Friday, February 4, 2011

Take a number please...

A frustrating past 2 days as I instructed my 'printmakers' (3rd and 4th grade artists) how to prepare/assemble their prints, printing plate and assessment for turn-in. Diagrams, written directions and verbal instructions led to about a 20% compliance rate on the first try...

This year, I'm including a self-assessment on all major projects which include an artist's statement. This ties in with our visual art standards: Identify successful aspects of his or her own artwork and possible revisions. Develop and use criteria to evaluate craftsmanship in an artwork.

I consult with each student one-on-one about their assessments. Unfortunately, this can lead to a long line of over-eager turner-inners. You know the ones - still don't have their name on their work, didn't follow completion directions, used the same written answer for every fill-in-the-blank, etc, etc. So... many students are sent right back to their seats to do what they should have done before getting in the 'checkout lane'.

I don't know about you but I find it terribly distracting to talk with a student one-on-one while there are 10 different conversations going on in the line behind us. So - light bulb moment - how about handing out numbers?

Anyone lining up behind the first 2 students was handed a number and sent back to their seat to wait quietly (I can hope, can't I?) until their number was called. This way my line was kept to only a few students at a time. With a quiet short line, my one-on-one conversations went much better!

Oh - and those over-eager turner-inners? When they reached the front of the line, they were sent back to their seat to re-do/finish and given another higher number for their next turn in line...

It worked in my last 2 classes of the day so I'm hoping it can be a new routine to help ensure a quiet line while waiting for the teacher's undivided attention...


  1. I LOVE this idea. I am new to teaching and love all the tips I can get as well as ideas. Please feel free to stop by my blog and see some of their first work.
    Thank you for sharing.


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