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  • Meredith Blackerby

Rotation Schedule

Hello smARTists!

Welcome back to a NEW SCHOOL YEAR! Here in Columbus, Indiana we are almost done with our 1st Quarter ALREADY! Time is really flying by and it feels like I only just got my head above water.

The beginning of the year can be so stressful, but it is also such a great time to try new things, make changes to your classroom and basically just have a fresh start!

I make it a priority at the end of each school year to sit down and think about the top three issues in my classroom that I would like to solve the next year. I don't think I have ever fully resolved all three of these problems, but it's always good to have goals!

When I sat down at the end of the year last May, here were the three main problems I wanted to tackle.....

1. With only 50 minutes per class time, either my mini-lessons are so short that they are not all that meaningful or the students have very minimal studio time to work on projects. A lose-lose situation.

2. Students with short-attention spans who speed through projects like a bag of potato chips.

3. Students not following projects through all the way to the end (either forgetting about the project, giving up on it, or not wanting to follow the steps to finish a project).

After letting these three issues bounce around in my head for a couple days, I came up with a solution that I was pretty sure would cover all three at once!


Now you might be thinking....what the heck does that mean?

Here's what it means....instead of trying to fit all aspects of an art class into one class time, I have spread it over three days. This way, students are still receiving all of the essential aspects of their art education, but they are getting them in larger chunks of time to make more of an impact on their learning. Here's how it works:


DAY 1: Skillbuilder Day

**I would like to start by saying that I snagged this name from another art teacher who I heard speak at the NAEA conference this year. I like this way better than mini-lesson time because the students tend to hear "lesson" and immediately start to moan and complain.

Goals for Skillbuilder day:

-Learn something new about art

-Plan a project in your sketchbook

-Get those plans approved by the teacher (they have to get all plans approved by myself before beginning a project.)

DAY 2: Work Day

Goals for Work day:

-Studio Time (work on project)

DAY 3: Wrap-Up Day

Goals for Wrap-Up day:

-Studio Time (work on project)

-Finish your project

**Students are not required to finish a project every rotation, but Day 3 is the only day in the rotation that they can either turn in a project or take it home.


We have only just started this new rotation schedule and it is working PHENOMENALLY. Obviously we are still learning and the students are still figuring out this change, but so far our classroom has been FAR more organized and I am seeing a lot less waste during our work time. We also have a lot more time to learn new things AND to work on projects. WIN-WIN!!!

Signs on the outside of our classroom door as students enter.  The signs show the students what day it is in the rotation schedule, what kind of "skillbuilder time" they will be having, and where they need to sit to start class.

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