It's your lucky day because I'm sharing my favorite art room GEM! 


I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this board and my students do too. 

I am all about giving every student a chance to be an artist in the spotlight!

 I like the idea of an artist of the month, because it features great qualities your students hold. However, there will always be students who have those qualities but never get picked. I believe that factor shouldn't hinder their dreams of being a great artist. So instead I have the Featured Artist Board!

I created the Featured Artists board for many reasons. The three most important reason being: raising student self-esteem, encouragement, and of course art appreciation. I also use the Featured Artists board to help with classroom management. At the end of the class time I'll pick students who did a great job, or if there is time the students can nominate others they thought did well. My students can't wait for their turn to be Featured Artist, because of this I see many students go up and beyond my expectations. Don't get me wrong I expect students do well every art day, but this board is a little more motivation for them. It definitely gives them a sense of appreciation and accomplishment- a feeling that it is their time to shine! 

My FA board is right outside my room and the cafeteria. I love the location because if there is a extra 2 minutes left of class we can go look at the board- striking great conversations. It also gives students artwork to look at while they are waiting in line for their lunch. 

So how does the Featured Artists board work?
Let me explain!!

Materials Needed:

  • Butcher block paper
  • Fun boarders
  • FA sign 
  • Signs for each grade you teach
  • Laminated objects to put artwork on (I have picture frames cut out of construction paper)
  • 4"x 4" drawing papers
  • FA award to give students when it is their turn for FA
  • A little description you can attach to the award, or put on the award to tell parents what FA is
Understand, making this whole system is time consuming, but worth it. Just make it your own and it will be successful! If your not organized it's going to be more of a pain than something fun and exciting for the kids. When I came up with this idea it was my first year of teaching. I had so much on my plate and as a result I never got the FA system that organized. Instead I just jumped into it, and it ended up being more of a hassle. Since I wasn't as organized as I should have been some students never got the chance to be FA. I made sure to change that for my second year of teaching. Below are some steps to help explain the system and how to set it up!

How does FA board works:
  • First make your FA board.
    • Put up butcher block paper as a background for each grade you teach.
    • Give it some pizazz! Put up fun boarders- something to give it more attention.
    • Make a FA sign and put it above the board. 
    • Make signs for each grade level.
    • Get objects to put artwork on- something that gives individuality to each students work! It should make the artwork look like it is really special! 
      • Last year I used paint buckets
      • This year I am using unique picture frames that I cut out of construction paper. 
    • Laminate the objects and put them up on the board!
      • I have two objects per class since I pick 2 FA each FA week in each class.This gives me 10 frames per grade or section on the board.
  • Design a FA award to give students
    • Include a spot to write their name and class.
    • This year I designed a drawing on a paper copied it to card stock or heavy paper. 
    • I do this at the beginning of the year an copy enough to last the whole year! That way I have everything I need and don't have to worry about it later. 
  • Type up a little paper explaining FA to parents. Make it a big deal!
    • This could be done on the back of the award, otherwise I print out little paper and attach it to the student's award.
  • Pre-cut LOTS of 4"x 4" pieces of paper.
    • I cut all of mine for the whole year at once. Its nice because I don't have to worry about it later.... 565 papers later.
  • Attach the award, information paper, and drawing paper together. 
    • This way you can just fill out the award and hand it to the students. 
  • Decide how you are going to choose your Fa's, how often, how many, how long they will be up, and what happens if Fa's bring their artwork in late or not at all.
    • I choose Fa's every-other-week.
    • I choose 2 Fa's per class. One girl and one boy, but some weeks might be 2 girls or 2 boys.
    • My Fa's are up for 2 weeks
    • If a FA forgets to bring their artwork in and instead they bring it in a month later, than I still put it up... there are typically open spots and if not I wait until there is one. 
  • Keep a log of who has been FA. I know! It sounds like so much work, but it doesn't have to be. Record it in a seating chart. If you don't students are pretty honest if they have been FA or not.

The Process:
  • On a FA day clean up a little more early.
  • The Fa's are chosen.
  • Fill out an award for those FA and remind them what it is. 
    • I tell my students all about the FA board at the beginning of the year.
  • Fa's take home their award, and on the drawing paper they create an artwork.
  • Fa's bring their artwork back to school
    • I give my students a week
    • I like to give my Fa's a little prize for bringing back their artwork- a thank you from me! This year they get to pick a small eraser: star, heart, fish...
  • Hang up the students artwork 
  • Take artwork down and return to students
    • I have a bin of FA artwork that is ready to go home. 
      • When students have a chance they can find theirs.
  • I have 3 weeks open at the end of the year with no Fa's so the last 2 weeks I give those who did not chose to bring a FA artwork in another opportunity.

Other things about FA: 

  • In the past I've had  Popsicle sticks with numbers. Each student had a number and if they were doing their job they could put their number in the FA jar. That was the jar I drew from for the next FA. However, what do you do when you have a student who gets their number in the jar, but then has a behavior issue? I am so against taking away privileges students earn. When students earn something they deserve to keep it, and not have it taken away. At the same time I don't think they deserve FA. That's why I made the changes to what I do now. 
  • In the past I've also only had one FA per class and they were only up for 1 week. It worked well but students were so anxious for their turn. It was also time consuming doing this every week.
  • So what happens when someone has a great day, but they have already been FA? Just let them know! I created this to give every student a chance in the spot light. 

So there you go! One of my favorites! Time consuming to begin with, but so worth it!

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