One of my biggest fears/concerns this year when moving to a TAB/Choice-Based classroom was the addition of paint into the mix. Paint is always a scary thing. Kids don’t always wash brushes out and acrylic dries in them. Trays get left behind for me to clean. So much paint gets wasted because no matter how many times you say, “you can always get more”, the kids take enough to cover an elephant. And don’t get me started on those pumps for the half gallon bottles that are always clogged.
Since this year I have everything out for the kids to access, I thought paint, both acrylic and watercolor, should be out too. And, not to toot my own horn too much, since I had put so much thought into organization (and it is working very well), that the paint should get the same consideration. I bought a bunch of clear, empty ketchup bottles for my acrylic to try and combat the too much paint/clogged pump issue. I looked through all the stuff I had and found a couple of racks I could use. And, I appropriated several Xerox paper box lids from the work rooms.
I made 2 areas–one for watercolors, and one for acrylics. So far, so good. Kids have access to it all, except they do have to ask for the canvas boards. They have been taking only the paint they need. They close the caps on the paint bottles. Almost all brushes are washed well. (They have been following the brush washing video I made for them.) The paper paint palettes help so much with giving them less to clean and more time to work.
It seems my fear of introducing paint was unnecessary. Let’s hope they keep up the good work, and good clean-up.