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I'm planning on trying something new next year - At the beginning of each
school year, the students have a list of supplies [compiled by grade level
teachers - handed out by the office] that they are asked to bring to
school. I'm planning on having each student bring a full size sheet of
poster board. These will be [in art class the first two times] folded &
bound in some interesting ways and labeled for the students to keep their
artwork in [a REAL portfolio!]. Not only will this keep their flat peices
flat, but will also give me more chances at picking and choosing for the
various shows, exhibits & fairs that I put up work at/for. They can take
it home at report card time and bring it back empty to reuse. (I've
already talked to the classroom teachers about these, they understand that
the portfolios will be kept in their classroom and carried back & forth to
On the side, a couple of other practical ideas I use: during the first two
art meetings, we go over the rules of the art room, rewards & punishments,
play some art games, and we make a name tag on a 4 x 7 peice of poster
board. Lots of decoration. The name tags are kept in the art room and
placed on the tables in different places each time that class comes in -
they have a lot of fun finding their places and I get to learn their names
sooner, because their name is RIGHT THERE in front of me - a big help when
going through 750 kids & faces a week!
Another: On those supply lists - for each grade level, I add something
that they will send to the art room - that way I get over a hundred of
those much needed items - a pack of markers, a skein of yarn, a bottle of
liquid hand soap, a roll of paper towels, a folder with pockets & brads, &
an 8 oz. bottle of glue. Even if there are some kids who cannot bring
their supplies for economic reasons - and these children are covered by
some of our educational partners, I still get PLENTY of these things to
help out my sorely small budget.
I realize that these are meager offerings when compared to some of the
heady stuff I've been so thrilled to read on this list, but sometimes the
practical is just as much needed.