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Rain Painting

Is Learning a Process or a Product?

Posted by: Rhonda June 6, 2017

A light drizzle splattered the paint in mesmerizing patterns over the paper. The weather was perfect for rain painting and I anticipated a beautiful display of artwork to hang in our classroom. My students, however, were enthralled simply by the activity with no expectations of a finished product. In fact, one artist discovered a nearby rain puddle and enthusiastically immersed his paper, rinsing off all the paint so he could do it over again! The other children gleefully followed suit (again and again) and soon their soggy papers were in no state to be displayed. Was the activity a failure or a success?

With young children, the process is everything. It is only us adults that are occupied with the end product. How can you set up your classroom to encourage this natural mode of learning and discovery? Providing children with enough unstructured time and materials, as well as allowing them the freedom to take risks and make mistakes, is crucial. Teresa Gonsoski offers some simple strategies in her newest article on creating “yes” environments: Setting up a Process-Oriented Classroom.