Tips & Tricks for an Organized Art Room

Teaching Art

1. Table Tubs

Each table has a table tub that holds all of the materials students will need for the lesson. I bought these table tubs at IKEA. They have several different compartments that are different sizes to store a variety of different art supplies.

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2. Table Teams

Students have assigned seats in my art room. It is a good way for me to learn names at the beginning of school but more importantly it is a way to stay organised and to use time efficiently. Each table is a colour which correlates to many different routines and procedures in art class. Each table has a colour coded hook where they hang aprons which helps to avoid crowding near the aprons. In addition, each table has a weekly Table Task which gives them different responsibilities. Table colours also allow me to store and pass back artwork faster as I will keep the artwork organised by class and table colour.

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3. The Lounge

I fortunately have enough room in the art room to have a corner devoted to reading. Earlier finishers can use the lounge to read books AFTER they have cleaned their space and washed and dried their hands. I will also use the lounge to read a story or present information or a demonstration. The students love the lounge so much that I have to ensure they do not rush their work to read their favourite book in the art room collection.

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4. Reducing Waste

Between empty paint bottles to dried up markers, the art room can produce a lot of waste. Therefore I try where I can to reduce and minimise waste. One way is to use cloth towels in lieu of paper towels. One of my biggest pet peeves is watching students use one, two or even three paper towels to dry their hands. Instead, students use towels hanging on hooks before the sink to dry their clean hands. The towels on the drying rack are used for wiping tables, cleaning up messes or drying paint bushed and palettes. The towels are then washed once a week. In fact, I do not have paper towels at all in the art room which massively reduces unnecessary paper waste. Every little bit helps!

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5. Art Smart Chart

The Art Smart Chart is part of my classroom management system. With each class, I review the classroom expected behaviours which are:

  • Be Safe
  • Follow Instructions
  • Show Care
  • Work Together
  • Try Your Best

If the class is not exhibiting these behaviours, they will get strikes. If they get three strikes, the class will not get a check on the Art Smart Chart. If they get less than three strikes they get a check. Once a class gets ten checks the class gets a special art surprise. This can be a video, lesson of choice and/or a trip to a mini museum a.k.a. pictures under their tables.

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