Genius!  Really… pencil sharpening is such a distraction and makes such a mess… I love this! Found this from Mrs. Fuglestad! Here is her cute video made for the kids…for the kids…

I’m going to take some photos when I get stuff done in my room soon.  I won’t be able to get in until the last week of August.  Our first day of classes are Sept. 8th this year… seems very late but I’m excited to get back to the routine and those smiling faces!

One response to “Back to School Prep

  1. Hey, I’m a Gr 7/8 Art teacher. That eraser/ pencil thing? I hear ya, sister friend! Can’t seem to find any solution. Once, I even went to so far as to reward them for the return of missing primary pencils (softer than regular!) with a jellybean per pencil. Naturally, this resulted in kids stealing the pencils on purpose and returning them to get a candy! Ugh! I’ve been teaching Visual Arts for the last 8 years of my 21 so far and I can’t honestly say that any of “September solutions” have worked faultlessly yet. This year, I’m trying a basket per table with all materials in the basket and then a cursory glance before I dismiss them to ensure all equipment has been returned intact…..Who knows, this time it might work! Good luck to you!

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