You have all your materials ready. You found a great idea and you're excited to let your students do all the work while you sit back and relax.
But nothing goes how you thought it would. Everything is too hard for your students and they are all screaming for help. Your relaxing day turns into your most stressful day.
Here is some practical advice for a smooth and efficient arts and crafts day!
It might seem obvious, but too many teachers get lazy to make a final product to show their kids. The kids need to envision the end product so they can visualize where each step is going. If you make a sloppy product, your kids will make a sloppy product. Remember, they will copy almost everything you do. Spend the extra few minutes to decorate and get creative with your art so that your students will push themselves to create a real masterpiece.
2- Step by Step
Depending on the level of your students, completing one step at a time is usually the most efficient method to finish a timely and quality product. Get their attention first before you pass out any material. Explain and show each step clearly and make sure they understand. You can do this by asking them some simple questions. Then, let them complete the first step. When they finish, tell them to put their hands on their head so they don't get ahead of the teacher. After the first step, repeat the process for step two until the entire product is finished.
3- Don't Help
Some students may try to come up to you asking for help, but you will most likely already have a student you're helping. There may be several students who need help at the same time. Don't just simply help the loudest student because you will encourage other students to get louder to grab your attention. Refuse to help those impatient students and tell them clearly that you will not help until they sit down nicely and raise their hand. Explain that you are helping another student and everyone must wait their turn before getting help. This will make your classroom calmer and students will find out they can actually do each step by themselves!
4- Teach Patience
There are some parts of the craft that your students will not be able to do. It might be too meticulous or too dangerous, but for whatever reason, you must do a certain step for them. This will be the busiest part of your day, but you must be aware of your surroundings. Your students will be impatient for you to help them finish this step for them, but you must tell them to wait nicely in a neat line. If they cannot wait nicely, then they have to go to the end of the line. Reward your patient students who wait nicely and the impatient students will quickly learn what they must do to get what they want.
5- Help Each Other
The best way to relieve your own workload is to get your students working for you. After each step is completed, have students help their slower friends so that everyone can catch up to the same place. If some students have a lot of energy, employ them to throw away trash, clean the floor, and put away supplies. These high-energy students are not trying to be ornery, but they will seem that way when they have nothing to do. Put them to work as your little teacher and you will have happy students who do your work for you!