Sunday, June 14, 2009


During the summer I like to test out art materials and try different projects. This week I was playing around with crayons. Drawing on wax paper, crumpled brown paper, and fabric to see what creative things I could do. I also got one of those crayola crayon maker (picture) from a yard sale for a $1.00 so I cannot wait to play with that. I need to get to the store and buy a light bulb.

I have had discussions with other art teachers and it seems to be divided. Do you show an example of an art project or just show a certain technique and not show a finished example. I have no real definite pull toward either method. Sometimes I show a finished example and other times I demonstrate a technique it depends on what the lesson is about. I had one art teacher that was horrified that I used finished examples! She never used examples because she believed it hindered the creative flow of her students. I can see her side I don't use a lot of finished examples with K-3rd grade because many will copy mine and get frustrated, so I usually will do a technique demonstration and my example is usually ½ complete. For my older students 4th- 8th I usually just have a finished example and also will show a demonstration of a technique if it is a new concept. Unless they are new students most have learned through the demonstrations from earlier years and the older students have their own ideas so they rarely copy my example.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

End of the year

I have not been able to sit and type much in the past week, due to closing up the art room for summer. It is amazing what I find stashed all over the room. Projects that disappeared are stuffed in a drawer or under a cabinet that was just moved. So I have been deciding how to reorganize the storage in the room for next year. For an art room it is fairly small about 25' by 25' with a limited amount of storage, closet and sink. Not much area.

I use to have 3 large 8' tables but I had them replaced with regular desks. I thought they probably would not the best for an art room, but much easier to work with than those tables, but actually I really like the desks. I have portfolios for each student in the desk they sit at, so project usually stay clean and safe. I can rearrange the room for large group projects and smaller individual projects depending on the class. It is easy to separate students who don't work well together, or the middle school sweet hearts that get nothing done. So overall since I booted the large tables two years ago, I have been really happy with the desk arrangement.

This next year I am going to concentrate on storage solutions. Last year I bought wire shelving cubes on sale for 14.99, not the best idea. Every time a student dropped a box of art supplies they fell down in between the openings and made a terrible mess. So I am going to use those next year for books and I have decided to just suck it up and get either a plastic shelf system or those plastic storage drawers.