Picture This: Labeling Supplies

I am no stranger to using pictures to label areas to help with classroom organization. My supply shelves contain some great photos, which allow students to help me properly put away supplies. This year, I decided to take this concept a bit further.

In the past, I have only kept pencils on the tables for students. All other supplies were only passed out when absolutely needed. This year, I decided to save time and energy. I wanted to put some basic supplies on the tables which will stay there all the time. This will decrease student movement, clean up and pass out time as well as my own running around like a chicken with my head cut off!

I decided on glue, scissors, sharpies, and pencils as the supplies we use most often in the art room. I organized them into two bins that sit on each table. Looks great, right? Sure, until the little hands get ahold of theses bins and totally trash them. Sad but true!


I took a photo of the baskets organized perfectly, cut them out and laminated them. Then, I attached them to the side of the basket using velcro.

This way, students have a visual reminder of what the tubs should look like as they clean up. They will not be allowed to line up if this basket doesn’t look like the picture.  Seems a little strict, I know. However, I really think structure and routine are the keys to keeping up any system. Plus, the little label gives me that organizational giddy feeling.

I am really hoping this will help with organization, students managing their own supplies and chaos in the art room. Remember, organization helps us save time to do what we love to do and what the kids need – MAKE ART!

Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.


Jessica Balsley

Jessica Balsley is AOEU’s Founder and a former AOEU Writer and elementary art educator. She is passionate about helping art teachers enhance their lives and careers through relevant professional development.

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