Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Ode to Pinterest!!!

(sorry, this is a long one...!)As I mentioned in my opening post, I lived most of my waking moments surfing the internet and combing through Pinterest, looking for ideas and setting up new boards for my move to elementary.  I found so many ideas that I integrated.  Some without any modification (love your posters Lost Sock Blog, so I had to make my own), and some that I took the same or similar idea from different places and made my own version of it.
So, without further ado, here is my Ode to Pinterest and all the ideas that helped me to set up my elementary art classroom...  (I am not linking to the Pins that I found that inspired me, for those, check my boards, there are too many for me to do...:))

Table/Seating Organization

My room here has eight sturdy tables for the students to sit at and I saw a lot of posts that had some type of hanging something from the ceiling functioning as a table marker or distribution/organization system.  I jumped right on that bandwagon!  I really like folding origami cranes so I decided to fold some large ones and hang them up as table markers.  Because I have girls and boys, I avoided using pink so I wouldn't have to hear any objections later.  Each table has a different table number and color associated with that table.  I used:  purple, blue, turquoise, green, lime, yellow and orange.  My 8th table, also known as my red table, I kept open and did not assign any students to sit there.  I am using that table as my personal working on and organizing table and also the spot I will move any disruptive students to (red = stop).  Didn't plan it that way, but it works out okay!

Each table also has a set of materials that is to be used exclusively by this table.  When I found out I was getting switched grade levels, I had the opportunity to visit a couple of the other art teachers in our district who so willing and graciously shared lots of information with me and allowed me to come and see their rooms in action, so if you ladies are reading this, thanks soooo very much! :)  Each table has a caddy with basic materials, color co-ordinated of course, and a crate with markers and various types of coloring materials each type separated into its own case.  I also keep on top of the crate papers to protect the table and any info sheets for the projects that are being worked on.

Artwork Organization

I see just over 640 students each week.  The amount of artwork that is created piles up pretty fast.  I was searching for a great way to keep all of the work organized and was given this great tip by a co-worker that had been teaching art previously.

Each table has a folder to store the artwork in that co-ordinates with the table color, like this...

Having color co-ordinated folders allows me to quickly distribute the work and keep track of everything.  When the folders for each class are stored, they are stored in a large folded piece of posterboard with the sides taped up.  I color co-ordinated the grades too.  Purple is 3rd grade, blue is 4th and green is 5th.  This is a picture of one of my 3rd grade classes with the folders used to store the works in progress.

Such a simple idea and I'm really grateful that it was shared with me.  Not sure that I would have thought about this one on my own at any point!  :)

Room Signage

Pinterest was truly a wealth of information for classroom signs.  Here are some of my favorites that I found and either made my own replica or altered in some way...

This was a fun one I found, a "monster" to feed the unsharpened pencils into.  The kids have fun with this one, but sometimes a little too much fun and feed the monster pencils that are still sharp...  (This picture was taken at the beginning of the year when everything was still fresh and new.  The googly eyes are "missing" now and I've replaced them with hand drawn versions.)

I linked to the Lost Sock art blog in my first post, these are the posters this art teacher had made for her room and I loved them so very much, and didn't want to change anything that I made my own replicas of them...

It is just CRAZY how much glue students glob onto their projects, a mantra I have adopted that I saw in various places is "Dot, dot, not a lot!"  I wanted to have a constant reminder of it, so I made my own poster...

The art room can definitely be a noisy place as the kids are happily working on their projects and chatting about what's going on.  I saw a variety of noise monitor systems/warning systems out there and this is the one that I made.  I created three letters in bright colors, striped them and glittered them to be attention getting and then added magnets on the back (because my white board is magnetic) and leave them stuck to the front board.  When necessary I take a letter down in order to warn the students and get them back on track.  When all letters are gone, I require it to be a silent art room until the end of the class period and ALL of the next one.

And the last thing I will leave you with in this post is how I display my classroom rules.  I pieced these together from a couple of different places and modified them to fit my needs.  I was sure to use neon posterboard to make them stand out!!  :)

I feel like this is getting super super long, so I will break this post into two!

I'm here...

So, here I am.  A teacher in art for the 3-5 grades in one of the buildings in my district.  It's November now and I've only just found the chance/time/opportunity and have briefly unburied myself from my new position in order to start the blog I vowed I would as a give-back.

Let me back up and fill you in...

In April of this year (2013), my district informed me that they would be moving me from the middle school I had been teaching at for the past 7 years to an elementary position.  I was knocked down (to put it lightly and politely).  Throughout my teaching study program I was one of only about three people that actually wanted to be in the middle school.  Middle school was my passion and calling and I LOVED my job, the building I worked in and especially the people that I worked with.  I had spent 7 years of my life living and breathing my job and then I was told I was being removed from all that I had built.

I obviously wasn't happy, but boy, was I taught a really good lesson that I won't soon forget...

And then to compound that, I had never even student taught at the elementary level because I hadn't thought it was an age I had ever wanted to teach.  My summer was spent mourning and scrambling to get a grasp on what was coming my way in August for the year.  (maybe I sound dramatic to some of you, but any teacher that is truly invested in what they do understands I'm sure.) :)

So, what did I do?...Scour the internet of course.  Google and Pinterest were my best friends and I found a lot of great ideas out there.  I spent as much time as I could trying to get my room set up to function within a super crazy schedule.  (Kudos to all of you elementary teachers, now that I have joined your ranks, I understand the craziness of elementary!)

I have a couple of months under my belt now and I am finding that a lot of what I did at the middle school has helped my transition to the upper elementary level, thankfully!  However, seeing 640+ kids in one week has FORCED me to become SUPER ORGANIZED, something that I wasn't before!  One real benefit of being with this age level is that they are very enthusiastic about art and love to just jump right in.  (Honestly this is a nice change from the apathetic 8th graders I was always encountering.)  Their attitude is making the adjustment go more smoothly and allowing me to be my silly and goofy self to get them rolling with things.

So, here I am, and for those of you stopping by, come on my journey with me!  My next post will be Pinterest centered as a shout out to all that I was inspired by.