This month the Art Ed Blogger's Network is looking at favorite supplies for the art room!
This is a great topic for new teachers who are discovering supplies for the first time....and "seasoned" teachers who love to discover new/different supplies to incorporate into their lessons!
I'm going to approach this from the non-consumable side of art room supplies....because I think my amazing peers are mostly addressed consumable. I feel my non-consumable items are equally as important for a smooth running classroom that maximizes the time we have together. Some of the products/ideas may not work for you in your situation. I understand. I'm sharing from my perspective...and maybe...just maybe...you might apply/modify some of these things for your own situation. Please also know I've taught in portables, on carts, in regular size classrooms, in amazing art rooms, inner city, suburbs, EL centers...so please ask if you have questions about adapting things...I might be able to help!
Every table has a Sharpener Bowl. I use the "disposable" lidded bowls you can find at any dollar store(usually 2 to 4 in a pack depending on brand). After my 1st year of teaching, I realized my students were losing so much of their class time getting up and down to sharpen pencils. I also noticed behavior/noise issues were centered around the sharpener area. I've heard a million times...."Well my students would just play with it at their table" "I know my students would walk off with the sharpeners." ...etc The fascination with them subsides quickly....it really is not an issue. Also, I have had only a handful stolen over the 20 yrs I've been using this system. The biggest problem is kids accidentally put them in the supply boxes. (And yes....the erasers stay on the table too....with little to no issues).
PENCIL BOX/SUPPLY BOX
Each "every day" supply (crayons, markers, colored pencils, scissors) has a different color box. I have one box for each table (14). This makes passing out supplies & picking up supplies so much easier! The boxes last around 3 yrs (give or take). I usually buy a couple extra of each color in case one breaks along the way. They have a habit of changing colors/designs...so you can't always find the same ones in the stores from year to year. I buy them during back to school sales when the prices are at their lowest.
I LOVE MY PLASTIC SHELVES!!! They are light weight, easy to move, easy to store....AND CHEAP!!! Sometimes you have a lot of supplies for a project that need easily accessed (sewing ugly dolls!!) & sometimes you have messy projects that need to dry (plaster strip projects/paper mache). You can easily move these around your room for temporary storage & distribution centers. When you are done with that type of project...move them to an out of the way location or take them apart for easy storage.
PLASTIC SHOE BOXES
If you have followed me for any time...you've seen this "hack". I get flack for it by some who say it wastes too much space. Well, you find a way to make things work if you like the way it helps you & your students be more effective & efficient. I actually had shelves built in my room for the very purpose of holding these! You could also do this as a temporary thing with the plastic white selves mentioned above. The boxes store easy and really don't take up that much space. As I said....you make things work if you find value in them. And I find value in my yarn boxes!!!!
WHENEVER POSSIBLE I BUY STERILITE BRAND CONTAINERS!! MY FIRST YEAR OF TEACHING TORNADOES WENT THROUGH NASHVILLE & PICKED UP MY CLASSROOM AND DROPPED IT ON A CAR. EVERYTHING THAT WAS IN STERILITE CONTAINERS WAS NOT DAMAGED!!!!! SO THAT IS WHY I'M LOYAL TO THEIR PRODUCTS.
Hope you found something in this post that sparked your interest....or gave you an idea for your own room!
Have a great day!!