Thursday, September 6, 2012

My First Day

I survived! I started with 3 kindergarten classes. Not the best idea but I got through it. I figured it was downhill from there and I was right! We have a large kindergarten this year. Last year we had 24 in all. This year we have 57! Enrollment is up (50 new ones) in our little school, but with less teachers class size is up too.
By the time I taught the 3rd kindergarten, it went much better. I spent a little time talking about the rules, but then we started right in because I didn't want to loose them. We started with a line drawing exercise with crayons. By the 2nd class, I changed that to markers. (Much easier to see. ) We'll work on pressing harder later.
Note to self:  Don't start with Kindergarten. They need a few days to get settled in school.

My 4th and 6th grade class put together sketchbooks and we talked about rules, rewards and report cards.

My Room

I spent a lot of time rearranging and reorganizing the room. I also read may blogs for ideas and classroom management tips. THANKS to everyone I have borrowed from, in case I forget to mention it. It was left in great shape when Phyl retired, but everyone needs to arrange it to make sense for their teaching style. So here's what the main bulletin board looks like looks like:
My theme this year is "Spread Your Art Wings"
Our school's character traits with an art twist.

My job chart is changeable. I can assign either by seat number or table color.
I have the jobs pinned so I can move them.

The PRINCIPLES posters. I put them low so students can read the examples.
The picture frames will hold the picture or art work of the "Student of the Month"
I will award one for K-3 and another for 4-6.

I put my own twist on this idea. 

A 'younger" version of myself!

The ELEMENTS posters

The 6th grade zone explains how they will be graded.
I will use the same for other grades, but the letter assigned changes.

A copy of the Passport the 6th grade will work on.
My intention is to have them record their reflections on
their artwork and print /paste a picture next to it.
Later in the year I will have them do an online portfolio

Not sure I will need the blue boxes, but I'm not ready to get rid of them.
The small colorful boxes are for passing out materials to tables.
Some are also labeled by class so they can put their sketchbooks there.

Lots of cabinets to dry and store artwork.
My whiteboard will remind them of the lesson steps.

This month is Piet Mondrian.

Clean up sinks. There is also a slop sink by the 6th grade zone.

Phyl's wonderful painted color wheel.
I have color coded table boxes there with supplies.
I couldn't find a yellow one to match the others this year
so I have an extra red one.

I brought the metal cabinets from my old room.
The large one stores most of my paint bottles.
The yellow one on the left is full of supply bins.

I will post the essential questions for each grade.
They are color coded to match their sketchbook boxes.

The inside of my storage closet.

More shelves of materials.
I will label things so I don't forget where they are.

In the back are shelves for large works in progress.
Phyl also left me samples on the top. :)

Shelf on the left is for when they are done their assignment.
The large desk stores reference materials & art samples.
Next to the storage door is my teacher cabinets and my desk.
I'm still working to reduce the clutter.

We have 3 large windows looking south over a roof.
The air conditioner is needed because it gets a lot of reflective sun,
and I'm at that age...

Looking from the door.
The rollable blue table contains large paint, plaster and clay...
I am making some fabric covers so it will look neater.

I have a sign out to leave the classroom and another to come for crEATe.
Create is for those who want to come at lunch to EAT and CREATE.
This year not all my 4-6 classes can come at lunch, so I
call it ReCREATE if they come at recess. 

A view from my corner of the room.

Pardon the long blog, but I wanted everyone to see if I borrowed their idea. Also pardon if there are spelling mistakes because I left my glasses somewhere! I'm not too up to snuff on how to post yet. I didn't know how to post one picture so it can bring up the others. It's 3:00 in the morning. When I came home I went right to bed and woke up at 2:00 am. I never get any sleep the night before the 1st day. Thanks again to everyone out there blogging. It has really helped get me ready.


  1. The room looks beautiful. It's really well organized and the main bulletin board is very inspiring. Good luck for the new school year!

  2. Looks good, Cathy! Hope you had a great first week. The only thing I don't see hanging up is your schedule. I never remembered what came next without it on the wall in front of my face, so I'm thinking you must be better organized than me, or at least have a better memory! Can't tell you how many times I got ready for the wrong class when I forgot to check.

    1. No. I'm not that good. It is on the wall between window 1 & 2. I think that's where you had yours. Of course, something is already changed on it!

  3. Wow!! Are you super organised!! I work in 5 schools, after school art classes, in undercover areas - so NO room, NO storage, I bring all my supplies with me every day. I am SO JEALOUS!!! :) :) You care so much, I can tell you will be great, just relax into it and HAVE FUN! :)

  4. That's how I started 32 years ago. It was before being an art teacher was a full time job. I woke up and either went N, S, E, or W. I taught 45 minute classes to either K-4 or 4-8, 30 minutes classes to 1-8 or 1 hour classes to 6-8. I had Art on a Cart or brought my own materials in the trunk. This room is like a dream come true. I already am enjoying my "homework".

  5. Lookin' good!!! I hope you enjoyed yourself...and are ready for a WONDERFUL year! Can't wait to see the kids projects & what you have cookin' in the art room. Many blessings!!!

  6. Thanks so much. You've been a big inspiration as I planned projects this year.

  7. I just saw your blog from Phyl...I know it may be a little too late for this since school started, but get some yellow spray paint for plastic to spray that last supply bin yellow to match! I couldn't find 6 colors in those bins so that's what I ended up doing was spray painting them all the colors I needed!

  8. Thank you for showing off your room, it looks beautiful! This will be my 4th year teaching Art in an elementary school in Oakland, CA, and I love it but I'm still trying to set things up in my room as well as my curriculum. Do you have a source for your great Principles and Elements posters? Thanks again for sharing, I'm always inspired by seeing other art teachers' work!