Sunday, May 6, 2018

In the Art Room: Maker's Kit Grab Bags

Well, howdy, friends! Have you started the End of the Year countdown yet? I have not...as I'm in the middle of the Art Show Countdown (Tuesday, May 15th, eep!) and cannot seem to focus on the end-of-the-school-year/light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel as I still have SO.MUCH.ART.SHOW.PREP.TO.DO. Thankfully, I'm surrounded by my amazing Art Show Mom Army who are handling the bulk of the work (matting, hanging, finding my coffee/sanity/half-eaten-burrito all at the same time). As most of y'all know, it's really just a matter of getting the kids to FINISH ALL THE UNFINISHED THINGS.
Case in point: I scored an extra hour with my doubled up fourth grade classes on Friday (doubling my fourth and third grade classes is the only way I can get them for an hour. It's busy but it's worth it!). I created a To Do list for them that I posted on my big screen T.V. Here's what was on their agenda:
That's a lot! Thankfully, it's a matter of finishing projects...so no new set of instructions was required. However, you know how this can sometimes go: THE UNENDING ASKING OF QUESTIONS. 

What do I do next?

Where does this go?

Where can I find that one thing that is always in the same place every time but I'm going to ask you again just to test the limits of your sanity?

Insert waving of white flag here. 
Recently, a class reminded me that they'd never "cashed in" their Awesome Artist points because their art teacher is an inconsistent hot mess. Well, they didn't say that last part but it was HEAVILY alluded to. So, I told them that the following art class they'd be able to. "What are we doing?! Are we having a party?! Will there be pizza? CAN WE MAKE SLIME?!"

No. No. ANNNNNNND no. 
 I don't have time for parties (c'mon, y'all. Everyday in the art room is a party anyway!), I ain't got money for pizza and IF I NEVER HAVE TO MAKE SLIME IN MY ART ROOM IT WILL BE TOO SOON. And, just 30 minutes before classes arrived...I got the idea for Maker's Kit Grab Bags. Here, let me 'splain:
If you follow me here, then you know I'm in the middle of cleaning out. I'm decluttering like a crazy person...it's been put to kind of a standstill for the sake of the art show...but the minute that's over, I'm going right back to decluttering. I've managed to knock out cabinets in the art room and corners of my INSANELY PACKED storage closet...
And I've set most of it aside for the EPIC YARD SALE I am planning to host. But a lot of it...I started thinking...the kids might want. 
 So I popped open 34 lunch bags (another item I have a TON of) and started throwing my unwanted craft supplies inside: popsicle sticks, stickers, construction paper in weird sizes, tubes, yarn cones, ribbon and just all the stuff that I have been donated over the years and never found a use for. 
 I LIVED for grab bags as a kid. Whenever I had the opportunity to buy a toy, I always sprung for the grab bag. I told my students that these were Maker's Kits. They were to inspire them to create something, ANYTHING, with the aid of supplies they might already have here at school or home. The hitch? They had to work their tails off all art class, in order to cash in their table points and score their bag. Y'all. I never ONCE had a kid ask me what they were to do next, I never ONCE had a kid off task, I hardly even heard a peep out of them. But, best of all, they started coming back to art with their creations...even sharing them with me on social media!
This was just a spur of the moment idea that I am so excited about! Next year, I hope to create a competition out of this...to really inspire my kiddos to keep on creating. As for now...it's helping me clean out and keep them motivated to the bittersweet end. Do y'all do anything like this?! I'd love to hear how it works in your art room!
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6 comments:

  1. I love this idea so much! This is only my first year teaching art, but you've got me thinking of ways to incorporate this into some kind of challenge next year. (Probably while I'm losing my ever lovin' mind before the art show, haha)

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  2. Oh my gracious! A grab bag! Such a cool idea!!!!

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  3. Simply genius! I'm going to make a batch tomorrow! Great as "road trip kits" too if you add some attachment supplies - I'm loving Velcro these days in my studio so they can redesign their creations. Thank you for being fabulous, creative, inspiring you!!

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  4. Love, love your posts!!!!!

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  5. I love this idea! I'm wondering about your kids' unfinished work list. Are this things they just weren't able to complete at project time? How many kids still are working on a project when you move on?

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  6. wow its so cool and beautiful very artistic and creative. i like this post
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