Class Cards” for Class Management

sets of Class Cards on a tableUsing “Class Cards” as a man­age­ment tool is an idea I picked up from class man­age­ment guru, Rick Mor­ris.  (If you’re not already famil­iar with Rick’s many teach­ing tools and tech­niques, be sure to visit his web­site, www.newmanagement.com for a gold mine of ideas!)  While this isn’t a tool spe­cific to art edu­ca­tors, I’ve found it help­ful in such a vari­ety of ways that I use it every day, with every class I teach.

“Class Cards” is a sim­ple and inex­pen­sive idea you can eas­ily add to your bag of tricks and see results right away.… noth­ing I’ve tried has worked bet­ter to pro­mote total class par­tic­i­pa­tion and involve­ment.  All you do is take a deck of play­ing cards and write each student’s first and last name on one of the cards with a Sharpie.  I sep­a­rate my cards by class, and hold them together with a rub­ber band, labeled with the teacher name and grade on a piece of col­ored card stock.  Then I keep the cards for the class I’m teach­ing in my back pocket so I can quickly pull them out as I need them.

There are so many ways you can use “Class Cards” in the Art Room.  Sim­ply shuf­fle the deck and turn over some cards when you need to ran­domly select stu­dents to…

  • answer ques­tions
  • par­tic­i­pate in class discussions
  • pass out supplies
  • col­lect supplies
  • vol­un­teer” for an activity
  • be a “teacher’s helper”
  • form groups
  • go to their seats after car­pet time (Kindergarten)
  • line up after class

Using “Class Cards” with 40+ new Kinder­garten­ers each fall helps me learn these new names in record time as I can call on them and instantly put faces with names.

It’s also fun to see how just tak­ing the cards out of my pocket and start­ing to shuf­fle them will get stu­dents’ atten­tion, as they antic­i­pate what I may be choos­ing some­one to do!

One of the best things about “Class Cards” is that you only have to make a card for each stu­dent one time.  Just save your cards from year to year, then as stu­dents move to a new grade level you sim­ply re-group your last year’s cards into new classes.  When stu­dents grad­u­ate or leave your school, they enjoy get­ting “their card” as a sou­venir of their time with you!

If you ever have the chance to take a work­shop with Rick Mor­ris, do it!  You’ll come away inspired and infused with prac­ti­cal ideas that will make a dif­fer­ence in your class­room, no mat­ter what grade or sub­ject you teach.  But, if that isn’t in the pic­ture for you, his books are a fan­tas­tic resource for many of the ideas he shares in his workshops .

What’s your favorite class man­age­ment technique?

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