artists in the classroom

Along with Picasso, I believe that all my kids are artists.  

While I would LOVE to have a studio for them filled with natural light, inspiring art, quality art materials and an atelierista to inspire and support them,  we have a regular classroom, standard art supplies and me.  

I dreaded Friday afternoon art when I was at school; I always felt so totally unartistic and uncreative.  Nothing looked the way that it "should".

I  don't want my students to see themselves that way.  I want they to see themselves as artists.  

So, one of my tasks is to provide inspiration and materials.

Sometimes that rolls into one.

When I am looking for ideas and inspiration how to make my classroom environment inviting and an integral part of my students' leaning (Reggio Emilia's third teacher), my go to resource is Designs for Living and Learning by Deb Curtis and Margie Carter. It is a fabulous resources that never fails to both challenge and inspire me.

They show and discuss learning spaces that are set up so that art materials are available to the children, and are arranged beautifully.

I don't have an atelier (workshop in a Reggio school), but I can arrange pencil crayons so that they invite creativity.

We have shared crayons in regular old pencil boxes.

But when someone wants to be an artist, to think about shades of colour, they very carefully carry the artists pencils to where they want to create.

And if they want paper, they can take it from the paper bins.

With readily available materials, the kidlets can create with intention.


  1. I've been enjoying your blog for quite a long time and am not sure if I've ever written to tell you. I particularly like the name and your philosophy of teaching.

  2. Thanks for the book recommendation! I just ordered it online. I have been doing a lot of thinking this summer about how to revamp the environment in my classroom. I also sort colored pencils by shade for my kids, and they have special "artist tools" where they each have their own collection of crayons (sorted by shades). I do find that their work is much more careful when using their artist tools. I just need to extend this to more tools and more areas in the classroom. I look forward to getting more ideas from the book!

    Teaching Ace Blog

  3. Just ordered the book, too!
    Can hardly wait for it to arrive!

    1. It's wonderful. Happy reading and dreaming. And setting up your new room.



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