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Lesson Plans

Re: Art Cart Teaching?

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Mark Alexander (Alexander)mamjam)
Tue, 25 Feb 1997 01:01:07 -0500

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Somehow I missed the post from Lisa, but thought I might be able to help

I also teach art on the cart, for grades 1-8. My school is waiting for
sorely needed building renovation plans to be approved by the tax payers
and construction begun and completed.My school has had an art cart for
numerous years, although this is my first year here.

I agree that the cart has forced me to improve my organization skills. It
is a drag to have no one to cover the class when you remember you forgot
some essential tools or materials. Some lessons have changed quite a bit
due to the improvisation and adjustments needed due to a missing planned

I keep about the same assortment of supplies on the cart as 'medderm'
mentions, with the addition of watercolors and fat and thin markers.

To expand my offerings, I arrive early in the morning. I use an empty
utility cart I call 'the trailer,' to deliver bulky or heavy supplies to
each classroom ahead of time. Most teachers have a corner or a few cubbies
left empty for art needs. The trailer is very handy. Now I seldom have to
unload and risk losing track of the basic essential stuff that I depend on
being on the main art cart every day. The bulky and or heavy stuff I might
put on the trailer instead of the cart include acrylic or tempera paint
quarts, clay and clay tools, plaster, the paper cutter, large paper,
magazines and newspapers, and 1/4 inch plate glass self-portrait mirrors.

I also usually leave wet art work in the classrooms, on the window sills or
the floor. The art helpers collect it when it is dry, and I come around
after school to gather the art work and art stuff on the trailer again.

I collect cool boxes and use them to make easy to load and unload kits of
supplies. For example, instead of having 24 boxes of markers loose in the
cart, I have them all in a box into which they fit snuggly. Colored
pencils, chalks, and numerous other things are easy to dispense out of
diaper wiper boxes. I keep the crayons in six cookie tins with lids.

I keep a paper box (the kind copier paper comes in) with egg cartons in it.
I can use the same egg cartons to dispense tempera for quite a few days,
refilling as needed. If it dries out, just refill on top and the fresh
paint loosens up the old paint. They stay neat because I use styro meat
trays for color mixing.

Another tip I suggest is to not allow students to go in the cart or trailer
to help themselves to materials and tools. I learned pretty quickly that it
is easy to loose track of what you have and where it is if there are too
many hands moving it around.

I come in, park the cart, then before even addressing the students, I get
everything out that we will need, and set it on a table or counter. Later
on, if I send a student to get something off the cart, I emphasize that
they have "special one time only permission to go in the cart."

I am surprised at what can be done from the cart with some organization and
practice. Certainly much more than I had thought possible at first! I sure
do look forward to the new room, though. Seems like SUCH a long wait. I
wonder what kind of art we'll make on the day hell freezes over?

Hope this helps you as much as it has helped me!

Mark Alexander
1-8 art on the cart
Lee H. Kellogg School
Falls Village, CT 06031

At 4:15 PM 2/24/97, medderm wrote:
>Dear Lisa,
>I am an art teacher k-6 in Phoenix. Due to construction at our school, I
>have lost my room priveleges and have begun to teach from the cart.
>It has been a year and a half since I have lost my wonderful room. Yes,
>it was hard at first to get organized. Now I know to have certain
>supplies always
>on my cart; crayons, glue, scissors, rulers and paper. Teaching from a
>cart has helped me to become more organized. Yes, at times it is
>frustrating, because
>there are projects I'd like to do but are unable to because of the
>circumstances. It would also be nice to have an area to have display
>boards about art history,
>what they are learning about. I have resorted to using color
>transparencies to bring art images to the classroom. Another disadvantage
>is that I feel that the student
>needs to make a transition. The transition I am refering to is the
>teacher expectations. I will be returning to my new art room in
>September. I do get impatient waiting
>for this moment. I have learned a great deal about my students and their
>classroom environments, which effects their outcomes. Although I'd much
>rather be in a classroom
>I feel that the experience I have had on the "art cart" has been positive.
>Just remember to wear comfortable shoes and a smile.

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