Clean Up

Job ChartScreen Shot 2016-08-01 at 1.44.46 PMI believe that part of art education must include taking care of the materials and the art room. At the designated time, five minutes before the end of every art period, my art students are expected to do their jobs. This job chart reminds them of the assignment they either chose or were given during the first art class the year.  Jobs are a privilege, and it is not uncommon for my students to request specific jobs. Sweeping  and being class messenger are always popular jobs. This year I made a change in my chart to address complaints like “I never get to do my job”and “we haven’t used chalk for weeks.” For jobs that are not needed frequently, I added 2nd jobs. Chalk monitors now also are responsible for sweeping their tables. I stuck plastic hooks on the ends of every table and hung a dustpan and brush on each table. Chalk/table monitors quickly became the envy of their table mates. Every class needs a “pinch hitter”, so I don’t worry about not having enough jobs to give out.  Your classroom may have other needs than mine.

Just one chart shows the job every child in the entire school does every week. It is a lot of work to begin, but once you have made the chart in Excel, all you have to do is delete and replace each name every year. As an alternative, you might want to hand letter the list and laminate it so you can use it year-after-year. By placing it next to a name charts, you have an instant job chart for every class. I hope my chart will help save you time when you make your’s. I keep mine hanging in the art room all year. You might consider numbering the list of jobs and coordinating every child’s seat with that number job. In every class, number two sits near a sign that shows number two at a table and is also the messenger.

My second biggest summer job is typing name/job labels for every child in the school. After years of finding beautiful works of art with no names on them, and hearing from children that they forgot their jobs,   I now hand out drawing paper that has a label stuck on the back of it before the students even begin to work. I use Avery labels #8460 which come 30 to a sheet and with a template that allows you to type them on a computer.  And again, my label templates remain unchanged, except for the child’s name,  from year-to-year. No need to start from scratch every year.  A typical label would read:

2. Tommy Smith



Doing all the work now will take time that is more than made up for later on.

I made a short video of myself teaching how to do each job. This really saves my voice during the first week of school!  Students can watch the video on their iPads or on one of the art room computers, not only on the first day of school but throughout the year. A “pinch hitter” who has no idea what to do when replacing a student who is absent, can go to the computer and find out the correct way to do the work. You may not think that it is necessary to teach a child how to collect glue; but doing so makes a big difference. I keep a supply of extra tops to replace lost ones, and in my video I point to its special place in the room. Even my kindergarten students learn early on that when they throw away an empty glue stick, the top is to be saved. The tops also come in handy when we do sculpture or assemblages.


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