First post- where to start?

I think I will start by showing you where I spend many happy hours every week teaching elementary students about art and artists.

Because our building was a state funded project, I had minor input as to what went in to this room, but most of the furniture and cabinetry was pre-determined.
I did get to choose my stools and I can say that I am happy with the ones we ended up with. I knew that I had to accommodate pre-kinders all the way up to fifth graders, so these stools work out perfectly. Of course, the first week we had several of them tipped over, but now they are used to them and the tipping is few and far between.

I created this word wall about 3 years ago and it has been a wonderful addition to my room. I no longer have to spell out art terms for students and I can give them clues to finding the correct vocabulary when we are discussing our projects.

The art timeline is new this year, so I don't have a verdict on that quite yet. One of my state standards for 4th grade is using a timeline, so I plan on adding the dates of the artists we cover and an example of his/her artwork on it.

I highly recommend getting a plug in air freshener to plug in right near your door. Everyone who enters my room comments on how wonderful it smells in here. Right now, I have McIntosh Apple from Bath & Body. Spice is another great one; nice and cinnamony!

At the top of a small flight of steps that connects my room to the music room, I had some unused space that I turned into the kids' Free Time Area.
1. Every cartoon, sticker, photo, button, or artsy tidbit that I come across goes on this bulletin board.
2. I loaded this shelf with all the "seconds", or last year's leftover art supplies for the kids to experiment with when they are finished with their art projects. They love using the mini whiteboards the most.
3. This cart is loaded with coloring pages, how-to drawing books, clean white paper, and collage papers of all kinds.

Luckily, I have a wonderful custodian who custom built this shelf to fit the landing. Make friends with your janitor!

This is a closer look at the far right corner of the art room.
1. I have 3 bulletin boards that I use for "Artist Spotlights".
2. I had a parent donate this cow skull. I feel just like Georgia O'Keeffe!
3. I do NOT recommend these types of table tops as they do not clean up as easily as you might think. Actually, the dark colored ones are ok, but the yellow ones show all of the scratches. Beautiful, but not practical.
4. I asked for, and received this backsplash last year. No more scrubbing paint out of the cracks of the bricks. Yay! 5. This collection of old art supplies, artifacts from other countries, and various oddities is a crowd pleaser. 6. A closer look at the stools.

Moving around the room to the left:
1. Another look at the soffit area above the cabinets. An old globe, powdered tempera tins, and Andy Warhol soup cans bought in Pittsburgh are all up there if you look closely.
2. The shelves in these cabinets pulled out, but had no backs on them- obviously not designed by an art teacher! What to use them for? Construction paper, of course.
3. Elements & Principles of Art posters. If you don't have these handy little cards, get them!

4. Our lightbox is used often, even in the elementary room.

There is a lot packed in the back left corner of the art room.
1. A closer look at an "Artist Spotlight" display, this one being on VanGogh.
2. Ancient drying racks, but they still do the job and I really don't want to part with them!
3. These red boxes are our "Picture Files", which contain several photo references for students to use when creating their work.
4. Paint shirts are kept in this trash can on wheels. Yes, a trash can. I have tried a rack to hang them on, having students bring their own, and also had pegs to put them on. None of those solutions work, so in the can they go and are laundered periodically.
5. These inexpensive vinyl table cloths are a great investment. Not only do they protect the tables from mess, they save valuable time because I don't have to "toss out" the sponges to the kids to clean up the tables.


  1. Hello there,
    I have just enjoyed reading through your posts! Thank you for the inspiration and resources. You clearly have a wonderful art program:)

  2. I love your picture files... I've been thinking I'd like to find a way to make all the photos I have accessible to the students and never thought of open file boxes... duh! Thanks for the idea.

  3. I have the kids "dress" their chairs after using them. I will occasionally mention that their chairs are naked and cold and they should put the paint shirt over to cover them up.

  4. I am looking into buying new desks and stools for my school's art room. Where are the stools from? I teach K-4. And I have those big science tables they are 48" when two are put together and 60" across. The kids can only sit on 2 sides of the table not on all four. Do you have any recommendations for tables. I was thinking round or square with kids on each side. Do you have recommendations for height with such varying ages and sizes?

  5. Do you happen to have a file for all of the words you use for the word wall?


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

PicaSsO MoNstERs!

Warm & Cool Swirling Leaves

I'm A Thief!!!