Saturday, August 27, 2011

First Weekly Paint Day

Fridays are Fundays because each week we have a "Paint Day!" Parents come in to help us create 7 pieces of art in under an hour and a half! Each Friday I demonstrate to my 32 kindergartners, and the parents, how to complete each project. We then assign the parents to the activities and then the kids get creative! Once they finish one activity, they move to another station that has space. This continues until they have finished all 7 projects.

One corner of the room, by the sink, is set up with 3 double-sided painting easels so that 6 students can paint at the same time (2 parents usually cover this center; one on each side). The nearest table to the sink is the watercolor station. There are 5 other tables that have art activities that involve cutting, gluing, coloring, etc.

Yesterday's Paint Day, the first this year, featured the following projects:

PAINT: Paint a rainbow in the correct order: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple
WATERCOLORS: Paint a rainbow around your name (pre-printed on white paper)
CUT & PASTE: Color of the day "Flip Book" using pastels
GLUE: Glue beans down to create your name on a paper "balloon"
MATH: Create a "Square Bear" gluing together only squares
READING: Glue pre-cut letters in the correct order to make the words "red" and "blue"
CREATE: Make a rainbow windsock with rainbow tissue paper streamers

We had 14 parent helpers yesterday; mostly moms, but also 2 dads, one older sister, one grandmother and one aunt. We average 10 parent helpers a week, but have had as many as 20 at one time (and as few as 5). I remind the parents that the number of projects we can complete depends on the number of parents who show up. Only on a few occasions have I actually had to cut down the number of stations due to not enough help.

The parents love coming in on Fridays. Not only do they get to spend time with their child, they get to socialize with the other parents. Just as importantly, they can see first hand the concepts we are working on in the classroom.

Next Friday we will take our knowledge of painting in the order of the rainbow to create a clown with rainbow hair! We will also use beans once again, but this time in a math project in which they glue down the correct number of beans to match the pre-cut numeral. We will use bear stamps to count numbers and watercolor a number flip book....

On Wednesdays we have a similar activity called "Wednesday Workshops" in which parents come in to run each table. More on that in another blog....

(To see photos of "Paint Day" activities, go to and click on "Paint Day" under the "Class Pictures" tab.)