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Art Docent Responsibilities Initial Preparation:

  •   Make sure your volunteer status is current. It needs to be renewed every 2 years. You can renew online on the lake Washington District Website - Click Here >>

  •   You will receive a list of the Art Smart volunteers in your classroom. You will then need to determine who wants to be the lead or if you want to have co-leads.

  •   Set up a brief meeting (or email) with the volunteers and your teacher to determine when you want to run the program (i.e. First Thursday each month from 12-1:30 pm) and to review the order the teacher would like the lessons to run in so that they may tie them into what they are working on in the classroom.

  •   Your teacher will book the art room for your session dates. Remember to allot time for set-up and clean up. About 1 1⁄2 hours is the appropriate time – 15 minutes of set up before the class arrives, one hour of art with the class, 15 minutes to clean up after they leave. If it turns out you do not need the room, please remember to cancel your time.

  •   Each class has been assigned a bulletin board in the hallways where Art Smart art projects should be displayed. Make sure your board is ready to go prior to your first lesson. Volunteers should work together to get this done. All projects on display must have the teacher name, project description, and name tags. Please display artwork promptly after each lesson.

Art Night and Portfolios:

  •   Plan ahead with your teacher for the schoolwide Art Night held in the spring. Every student displays one piece of artwork in the Art Night gallery.

  •   Some teachers store the Art Smart work in the classroom after it comes down from the display board, then at the end of the year students pick their best or favorite work to display in the Art Night art gallery.

  •   Some teachers do not have space to store the art work; make sure there is a plan in place so each student has a piece to display. In this case, it will often be the last project of the year that is displayed at Art Night.

  •   Most docents send all the artwork home in a year end portfolio. Please remember to include a note or other information that the work was completed in the Art Smart program which is funded by the PTSA. Additional information about the projects is often included.


Lesson Planning:

 Art lessons and supplemental material for each grade are made available to docents here:

  1. On this  ArtSmart Website! Click "Lessons by Grade" or "Clay Lessons" in the menu heading, choose the grade and pick a lesson - Then,  simply download or print. 

  2. Additional lesson plans are available from the LWSD Art Docent Program, sorted by grade level.

Important Lesson Planning Notes:​

  •   For all lessons: It’s best to bring your own copies of materials when you teach lessons.  The SmartBoard may be used to access the ArtSmart website or with a USB Key but note that the SmartBoard is limited by LWSD firewalls and not all websites, photos or videos may display properly.

  •   The lead docent should email the other volunteers and the teacher a few days prior to the scheduled lesson to remind them of the time scheduled and to provide an overview of the lesson.

  •   About a week prior to lesson, check the art room to ensure all supplies are there. Please let us know if supplies are running low. Email with any urgent needs. For low supplies (enough for a few more classes) add the item to the supply request list taped to the cabinet doors.

  • The first cabinet contains extra materials or additional teaching aides that maybe useful (color wheels, art prints, books). There are folders in the bottom file drawer that may contain extra handout sheets for lessons; if you make reusable handouts, please label and add them to the files.

  • Samples of most projects can be found hanging in the art portfolios in the first cabinet.

  • Docents are welcome to try out the project as part of their lesson prep.

  •  You may also ask the teacher to include a blurb in the weekly/monthly newsletter about that month’s Art Smart lesson.

  •   Plan to use at least 3-4 of the provided lessons, plus the two part clay lesson. Docents may choose to supplement with alternate artist based lessons or seasonal art projects for a few of their lessons.

  •   Docents are welcome to create or use alternate art lessons for a few of their lessons. Please send a summary of any new lessons to your teacher prior to the lesson to make sure it will work for your teacher. Email with any questions.

  • Art Room Nuts and Bolts:

  •   Supplies are located in cabinets in the art room. Clay and a few additional supplies are available in the fenced off kiln room. Feel free to look around and get familiar with what is available in the art room and kiln room.

  •   Supply request lists are posted on the cabinet doors. Please use this or email us when supplies are running low.

  •   Please help us spend our budget wisely by avoiding waste. Make sure you are using the correct paper and paint for the project (watercolor paper is particularly expensive). Remind students to cap markers and glue sticks (listen for the “click”).

  •   Don’t forget to clean up after you have finished. Cleaning supplies are located in the first cabinet (table wipes, Mr. Clean Erasers and sponges). Keeping the room neat and tidy takes a village. If you have a few extra moments, small things like putting away dry cups and brushes (even if you didn’t paint that day), straightening a box of supplies or scrubbing down the sink and counter make a big impact.

  •   Each class has a folder in the file cabinet in the first cabinet in the art room. You may use these to store small items (name tags, project descriptions).

  •   Docents often use paper from the paper rolls to cover tables for messy projects. If they are still usable when class if finished, roll them up and leave for the next class to use. Look around the room before tearing new sheets; there is often a supply stashed next to the paper rolls ready to use.

  •   If you take supplies from the art room to the classroom, be sure to sign out each item along with contact information. Remember to sign items in as returned when you bring them back. Items taken to the classroom should be brought back immediately after the lesson.

  •   Docents may move tables and arrange as needed. Let students know to sit where they are comfortable and can see and hear (on the floor/in chairs at tables, etc.). Directions for the SmartBoard and overhead reader are posted on the board at front of the room.

Additional Info:


  •  You are not expected to know all the answers. If you do not know the answer, let the student know he brought up an interesting idea or question. Either make a point to find out the answer yourself, or suggest that might be a good question for him to explore.

  •   Let your teacher know that you would like help regarding discipline. Our teachers know most parents prefer their help. If you are comfortable with this responsibility and feel it would be less disruptive if you handled it, discuss this with the teacher before your first visit. If students start talking while you are presenting, often going silent and waiting expectantly will get their attention. Sayings such as “123 eyes on me” are also helpful.

  •   Try to convey the fun and challenge of creating. It is at times easy for a child to get the feeling of art being terribly serious, even tedious or overwhelming. By your attitude, you can convey the joy and satisfaction in creating anything.

  •   Only use the facts, figures and information you know to be correct. Don’t hesitate to use note cards and read quotes and information.

  •   Try to see the print or lesson inspiration through the eyes of the different children, be alert to the clues they throw out in their questions and comments, and lead them to new areas of appreciation of or discussion of a picture.

  •   Giving the children an opportunity to laugh will lessen the possibilities of restlessness.

  •   Your job, for each lesson, is to find a way “in”. This does not mean simply giving all the facts about any work. Do not lecture, but lead the group in its own questions and searching. The “test” is not whether you are talking all the time, but whether the children are looking attentively, sharing the exploration, and participating in the conversation.

  •   You should not act as judge of the art, nor express dislike. If the children show interest in a work you dislike, do the best you can to hide your opinion.

    Don't forget the most important thing of all....HAVE FUN! 

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