Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Tips & Tricks ~ Part 3 ~ Miscellaneous

&      Storage of student work
§  Depending on how your room is set-up you might be lucky to have cabinets with bins for students to share for storage.
§  If not, I would recommend purchasing a plastic crate – one per class – and enough hanging file folders to hold each students work. 

&      Newspaper
§  Keep a stockpile of this great resource.  It has many uses from paper mache, storage of pastel pictures (use as a folder), wrapping for clay projects for a safe trip home, and table/floor protection. 

&      Painting palettes
§  You could invest in some plastic palettes from your favorite art supply catalog…or choose a cheaper route such as deviled egg trays from a dollar store.  These help to control how much paint the kids pour out and provides a mixing area in the middle. 
§  Cheapest and easiest to clean option – newspaper or a page ripped out of a magazine or old phone book.  The plastic palettes are nice, but the kids tend to get lazy and you end of re-washing all of the palettes.  Not fun when you only have 4-5 minutes before the next class comes in.  The other nice thing is – when they are done they simply throw the paper away! 

&      Water cups
§  Ask your fellow staff members to save their yogurt cups.  They make for a nice, sturdy water container
§  Purchase your own – like the red or blue “party” cups
§  Purchase a water bin from an art supply company.  They have a nice selection.  My personal favorites are those that are big enough for several students to use.  They have two water wells and holes along the rim to hold extra paint brushes.
§  Small plastic cups (5 oz.) work great for pointillism painting.  The kids use Q-tips and watercolor.  The small size of the cups helps to maintain water usage and messes.

&      Paints
§  Tempera – I usually get pint sized bottles that the kids can pour out themselves.  Always a risk, but if you go over the rules enough, they should be fine.  Don’t go for the cheapest “economy” brand….you get what you pay for… The student-grade types are fine. 
·       Another option is purchasing gallon jugs with pumps.  The paint distribution can be controlled by you (or perhaps an assigned student) and in the long run, a bit cheaper.
§  Watercolors – Running low on a color or two?  I recommend getting the refill packs.  The original cases can be washed and re-used.  Or, as I have recently done, organize each color in to separate bins and have them select their own colors.  I have small plastic palettes that hold them nicely and wash up well.  I tell the kids it’s my “paint buffet”. ;)

&      Paper
§  For sketches and small drawings I prefer to use the copier machine paper.  I usually have to place a separate order, but the paper has an excellent, smooth texture, and it’s much, much cheaper than drawing paper.  It is easier to erase pencil markings too.

&      Photo resources
§  Use calendars!  Carefully tear out each page and laminate!  You can get these from other staff members, any dollar store, or half-off at the mall after the holidays.
§  Print pictures from the computer once and laminate them.  Save them in a file. This way, when a student wants a picture of say a palm tree, you have it and won’t waste your printer ink every year.
§  Clip Art is always a needed item for my students.  It provides an easy visual for them to use.  Again, print them out (several on a page to save paper, all by theme or subject), laminate and file!

&      Demonstration tools
§  A document camera – priceless!  I am currently using a Sony…….?.........  Drawing on a chalkboard or white board is fine, but with the document camera the students can see your work – up close and live!  It especially helps with shading demonstrations.  Every student can see it up on the screen and follow along without a problem. 
§  If you have a digital presenter or can check one out from your library – PowerPoint is the way to go.  There are other types of demonstration tools, but this one is free and most likely already on your school computer.  You can show several examples of paintings by an artist while avoiding the huge cost of purchasing reprints.  Also, many students not only need the visuals, but it helps many to have your directions there to be read aloud.  I have learned to print the slides from each of my PowerPoint presentations.  This comes in handy when you have a student or two absent the day you present.  They can look through it and get the needed information.  Questions will be answered if necessary.