Hints from teachers
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Is it art?
Do you dread art lessons because of the tedium of packing away and washing mucky palettes? Cover the art palettes with carrier bags - the children then mix paint on them. Then all they have to do is take the bag off, turn it inside out and throw it in the recycle bin. Not only do you save time washing out the palettes yourself, but the children also get a few more valuable minutes to concentrate on their work.
A good non-verbal cue to give instructions is to have a picture of a cartoon character on the board (I use Sooty) and draw a speech bubble coming out of his mouth. You can then write simple instructions such as "Quiet" and "Please stop" in the speech bubble and train pupils to respond to these.
Put a stop to timewasting trips to the bin. Give each group a small, clean Pringle crisps pot with a lid for pupils to sharpen their pencils into. They can take turns to empty it at the end of the day.