> I have collected tons of
> magazines, newspaper clippings, internet lessons, etc. for possible
> project ideas. I'm not sure how to organize everything into files for
> future reference. Should I organize by medium, possible grade level (I
> teach K-5), theme, artist...? Many lessons overlap - should I photocopy
> ideas and put them in more than one folder?
When I taught HS, I started filing all my lessons and ideas gleaned from
other sources into big ring binder notebooks, by medium. I taught
classes like 2D art, 3D art, Drawing, and Art History, and it was just
easier to sort the lessons like that. I have one notebook each for
drawing, art history, and ceramics, and others with 2-3
sections--painting, calligraphy, printmaking, bookmaking, paper
crafts/decorating, sculpture, weaving, macrame--you get the picture.
The drawing notebook is divided into sections like sketchbook ideas, pen
and ink, perspective, figure drawing, etc. The art history notebook is
divided by chapter, with lecture notes, handout masters, slides, and
It would've been reeeaaallllly easy for me to get anal about crossfiling
my lessons as you were asking about, but I refused to listen to that
little voice and just kept them divided by medium only. Now I'm
teaching MS, grades 5-8, and am finding it just as easy to maintain that
system. I alter lessons all the time anyway to suit a grade level,
available supplies, or class attitude, and I'll bet you do, too.
Organizing by medium just seems easier for me.
You can keep slides in slide pockets to go with each section, and put
smaller visuals, articles, or samples in page protectors. Hope this
helps, and that you don't fall into the trap of crossreferencing all
your lessons. Trust me, it would be like opening Pandora's box and
would drive you insane.