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” (20×26 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!


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”:… 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!