Incentives are definitely the top ten most important aspects of elementary education, especially in the art room where things can go awry fast. The last thing an art teacher wants is for students to be running around the room with paint on their hands screaming their name to find them and tap their shoulder/back/ whatever body part they can reach to ask a question, at least that’s my worst nightmare. So for my elementary level student teaching placement I have created an incentive system called “Paint the Picture”.
Paint the Picture is a multi-step system that allows students to have a “fun day” (since when is art not always fun??) when they complete their picture. The first step is to fill the paint palette with every paint splatter, each one corresponds to a correct action. Red is for entering the room quietly and waiting for instructions, orange is listening respectfully, yellow is using art supplies correctly, green is for using time wisely, blue is for cleaning up properly, and purple is for lining up quietly. Once the class fill the palette, they will earn a piece of their painting. Each class has an image of the painting that corresponds to the artist that their grade is learning about that is cut into a few pieces. If students are able to fully “paint” their picture by my last week with them we will get to do something fun.