Back to School Ideas


It’s a little over 1 week left of summer before my kids and I head back to school.  Where did this summer go?  It’s been a very short and busy one!  I don’t know about you but the older my kids get, the busier we are.  How does that happen?  Summer camps, karate, band lessons, golf lessons, and family vacations took over the summer.  Not a lot of time to just relax. Soooo… while I was waiting for my son to finish golf or karate or whatever the heck we were sitting around waiting for him for, I had my trusty friend, Pinterest!  Lots of ideas to be found!  I pinned my little heart out!  Here are a few of them that I plan to introduce into my routine/ classroom!

Lake and Hartville Elementary Art blog

This is brilliant!  I have a box with a slot cut out of it from Valentine’s day sales at Target!  I am going to decorate the heck out of that box and place it just inside my door for a little weekly or monthly contest.  I will give away some art supplies for the winners (from my stash of conference goodies). Great way to get kids researching, learning about artist/ artwork, and get a little fun art advocacy out there!

Kinder-craze blog

ADORABLE classroom rules

I love these colorful frames!  I couldn’t find these exact ones (from Michael’s) but I found some colorful rectangular metal frames from Christmas Tree Shoppes!  I am making my rules and procedures to frame and hang above my sink area (procedures) and under my white board (rules).  Just get some spray paint and transform some frames into fun colors!  Of course you can also make your own frames with foam core or cardboard.  We all know that we have an overabundance of cardboard right now with all those supply boxes being unpacked!  I think I’ll make some more like these shapes and spray paint them for my student art wall.  When kids bring me artwork, I’ll put it up in one of those fun frames on my bulletin board!

cardboard frames with chalkboard paint

I made these cardboard frames to easily display student work. I used chalk spray paint to write student names.

I also love this idea of labeling the doorway with vinyl letters for vertical and horizontal… so simple and easy!

The Teaching Palette blog

ART Flip sign. Do this one next year!

I’ve seen this one before but I love how this teacher made these and attached them vertically!  I’m running to the craft store to find small wooden palettes! Just love the way she labeled them!  Along this this idea and my Class Dojo management plan, here are some ways I plan on tweaking my classroom management plan.

artwithmsgram blog

I love this blog!  She has some very cute ideas for her classroom too.  I love this idea though.  Why didn’t I think of this?  I use ClassDojo (I’m actually a Mentor with Class Dojo) for individual points but am always giving points for tables who clean up first, are the quietest and most focused, and for working together… I also take points from tables that are too noisy, unfocused, arguing or not working together.  So when I saw this, I added table colors to my rosters.  I just labeled them and put a creature that matches the color.  Now I have both individuals and tables.  I wish I could arrange kids into tables but for now, I am going to give student points for their participation/effort grade and table points for privileges or small fun rewards.  Not sure what those will be but they might include some free draw time, special leaders, treats or material helpers.  They love that kind of stuff! I also plan to paint some old wooden chairs in the style of artists so maybe I will do 4 of them and that table gets to sit in the special art chairs for the day.  Here’s a photo of that:

Pop Art Chair Lichtenstein

I would totally feel so cool sitting in a special painted chair.   Of course, I have to find time to paint these chairs!  Yikes!

inspirelovelearn blog

So, I have 2 iPads to use (i hope!) in my art classroom.  I love this idea to keep them stored and charged.  I got a 3 drawer  one to do just this!  I plan on putting it on my table in the back for photographing artwork to upload to  Kids will go there to photograph and upload with instructions placed above the table.  I also got a small power strip too!

Okay so here are a few ideas that I’m working on right now…

Cassie Stevens started a couple things that got me excited!  She started an art teacher book club.  The two books that we picked were:  Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess and Printmaking Unleashed!

This book has gotten me thinking about how I present material to my classes.  It’s high energy ideas are amazing!  I am going to implement some of them this year, but it would take me years to build up the kind of repertoire he has.  I am going to start with some units and really “sell” it this year.  Starting with adding some fun props, music,  and new aprons to set the mood!

Cassie Stevens also started the Apron Sew-a-long (see my lead in here?).  I went a bit crazy buying fabric at JoAnn’s the other day!  OMG… I think I bought 10 different patterns!  Thinking about units or projects I teach, I want an apron that goes with each.  LOL!  So, I limited it to 6.  Asian, Pop Art, Fun Owls, Sugar Skulls, Monet’s waterlilies and a fun modern zig zag pattern.  I also bought a few matching patterns to make pockets out of.  Now, I think I need to go back and get the peace sign one that I forgot!  LOL!  Getting my sewing machine ready to go now!

Hope that inspired you a bit and I’ll be back with my room tour as soon as I can get into my building!  It’s been a crazy summer and they had summer schools at our building so we are banned until the custodians get it cleaned and ready!  This week looks like a good one to find a day to work there.  Hope I can sneak away from the kiddos and hubby for a while!


One response to “Back to School Ideas

  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I am a new to elementary art teacher (13 years high school art) taking over a class that has been with a substitute for three weeks. Your information is priceless! Thanks again, Darlene

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