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3 Tips to Rejuvenate Your Art Room for 2016

Winter break is just around the corner, and if you are anything like your students or your colleagues, you cannot wait to bolt out of the door for a few glorious family-and-friend-filled days away from school. Am I right?

Well, today I am going to give you three reasons to resist the urge and stay a little bit longer on that last day at school.
 
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These quick tips will help you return to your art room at the end of break rejuvenated and prepared for 2016.

 
1. Tidy your desk.
 
Try not to leave piles of ungraded artwork, holiday treats, cut paper scraps, and other random items stacked on your work surface or desk. Give yourself 20-30 minutes to sort items into piles and to put things away. You might want to use binder clips and post-it notes to differentiate work that needs to go home with you during break versus work that can wait until your return. A clean, tidy surface will welcome you back, and you’ll be glad that you took a few minutes to organize your space.
 
2. Reflect on your classroom management plan.
 
Are things running smoothly in your art room? Is there a particular class time, like clean up, that seems to get out of hand? Are you looking for fresh management ideas? Management plans can be implemented at any time, but they are especially successful after a natural break. In January, the learning curve is less drastic, as students are already used to being in school. A few years ago, I implemented a visual timer into my classroom management plan after winter break, and I never looked back! If you are considering a change, now is the time. You can unroll your plan on day 1 before bad habits start up.
 
3. Prep your lessons for your first day back.
 
This tip takes the most self-control, but it is SO worth it! Take the time to plan your lessons for the first couple of days back and then prep. Cut paper, find materials, pull instructional supplies, and do anything else you need to get ready. I used tote trays to keep my lesson materials organized and contained with back-to-back classes, but if you don’t have tote trays, cardboard box flats or brand new cat litter pans from the dollar store work too!

Once you have ticked everything off your list, you can leave your classroom and fully enjoy your winter holiday. You deserve time away, and these tips will help you go home and stay there. Your work is complete and you are ready for whatever 2016 throws your way.

Have a wonderful, relaxing holiday season!
 

What do you do on the few days before Winter Break?

 

What are you looking forward to doing the most?

 
 

Heather is AOE’s Project Manager and an expert in differentiation, curriculum development, and assessment. She is a veteran teacher in the art room and at the graduate level.

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