I spent about 4 hours in the classroom today. For all that time, I don't have a lot of photos to show however. A large chunk of time was spent organizing all my art supplies. My supply order was delivered recently and the art cupboard was the last one yet to organize. It took me a little more than an hour to get that organized how I want it. But, time well spent as the supplies are now grouped according to type and easy to find within the cabinet. I wanted to share how I organized the construction paper. I am sure others have thought to do it this way. However, in past teaching situations, I've always had the different colors stacked horizontally in a big stack. This makes it a little difficult when you are trying to pull a sheet of a certain color out of the stack. So........I had an extra divided organizer, the larger kind that is probably made to separate folders. And I decided to use it to organize the paper by color VERTICALLY. This will make it really easy to pull out the color I need as well as to refile loose papers. Here is a photo of the construction paper in the cabinet.
To the right of the construction paper is a magazine file which holds plain white drawing paper and some brown kraft drawing paper.
One of the last things I needed to prepare for my art shelf to start the year was the Gluing Activity. The entire purpose of this work is to give the child practice in gluing small pieces to a background. This is an excellent activity for developing and strengthening the little muscles in the fingers which will prepare the children for future work in writing and drawing. Following are photos with descriptions.
On the bottom shelf you will see my Gluing Activity all ready for children. From left to right are: 4 baskets for carrying supplies to a table; small basket holding 2 glue sticks and 2 Tap 'n Glue bottles from Montessori Services (LOVE THESE!! You just gently squeeze and press down to dispense a small amount of glue just where you want it!); a napkin holder which contains small pieces of cardboard (these range in size from about 6X9 inches to about 5X4 inches); tray with collage materials (see photo and description below); tray with 4 green plastic placemats.
To do this work, the child takes a basket and places in it a glue stick OR glue bottle, a piece of cardboard, and some tidbits for gluing. They then take the basket AND one placemat to a table. Placing the placemat on the table and the cardboard on top, they then glue their pieces onto the cardboard to make a collage. The placemat is used so that glue (in theory!!) doesn't get on the table. When finished, the child returns the basket, glue and placemat to the shelf. I just realized that I need to add pencils to this work so the child (or an adult) can write their name on the collage. I'm mentally adding that to the list of things to do.
The collage tray contains (clockwise from top): pieces of colored tissue paper; craft foam shapes (purchased pre-cut shapes); pom-poms; cotton balls; and cut-up pieces of white paper doilies.
I am excited to see how the children like this activity. It should be easy for all children to do right away in the school year. I didn't have this out in exactly this manner in my previous Montessori classroom. However, I did always have a gluing activity on the shelf.