Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Painted Paper and Math??!!

A couple of weeks ago I ran out of "kid painted paper" for a project we were in the middle of, and with no designated time to have the kids paint more paper I got out some construction paper and started slapping paint on the papers so we'd enough paper to finish our work.

What did I learn during the process??? A LOT!!

Usually when I have kids paint paper I set up each work table with different colors and tools for printing or painting. For example, one table would have forks and warm colors,
another table would have corks or bottle caps, sponges, string, etc.

I almost always have kids go back with 2nd or 3rd colors to add details. Sometimes they change tables with their art to experience new colors or painting materials. All in all, it is a pretty non-directed experience.

Some of these seem too wonderful to cut up!!!

So, what did I learn as I was painting to add to our stash?? I learned that we can reinforce math skills as we print!! Imagine a 3rd grader who is practicing multiples of, let's say "4".  

Using pre-cut printing cards (I just used scrap mat board) and pose a few questions before kids start printing. Questions like, "How many fours will it take to print the width (or length) of your paper?" or "How many squares will you print on the width (or length) of your paper?" or, a tougher one, "How many squares will you print on your whole paper?" I found myself counting as I printed.
Imagine a whole table of kids quietly counting multiples as they print!!! Well, OK, maybe that is a stretch, but I'll bet I could get a few kids interested in the concept!!

With these you could ask older students, "What is the ratio of dots to squares on this paper?"

Meanwhile we end up with lots of cool scraps to cut up and use to create even more cool ART!!

I have come to think it is always good to have some black and white scraps in the mix.

Painted papers always make me happy!!!


  1. Isn't painted paper just the absolute best thing? I barely buy colored paper any more and why would I buy the fancy , expensive designed papers for the kids when they can make their own that is more beautiful and creative than anything that comes out of a package? :)

  2. Ah, the joys of painted paper! And I love the math connection! (I'm secretly a bit of a math nut).

  3. yep! what a fun way to connect to math. :)