It never fails. There is always one student in each of my classes who seems to have a problem with wandering throughout the art studio. They’re constantly out of their seats for one reason or another. When I taught elementary art, it seemed to be less of a problem because the supplies were often passed out to the tables, alleviating the need for students to get out of their seats. At the middle school, however, my students have a lot more freedom and independence. They’re given more choice and are frequently using different supplies than their peers at the same table. Because of this, the number of students wandering throughout the art studio has increased.
I found myself frequently reminding these students to get back to their seats multiple times per class. To help these students stay on task and keep them from wandering, I created this visual for students to keep on their desks.
When I notice students are frequently wandering throughout the classroom, I have a discussion with them about the classroom expectations and how much time they’re wasting wandering around. If students continue to struggle, I set one of the visuals on the desk in front of them, reminding them that they lost the privileged of getting out of their seats. At that point, I make sure they have all the supplies needed for their projects. If these students need different supplies or materials, they have to raise their hands and ask for permission to get up. The other option is that sometimes I get their supplies for them.
The downside of this system is sometimes I’m busy, unavailable to respond and/or deliver the art supplies. In these cases, there always seems to be another student who is willing to help out. Since implementing the visual, student learning and productiveness has increased in the art studio. If you’d like to try this out in your own classroom, you can download a set of reminders by clicking the image below.
What strategies have you implemented in your classroom to help “wandering” students stay on task?
What visuals do you use as reminders?
Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.