Art Class Mantra

How I use an art class mantra to set expectations in my elementary art classroom!

I got the idea for creating my own art class mantra from an Instagram user, artroomglitterfairy! Link to her profile below:

My art class mantra started from my districts own values for their students. Here you will first see the district value and second you will see how I adapted this for our elementary art class mantra:

Equipped with skills for life – I am confident

Servant Leader – I am a leader

Effective Communicator – I am mindful

Critical Thinker – I am creative

Compassionate Citizen – I am kind

Collaborative Team Member – I am a team player

Life Long Learner – I am an artist

Here are the blurbs I use to show how these values are reflected in our art classroom:

Equipped with Skills for Life – I am confident

In our class we… observe and make connections, tell our stories, are problem solvers, and are proud of our work.

Servant Leader – I am a leader

In our class we… show empathy, listen and are supportive, are positive influences, treat others the way we want to be treated, and welcome all students equally.

Effective Communicator – I am mindful

In our class we… are good listeners, think about what we say and do before we say and do it, express how we feel, and respect all opinions.

Critical Thinker – I am creative

In our class we… analyze situations and apply a logical response, use our prior knowledge to make a decision, are curious and use our imagination, and create original work.

Compassionate Citizen – I am kind

In our class we… speak with kind words, encourage one another, are respectful during discussions, are caring, and help those who need it.

Collaborative Team Member – I am a team player

In our class we… are honest, we are reliable, we show up ready to work, we communicate with one another, we are open to new ideas, we follow class expectations, and we work safely.

Life-Long Learner – I am an artist!

In our class we… dream big, set goals for ourselves, discover new ideas, try new things, make mistakes and grow from them, and we have fun.

Here is why I believe our mantra is important:

I just started year 4 of teaching and have used this mantra since my first year. I have students from year one that know the mantra by heart now and apply it fully in the classroom. The students really know it and understand it’s purpose and those who have been with my longer help out our new friends. We all agree to this mantra on day one of art class by saying it together. However, this year I have decided I am going to have students sign the mantra as a form of agreement. Unfortunately, I now have missed doing this on rotation one and two so I will conduct this on rotation three. 

Anyway, if students aren’t following the mantra, let’s say they aren’t using kind words, then I am able to refer back to the mantra and all students know what I am talking about. I have also seen students referring back to it amongst themselves too which is awesome! I teach close to 1,200 students and this mantra is something we all can share with one another.

I currently only use it from day one with 1st grade – 5th grade. I plan to introduce it this year to our Kindergarteners when we come back from winter break. I love that this mantra also brings us together as a class community too. It keeps us accountable (including me) and helps us grow and learn together. After we do our breathing activity we then say this at the start of every class. It is one of my art class routines that I don’t think I will ever change and for that reason I wanted to share it with yall! 

If you use a class mantra I’d love to hear about it! Please leave me a comment and let me know what yall say together as a class!

If you have questions or want to create your own but don’t know where to start, feel free to reach out! 🙂

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