Elementary Art · Inspire Others

Glimpses of My Art Day

So I haven’t blogged in FOREVER and it is mostly because I am so busy at school and when I’m at home I’m busy working on projects for school or researching projects for school or trying to keep up on the mess I make of my house with all the projects I bring home from school. My poor husband didn’t know what he was in for when I became an elementary art teacher!

Anywho…I decided that the only way I was going to get the blogging bug back was to just sit down and type something and since I take photos all day long of my kids projects and of my art practices (because I always hope to blog about them – but never do) why not just share some snaps of my day to get the blog rolling again?! Yea, okay, so maybe you don’t care about my silly snaps, but I’m sharing them anyway just so I can say I blogged today!

So this is just a brief glimpse of one day last week. This is my corner of the cafeteria where I teach, because I don’t have an art room. I’m what you call a k-ART Teacher.

teaching from a cart

Every morning we have a short staff meeting and then it’s off to my corner to check email and look at my calendar for the day. I teach 20 classes in a 3 day work week. I don’t have a desk so I snuggle up to my little folding table where I keep my kids’ portfolios stored. Of course at lunch time the teacher’s lounge becomes my office. I’m certain that all the other teachers think I’m a slacker because they always see me in there. JK friends. Actually, they often tell me they are amazed by my flexibility. I love my staffmates! I am blessed to work at a great school.

water cups

The bell rings at 8:30 and my first class arrives a few minutes later so on a painting day I quickly set out the water, brushes and paints. I keep a gallon jug of water in my supply cabinet and refill it daily so it’s always ready. I also use a dishpan for dirty brushes and quick clean up of water cups because I have to transition quickly between classes.


I recently started using these Richeson muffin pan palettes for tempera paint. I picked up the large condiment cups and lids at GFS and they work perfectly for storing paint during lengthy projects. I typically have 4 students per table sharing a palette and water cup.

art tables

Third grade has been working on recycled robots – that is the mess on top of my cabinets. Storing 3D art when you don’t have an art room is a bit of a challenge, which is why I save these projects until the end of the year. Our cafeteria gals gave me these large trays and it makes moving artwork up and down so much easier. Bless them! I set the projects out before the students arrive so they can pick them up on their way to the tables.

art trays

Then there is the smock dilemma – do you use smocks? I’d love to know how you work this out in your classroom. I tried having the kids bring shirts, but it is difficult to keep up with telling them when to bring them to class and sometimes they are so big that the sleeves become giant paint brushes!!! These plastic ones came with my brush order so I’ve been using them. I keep them folded in a bin and the students have been trained to fold them after class. It MOSTLY works, but I still end up folding a bunch of them. It’s still a work in progress.


My students are taught to properly clean paint brushes beginning in Kindergarten. We talk about the importance of taking care of our supplies and being good stewards with all our treasures. They do a pretty good job, but I still give the brushes a good final cleaning with soap at the sink.


My daily schedule varies, so I head to the sink whenever I get 15 minutes or so. I’m usually there several times a day when we have painting projects. I carry my bin and my towel and the arty mess to the sink and come out with clean supplies ready for the next go around.

art clean up

When classes fall during a lunch period I have to take my cart to the classroom, so it helps to be really organized. Especially when we are painting!


One of the best supplies I have is my art trays. It keeps the mess contained when students work on their desks and it makes it easier to transport wet artwork back to the drying rack.

art cart teacher

Then it’s back to the sink again for round two (or three) of clean-up.

art sink

After lunches I’m back in the cafeteria for a few more classes and time to work on displays. This week our hallway was already full, so I used some empty bins and black art paper to create a display station on top of my cabinets for our 3rd Grade Robots that we completed.

storage bins

And they did an excellent job! So there you have it – a few glimpses into the day of an art teacher (minus) the art room (add) the cart and art away!

recycled robots

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