Rules to Live By – Both In and Out of the Art Room

RULES for Art Class and beyond

I don’t have a lot of special rules for my students to remember during Art time…. their classroom teachers do a great job of “laying down the law” for expected behavior no matter where they are on campus.  But I do have three special “Art Rules” that I teach them on day one, and remind them of throughout the year as needed.  These rules are unique in that they all involve things that you say…. and they’re good rules to live by outside the Art room, too!  I always state my rules in the ‘positive’ and also post them at the front of the room for those visual learners!
  • Rule #1 – “Say only things that are kind and encouraging about another person’s artwork.” (This includes any famous artists we may be learning about – yes, even Picasso!)
  • Rule #2 – “Say only things that are kind and encouraging about YOUR OWN artwork.” (Negative self-talk is not healthy for you or those around you… it can actually discourage students sitting near you who may be admiring what you’ve just done!)
  • Rule #3 – “Say ‘I’ll try’ instead of ‘I can’t’.”

Here’s a cute story involving our Art Rules that happened last year…. I had just finished going over the rules for Art time with my second graders.  As the students started in on their project, one of them (who is often easily discouraged) blurted out, “This is impossible!!!” The room fell instantly silent and he quickly added, “….but I’ll try!” Then the whole class cheered. It was one of those great “teacher moments”!!

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  1. That's a great story! When my students say 'this is hard!' my response is 'Yes, and isn't that GREAT?! If life was easy, it would be BORING!'