Saturday, August 4, 2012

I Used to Photograph my School Supplies

Well, that's not really true.  I photographed my Christmas presents with my 110 Kodak.  My school supplies I would get out, organize, sort and admire several times a day before school started. No wonder I love organizing my classroom!

My sweetie and I decided to run up to "Mama's schoo" for an hour or so today to get a better jump start on getting things organized.  We have a new principal this year and she wanted everything down for the summer.  This meant taking down all my table signs, which was good because I spent today cleaning/dusting them before I put them back.
 Each sign has a photgraph of the artist on one side and an example of their work on the other,
except for Ansel Adams.  Funny that I couldn't find a photograph of a photographer! 
Ansel Adams table is just his work.

Notice that I have both a color and an artist above each table?  Both have a purpose.  The color is for their table boxes:

Each of my eight tables has a color and an artist.  The colors are primary, secondary, black and white.  Students at the yellow table use supplies from the yellow box, students at the green table use the green box, etc.  Each table box has a "parking spot" on the cabinet along the wall.  While not yet stocked for this school year, I keep crayons, markers, scissors, and pencils in boxes.  Glue is in a bin/box of it's own (I hate the gluey mess) and erasers are on my desk, along with extra pencils (students can get up to get them whenever they want).  Even kindergarteners understand this system the first month of school.

The artist above each table coresponds to their table folder.  I know many art teachers who use table colors for this, but this system works for me.  I've used this system since about 2000 or 2001 when I heard about it at an art teacher conference in my state.  If we're doing something that's not messy (drawing, for example) work goes directly into the table folders at the end of class (I set them out about 5-7 minutes before the end of class).  Here's what 1st grade, Day 3 folders look like right now:
Pardon the sideways look, it's not letting me turn it :-/  If it's work that needs to go in the drying rack (gluey or painting) I don't use the folders, but I've had student teachers who put it back into folders before the students arrive.  I typically use the artist table folders 1st-6th, but I have K folders if I need them.

Our school district is on a three day rotation, so I made my banks of drawers primary colors.  Day One is red:

In those drawers are red artist folders.  Folders are all the same, made of 12 x 18 white tagboard with photocopied artist name and info (just what kind of artist they are/where "painter" "sculptor" etc and their birth/death dates) glued on and student grade level hand written on the top:
These are Day Three folders, so they're blue.

Day Two is yellow, with yellow folders:

And Day Three is blue:

My Sweetie is "helping" here by putting random crayons in the first grade drawer ;-)

When I did my student teaching, my cooperating teacher (Sharon Williams, one of the very best, most amazing teachers I've ever met!) gave me a calendar of artists, and I used it at the end of the year to make my artist table signs.  And I knew I didn't want to have to re-make them often, so I used high-quality fadeless paper for the color signs.  These signs are almost 12 years old, and they still look great!
You can't see it here, but there's a photograph of Jasper Johns on the other side.

I didn't work long today, but I felt productive when my sweetie and I left "Mama's Schoo" after an hour and a half.

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