Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Grade 5 half portraits and Clean Watercolors until January 6th...

My 5th graders are doing half portraits right now that are coming out pretty neat. They are doing a great job mixing skin colors using 2 or more different combined colors. More details on this lesson soon. 

We use a lot of different types of paints throughout the year interchangeably. Liquid Watercolors are a personal favorite but we frequently use tempera cakes in two varieties, liquid tempera, acrylic, mixing mediums and watercolor palettes. 
The watercolor palettes require the highest maintenance because they are smaller, more delicate and the wells are so close together. The lids are a perfect space for mixing colors BUT you have to clean them off. Usually we use plastic paint palettes for mixing colors for this reason. If the watercolors are, well, really watery and the kids close the lids and turn them in any direction, the paint runs to the lid and all over. You get the idea. Check out Exhibit A below.....
Two of my classes are using watercolors right now. They were so excited to use the new, 16 color sets. One student gasped seeing the beautiful new colors. I showed my classes the old watercolors and then the new watercolors and we discussed how to use and care for our brand new sets. 
The biggest difference in how we're handling the watercolors is in leaving them open to dry. My quality control checkers and I can take a peek at the watercolors at the end of the period to see how clean they look or where a little bit of attention needs to be focused. We set a goal of January 6th as the date we hope to keep our watercolors in new looking condition. Why January 6? Well, one student came up with the date as it's her birthday and is a few months away. 
It's early,  but so far so good. Here are the sets after 2 weeks of use by several classes.

Communal supplies are a true lesson in care and respect. Who knows, maybe our new watercolors will continue to look so until January 7th.... :)


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Jen.
      I'm inspired at the prospect but realistically, I'm more inspired by my recess helpers that come in and happily help manage the supplies!