There's a reason for my madness:Art Shows. Each spring there are a medley of opportunities to showcase the student's art, starting with the biggest: the school art show.
Each child gets to display one piece. I like to have all pieces available in individual portfolios in order to select the student's best one. Also, this system gives me the opportunity to select a variety of artwork so the parents can see all of the projects done throughout the year.
So that's what I do: create a portfolio for each student.
Sounds like a lot of work, but done in baby steps, it really is no big deal. At the beginning of the year, I take a 18" x 24" piece of Sulphite Tru-Ray drawing paper (any color, but color coding would be cool!), fold it in half then:
- Write the student's name,
- Write the teacher's last name or room number
- Write the grade level.
- * If that class has inclusion students, I like to put an asterisk next to those children's names, because even though they attend art with this class, their artwork is group with the inclusion classes for the art show.
By chance, this shelf has 5 cubes per row. Perfect, since I teach no more than five classes in one day. So this is how I organize the cubicles. I put a label at the very top of each row: Monday Group A, Friday Group A, Monday Group B and Friday Group B.
As you may have determined, I teach in cycles: Group A for 5 weeks, then Group B for 5 weeks. I work two days a week (Monday and Friday). So If I'm looking for Friday Group B's portfolio's, I just look at the last slot.
Of course, you may have a different schedule. At the other school where I teach, my schedule is different and so is my storage. I don't have this nifty shelf, so I use legal size filing cabinets. They are a perfect fit for my portfolios and you can organize the drawers however you like.
Now, don't think I'm an organizing freak. I'm really quite sloppy. After a class is over, the art either goes on a drying rack or gets placed in a stack with a piece of paper on top stating whose class it is. Sounds easy but there have been many times when that little piece of paper that should have a teacher's name on it, gets forgotten. I've mixed up ALOT of art by being rushed and anxious to get home or whatever.
The best part of this system is when a parent comes into the art room and wants to look at what her child has done, I can easily go to the filing cabinet, select the right class, find the portfolio (never alphabetized, I'm afraid) and let the art work spill out in all it's glorious color.
So there you have it: my version of being organized.