So it seems that everybody and their mama want to know how I keep materials organized for 6 grade levels with 700 students on a 6-double day rotation.
 
Ask and you shall receive, my friends.
My secret is simple.
EVERYTHING has a home in my room...ya know, like a cozy place to sleep for the night.
I can't leave for the day unless my desk is completely clean and the tape dispenser is perfectly perpendicular to my stapler.
Not even kidding.
I'm kind of a nut like that.
 
I've spent a ton of class time this week talking and talking and talking some more.
About important stuff, of course.
Kids really do need to know that there can only be 4 pencils in their supply baskets at all times or I might cry- or scream- or stare in amazement.
I just don't understand how a pencil disappears. Seriously.
 
I was always told that there's no room for perfection control freaks in the art world.
That made me sad.
But then I grew up and got a job and now I have my own classroom and I get to make the rules because I'm the adult and my mama always told me that when I grew up I could make the decisions. It's fun. 
Control freaks are always welcome in my art room...unless you take too long to finish your art project- then we have a problem. :)
 
But I digress.
 
Here's the rundown for organization in my room...
 
I grabbed these bright beauties from the almighty Dollar Tree.
6 colors for 6 grade levels. Smart, I know. ;)
This is where I keep my lesson plans, seating charts, project examples and district pacing guides for each grade level. When I work on lesson plans, I can easily grab the grade level I need and everything is in one place. EASY!
 
And in case you're wondering- yes, the 4th grade tab is driving me crazy.
 
Also on my prep table is this valuable little gadget!
 
I got this paper sorter my first year teaching and I've used the heck out of it!
When I was in the classroom, I used it to sort out dittos and assessments for every subject area for the week.
Now, I use it to sort out the paper materials that each grade level will need for my lessons.
I love that I have a place to put it all as I prep for the day.
Since I have less than a hott minute between classes, having everything ready to go is a life saver!
 
My class rotations are set up so that I see each class back to back for two days.
This is an art teacher's dream!
We can start a project on day 1 and finish the project on day 2 and I don't have to keep a ton of art work tucked all over the room for weeks on end.
I don't have the storage space to keep kids projects in my room for extended lengths of time.
This bookshelf is perfect for overnight storage of each class.
Since I only see one class from each grade- this system works out perfectly for me!
The kids turn in their work here on day 1 and it sleeps there until day 2.
LOVE.
 
I can't wait to show you how our school wide mural is coming along!
Teachers stop each afternoon to watch me add more of those hands to the wall.
It's been really cool to watch it slowly grow these past two weeks.
I took a picture to show you the halfway point...but then I decided that it may spoil the final product so you'll have to hold out another week.
You can do it!
Couple of tricks of the trade for ya today!
 I've learned a lot the past couple weeks as I gear up to teach art to little people for the first time.
 
Well- maybe I'm not a total newbie...in high school I worked as an art teacher's assistant in private art classes- but it wasn't with 27 Kinders...not even close...it was more like 8 kids...total.
 
I'd call that experience- wouldn't you??
You're supposed to say yes.
HA!
 
Let me get to the point of this post....
 
I've had to figure out solutions to a few trouble spots in my new position.
I'm sure as classroom teachers, you could use these tips as well! :)
 
 
Okay- first up: Paper Problems.
We all have them.
 
How do you keep all your paper organized and easily accessible at any given moment?
Here's a few ideas that may help!
 
IDEA #1:
Put your construction paper in a file cabinet!
It saves precious cabinet/shelf space and helps you stay organized.
All Things Katie Marie
 
 IDEA #2:
Leave your color printer paper in the factory wrapping- just cut off one end of the package to you can see the color inside and easily access whatever you need without spilling piles of paper all over.
Love being able to see what I have at a glance! 
 
My next dilemma is a all about paint!
Do you ever over squeeze your paint bottles and end up throwing out the excess- or worse- trying to funnel it back into the bottle- only to get it everywhere other than that one inch hole?
I have the GREATEST solution since sliced bread ya'll.
Put your paint cups into a shallow storage bin with a lid and it stays good as new until you pull them out again!
 
 I love these bins and I can stack them easily in my closet without taking up too much space! I won't have to waste time pouring paint for each class and there's no more paint in my sink!
I just refill as needed!
I'm loving this discovery!!
 
 
 Now, if I could just figure out a space saving way to hang 30 aprons that's still easily accessible and organized.
 
Happy Monday friends!
We survived!!!
It's the weekend ya'll.
*high five* to that, right??
My room is just shy of being finished...until I get on Pinterest.
I seriously gotta stop that.
I kinda prefer my to-do list to be on the decline.
Just sayin'.
So here's the fun that's been my life the last two weeks:
I'm not the biggest fan of my circa 1970's pad- but I did the best I could.
Truthfully, I'm just happy to be done.
It's a far cry from where I was a week ago!
*shutter*
And the best part is my view of our new school construction!

When the faux wood paneling gets to be too much- I just look out the window and dream about our new building.
My dream art room inches closer every.single.day.

Okay-Quick tour of my digs!
But first, let me just say- I really struggled with all the brown.
I considered painting- but it quickly bailed once I opened my closet and everything fell out.
Priorities people.

Okay- here we go...
View from my front door.
My color theory board. LOVE it!
I grabbed free paint strips at Wally World to demonstrate tinting.
So perfect and EASY!

So to the left of my color board is the back corner of the room- aka- my office!!
Mega excited to have my own space!
My favorite area is located just through that door...
MY PAPER CUTTING AREA!
AAAAhhhhHHHaaaaHHHHH!
That's my best choir voice- people.
Something about organization and defined spaces just makes my heart happy.

So, the left of my office is the bathroom and my walk-in storage closet.
This baby was a BEAST and took up the bulk of my time last week- cleaning, organizing and throwing away items that were labeled from 1979!
Have ya'll ever heard paint thump??
For real- hard as a rock.
No joke.
Now everything is sorted...they just need labels- like, yesterday.
I keep opening every.single.box to find packing tape or a hole punch.
Labels are on the top priority list come Monday!

Get it? "sm-ART choices"??
I crack myself up!
Here's my behavior tracking for each grade level.
I'm missing a few clippies but that's Dollar Tree's fault.
They were sold out.
So here's the plan- since this is the first time I'm keeping up with 40 something classes, I knew I needed SIMPLE.
Each grade level has a pallet. Each teacher has a clip.
The word "ART" is on the board- keep all 3 letters= move a clip.
Loose a letter, don't move a clip.
The clips will start with yellow and move all the way around the pallet.
Once a class makes the full circle, we'll play an art game or paint outside!
Quick and easy- that's how I roll people.

So, last stop is the front of the room...
Here's my objective board.
Yes- that's a brown chalkboard.
I was DREADING chalk until I found these bad boys @ Michaels!
CHALK PENS!
The red doesn't show real well on the brown board- I gotta change that.
But-they're wet erase so the kids grimy little fingers can't destroy my hard work ;)

Here's a better shot of my ABCs/Vocabulary.
I knew I wanted alphabet support for my Kinders and higher vocab for the middle & upper grades so this is what I threw together. I like it- plus it doesn't take up too much space like a word wall would have.
This is my way of bringing in academic vocabulary for common core too- double win! :)
I'm just realizing that the words aren't centered- HA!
I made these lil guys based on a Pinterest find.
 If you would like a copy of my art ABC's above or my career posters you can snag them for free from my TpT store!
www.awesomeartists.com
I found some wall space to put our art elements up.
These free babies are on Pinterest too and I couldn't print fast enough!
Anything to save me a minute or two or ten, right?

That's just about it, I suppose.
I still need to hang my scrap paper bunting to add a lil color to the ceiling.
And then I think I'm done decorating.

Oh wait- I'm mega excited to show you this!!!!
I can't believe I almost forgot!
Yep-It's a car magnet stuck to my front door!!
I'm obsessed.
It can handle the weather and shouldn't fade!
I designed it and uploaded to VistaPrint.
Paid ten bucks and it was at my school 5 days later!
Seriously love that company!!

Okay- so that's it!
I'm so used to having a million little sections of my room that function for every aspect of my day. It's an odd feeling planning a room for just one subject area.
I'm loving the lack of stress!
Can't wait to get my little artists next week...

Here's a sneak peek at our first project!
I'll be doing it with all grade levels to make a school-wide mural display.
nice first week project
www.frecklephoto.com
I'm gonna switch it up a bit- each grade level will have a color scheme so that when it goes up in the hallway, it will flow more like a rainbow.
  I'll be back later to share some new tips that I've discovered this week!
Until then- enjoy your Saturday peeps!

Heyyyyyyy Youuuuuuu Guyyysss!
It's been like forever and a half since I've blogged, right?!?
Don't take it personal...life has been out.of.control.
I know- that's everyone's excuse.
But I'm super excited to be back!
Here's the past few months- bullet style for time's sake.
 
-End of school year madness {INSANE}
-Changed job positions & moved classrooms {OVERWHELMING}
-Bought our first house {EXCITING}
-Taught summer school {FUN}
-Moved {STRESSFUL}
-Renovated half the house {EXHAUSTING}
-Vacationed to Georgia {RELAXING}
-Last minute trip to Colorado {BEAUTIFUL}
 
And there may have been a few glorious pajama days filled with Pinterest and the DVR :)
{THE BEST}
 
See??
Super busy.
I don't lie.
 
So this little slice of internet pie took the back seat.
It's true.
The past few months flew by.
 
I can't believe it's already time to go back to school?!
Where the heck did July go ya'll?
I seriously don't even know.
***
First thing's first- BIG NEWS!!
If you follow my FB page, then you already know that I'm coming out of the classroom this year.
I'm officially an ART TEACHER at my sweet lil school.
I'm over.the.moon!!
It was the hardest dang decision ya'll.
My 2nd grade team and I are thisclose.
I love those ladies and having to move out of our team's portable pod was not easy.
You would've thought I was moving across country! HA!

 
So what does all this mean for The Learning Tree???
Great question.

 
I've kicked off the change with a much needed blog makeover.
Ain't it cute??
I'm 10 kinds of giddy over how it turned out!
Kassie was so patient with all of my questions and tiny revisions.
She was a trooper and I'd recommend her a million times over!
 
She built some fab side tabs where you'll be able to search all my posts by grade level!
As the year goes on, I'll link the posts there to make it easier for ya'll to find what you're looking for.
 
I'll be teaching Kinder through 5th {YIKES} so that means organization will be priority numero uno!
 
I went in to my new room on Monday!
I accomplished a lot...in my opinion. ;)
I  moved a few boxes from one table to another.
Circled the room a couple times.
Scratched my head about room layout.
Thought about unpacking.
Moved a few more boxes. 

...and then decided I need something to show for my few hours of work...

It was all I could do to add a lil order to that world of chaos.
I could go home happy knowing I put something into color order.
 
Starting fresh is daunting ya'll! HA!
 
Anyway...I'll be back to share more as it goes.
Our official start date is next Monday but our week is SLAMMED full of trainings and meetings and presentations and more trainings.
Translation: I'VE GOT TO GET MOVING!
 
Goodbye pajama days.
You've been good to me.
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