Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Mona Lisa and Other Management Techniques

I recently read about the Mona Lisa call/response technique and being Mona Lisa ready. How perfect! My students were already hearing me say "Mona Lisa quiet" because of the noise level display but these directions were so clear, specific, and fun!

     Looks like a new poster is in order!

I didn't send this poster to the printer. Instead, I used our on-site A3 color printers. (For those of you unfamiliar with A3, it's twice the size of A4. A4 is very similar to 8 1/2 by 11.)

While I was designing, printing, and laminating, I decided to illustrate my "first grade rules."

Last year, first grade was rather large with an especially high concentration of rowdy boys. While I usually prefer rules that are broad guidelines and general principles, I found I needed some explicit instructions.

     Stay in your seat.
     Raise your hand.
     Only talk to people at your table.

I wrote these rules on the board and reviewed them at the beginning of class each week. When students violated a rule, I directed their attention back to the board before going any further. While my normal teaching style is more relaxed, this system worked to restore some order to the chaotic class.

These students are now second graders. The class has been split and a few additions were made, but I've found some of them still need the structure of those three simple rules.

I rewrote the rules on my white board during the first week of school but now I have these spiffy signs!

Each rule is a separate full-color A3 print, laminated and displayed via magnet tape on the whiteboard. I like that the rules are individual print-outs so I can separate them to focus on a specific rule or move them to another part of the board. I can even take them down entirely for an upper level class that is permitted to get out of their seats to get supplies.

In the same vein as the Art Room Noise Levels, I found examples from art history to illustrate the instructions. I searched through my AP Art History images to find appropriate works. I like that the three images I settled on are ancient, Renaissance, and non-western. I might change the image for only talking to kids at your table. I'm not thrilled with using a 3D example. In addition, I wouldn't mind something more modern or a non-western that is less influenced by colonization. If you have suggestions, comment below! For now, I'm just excited to have moved beyond Expo markers on the whiteboard.


Rina said...

I started using the Mona Lisa call and response system two weeks ago. Wow! Works great an d so much fun for all my 5-12 y.o. Students. Wish I knew about it last year.

Miss said...

Wow- some GREAT tips here. I love your posters and am jealous of your large colour printer ;)
You're right in that some rules do need to be more specific depending on the classes. Thanks so much for sharing these.

Elizabeth - Dream Painters said...

It is a fact that some classes need a firmer hand than others - and it can take only one or two to change the dynamics completely! Looks like you have it well under control!! :)

Megan said...

Love this! Do you have a poster size jpg that you would share of the mona lisa quiet? the resolution seems to be too low to make a large poster!

Stephanie Melachrinos said...

If you'd like a higher resolution image, I can e-mail it. Send me a request at art dot abroad at gmail dot com

Miss Pilar said...

thank you very much :)

Miss Pilar said...

thank you very much :)

Anonymous said...

What is the name of the painting in the second picture?
Thank You,
Lesia Littlepage

Dan Enderle said...

I was curious about your mona lisa management technique. How do your older kids handle it, or do you keep it for your younger students?

Stephanie Melachrinos said...

With my older students, I would still yell "Mona" and they would yell back "Lisa." I didn't enforce the hand position. Sometimes they got lazy about it and barely mumbled back "Lisa" but overall, it still worked. When we'd be in a large group setting, combined classes doing a different activity, I could still get everyone silent with Mona/Lisa.

As to the paintings, they are Maharaja Jaswant Singh of Marwar, Jan van Eyck's Arnolfini Portrait, and Andokides Painter's Achilles and Ajax Playing Dice.

Caryn Yochum said...

Is there a way I can get a copy or picture of the levels of quiet. I really liked the layout of the one you provided and would like to add it to my classroom.


Stephanie Melachrinos said...

Yes, Caryn, please email me at art dot abroad at gmail dot com

Diane OC said...

How did you get the white lettering to put on top of the Mona Lisa poster? I am looping with my class and already have a poster stating the same rules that you have but wanted to update with a different poster. This is perrrrrfect.

Thank you.

cristina alarcón said...

Could you send me the Mona Lisa ? This is my email


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