1.) In our classroom students usually get their projects and materials out before class starts. I am really glad that they have adopted this routine, it shows me that they are ready and excited to work. However, the down side of this is that it is really hard to get them to focus on instruction if they have work and materials in front of them. I usually say “eyes up here and tools down’ then I let them know what I need their attention for (demonstration, presentation, briefly go over procedure etc) and let them know at what time they can continue working on their projects.
While I am presenting, I like to have visuals to show them to keep their attention and support what I am saying. I also circulate the room as much as possible while I am speaking. If I am unable to do circulate, I make sure to look at each area of the room, making eye contact with students whose attention I need. If there are minor behavior issues I usually address them quickly and continue with what I am saying. During studio time, I am always moving around the class, in this time I provide feedback, individual instruction/modifications and address any behavior issues. For closing a lesson, I get class attention, discuss what we will be doing next class and let them know it is time to clean up.
2.) 3 common transitions in the art room:
-Teacher demonstration: Demonstrations are done on both the document camera and the demo table in the front of the room. The teacher has students move to where they can see the projector screen or has them stand around the table. This generally gets students away from their work and tools and helps them focus.
-Studio time: After instruction the teacher will ask for and address questions, then students will begin or continue work on their projects.
-Clean up: The teacher will announce that it is time to clean up and explain any specific expectations for clean up.
3.) A strategy I have observed and have used quite a lot is having students set aside their work and materials when you need their attention. If you don’t have students put down their tools, pencils, brushes etc, then they will be tempted to do their artwork or fidget with materials rather than paying attention. The best strategy I have seen and used to get attention or transition to instruction is saying something like “ok class I need your attention, that means eyes up here and tools down…. voices off.. etc.’