The Glue Sponge: Great for Paper Collage


the glue sponge 1

If you like to do collage projects with young students, this post is for you. I just discovered the glue sponge! It is perfect for gluing small pieces of paper. It is much easier and neater than glue bottles and glue sticks, especially for kindergarten and first grade.

To make your own glue sponge, click here. You’ll need a lidded plastic container, sponge, white glue, and a spray bottle of water. It was a great way to use my half-empty glue bottles leftover from last year. We made one glue sponge per table, to be shared by four students.

glue sponge shared at a table

Kinders collaged origami paper, construction paper and copy paper. They loved it. The papers dried smooth and flat. Nothing fell off!


  • much less messy than white glue in the bottle
  • easier than glue sticks
  • no waste
  • easy to share
  • easy to store

Just mist with water before closing, and turn sponge occasionally. Tip: don’t saturate with water – these work best when tacky.

Take a look at the kindergarten paper sculpture in this post from Art for 1170. The glue sponge is good for paper sculpture too!

We’ll still use glue sticks for larger pieces of paper, and glue bottles for beads and such. For collage with small pieces of paper, I’m sticking with the glue sponge 🙂


Edmodo and the Elementary Art Room

edmodo in the art room
Your school may be using But are you? Why would you?

What is Edmodo?

In many ways, Edmodo operates like Facebook for the classroom. You can share photos, video, links and files such as PowerPoints/Keynotes. Teachers can post homework and also take polls. Students can reply, just like on FB. Our classroom teachers use Edmodo everyday in our 1:1 iPad classrooms, and students can log in from home.

Edmodo lets teachers create a digital library of files, so they can be shared again with a new class next year. It is also integrated with Google Drive.

Share Digital Resources with Students Before Class

I like to share digital resources before I begin a new lesson. This lets me

  • create an anticipatory set
  • catch up absent students
  • ‘flip’ lesson plans
  • differentiate lesson plans: perfect for those students want to dig deeper into the project, or view step-by-step at home

Great for Short Art Classes

My class is only 40 minutes long, once a week. I would love to share all my resources in class AND do an art project. I just don’t have a lot of time.

Timely Links to Classroom Lessons

Is the general ed class studying Ancient Egypt or China? Share appropriate art links on Edmodo.

Analyze an Art Work

Post a single artwork, and ask students to analyze it (click here for some good questions to ask your students). They can post their replies; the whole class can see all the replies.

Intuitive (if you are familiar with Facebook)

if you are familiar with FB, Edmodo won’t be hard use. I didn’t go to any training. If your school already has Edmodo, get an account, and ask the general ed teachers for their ‘class codes’.

edmodo in the art room 2

Connect with Teachers Around the Country (and Around the World)

Edmodo lets you connect with other art teachers from around the country, kind of like ‘friending’ on FB.  I am currently linked with only one other art teacher, in far-away Chicago. If you are an elementary school art teacher, please look for me on Edmodo.  Rina Vinetz, Solana Santa Fe School. I would love to connect and share the resources I am putting in my library.


Are you using Has it been useful?

Art Ed Conferences in Southern California – Are You In?

Hi everyone

One of my goals for this blog is to connect with other art teachers. I’m attending three art ed conferences in Southern California in the next six months. If you plan to attend any of these conferences – please leave a comment! It is nice to meet other art teachers in person.

October 11, 2013: MEGA-ARTS conference, San Diego, Balboa Park. I’m presenting my Olympic Sport Sculptures project.

arts empower san diego mega conference

November 2-3, 2013: CAEA Southern Area Conference, Idyllwild, CA.

caea2013stateconf logosm

March 29-31, 2014: NAEA National Convention, right here in beautiful San Diego, CA.

NAEA 2014



Art Room Opening Day Photos 2013

art room opening day photos 2013


Ah, the first days of art. It is so neat and clean and organized in the art room….I just had to share some photos before the room reverts to its natural ‘studio’ state. Here are seven photos taken on opening day.

1. Table Colors and Numbered Seats

In the photo above you can see tables organized by color. All the seats are numbered – four seats to a table.

2. Rotating Jobs by Seat Number

Last year I rotated jobs by table. This year I am rotating jobs by seat number.

seat jobs

3. Rules Poster

My rules poster underneath the amazingly helpful Time Timer.

4. Elements Bulletin Boards

elements bulletin boards

New Organization Projects!!!!

I did three big organization projects:

  • Grade level prep boxes
  • Lesson plan organization
  • Free draw area

5. Grade Level Prep Boxes


grade level prep boxes

These boxes fit perfectly on my shelves, and are big enough to hold 12×18 paper and all my supplies for each project.

I have a big shelf unit on wheels.  I filled it with these yellow catering boxes from the local Jamba Juice smoothie shop. Three boxes fit perfectly on a shelf.  The boxes are large and great for organizing all the supplies. They will be really helpful for organizing prep for our parent volunteers.

(Note: see all that cut wire in the 5th grade prep box? Our parent volunteers just cut 100 3-ft. lengths of it in preparation for our Calder wire sculpture project next week. It all fits in the box with room to spare!).

6. Lesson Plan Organization

Lesson plans go into individual manilla envelopes. Turn the envelopes sideways, and they fit perfectly in my file drawers.

Lesson plans go into individual manilla envelopes.

I completely cleaned out all my lesson plan files this year. Each lesson plan (plus samples) is stored in an individual manilla envelope. I turned each envelope ‘landscape’ and labeled each one. Once turned sideways, they fit perfectly in my file cabinet. This makes me SO HAPPY. Imaginary angels sing when I open the file drawers and see all the organized glory.

(NOTE: I read about the manilla envelope method on Deep Space Sparkle. If you are looking for more ideas check out these great lesson plan organization ideas from Deep Space Sparkle).

7. Free Draw Area

free draw

On top:

In the cubbies below:

  • copy paper
  • origami paper
  • markers, one box per table
  • crayons, one box per table
  • peeled crayons
  • crayon cakes
  • art games

Let the games begin! Have a super new year everyone!


P.S. Click here to see our 2012 Art Room Opening Day photos

Did you make any changes to your art room this year?