Ever wonder how to organize your school art supplies? I have used everything from supplies in the packages (Fail!) to big mixed bins of supplies (Mess!) to individual desk boxes (Items stolen.) I finally found a workable solution. Plus, I wanted labels that would mesh with my rainbow chalkboard theme.
I am really lucky to have these book shelves in the back of my classroom. I think I have the only room in the school with this set-up. Aside from our classroom library, I do store our art supplies and some paper on the top shelves. We did try to set up a make-up work station, but no one used it. For ten years, I've been trying to figure out a system for make-up work that "works!" When I used classroom folders, we could just slip the papers into the absent kid's folder. However, students now bring their binders to class, so we can't do that. I say "we" because I always have a student job of "absentee helper."
I bought these clear supply containers from Really Good Stuff probably eight years ago. We (again this is a student job) used to try to make each box a complete set of colored pencils, markers, a sharpener, crayons, scissors, and glue. We would also add a pencil and eraser. Students would always end up taking the pencil, eraser, and sharpener. They also always seemed to prefer to share boxes to get missing supplies.
What seems to work better is just grouping the supplies together. For example, I now have three or four boxes of crayons where they can just take what they need and (hopefully) return them. We probably use the colored pencils and markers the most in social studies, so I have several boxes of each. When we are doing a bigger project, I try to arrange the desks in groups. However, if we are having an exam in language arts where I have four classes compared to one, I don't move the desks.
|I did clean up that top shelf. This is the boxes in progress!|
To make the labels, I used Power Point. I have downloaded some free polka dot patterns in rainbow colors from Teachers Pay Teachers. I copied and pasted ROYGBIV colors onto a slide. I used four colors per slide to fit my boxes. Then, I took a screen shot using COMMAND-Shift-4 on my Mac which then goes to my Dropbox account. I edited this and copied it over the polka dot pattern. Then, I used Scrappy Girl dot font in white to type in what I needed. I didn't laminate them, but reversed taped them in the boxes. I knew if these labels were on the outside, they might peel off. I had help from our wonderful building sub, Miss O. She always volunteered to help copy and do things when she had a little downtime. I think she actually took these and worked on them while covering other classes. Thank you, Miss O. The end result was really cool and looked much neater. Every box fits perfectly on this shelf and students started using them immediately.
I also want to give a shout out to an anonymous women who donated a big haul of books to me. I know that a lot of kids have asked for these I Survived books. Even my 6 year old nephew was interested in reading some of them. This kind lady also gave me a bunch of other high interest series such as Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Big Nate, and 39 Clues. The nicest thing? She would not take any money for these books as her garage sale was wrapping up. She even gave me the plastic bin!
Okay, truth been told, my mom and I need to stay away from garage sales. This lady also gave my mom free curtains!