I updated my art room expectations at the start of 2019.
I used to have a set of art room rules which I had worked on so they were positive statements rather than negative and I was happy with them for a long time but I realised I only referred to them at the start of each term and that was it.
In my quest to make the students more responsible for themselves and their actions I thought that a shorter rules list would be better and I found this one which I used in 2018. I got it from Miss JeMa on TPT. I used it although for me, I thought there were things missing , like RESPECT, which is one of our Cambridge Primary School Values.
So I created my own, as although there were things that I thought were missing from the expectations list I used in 2018, I didn’t want to end up with another looooooooong list. I wanted it to be short, easy to remember, and easy to refer to, so the expectations would become a living part of the Visual Arts room in every session. This is what I came up with.
Now I know, ideally, these sorts of expectations should be negotiated with the students BUT as my Visual Arts sessions for all year levels Prep to 6 were cut down to 1 semester only per year, effectively cutting Visual Arts time at my school in half, I need to take short cuts wherever I can. I figured that as the students would be busy negotiating expectations in their own class rooms that I would just present the Art Room Expectations and discuss them to ensure every student’s understanding of them and then we moved on. They were accepted readily and the changes from last year noted.
I then copied an A5 sized version for each student, without the coloured background. The students then had to glue it into their Visual Arts Journal and bring it to me and we signed and dated it together as their ‘official’ agreement to the Art Room Expectations. This was such a simple idea but has reinforced their importance to the students.
I now refer to the expectations frequently during all art sessions and have done simple reflections at the end of sessions such as –
“Which Art room Expectation/s do you think you always do?”
“Which Art Room Expectations do you still need to work on?”
As the 2019 Art Room Expectations have been such a success I am now considering if, and how, they will need to be modified for my Prep – 2 students in semester 2.
I was looking for a drawing activity for my grade 6 at the start of the year and found this on my pinterest board op art that I had pinned ages ago.
Thank you to We Heart Art who had a brilliant step by step procedure on their blog. It was a fantastic activity as it required few materials and soon had the students totally absorbed in their work.
I must admit to being horrified at the grade 6 students poor ruler skills so was glad to provide them with this much needed practice!
After looking at this set of samples all agreed that they would like to put themselves in the illusion, so when they were tired of ruling and colouring neatly they used their ipads to take photos of each other falling into what we all thought looked like a mysterious portal to somewhere else.
The photos were then to be emailed to me so I could have them printed off for their next art session. It was supposed to be so simple but the amount of students that did not have their email set up and running on their ipad was ridiculous. I also pointed out to the students that as they have their ipads all the time they could take their photo and send it to me any time rather than waste their art session doing this bit. A few students did this and emailed me their photos from home but most forgot about it until their next Visual Arts session.
I am certainly not the type of Visual Arts teacher that spoon feeds her students so they were responsible for getting their photo to me for printing. It became plainly obvious fairly quickly that there were lots of students who had forgotten all about getting their email settings sorted out and/or taking their photos in their own time. I absolutely refuse to fuss over students who don’t fulfill a simple requirement in a timely manner. Learning to use your one hour of art time well is part of being a responsible student but not having had this particular cohort of students for a long time ( I have taught Prep – 3 the last few years) it was clear I was going to have to spend a lot of time pushing them to become more responsible for their own learning.
They did get there in the end and all were proud of their finished pieces which made an amusing display in the main hallway!
- Fantastic activity for the start of the year
- needs little in the way of materials
- many interesting discussions about colour, shading, line etc
- students very supportive and encouraging of each others ideas
- hilarious acting in the photos
- practicing ruling lines
- practicing cutting tricky shapes
- practicing terrible colouring skills!
- Some students were incredibly sssllllooooowwwwww to get this finished!
- internet, email, etc never work when you want them to
- many beautifully drawn backgrounds without photos to finish them off due to students not taking responsibility to get this bit done
Thanks for looking and I’m sure the grade 6 students would love it if you left them a comment!
I got some of these fabulous signs for my Art room from
This website is full of fantastic stuff!
Once I had printed the signs I wanted and enlarged them to A3 size I wanted to add something to them to make them look a little different from the originals -BLING!
Everyone loves a bit of bling and my Grade 4A helpers had a great time sticking it on with only a little bit of assistance from me.
Thank you Technology Rocks Seriously!
Thank you Grade 4A helpers who gave up some of their lunchtime to help me out!
I created this display with the hands made by the Grade 1’s to get the year started off with a lovely activity and a lovely display!
The children traced their hands and arms, or asked a classmate to do it for them and then decorated them with patterns using the zoom crayons.
The following week they painted their hand using watercolour cakes(or blocks, whatever you like to call them). The grade 1’s had not used these before so needed to be taught to wash their brush when they were changing colours so the cake of watercolour did not become muddy.
I also insist that they look after the water pots themselves and if the water is too dirty they just go and empty it and refill the water pots themselves without asking me. This always results in a few water spills at the beginning (big deal, it is just water!) so we then discuss why the spill has occurred (rushing, too much water in the container) and what we do when they occur (put newspaper down immediately to help soak up the water and make the spillage more visible for others in the room and then clean it up as quickly as possible) and the spillages soon stop. It is all worth it in the end as I strive to make the children clean up after themselves. I am always stupefied by the number of children at Grade 1 level that have NO IDEA how to turn on a tap! This is all part of the learning process of being responsible artists!
I did not tell them that the crayon would resist the watercolour but waited until someone noticed it before we discussed it. “What’s happening here? Why isn’t the paint covering that crayon pattern?”
When they were dry cutting them out was the next challenge so I demonstrate how you can turn the paper while you are cutting slowly, a revelation for most grade 1’s, so you don’t just chop off all the fingers!
I ummed and aahed about how to display them and then settled on a circle. I layered them on the display board and tried NOT to staple the hands and fingers so they would move in any breeze that wafted past. I was going to put the sign in the top left corner in the middle but then found the bit of gold corrugated cardboard in the scrap box, added some cupcake wrappers for eyes (we used to call them patty pans when I was a kid) and it turned into a beaming sun, so appropriate as the start of the year was so very hot!
Thank you for the inspiration from this picture on Pinterest. I absolutely adore Pinterest!
This is a photo of the store room door where the Art room rules are listed for everyone to see. This list of rules was created after much discussion with the grade 4’s last year and on reflection I thought it was such a good list that I’ve used them again for this year.
The last one listed says “In the Art Room we – LET MAGIC HAPPEN!
I often talk to the children about how making art is a sort of partnership between you and the materials. You might be drawing a turtle but when you really look at it , it looks more like an elephant. Well you can fight that, and keep trying for a turtle and you might just end up with an ordinary turtle. But if you go with what the materials are trying to tell you, and you change your drawing into an elephant, you might just end up with the most magnificent elephant you have ever drawn!!! And that is , of course, when the magic happens!
I think this idea helps the children to allow themselves to change and adapt their ideas as they are working and the children love to tell me that magic happened today and explain the development of their ideas into their final product.
I used a thick metallic thread to create these words using a line design alphabet that I devised to use with the Grade 5’s last year when we did a unit on line design. The grade 5’s went from doing simple line designs on paper following a step by step procedure to stitching their own name onto a piece of coloured card using my line design alphabet.It was a very popular unit of work.
And so you don’t think that all we do in the Art room is talk about rules and we don’t have any fun, here is a red monster that Prep C created a week or so ago.
I look forward to reading your comments.