Kicking Off an Awesome Year in the Art Room

Teachers. We can’t help ourselves. We begin summer with the best of intentions for rest and self-care. . .And, then spend a lot of it planning for the next school-year. Whether 2019-2020 is your first year in the classroom or your 30th year, I’ve tips, tricks, resources, and links sure to help you plan for your best year yet.

As a reminder: If you decide to share resources I created beyond usage in your classroom – you must credit me as the original creator.

1. Passion-related burn-out is a real thing, and it is something from which many teachers suffer. Learn how to avoid passion-related burn-out courtesy of this article from the Harvard Business Review.

2. What do you do on the first day? My consistent, and successful, go-to for years has been this “What is Art?” activity. It is perfect for 3rd grade -12th grade. The bonus is that you decorate your room with everyone’s definitions of art.

3. Where do you find lesson plans? I have a few recommendations for where to find lesson plans, but first I want to gently remind you: You can write a lesson plan. If you are teaching art you most likely either graduated from an art education collegiate program, or have a credential to teach another k-12 subject. The best lesson plans for your students are written by you with your students in mind. Never forget, that YOU are the most powerful art education force in your classroom. Having said that, here are few places for sourcing quality art lesson plans.

4. How do I write a lesson? I see at least one would-be art teacher on social media everyday ask how to write a lesson. I have to ask: What the heck is going on in teacher preparation programs? Are they not teaching how to write a lesson plan anymore? Or, are y’all skipping that day or class?

5. How do I write an art education curriculum? I wrote about creating an art education curriculum here, and provided a template for creating your own curriculum here.

6. How do I write lesson plans that are culturally relevant and sensitive to the needs of students? Check out this post about how to avoid cultural appropriation in the art room (including what it is, and why it’s bad).

7. What art supplies do I order to start the year, and from which art supply company? Here is a post about what supplies I order to begin my school year. You can also view a few previous purchase orders here and here. Regarding art suppliers, my own personal experience shows Blick, School Specialty, Triarco, and Trekell Art Supply to have the best customer service. I would not order from Nasco; they have messed up too many of my orders in the past.

8. What tools do I need, or should I get to make learning inclusive of all learners in the art room? First, I would encourage you to join the Special Needs in Art Education (SNAE) group on Facebook. The members there are a tremendous resource when it comes to this topic. Second, here is a crowd-sourced resource page for resources for students with disabilities in the arts. This resource includes tools, books, strategies, and apps for making arts learning inclusive for all students.

9. How can I find a good rubric to grade every project? There are very few “good” rubrics to grade every summative project, because a good, summative project rubric is designed to assess specific topics.

Where can I find a good teacher planner for art education? There are tons (tons!) of online resources for planning, planbooks, and date books (I know Erin Condren has many fans etc.). My hands-down favorite planners for arts educators are created by Laura Lohmann. Seriously, they are gorgeous and worth every penny.

I hope you have an awesome 2019-2020 school year!

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