Teachingartonthecheap's Blog

Archive for the ‘Program Details’ Category

Dozens of families came to see displays of student art and make their own art using tons of art materials donated by SCRAP. Students loved using the hot glue guns, which make it so easy to glue plastic together – it’s not something we could do in class. So many kids made such interesting projects and it was great to watch their parents interact with and encourage them.


I am pretty excited – I volunteered 154 hours in April, bringing my grand total to 1005 hours since September.

In other news, I will be changing the format from more formal, traditional lesson plans to tutorials. I just cannot keep up with the lesson plans and this way I can still put up pictures of student work and share ideas for creative reuse but be slightly less exhausted. This summer I will go back and categorize all the projects by material type, which might make it easier for people who are searching for creative reuse suggestions.

Thank you to Mt. Scott Fuel for contributing gravel and soil to fill our planter boxes we made to celebrate earth day, and to Seven Dees Landscaping for donating grass seed for our upcoming seed heads!

Last trimester… oh my gosh, this year has flown by! Though I can honestly say it is so much fun. I have never woken up and grumbled about having to go in to school this year.

In March, I contributed 103 volunteer hours during the school day, and am up to 841 hours for the year.

My goals for the rest of the year are to maintain what I’ve built so far; publish some assessment results at the end of the year, and host an Art Night showcasing the amazing stuff the kids have made this year, while giving the families a chance to make art together in the evening on May 12th.


A few things… One, thank you to the Dreaming Zebra foundation for fulfilling my wish of brayers, glue and stamp pads! They are  local nonprofit where teachers can wish big and they try and do what they can to fulfill your wish. Teachers at school got an email through the school district and many passed it on to me and encouraged me to write in. Neat!

Also, my hours for February topped 118 volunteer hours in the school; that’s about 168 total for the month. I am up to 688 hours donated to Whitman ES since the school year began. Not too shabby.

The topics I will be combining art curriculum next trimester are

Kindergarten – Animals

First grade – Life cycles

Second grade – Animal Habitats

Third grade – Plant life

Fourth/Fifth grade – Planetary science

I am already thinking of crazy plans for these topics. I’ll go out with a bang for sure. 🙂

I have been getting behind on my lesson plan posting – this pace is exhausting, but I have no one but myself to blame.

Many more lesson plans to come; if you are a new visitor to this blog come back in early March for fun and interesting creative reuse ideas! -K


Everything is rolling right along! In January, I worked 120 hours at the school for a total of 412 hours at school and about 520 hours total. It is a lot more work to write, set up and teach 5 separate lessons a week instead of the 3 I was doing before, but it makes so much sense in terms of supporting the curriculum at each grade level and the kids are really enjoying it.

I am beginning to plan a Family Art Night for mid May, so that will be a good cap to a year well spent. On 2/17 I am going to miss a class for the first time due to speaking about creative reuse at a conference of Head Start teachers, and on 3/15 I will miss the whole day since I am presenting at the Oregon Green Schools conference all day. I am excited to share what I am doing and to learn from all the other teachers who will be there.


I volunteered 51 hours in December (down a few from the norm since I took a week off before break to visit my family), for a total of 292 hours in the classroom, and about 438 hours total. I spend a lot of time gathering materials, writing lesson plans, scouring SCRAP for supplies, writing letters to businesses to ask for things, and setting up displays at various locations.

I really like the 5 grade levels all working on different art themes, integrated into their curriculum. It makes for more interesting teaching and I can see it resonates with the kids a little more.  I’m glad I made a push for the elements of art at the beginning of the year, but this feels more like a “groove” if that makes any sense.

I wrote the Dreaming Zebra Foundation here in Portland to ask for some brayers, more white glue, and stamp pads for upcoming projects. They said yes to everything, so I’m excited to try printmaking with the kids in early March.

Woodstock Ace Hardware, Home Depot on 82nd, and Bi-Mart on Woodstock all made generous donations during the holiday season. I made a glass jar candle holder with every student, and we wrapped the presents and made cute cards so they could all take something handmade home to give their families for the holidays. Bi-Mart donated tealights so all the kids could give a candle in their candle holders, and Ace and Home Depot donated frosted glass spray to finish off the jars in style. I didn’t post the lesson plan or take photos since it was fairly exhausting, so here’s a link to get the idea if you want to try it:

For Kindergarten- Third grade:


For Fourth and Fifth Graders: