Last night, I only slept for about ten hours. Totaling that up with the night before equals twenty-two hours of sleep which means I practically slept an entire day away.
I’m not mad about it, though, because I feel so much better today!!!
Bring on a fresh new week!
I told you in yesterday’s post that I’d be back today to tell you about a fun new center I introduced to my class.
I know she painted the word green the correct color, but made a red apple to go with it. I know. I don’t care. It’s fine. 🙂
I’ve been teaching for 21 years. This is my 22nd year and I am here to confess something to you.
I have never ever ever EVER taught my kids how to use the watercolor paints.
The most I’ve ever done is say something like don’t mix the colors. If you mix the colors, I’m not putting out new paint until Christmas so you’ll just have to live with it.
That was pretty much the extent of it. And guess what?
The paint was ALWAYS mixed. Always!!
I realize this is completely my fault and I shouldn’t have a license to teach, but hey. Here we are, anyway.
This summer, I decided to invest in a CLASS SET of watercolor paints. I got mine through Amazon (affiliate link) because after researching the back to school sales at Walmart and Target, I found that Amazon (at the time) had the best price. Also, there are cheaper brands than Crayola, but through past experience, I have learned that the Crayola brand is extremely user friendly, whereas other brands can be difficult to work with. I wanted my kids to have success early on, and not be frustrated that the paint wasn’t working which is why I chose Crayola.
The reason I wanted a class set was because 1) we could all learn how to use them properly together at the same time and 2) I have high hopes they will last all year long because I will mostly just use them in centers.
A couple of years ago, I blogged for days on end about how I like to introduce each center (I have 8 total at a time) WHOLE CLASS before breaking into our small center groups.
If I introduce each center WHOLE CLASS, then the whole class is an expert, and no one can say they don’t know what to do.
So for about eight days, I take the block at the end of the day and we all do the same center all at the same time.
SO! I needed everyone to have a watercolor paint set, otherwise all of the above wouldn’t work.
I *FINALLY* got smart!
When they went out to last recess, I put a Watercolor Page (Colors Edition) on each student desk, along with a paint set. Then I filled up Dixie cups (half-way only!!!!) and put those ready to go in a big tub.
I did NOT pass out the water ahead of time.
When my class came in, they were oohing and aahing over the paint sets on their desks and they were ITCHING to get started. However, I made them come sit on the carpet while I told them what was about to happen.
Which was . . . I was going to be painting and modeling under the Ladybug (our document camera is the Ladybug brand so we call her Ladybug which is also perfect for when it’s not working because then we call her the Grouchy Ladybug).
And they were going to be WATCHING and PRETENDING that they were doing the exact same thing. And then, and only then, would I pass out the water that they needed.
I stressed and emphasized how we were going to learn to keep our paint trays neat, and how we weren’t going to mix the colors, or they would have mixed up paint sets until Christmas.
What can I say? It just slipped out. Maybe with a growl. I don’t know. I’m not buying any more paint until at least Christmas, got it?!
I am here to tell you that this worked like a charm. If only I could go back in time and save all the mixed up paint trays from my past.
I showed and modeled and painted, and asked what to do every time I wanted to paint a different color, and the kids would chant wash the brush, wash the brush, wash the brush!
I asked them to pretend to do it, too, and they did!
It was fantastic!
And then, I bee-bopped around the room with my big tub of Dixie cups and passed them out so the kids could get started lickety-split and guess what?
You’ll never guess.
- THEY WERE SO ENGAGED AND QUIET!!!
- THERE WAS ONLY ONE SPILL. (but it was only a Dixie cup filled part way with water so it wasn’t like a Tsunami or anything. It was an easy clean up, here’s a new paper, begin again type of thing)
- ALL THE PAINT TRAYS WERE PERFECT AT THE END. I’m not kidding. PERFECTION. You could have blown me over with a feather. I was in awe. Once again, if I could go back in time and save all of those mixed paint trays . . .
- THEY WERE SO SO SO QUIET!
They LOVED this center.
They didn’t want to stop when it was time to clean up, and get ready to go home. They LOVED it.
I LOVED it.
And Friday? When we had our first Fun Friday and the kids went to the Art Center?
THEY KEPT THE PAINT TRAYS PERFECTLY PERFECT.
I am STILL in awe!!!!
So there you go.
My little tip of the day is probably something you’re already an expert in.
MODEL MODEL MODEL!
When we eventually break out into center groups, I will have a different watercolor page in the center. Maybe another page from the Color Edition or maybe a page from the Short Vowel edition or maybe a page from the Alphabet edition . . .
Decisions, decisions . . .