Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Why, oh why...

...do I plan messy projects back to back?  It's really not a smart thing to do when there is no time built in between classes.  I had 2 first grade classes back to back making abstract expressionistic paintings today which were too wet to move off my one drying rack so then when my two Kindergarten classes for the day came immediately after I had to put butcher paper on the floor to hold their wet paintings. I'm hoping they'll magically be dry enough to stack before I head home in approximately 15 minutes since my room is used for a social skills group during lunch on Thursdays when I'm at my other school.

This is what my sink counter looks like, as clean and organized as I can manage right now. I really need to keep working on better ways to use my space.  By the way, don't order cheap tempera paint.  It's not worth it.  I thought it would be pretty similar to the more expensive brands but there is a HUGE difference.  It has a weird viscosity and is definitely not opaque.  When you squirt it out, the colors look bright enough but they do not cover well and are not very saturated on paper.  The only thing I can think of is to try mixing them with better paint so it's not a total waste.

I think that at some point today, almost every paint brush in my classroom was dirty.  I once again underestimated how much time my Kinders would need to do the steps planned for the lesson today so I just gave them new brushes for the second paint color. I want to really take time to teach them how to clean paintbrushes the right way so that will have to happen on another day.

In case you were wondering, the purpose of this post is to remind myself to think about what ALL my grades are doing when choosing a medium for a project!  And to warn others about cheap paint!


  1. Totally understand....things like this seem to happen no matter how well you plan! I remember days where I had every single class painting and fortunately I had 2 drying racks, but still everything was a huge mess! Some how I managed to work it out though. The life of an Elementary Art Teacher is not for the faint of heart! I enjoy reading your posts. You seem like such a Great Art teacher!

  2. I feel your pain (been there myself)!!! What happens if you add white to the cheap paint? It might make it more opaque -- worth a try:)

  3. Love seeing your sink because it looks like mine did! It took me 20 minutes just to clean the sink area! I can't stand cheap paint either!!! What to do with it? Give it to a kindergarten teacher maybe for a trade?

  4. I generally plan so that all of my classes are painting at once. I like to have the big mess, rather than cleaning in between and pulling out new supplies. And, do tell what brand paint that you ordered!

  5. @Melissa- thank you, that's really sweet!

    @Fine Lines- mixing it with white is the best thing I can come up with to try... I did it a little bet yesterday but I need to try adding in more of the good paint.

    @Art Project Girl- I think all the other teachers just get small bottles of tempera out of the work room and silly me ordered a whole gallon because I thought it would be fine!

    @Angie- That's what I do with clay, all in one week. I usually just try to spread out painting in the morning and afternoon because of the drying rack situation. I'm hoping I can somehow find room in my budget for an additional drying rack but I don't know if it'll happen. I ordered all my supplies from School Specialty last year. We get awesome discounts so it saves a lot of money. I guess I found out the hard way that paint is not the place to go cheap!

  6. I am curious as to what the project is that you have on the floor that is using newpaper?
    Mrs E in Texas

  7. The project on the floor is going to be something similar to this: http://pinterest.com/pin/216171376/

  8. I seem to be doing a lot of mess in every class back-to-back lately too, so I put paintings and masks on the floor in the hallway to dry, and luckily the custodians put up with me! My sink is a disaster too - but today I had a student in observing in my room and she thought it seemed like a "well-oiled machine" - I guess in the middle of the chaos all these little guys knew what was expected of them and where to find what they needed, and it worked. Yeah!!