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.


  1. I really like that idea! I cringe at the thought of how much paper my students waste; we have been working on breaking their bad habits. I will try this for sure!

  2. I love this paper! It's good for so many things besides drawing practice. It's great to paint on when you want to cut and collage because it's thin enough to glue well. Cut it into squares and it makes great origami paper - because it's printed on one side you can tell one side from the other! And remember - "Take a mistake and make it great!"

  3. Thanks for the comments. Funny story about GOOSe paper: several goose papers had math problems on the back. I've had several students first do the math problems and then draw on the other side! ;)

  4. I like to use other teachers' misprints or copies for paper mache-- works way better than newspaper and I tell them to put the ink side down after it is torn in strips. (liquid laundry starch for our 'goo')
    I also teach a 25 minute "Life Explore" class called 'recycled art'--and we make use of EVERYTHING. It's fun because I can change it every 4 weeks with a new group of students...using styrofoam meat trays for simple printmaking, old wool sweaters for hand-sewn mittens, torn tan/green rags for ghillie suts and an old tux for a painted day of the dead/beetlejuice outfit...we use maps, coffee filters, cardboard, yarn, fabric strips...and have a great time! Kids that normal don't get to have art at least can be a little creative at no cost!
    Thanks for listening to my ramble...

  5. Goose paper! That's great! I am always searching through the recycling bin near the copier to find scrap paper! The secretary knows what I want! The kids are going to get a kick out of the new name! It will encourage them to use it and tell their teachers to save it for us and for their classrooms as well. Thanks for the laugh and the name!

  6. Thanks for the comment! I've gotten a lot of mileage with GOOSe paper. So far this year I've used tons of paper but no copy paper. The kids are just fine using GOOSe paper.