Sunday, August 5, 2012

Back to School

Well, I have been working on my room... trying to make it fabulous for the new year. I've made some positive changes and thanks to Pinterest, I feel great about some new additions.


Every year I create a board like this with 8 famous artists. Sometimes I repeat artists and I try to add new ones and change the numbers around. Each artist matches a table number: Table 1= Wassily Kandinsky and so on....throughout the year I call each table by their Famous Artist Name (first, last or both)....this is just a little something extra to teach them artist's names, and they always see the artwork associated with the name.

 Hopefully, everyone will walk away at the end of the year knowing 8 historical artists! It's also fun when we study an artist and one of these works of art pops up, they all say "It's van Gogh!!"'s especially nice when this happens during an observation. :)


On the first day of art class, we discuss the art room rules and procedures. This year I created a bulletin board for my procedures called "How to be an Art Star" .....

I've since added some more fun underwater decor to this board, but I thought this would be more helpful than a poster(what i normally use). Whenever I catch a student using one of these procedures I try to reward them with praise saying something along the lines of:"Wow, look at that art star behavior!" And when someone isn't following these procedures I can say "Show me how to be an art star..."

Here's a new addition to the art room, my "Be smART Chart" where I will add vocabulary words from each 9 weeks to the appropriate grade level column. I like the idea that these words are visible for me to use as well as the students. I'll add words as we come to them and I have them printed out in envelopes nearby so I won't forget. In my world it's "outta sight outta mind" I'm glad I did this for the kids and myself. This is located right beside my carpet, so I will be able to reference it regularly.

Bonus! Last year I would tell the 2nd graders (for example) that they were using a 4th grade art word and that was inspiring for them, so now they can visualize it on the Be smART Chart! "oh wow, I'm smarter than a 4th grader..."

  Marker Monster!

Thanks pinterest!

Art Library

I've told the 2nd -4th graders that when they completely finish a project (clean-up included) they have the option of reading a book from the art library. I have rules posted now about how to handle the books. We'll see how this works out this year.

Drying Racks

Drawing Station

Pencil Station

Enevitably, someone will put a sharpened pencil in the not sharp cup, however I like this system. The kids know that when their pencil breaks (an accidental break) they just come trade them out, independently. I don't need to be told every five seconds when a pencil breaks. :)

Also I have a huge 'stabbing of erasers' I try to be the eraser saver....we'll see.

Thanks pinterest!

Time Out Station
Ahh, time sad that I need this but this is a must. Sometimes the kids just need to sit out and write the art room rules. It works too...for most kids.
My discipline plan is simple (so I can remember to use it!)
Strike 1: Verbal warning
(I write their name on a little clipboard in a red box....with a dry erase marker)
Strike 2: Time Out....
Most of the time I have them write the rules....the little ones I may just have them sit here for 3-5 minutes with a timer so they know when they can leave...
Strike 3: Art Note Home
I'll have to post a pic of my art notes....they have to take them home and return signed.

Obviously, if someone is really acting up I'll send them to the office as a last resort.

Here's the "strike clipboard"....just a red square laminated on white paper. Oh and you can see the "Magic Brush" ....we use this as a pointer when talking about artwork...sometimes I lay the brush on a super awesome table where everyone is showing art star behavior.


  1. Awesome post! You incorporated the best of Pinterest. I have an art room organization board on Pinterest, and will try to use some of my 53 pins when I get back later this month. I love your red laminated square for the strikes and art word wall btw

    Rina at

  2. Your room looks great! I had to chuckle when I saw your "don't stab the erasers" sign! I gave up years ago trying to keep my big erasers from being stabbed to death! I started buying eraser caps for the pencils instead and that really solved the problem. It's difficult to stab the eraser when its attached to the pencil! Have a great year! :)

    1. Mrs.C....I tried those too, but they were mysteriously disapprearing...:) So the dollar tree has an 8 pack of white block erasers that are really good quality. I need to stock up because they are harder to stab as well as being cheap!
      Have a good year as well and thanks for looking!