When we paint, I want the colors to stay CLEAN, so that the next class can use the paints without me having to refill. There are so many things we, who have spent our lives around art materials, do naturally. We know how much water to have in our brush, we know how much paint to put on the tip, we know how to paint a smooth edge. But sometime I need reminding that these techniques do not come naturally, that they need to be taught.
SO ~ back to the sponges (which, unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of today). I teach the kids, when they are done using a color, to gently WIPE their brush on the sponge to remove excess paint. Then the WASH the brush in their water (which stays so much cleaner because of the first wipe), and then they WIPE the excess water off the brush.
The paints pictured above were pre-mixed colors for a 2nd grade painting being done for our PTSA fundraiser. The paint trays below were photographed at the end of the morning, after I had scooped the leftover paint back into the containers above. CLEAN!!
Whether wiping on goofy sponges or newspapers, the wipe/wash/wipe mantra really works. Do you have a routine that has really helped in your classroom, whether for painting, or cleanup, or something else? Please share! It took me years and a mistaken sponge order to discover my little trick, so it's never too late to acquire a new trick.
Also today - I have a second grade student who is deaf and totally blind. He didn't attend art very often in younger grades, as his time is taken with special services. But this year will be different. He will be coming to art class regularly, and since I lack the training, I really depend on his 1:1 teaching assistant to take the lead in terms of what works best for him. Today was great. His 1:1 brought wikki sticks with her, and they used them to outline shapes to paint. Then the student was able to feel where the wikki sticks were, and paint inside them to their boundaries to create shapes. And he chose the colors to use, based on associations with favorite things (since he has never seen a color). He was very excited, and it went really well. Yippee!! It's great having support staff who really know their stuff.
With cold nights ahead, my plants needed to come in from their summer home on my porch. So today my sweet hubby delivered them to my classroom for me, along with a chair from my ice cream table & chair set. I plan on using the chair, and maybe a plant or two, it in the coming weeks as part of a still life that will relate to our upcoming "Artist of the Month", my favorite, Matisse.
Enough random stuff!