Monday, June 11, 2012

New Materials Inspire New Thinking!

We added recycled materials to our art area this week. We have on occasion had things out and we even began our year with a large recycling bin full of various recycled materials.

With a large and busy class this year we have found it challenging to ensure that artists are creating with respect and intent. This week we decided to put out two recycled materials along with other materials that are normally available in jars. The results were incredible!

The children were thoughtful and patient, they used problem solving skills and worked in small groups to build a variety of things. One small group of girls who wrote a story the week before about Rapunzel decided to use the egg cartons and toilet paper rolls to create Rapunzel, her tower, a horse and carriage and even the little lizard.

My question still remains in do you provide recycled materials, in fact any art materials, and ensure that they stay organized and respected in art. The more I reflect on it, the more I realize that I need to work even more at the beginning of the year in teaching how to respect and use the art studio.

At another school, the children use a little basket to pick materials off of the shelf. I think this is a fabulous idea as it would further encourage children to make a plan, think about their choices, and be selective in the materials they use.

We also struggle with the use of tape vs. glue. Children love the instant satisfaction of tape and the strength it has to hold their art projects together. White glue on the other hand teaches patience and slows children down in their process. Perhaps with more time spent together in the Fall we can work through this thought process and selection with the children...

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