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?

Classroom Management in the Art Room

This year I tried a new classroom management system in the art room.  It worked so well I had to share it. If your classes are getting a little unruly as summer approaches, it maybe time to review your rules.

I have just six art room rules, which the students have to recite at the beginning of class. They are:

  • Rule #1: listen when your teacher is talking
  • Rule #2: follow directions quickly
  • Rule #3: work quietly
  • Rule #4: raise your hand
  • Rule #5: make smart choices
  • Rule #6: clean up after  yourself

During class, I observe both individual and whole class behavior. Both are recorded and sent to the classroom teacher using my art room support report.

art room management

The form makes it super-easy to record individual behaviors as they occur, both positive and negative. All of our support teachers (music, science, P.E., media center and computers) use similar reports, although they have different rules.

Individual behavior:


The section marked ‘Drops in the Bucket’ is for unsolicited extra-kind behaviors that make kids feel good. Helping struggling students or prepping work for a child who is absent are just two examples of behaviors. The entire staff gives out ‘drops’ which are then entered into a whole-school raffle for a prize. It is a really nice part of our school culture.


If a student breaks a rule, I just write down the child’s name and the rule number. A check means the student broke the rule more than once. Rule #5 (‘make smart choices’) covers a lot so I have to specify the behavior.

Group behavior: smileys and frownys

I draw a smiley face (positive) and a frowny face (negative) on the whiteboard, and keep a tally. I give out lots of smileys, generally for listening, sharing, hard work, asking good questions. The rare frowny is almost always for noise.

(This is working well – the smileys have trounced the frownys all year!)

At the end of class, I rate the class behavior  ‘coyote’ (best), ‘star’ (good) or ‘oops’ (unacceptable).

The classroom teachers reward or give consequences based on the rating.

I like this because:

  • It is very specific, both in the rules and who broke them
  • The classroom teacher can reward the vast majority of kids who follow all the rules
  • I can try new strategies with the few who do not
  • It helps me communicate with the teachers

I’m not going to lie – I learned this system from a post on the Teaching Palette. A huge thank you to Katie Jarvis, art teacher for developing these rules.

Want to try it? Here is my art room rules PowerPoint based on Ms. Jarvis’ system.



 Do you have rules or procedures that work well in the art room?



Art Room Opening Day Photos

First day of art.


Welcome to a new year in the art room. This year my room looks completely different, from layout to bulletin boards to organization, thanks to all my fellow art teacher bloggers and my dear friend Pinterest.

Now every table, supply bucket, and chair is colored coded.  Chairs are numbered as well (more art room organization photos on this post).

My value poster is made from construction paper in black, white and gray shades. Luckily, I had an O’Keeffe that matched!

Thanks to my colleague Nancy R. for the value poster idea.

Art Teacher Barbie again reigns supreme over the art room.

Every year I tell my students my dad banned Barbie dolls from our house. He felt his three daughters would turn into ‘clothes horses’ if Barbies made it through the door. So Art Teacher Barbie is my very first Barbie doll. She called my name from the toy department at Wal-Mart my first year teaching, and since then we have never been apart.

p.s. In the background you can see my new tempera cake rack (from Blick or Amazon). Hoping that will seriously reduce my clean up time.

Best wishes for a successful school year! May your kiln never explode, and may your messes be manageable.


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