Using “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 .