Choosing a Cart and Finding Some Space

By O'Hanley, Heidi | Arts & Activities, December 2012 | Go to article overview

Choosing a Cart and Finding Some Space


O'Hanley, Heidi, Arts & Activities


Let's pretend you're new to a school district and discover you're limited on resources. The art cart has little space, there's no storage and materials are all over the place. If you're on a cart or travel, this is a very familiar situation to you, and you may still juggle what space you have. Besides screaming, explore your options.

1. YOUR IDEAL CART When I first became a traveling art teacher, I set myself up on two different carts at two different schools. The carts were the only options I had at the time. Over the next year, however, I learned which cart was best for my situation, and which one I wanted to trash.

Creating an organized space has helped my sanity. For example, if you have a cart that can hold bins, fill some of them with items you use nearly every class period, such as glue, scissors, assessment sheets, and so on. With the materials always in the same place, I can send a student to the cart and he or she knows exactly where the item is.

Leave space for temporary materials. I always have two empty bins on my cart for this exact reason, and I can fill/ refill when I walk by my storage closet. Squeeze into that space student resources, such as drawing books, art books and art games. Again, students will know where items are, and where to place them during cleanup.

Create a separate cubby for your personal items, such as your own pair of scissors, glue and other materials. I keep them up high in a separate basket so I know my materials are always there.

If you don't like your cart, look at your supply budget and see if you can squeeze in a spare $250 for a new cart that has all the wonderful storage you need. I now use my old cart for storage!

2. YOUR STORAGE AND SPACE Is your storage area a closet? Are you left with a small drying rack and no space for other classes? Do you also share your space with other art teachers? I sympathize, but I can also offer advice for coping with the lack of space.

At one of the schools where I teach there two art teachers. Some classes are mine, while the rest of the school is the other art teacher's. We get along very well because we communicate about the shared items, such as drying racks, projectors and painting carts.

We decided to keep our consumable materials in our own space, which has made it easy to keep on top of the inventory for our own classes, without worry about missing items. …

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