Friday, October 29, 2010

GOOSe Paper

I believe I got this idea from a fellow art teacher on one of the several art discussion lists to which I belong. Paper use is always an issue in my art room. Kids are always "messing up" and in need of a new piece of paper. This problem is two-fold: One, While I want kids to have the freedom to start anew when they make serious mistakes, I also want to encourage my students to finish what they start. And even though I do want my students to view their work with a critical eye, I don't want them to be so self-critical (such as "I suck" or "This stinks") that a simple "mistake" is enough of a reason to quit what they are doing and start over. Rather, I want them to work through their "mistakes." I don't like seeing them give up on themselves so easily.

Two, I simply don't like seeing kids use so much paper unnecessarily (particularly when we're all facing such huge budgetary restrictions). I've found many papers in the recycle bin with just a few scribbles on them or just a dab of paint. One can go through a lot of paper this way! Enter - GOOSe paper.

GOOSe paper is paper that is headed for the recycle bin. It's Good On One Side paper. It can be used for drawing or painting. I started using it last year and the kids were only slightly resistant at first. However, since the beginning of this year, we've only used GOOSe paper for drawing and many kids use GOOSe paper for their paintings as well.

I collect the GOOSe paper from teachers (and have a collection bin in the teacher's work room) and store it on various shelves in my room. It's a small thing but one that I have found very useful. I'd love to hear your thoughts and would especially love to hear if others use GOOSe paper in their rooms as well.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

"Here teacher. I made this for you!"

I often get students that want me to have the art work they have finished. In fact, over the past few years, I've collected hundreds of such art work and I've tried many ways to encourage the kids to take their work home. I guess I'm just a softy and I couldn't find a comfortable way to refuse artwork.

But this year I've been trying something new (new to me) and it's actually working. I told the kids at the beginning of the year that any and all art work made at school must go home to parents. And any art work they want to give to me, must be made at home. :)

I've actually had many students make me things at home and bring them to school. More importantly, those little art work treasures are going home to parents who can rightfully put them on refrigerators instead of putting them in a collection drawer (which is where those given to me ended up).

And what do I do with those pieces of artwork that are made at home and given to me? I have a special board where they are displayed. It's almost full. Then I'll start putting things up on the walls.

I'd love to hear how others handle the issue of kids wanting to give their work to teachers instead of taking them home.