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Arts & Activities - Page 14

Stepping Stones PROJECT PREPARATION Stepping Stones is a monthly column that breaks down seemingly daunting tasks into simple, manageable “steps” that any art educator can take and apply directly to their classroom. Stepping Stones will explore a variety of topics and share advice for art-on-a-cart teachers and those with art rooms. by heidi o'hanley ave you ever felt like you’re struggling with preparing project materials and packing away too much in too little space? Yes, I hear you. Here are a few tips I picked up on with the supplies I use most in my art curriculum. DraWING MaTerIaLs are perhaps the easiest for me to work with as a traveling art teacher. Every time I push the cart, I have boxes of markers, crayons and colored pencils organized and ready for student use. Drawing projects are also much simpler to prepare, set up, disperse and collect once we are finished. One trick is to create many projects which are the same size. I pre-cut most of my white or manila paper the same size and store it in a box top on my cart. The schools I travel to already require students to have their own pencils, markers/crayons, erasers, scissors and glue. Don’t assume that all students will have these since items can get lost. Make sure you have some additional materials to help students who do not have the items you require for the project. Other drawing materials, such as charcoal, pastels or special colored pencils are items you supply. I requested donations of plastic containers because they are great for storing materials when traveling from room to room. H 1 amazing with filling bowls of water in the bathroom and taking bowls and brushes back after class to wash. But when it comes to younger grades, it may be best to work with what’s in the room. If you have a separate cart to work with, load it with a pail for used water, a pail for dirty brushes, newspapers, brushes, water jug, paper towels, plastic bowls and palettes of your choice (I prefer paper plates, which are easier to toss). Also, load the paint you plan on using (tempera, acr ylic, watercolor or tempera cakes are the more common elementar y paints). If you are able to acquire a cart for this purpose, leave it right outside of the classroom for easy transport. I have a separate drying rack on wheels to transport from room to room. During class time, I leave it outside of the rooms for mobility, but during clean up I push it in to allow students to place their paintings to dry. to hold materials, and they store plenty of items for projects, such as colored paper scraps, handouts and more. Once a project is complete, I store the box top on a shelf, label it and I have some pre-made materials ready for the following year! When creating colored paper projects, I found it difficult at first to provide the colored paper for all classrooms. I found it easier to create a box top of each colored paper to use, which helps save scraps and can stay in the hallway lined along the wall. When passing out materials, I call a few students at a time to collect the colors they need in the hallway. During clean up, I have helpers separate the scraps before I push the boxes to the next classroom door. 2 saVe THOse BOX TOPs I collect copy paper box lids the materials, have your helpers fill water cups, pass out brushes, paper towels and newspaper. While the helpers are passing things out, you can set up your paint palettes. You can also choose more helpers to pass out the paint once you’re done setting up. Cleaning up can be orderly, if planned out. Depending on the way the tables are set up in the classroom, you can choose more helpers to collect and dump the used water in the pail. Other helpers can collect the used brushes and place them in the dir ty brush pail. Each student can wipe down his or her own desk with the paper towels or wipes. While the students are cleaning up, you can call the students’ names individually to bring their paintings to you for the drying rack or drying table. If you have a class of good listeners, this works like a charm. If you know the students will take a little longer with clean up, plan a little extra time and work on training them to be “quick, quiet and clean” during the clean-up process. “Quick, quiet and clean” is a great tool phrase used for students to stay on task with cleaning up in their classrooms at a few of my schools. Everyone has their own way of managing their supplies, but the trick is how to prepare, disperse, and store your supplies. Use your resources, and don’t be afraid to communicate with your co-workers and administrators when needed. n Heidi O’Hanley is an art teacher for Wilkins and Lyle Elementary Schools. Visit her blog at www.talesfromthe march 2013 • 80 years 4 reCrUIT HeLPers To save time when passing out ing when traveling from room to room, but not all rooms have that luxur y. My sixth-grade students were 14 3 PaINTING Having a sink in a classroom is a bless- x

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