In preparation for their landscape paintings, I recently shared a Bob Ross painting clip with my fourth graders. It was completely silent. The amazing kind of jaw dropped wonder that I remember from my own discovery of Bob Ross in the mid-eighties was reflected back to me on every face. The first question when I turned off the video: "Do we get to use that knife thing?"
It turns out, that I will be letting them use "that knife thing" a whole lot once I discovered how much easier it is to clean 30 palette knives as opposed to 30 paintbrushes. Like the difference between washing a bald head or Rapunzel's hair.
Wet sponges on their tables made all the difference. Now I'm encouraging ALL paint mixing to be done with the knive and to apply paint with the knife or a brush. I will definitely bring this idea to the other grades, expecially for color wheels and other things where they don't have to paint in a specific shape. Saving so much time and paint this way. I'd have to imagine it will extend the life of my brushes as well.