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A Simple Poster to Make Your Classroom Run Smoothly

Not all classroom management plans are foolproof. Sometimes strategies work for one group of students but not for others. The best solution is to keep a list of strategies handy that you can rotate through as needed. For example, the poster below hangs in my classrooms. For most of my students, it works. However, for certain students, it doesn’t.
 
table helpers

 

For a few groups of students, this poster just doesn’t have enough details. This is especially true for the last job on the list, the Materials Masters. The students assigned this job are so eager to help that they often miss exactly what it is they’re supposed to be doing.

When introducing this poster to my new group of students this year, I didn’t (gasp) follow the recommended “teach, model, practice” method. I just taught and talked them through the process when we needed jobs done.

Much to my (lack of) surprise, this system of routines fell apart quickly. Upon reflection, I decided to make a supplemental poster.
 

My solution was to create a poster that visually communicates exactly what each Materials Master needs to grab for their table.

 
posters
 
This new poster has been a game changer. Now, each Materials Master knows exactly what to get regardless of how well they listened during directions. If you’d like to make your own, check out the easy steps below.

 

Creating a “Tables Need” Poster

 
poster collage

 

1. Create your visual cards.

  • Take photos of your everyday supplies.
  • Add labels with a simple program like Word or Pages.
  • Print
  • Laminate

 
2. Create your “how many” cards.

  • Create a set of numbers and descriptors (ex: “Each Person” or “Your Own”)
  • Print
  • Laminate

 
3. Create a large poster divided into sections. Laminate.
 
4.  Add velcro to the poster and to the individual cards.
 
5. Keep the cards organized in plastic baggies or envelopes.
 
This customizable poster will more than likely evolve as you work with it. So far, I have found that it supports my verbal directions and reiterates art vocabulary. It is also a fantastic tool for my ELL students!
 
If you’re looking for even more ways to use visuals in your classroom, check out theses articles:
 

 
 

Do you use visuals to support your teaching and directions?
Share your favorites in the comments below!

 
 
 

Alecia Eggers Kaczmarek

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Alecia is an elementary art teacher in central Iowa who is passionate about teaching and reaching her students with an innovative and meaningful arts education.

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