Clipart is a great timesaver for busy classroom teachers who are inundated with the daily grind of teaching. I use it in my own art room in many ways and I think it has more advantages than what can be bought in any local teacher store.
Beginning of Year Prep
At the end of every school year, I prep myself for the upcoming school year. I’ve found that rummaging through all my drawers to find those markers without caps, the dried up paint containers, cutting and filling up the paper area, and a bevy of other teacher chores reduces my stress when I go back to work in September. I simply walk in on the first day of Back to School teacher orientation, pull off all of the plastic that’s been preventing the dust build-up, move tables into place, get my computer set up, and pull out everything I’ve prepped and tucked away and put it into place. Wah-la! I have a classroom.
One of those mandatory chores is bulletin boards. Ugh, you know what I mean if you’re a teacher! It’s not that we don’t like doing a bulletin board. It’s that we can think of a long list of other more salient tasks we could be accomplishing rather than decorating the board…again….and again….and again every month. Multiply that by the number of classroom boards you have and it can be a lot of work for just one person.
Clipart Saves Time and Sanity
As an art teacher, I post student work in the hallways all year except for September when I don’t have any [READ: This is more work because I don’t have samples ready to go.] And I have two hallway bulletin boards to do (because someone never adopted the one nearest my room and someone had to put something on it!] Also, I prep in-classroom bulletin boards filled with content related to teaching art. In both scenarios, clipart has been a great help in reducing the number of hours it takes to create something fun and exciting for the kids to see on their first day in my room without it costing an arm and a leg.
When I first started teaching some X number of years ago (I’m not going to date myself here!), teachers would either make their own things or go to the teacher store and buy what they needed. This usually consisted of many packs of die-cut letters and large, bulky poster board-sized images that were tacked or stapled to your bulletin board and had to be stored properly so they wouldn’t get ruined. And yes, many teachers still do things this way.
But seriously? There’s a much more efficient, economical, and less time-consuming way to make your classroom bulletin boards sparkle: clipart.
Clipart Looks Great on Bulletin Boards
Here are pictures from one of my hallway bulletin boards for the upcoming school year. It took 45 minutes to put together, from the time I had the idea until it was up for display. These were made with my Primary Artist Painting Supplies clipart set. I simply printed them out on an 8.5″x11″ piece of paper (one per page) and cut them out. The paint blobs are 3 different sizes. I cut them out in 3 separate stacks. The letters I did the old fashioned way on one of those devices with the block and you slide the paper under (don’t know what it’s called) because we happen to have one.
And then the fun of stapling it all together!
Can I just tell you that while I was putting it all together, so many teachers and students passed me in the hallway and complimented me on how fun, cute, sparkly, and eye-catching the board is? Did I mention I did it in 45 minutes?
Clipart is Versatile
Have I also mentioned that clipart can be used in many other ways? You see, that’s where the economical part comes in. If you go to the teacher store and buy a poster of a paint can, you can only use it for display. However, if you have a clipart version of it, not only can you make cool bulletin boards with it, but you can also:
- Make your own handouts, lessons, quizzes, and tests
- Design your classroom blog
- Have students use clipart in projects
- Create a fun classroom newsletter
- Make interactive lessons using your smartboard
- Put together signage specific to the content you teach
- Design schedules for your special needs students that are tailored to them
- Decorate the rules of you art room in a fun way
There really are many ways in which clipart is more useful, efficient, engaging, and quite frankly more affordable than their counterparts. And once you own some clipart, you don’t have buy it again if it gets destroyed in that sad, sagging box of other poster boards that takes up too much space which you can’t afford to have being occupied.
And if one of these rips? Because let’s be honest, sometimes kids do it on accident or on purpose…I can simply print out a new one and fix it immediately.
If you’re a teacher of any of the major subjects, I have lots of ELA, Math, Science, and Social Studies clipart in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.