I know what you're thinking...What? Changes? How? The principal was most receptive (as was the classroom teacher) to my idea of shaving 5 minutes off the 5th grade class and the 6th grade class giving me 10 minutes between the two.
This resolved almost everything, except prepping for 3 back-to-back classes .
This is what I do:
Get your artwork together.
This is one of more difficult morning schedules: 6th grade 9:30-10:30, 1st grade 10:35-11:10, 5th grade 11:150-12:15.
As you can see, there is very little prep time and all three classes are different grades, which means 3 different lessons. So, needless to say, I need to be organized. I come in at 8:30 and begin prepping the lessons.
- First I set out last weeks work. If it's a new lesson, the process is still the same.
- I place the stacks of unfinished artwork on a little side table next to my white board. I put them in order because I often get confused! It helps me to write my daily schedule in the corner of the whiteboard for easy reference.
- For this week, I have the following lessons: #1 6th grade Russian Architecture Line Drawings, #2 2nd grade Collage Scarecrows, #3 5th grade Matisse-Inspired Portraits.
- I set out the 6th grade supplies on the classroom tables: paper, chalk pastels, scissors and glue.
- Done, now onto first grade...
- On a table near my sink, I lay out all the supplies I'll need for my 2nd lesson. This includes the samples for the whiteboard (which I keep in a manila envelope) paper/template tray, scissors and glue and an extra palette of watercolors for the little one who may have missed last week or needs to finish. An easy peek through the stack of unfinished work gives you a sense of how many kids need to finish step one. In this case, I had four kids, so I removed their art from the pile and set it on top. This way, I'll have them all sit together and only one palette of paint is needed.
- Take note of the white plastic trays I have. They're great to hold any kind of supplies . Switch out supplies as needed. Very easy to whip onto a table, too.
- Then, I begin to prep my third lesson: Matisse Portraits for 5th grade. I mix the paints, fill the water containers and flip through the unfinished work to see where everyone is at.
When your schedule isn't ideal...
I'm less daunted now by packed schedules, although in order to manage it, I need sufficient time either between classes or a chink of time before classes begin. This is not always the case.
Last year I had an almost impossible schedule from an art teachers POV.
This is what one day looked like:
8:30-9:15 (4th grade), 9:30-10:15 (4th grade), 10:45-11:30 (4th grade), 11:30-12:15 (3rd grade), 1-1:45(3rd grade), 2-2:45 (3rd grade).
Doesn't look too bad until you get to the transition from 4th grade to 3rd grade. See it? No time at all. I panicked big time. Impossible, I said.
What made this difficult was that I couldn't push the class at either end due to lunch and recess schedules. What made it bearable was the 30 minute break between 10:15-10:45. Ahh, my island oasis in the flurry of the storm. That's when I did my transition prep.
I also adjusted my expectations. These 3rd grade kids just weren't going to be able to accomplish what my other 3rd graders have done in the past. What took 2 lessons before, now took 3. So be it. They enjoyed the class, experienced many art techniques and were very pleased with what they accomplished.
Hope this helps...keep asking me questions. It might take a while until I formulate an answer via post, but I'm alsways striving for better ways to streamline classes.