Wednesday, March 3, 2010

To Paint or Not To Paint

I DID IT!!  I managed to have a full classroom painting at the same time and I never "wigged" out until the cleanup process.  Painting has always been the one medium I have feared in my teaching career.  While not rational, my thoughts would run rapid of all the "what ifs" when I would introduce paint.  I know learning is messy.  I understand kids need to do.  I recognize the need for artistic expression.  BUT, what if paint got on their clothes, the carpet, all over:  what would I do?!!!!

Referring to my favorite characters...Alvin Ho and Scarredy Squirrel...I devised a fool proof plan.

Mrs. Archer's Painting Preparation Process:

1.  Buy paint and brushes....check
2.  Secure painting area (a.k.a the cafeteria)...check
3.  Spend prep time sketching portraits and tracing with crayon...check
4.  Line tables with drop clothes...check
5.  Make a visual aid (chart) of clean-up jobs and the student responsible...check
6.  Pack multiple cleaning aids to the painting area...check
7. Bring a Diet Coke or Cup of Coffee for Mrs. Archer...I FORGOT!

As you can see, I was very detailed in my preparation.  My treasures painted with precision, waiting in line for their next colors.  Through their own schema, they began mixing paint to create the specific color they were seeking.  It was smooth! The portraits are amazing! (Will be sharing at a later post!)  Then, as with all projects, some began finishing at different times.  "What do I do now, Mrs. Archer?  Is it time for recess?  Are we going to recess?  Can I help do something?"  Aghhhhhh!  I forgot to plan some "what do I do when I'm done" stuff because we weren't in our classroom.  Then, it went crazy
( in my head) and my treasures were everywhere.  After much meandering, loitering, and dancing (yes,some of my treasures love to dance!)all the materials were cleaned up, spotless, and inspected.  It went well, and I'll do it again.
But, I will always remember: to take deep calming breaths (especially during cleanup),  bring a diet coke for me, and that could make all the difference!

1 comment:

  1. We all need to paint more, it's a language. Try using egg cartons as paint trays, make sure no egg allergies are in your room. You can leave some spots open for the mixing they will naturally do. Also, clean meat trays are great. You can get those donated from a grocery store. Egg cartons are disposable. Meat trays can be washed and reused. Always pour less color than you think, they often don't need much. Invest in paint cakes (tempera) they allow a bit more indpendence and less mess sometimes. I've found cleaning tables not too bad and use the drop clothes as a place to hold work to dry. Go for it in your classroom, they will have stuff to can do it again.