Top 10 Reasons Artwork Doesn’t Make It Home

Sometimes parents ask me why more art doesn’t go home. Here are all the possible reasons I can think of why!

10. It didn’t get finished.
We have 60 minutes, once a week. Actually, we have less than that because of field trips and things. Sometimes students just need more time then I can give them and their work sits in their portfolios, unfinished. I try to send their unfinished work home with art supplies for kids to finish. Or provide lunch times, recess times, after school times to finish. I try modifying lessons for individuals so they have a finished product they are proud of. But sometimes, the art just sits in their portfolio.. unfinished.

9. The artist threw their own work away.
It breaks my heart, but it happens. Every child is not going to be proud of everything they create. I mean, as adults, we aren’t always proud of end products of projects we do either. But you have to know, sometimes the process is just more important than the product. Whether or no your child is proud of what they made, you must know that it was still a learning experience.

8. It was just a REALLY long project.
I don’t do what art teachers call “make and takes” where they make sometime and then take it home the same day. Many of our projects are 2-5 weeks long! Considering how many art classes we have a week, that means we usually do 5-6 major projects a year. Sometimes, your child might do a make and take for a substitute teacher or at the very end of the year or right before winter break. The majority of our projects are very involved and take time.

7. I display their art and it takes awhile to make it home.
So after that couple weeks of working on the project, then I hang it up for a month or two as well. I think it is important for kids to see their work up and be proud of it. And sometimes, their work isn’t just hung in the hallway, it’s in the community somewhere.

6. It was a collaborative project.
If it is a group project, every child isn’t always going to have a chance to take it home. However, you can still see their work right here on the blog.

5. It was a project that just wasn’t about a product.
Sometimes, I do a lesson that just isn’t about a finished product. For example, last year I did a media unit with the 5th graders. We studied different types of ads and created our own drawing ads but students spent more time on the studying then the creating. I don’t do more this often but I do think that actually studying our current media is important. It is part of my Wisconsin Art Standards I follow and the new Common Core that will be mandatory to follow in the next two years. When students don’t spend a lot of time on a project, it isn’t something they care to keep and take home to show off.

4. It got lost or stolen and it was not the artist’s fault.
This RARELY happens. It has only happened one or twice in my four years at Randall but it does happen. I try to foster a respect for each others’ work so no one touches much less steals someone else’s artwork. To make matters worse, when it does happen, it is usually a clay project that is the artist’s favorite project from the entire school year.

3. The artist doesn’t put his or her artwork back in their portfolio.
I have a simple and organized system to keep track of the hundreds of students’ work. Each student has a portfolio. Each portfolio is kept in a folder labeled with the name of the teacher and the table in which they sit. Then each table folder is kept in a class shelf. If a piece of artwork falls out of a portfolio and they have their name and class code on it, it’s very simple to save and put where it belongs! If they do not have their name and class code, it goes on the no name wall. Often, it isn’t that it fell out of the portfolio, it’s that the student never put their work in their portfolio and just left it on the table. When I have back to back classes, this is a sure way that the artwork will be lost or thrown away.

2. It’s in the bottom of a locker.

Even if they have their name on it, it wasn’t thrown away or lost or stolen, they are really proud of their work.. it gets stuck on the land of the bottom of a locker.

And the number 1 reasons artwork doesn’t make it home………

1. There was no name!
I try my very, very best to remind all classes every time to put their name and class code on their work. EVERY TIME. I say it many, many times during each class. Sometimes, usually it’s the same kids over and over, they just don’t put their name and class code on their work. Eventually, this work ends up lost or on the no name wall. Even if it ends up on the no name wall, it isn’t often claimed and gets thrown out at the end of the year. I have hundreds of students. I have a system to keep track of their work as best as I can but if they don’t do their part, the system doesn’t work.


So now you know!


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