Get Ready for a New School Year!

My basic sup­plies for teach­ing “afford­able” art.… most of my lessons use just these sim­ple materials.

Prepar­ing for a new school year can be an enor­mous job! But like any­thing else, if you break it down into smaller, more man­age­able tasks, it’s a lot less over­whelm­ing! Here’s what works for me.…

The first step is to get back into the class­room (or storage/prep area, depend­ing on the year!) and assess the sit­u­a­tion. I take some time to sort through things and either throw away or give away what I know I won’t use. Then, I try to look at my sup­ply stor­age with “new eyes” and see how I can improve on my orga­ni­za­tion. (Since orga­niz­ing isn’t my great­est skill, I some­times call in friends or fam­ily mem­bers who are bet­ter at this than I am.… a lit­tle coach­ing goes a long way!)

Next, I inven­tory my basic sup­plies. I expect to be pur­chas­ing sup­plies through­out the year as I need things, but there are some items that I use about 90% of the time and I want to make sure I always have a good sup­ply on hand! Those items are pic­tured above. (FYI — I pre­fer the “Sar­gent” brand of col­ored pen­cils, although Cray­ola is pic­tured here.)


Since I know I’ll need new stu­dent port­fo­lios every year, I pick up my stu­dent ros­ter and order the rail­road board for the port­fo­lios. These are quick and easy to make and since we use them from day one, having them ready helps me feel ready! Check out my “Time to Make Port­fo­lios” post for direc­tions on how to make your own. I also order a “class port­folio” (20x26 Smead Red
Rope Ar
tist Port­fo­lio) for each teacher. These are inex­pen­sive and big enough for all of the stu­dent port­fo­lios for one class to fit con­ve­niently inside.

Now I’m ready to plan my lessons.… I start by going through my old plan books. I use sticky notes to list the lessons I want to repeat as well as the new ones I’ve found. Then I lay these out in my new plan book. This way, I have the flex­i­bil­ity to move things around as I want through­out the year, with­out hav­ing to do any eras­ing. Plan­ning lessons is a year round activ­ity for me, as I’m always on the look­out for new ideas! Check out some of my art lessons and the “Cre­ative Sites I Love” listed on the right side of my blog to get inspi­ra­tion for your own art lessons!

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3 Responses to Get Ready for a New School Year!

  1. Anonymous August 16, 2009 at 1:58 pm #

    Thanks so much for this post! I am a new art teacher and am really enjoy­ing your blog!

  2. Beth August 16, 2009 at 8:43 pm #

    I ditto what anony­mous said. I am a new art teacher and so appre­ci­ate orga­ni­za­tional info like this!!! My first classes come tomor­row and we’re cov­er­ing get­ting to know each other and rules & pro­ce­dures. Many of your ideas will fol­low through the year!

  3. TeachKidsArt August 16, 2009 at 9:49 pm #

    I’m glad my ideas have been help­ful! Be sure to check out my post on “Art Rules”: http://teachkidsart.blogspot.com/search/label/art%20rules… even though I go over these rules every year, I find that I still need to remind them occa­sion­ally now and then, but it really does help! Good luck with your first day.… you will LOVE teach­ing Art!

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