Saturday, February 22, 2014

Ways to Make Ordering Supplies Easier: March's Stepping Stones

In my district, we complete our supply orders in March for the following school year.  Within two weeks, I place orders from multiple catalogs for two different schools.

I love to find great materials to work with for my students, I hate cramming as much as I can within the budget and time I am given.  I love exploring different ways to create projects in my classroom.  I hate forgetting a material for a project and having to order it later on.  This is my relationship with supply orders.

Over the years, I developed a few strategies to make ordering supplies much easier, and in March's Stepping Stones, I shared a few tips that I hope can help you as well!

This article was inspired by my post last February titled "Love/Hate Relationship Called Art Materials."

-My first tip I gave was to spend a good chunk of time in the beginning researching which catalogs offer the best prices.  Some companies offer discounts for school orders, others can knock down a percentage with a p.o. number.  Researching in advance helps you in the long run.

-Create your own order forms on excel, or any program similar.  This way, you can save all the descriptions, catalog numbers, and company information for the next few years.

-Some supplies I order in bulk.  Since prices rise every year, and some catalogs lower prices when you order larger quantities, I over-buy to just have the materials on hand.  I do this with markers, oil pastels, and crayons, which are the basic consumable materials.

-Find free shipping!  Many catalogs offer it if you order over a certain amount!

-If your budget is slim, create accounts with Donors Choose and Art Room Aid.  You can set up projects and material requests, and any person can offer funding toward your projects!

-Know your space and storage.  I still make the mistake of ordering large materials with nowhere to store it.

-Label your stuff!  I've discovered I ordered a material, thinking I ran out, and discover I have a huge amount stored somewhere I forgot about.

-If you worry about material you forget to order, leave a small amount of money aside for the school year!

Do you have any tips for ordering art supplies?

Sunday, February 9, 2014

An Art Room Library 3: Books That Inspire Great Art Projects

For my previous Art Room Library posts, please visit:

An Art Room Library: Artist-Based Fictional Stories

An Art Room Library 2: Early Readers and Popular Literary Characters

So far, I've shown you artist-based books and art books for early readers, but now it's time for books that inspire great art projects.  I would like to start with the books I see the most art created in Pre-K and Kindergarten classes, Eric Carle's creations.  I love walking up and down the hallway viewing all the painted artworks made by students after reading Eric's stories.  I've even created some of my own in art class!

Eric Carle Books

Student-Created Books by Scholastic

The next set of books are student-created, offered by Scholastic.  I was dying to add Van Gogh's Cat to my previous posts, but I wanted to save it for this category.  I love that fact that Scholastic features books that are written and illustrated by elementary students.  When I read these to my classes, kids are fascinated that students their age can create something that you can buy in a book store, plus they become inspired to create their own!

I read September 12th to my younger students during the week of the anniversary of September 11th.  Having been one of the millions of people watching as the planes were crashing on that tragic day, I feel it's an important part of our history that students should know and learn from.  I LOVE that this book explains how the country came together the day after and everyday after to help everyone and rebuild.  I also created the Pinwheels For Peace with my students after reading this book!

LOVE LOVE LOVE this book!  I need to publicly thank the teacher who worked with her students in creating this book!  Not only did the students re-create famous masterpieces for each page, but they wrote their own sentence describing what was happening in each page! Click the picture to view my previous post about my Van Gogh's Cat 2nd grade project!

The next set of books are ones that I keep in the library, and some I have used for project inspiration.  I keep these in a category I call "visual literacy."

Early Elementary Visual Literacy Books

Late Elementary (3-6th Grade) Visual Literacy Books

This particular book of the Lion and the Mouse contains beautiful watercolor illustrations.

For more books that are not listed in my posts, please visit my Pinterest Board Art & Language Arts, which has tons of pins for art projects inspired by books, or my collection of Books for Art Room Resources, which contains even more books than I have collected!

What books have you collected for your art classes?

Monday, February 3, 2014

An Art Room Library 2: Early Readers and Popular Literary Characters

It's time for part two of my "Art Room Library!"  The added books on my list are books I collected over the years, as well as donations from my recent Donors Choose project!  Thanks to some very awesome contributors, the students have a library in the art room filled with great books for project inspiration and creative thinking!  

This post will focus on early readers and popular book characters.  My students flip when they see Pinkalicious, Sofia the First, and Olivia when flipping through the books!

Due to the overwhelming list of books, I will not be writing a personal review on all of them.  There's simply too many!

For Part 1: Please visit An Art Room Library: Artist-Based Fictional Stories

For Part 3: Please visit An Art Room Library: Books that Inspire Great Art Projects

ABCs of Art Books
Good for Pre-K and Kindergarten!  I started collecting these for my own kids at home!

Good first art books for home or school!  
I LOVE this next book "You Are My Work of Art!"  My daughter loved flipping the flaps in the book to see the real paintings, and it helped to her recognize the famous masters when the paintings came on tv!

A really good one to share how mistakes can turn into beautiful pictures!

Popular Characters from Children's Series

 In art class, Pinkalicious is teased for wearing pink while everyone else wears black.  It takes a new student who loves Purple to show that you don't have to be like everyone else.

 I read this one to my 1st graders on their first day.  Olivia Paints a Mural encourages imagination and thinking on a larger scale.

 And this Olivia book is read to my kindergarteners on their first day with me!  It shows how Olivia has a vivid imagination (and even loves to visit the art museum!)

 Fancy Nancy visits an art museum!  Awesome!

The is a funny series, but the particular book is hard to find.  I found it used online, but keep your eyes open!

It's Sofia, Amber, and James open house, and they display artworks they've made at Royal Prep…except James accidentally messes up Amber's painting.  Find out how the royal children work solve the problem and make beautiful art for the family!

Early Readers: Elements of Art

Elementary: General Art Books

There will be one more post on books made by children and stories that inspire great art projects.  If there are any books that fit the above categories that you think I missed, please share in the comments!