A Little Help from my Friends!

In my post on storage of art supplies yesterday, I explained how I arrange the art supplies to best fit the students who are helping me pass out and put away.  This is the best way I have found to choose WHO helps me each day or week in the art room.  As you know many students are eager to help you out.  You also know students like things to be fair, and they sure remember if “so and so” got to help you last time, etc.

Each week, I determine what table will be my “art room helpers” for the week. Then, when each class comes in, they look at the board above the sink to this sign:

This means the “RED TABLE” helps out the entire week, no matter what class comes in. This makes it easy for me to remember, too.

Then, at the beginning of the next week, I switch the sign’s color.

Sometimes the helpers for the day will get a “Character Counts” slip, as we do Character education in our school. It’s a good motivator and everyone gets one at the entire table, unless they did not help at all during the art class.

How do you choose who helps you in your art room?

Jessica Balsley

Jessica Balsley is the Founder and President at AOE. She is passionate about helping art teachers enhance their lives and careers through relevant professional development.


  • I am just returning to teaching art after a 7 year absence, so I feel like a brand new teacher in many ways. I am really enjoying reading back on your classroom mgmt posts, as this is definitely the area where I am lacking. I usually have one person from each table be a helper, but this idea is easier. Thanks.

    • spark of art

      I choose a responsible child from each table to be a M&M material manager. When I am on the ball the M&M takes care of stacking the paper n making sure the pencils r sharp, crayons n such r organized. When I have to gather up other supplies stored on my counter I appoint a responsible child to choose a partner to collect them. They keep up with who the helpers r and remind me when we change projects helpers change too.

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  • Taskeels

    Jessica, I instituted your color method and it worked beautifully, each class would check the board to see who got to help that week. The kids loved knowing that they were the helpers, the go to kids, for that art period. I found them to be extra motivated.

    • Thanks for making my day by sharing your success! I am happy it worked for you.

  • Betsy

    I have always used the “Clean Team” as my method.   The clean team gives each table a chance to help out.   This year, instead of changing the team every week,  I use the same  “Clean Team”  for several weeks in a row.   This method has reduced the stress of a team missing out due to a holiday, half-day, absence, etc..  It has also allowed me to not have to worry about changing something each week and the extra time allows students to build on their skills. 

  • Mary

    We switch seats every quarter and the students choose who will be the helpers at their table each nine weeks. I feel like this helps them to learn work as a group to solve problems. They have to do it in a fair way and, as we go through the year, the rule is- anyone that hasn’t had a job gets first pick. They are very good about taking turns and making sure everyone gets a chance to have a job.

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