Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Handy Hangers Save Space in the Art Room

So you're assigned Art for the year and you're not an Art teacher.  Or, you're an Art teacher stuffed into a traditional classroom without proper materials, storage or appropriate tools.  Although there are a bazillion challenges to face, I promise to solve one of them right here, right now, TODAY!

Actually, I'm not solving anything, one of my good friends and colleagues Mrs. Tricia Smith is going to solve this for you (and if you know her, you'll probably be thinking and wondering, "Of course she mean she's only going to solve ONE problem?)  And yes, today she's only going to solve one, (but I have a sneaky suspicion she may make it to this page again) and yes, if you don't know her, she's just that sort of person...if there is a problem, she'll find the source (possibly raising her voice just a little if necessary to find it!) figure it out decisively and efficiently (again, possibly with a slightly louder voice than you think may be possible to come from her tiny frame!) and without a second thought, move on into Math 7, Art 5 or PE 6, sunny and bright, caring deeply and offering freely.

Just so you know (and if you're a teacher that crosses my path, you may be wondering..."is she going to give a bio on everyone she features on this Classroom Treasures page?")  And the answer is no.  But I sort of feel like Trish's answer to this problem was just one of those smack-dab obvious strokes of genius that practical people like her offer to the world on a regular basis so I felt it was an appropriate build-up. She is not one to sit idly by at any sort of inefficiency or inconvenience and this little brainwave proves just that.

You've already seen the photo which explains it all, but in case you can't quite see the mechanics of it (still working on my photography, remember!) she has fishing line (string would work) hung from a T-bar ceiling, attached at the top with a clasp that hooks on to the metal bars (though I think you could probably loop it around by lifting up the paneling and tie it in a knot).  Then on the dangling end of the line, is a hanger she has probably scavenged from her children's closet (but if you don't have children, I'm sure you could ask around or even ask a department store if they had a handful you could take home)  Obviously, this needs to be the kind of hanger with the sliding pinchy-clips at the sides (I know, I know, I'm getting very technical here!)  She attaches the string to a clip first, then the hanger, but you could also just tie the string right to the hanger.  I think the clip is important though because it's a lot easier to attach the hanger to an art piece (especially something wet with paint) on a table and then hang, rather than trying to clip the wet project onto a hanging hanger.  You could also label the hangers with student's names so they always keep the same hanger.

Hung in a corner of the room, perhaps above a table to discourage people from walking through or playing with them, it's a savvy solution, especially for those paint projects.

I'm not teaching art this year so I can't put this into motion although that won't stop me from re-using these handy hangers elsewhere!  Here's what I do at home.  These hangers are slightly different from above as the "pinchy-clips" are just that, and don't have the sliders.

Happy hanging everyone!

~ Tricia Smith is an upper elementary junior high teacher at Burdett School in Southern Alberta. ~

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