Make it easy for students to help themselves, within limits
When I first set up these places for students to help themselves to construction paper, a student said to me, “Mrs. T, you are getting better every day!” That made me smile! Students were happy to have more choice in their art studio. If you spend time in the beginning of the year showing students how to set up and clean up their workspace, they have more ownership of their work.
Right next to the supplies, add photos of how the materials and tools should look like when put away properly. This helps students know exactly what “cleaned up” should look like when class is over. You cannot assume that students will know what your expectation of “cleaned up” looks like!
Obviously, re-teach and review procedures as needed. As teachers, we can determine what each class needs and which students might need more practice or direction. Steps can be listed on the wall of the center, or you can create smaller versions for students to take to their workspace.
If you need to re-teach, you could do it “live, in person” for a small group, or just show the video to the whole class again. Try to keep your videos three minutes or less. It is better to make two shorter videos than one big, long one.
This cuts down on, “I need to sharpen my pencil” requests. Set up your pencils this way! Have a bucket with sharp pencils, and a basket for pencils that need sharpening. Students can take a sharp one, when they return it, they need to decide where it should go!
Many times, when a student asks me where something is (or where it should be put away), I don’t answer if this is something they should know. Nearby students help their friend! Bonus: I am no longer the only “teacher” in the room!
Do you have any other ideas to increase student independence in the art studio? Let chat on Twitter, or leave a comment below!
This post was first published on Education Closet.