Top Five Art Room Clutter Busters

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Hi All!

So, I am still getting used to this blogging stuff, but I thought it would be fun to share some of the ideas I have found on Pinterest (and a few that I use in my classroom) to help organize your art room.

I think having an art room where all the students can easily grab materials, or know where to store their stuff and turn items in is essential to running a successful art program. I'm sure you agree that it is one of our biggest challenges as Art teachers! Please feel free to share your own ideas in the comment area below, I'm always looking!

So without further ado, here are some of those ideas!


I thought this first one would be a cool way to create shelves/storage without big expense. According to the pinner, these crates were purchased at Michael's for under $13/each! I thought that wasn't too bad.

Here is the link to the blogger that came up with this amazing idea:

I use this next idea in my own classroom. The idea came from my neighboring teacher Vicky Jensen. We bought the green crates from Big Lots they are long and flat and are the perfect spot for students to turn in their work. We are lucky to have big metal carts to keep these on near the back of our rooms! I couldn't find the exact kind that we use, but I think these are close. We don't use the lids, although when you take work home to grade, it could come in handy!

This next idea came from a teacher I observed in East Valley School District in Washington. She keeps one of these hanging file crates for each of her classes and a hanging folder for each student to use for worksheets. I thought this was a great idea to help students stay organized. Our cubbies last year were a mess and many students lost important papers because they were all stuffed into their cubbies along with supplies and artwork. I am definitely doing this next year.

I found these at my local Walmart just today for $3.94 each! What a bargain! The ones they are showing online are more expensive, hopefully your local store is having a Back to School Sale as well! Here is the link.


Hopefully you have a handy husband, or have been very nice to your school's shop teacher for this next idea. Maybe this is an obvious one, but it really has been a lifesaver for keeping expensive supplies in the classroom instead of the kid's pockets!

I realize DIY ideas are great, but let's face it sometimes they can be a pain in the backside and it is just easier to go out an get what you need. I will admit that this next Clutter Buster is not the cheapest idea, but hey, it is amazing and it has helped me more than anything else to keep my classroom organized and running smoothly. As Art teachers we often have 3 or more preps in one day, yes it is true for all you Math and English teachers out there, it may be hard to believe, but I actually have 5, count them, five preps the 2nd semester of this coming year! Argh! THAT needs some serious organization and the cart below is AWESOME!

What I do is keep all of the supplies/materials that we are using in each class on a cart and just wheel out the supplies from one period to the next. This is critical for being able to stay organized and well, let's face it, SANE!

This one is only $47.97 with FREE shipping from!

I think I'm in love with this cart. I WILL be using some of my classroom money for a couple of these, you can bet. Here's the link, just in case you are interested:

I certainly have more ideas, and know you do too! Be sure to leave your ideas in the comments section for everyone to see and share!


Sabrina Wingren
A Space to Create

Why Art Matters

Monday, July 15, 2013

I am an Art teacher, so of course you will say that Art matters to me, but why does it matter to you as a classroom teacher, why does it matter to our schools and most importantly why does it matter to our children?

It matters for all of the obvious reasons, so that children learn to use scissors and paint, so they understand color and composition. But perhaps more importantly it matters for the reasons that are not so obvious.

It matters because the Arts are the one of the few places where the answers are not prescribed to our children. They are presented with a problem and are asked to solve it in any way that works for them. It allows them to come up with their own solutions and enables them to be creative problem-solvers in a way that is lost in many other subjects.

This is critical learning for our students. We must allow our children to tinker, to play and to use their imaginations. How else will we remain one of the most innovative nations in the world without people who know how to invent and create from their own minds?

As Art teachers we need to ask ourselves if we are allowing children to create from their hearts, are we allowing them to risk, to struggle and perhaps to fail? Or are we prescribing a solution for them where all of the artwork looks great, but sadly the same. If you are a classroom teacher I would ask you the same question. When you teach Art in your classrooms I would ask you to consider going away from a craft where every students work looks the same and venture into the exciting world of allowing your students to amaze and astound you with their own creative artwork, because when given the opportunity they will amaze you!

Our children need Art in their schools and in their lives. They need to be able to wander along a path, not knowing where it will take them and have the opportunity to discover who they are and what they have to offer this world along the way. Children do this better than any of us teachers, we just need to remember to open the door for them and get out of the way! It is harder than it sounds, but oh so worth it!



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