Choice doesn’t hold kids back

One of the great things about my newest rendition of choice in the classroom is the kids that are really excelling. It made me sadly realize that I have been holding back some of my artists.

Advanced Level Paper Mache using plaster strips

Advanced Level Paper Mache using plaster strips

This artist clearly needed to have an opportunity to create sculpture. She jumped to level 5 and started creating an armature of my recycled trash. It was looking so good that I quickly decided to get out my plaster strips. This is an expensive material that I had left over from art club last year. There is no way I could use these with a whole class doing paper mache. Most projects in my beginner middle school classes wouldn’t really be the quality deserving of this expensive material and I can’t buy much of it with my small budget. She had done paper mache before, but had not used the plaster strips. A quick lesson and she was off! She took the creature back and forth between school and home with the intention of getting the project done in time for the upcoming contest deadline. We conferenced a few times, first to teach her how to use the plaster strips, then to solve a listing issue she had as the front was becoming too heavy and finally looking up reference pictures to mix the perfect flesh tone color. I also brought out the nice acrylics for her to use as well. Meanwhile, other kids are just doing their own thing, including another group having fun making another paper mache creatures. They were at a lower skill level and just fine doing it with the traditional supplies. I am so excited by her finished work, and she was immensly pleased with her results.

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