Thoughts on coloring pages...

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by Taliesin, Jun 24, 2008.

  1. Taliesin

    Taliesin Rookie

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    Jun 24, 2008

    What are your thoughts on coloring pages in pre-school? For example: putting out several pictures of different types of trucks, with labels, to color during a transportation theme
    Do you use them in your class? Why or why not?
    Any experiences, good or bad, with them?
     
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  3. Taliesin

    Taliesin Rookie

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    I have 4's and each time I change our theme, I put out about 10 different coloring pages to go with the new theme. The children know they can always go get any one they choose during center time.

    Many of them really enjoy the coloring pages and (I think) might not come to the art center otherwise.

    I know a lot of research says not to use them because then children won't use their full potential of creativity in the art center.

    So I am torn. Hoping to get a few ideas from more experienced teachers.
     
  4. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    I think they need to practice coloring in the lines and using a different color for different things/parts. It sounds like you are giving them some choice in the matter and providing a variety of materials for them to do it. As long as you are planning mostly open-ended art projects that they get to use different mediums and their own artistic ideas, I think it is great. You might try breaking it into a coloring center and a art center. If you sit at the art center for a few minutes a day and model making different things (a book, a collage, paint a picture, etc...) the kids will follow your lead and start taking a risk as an artist. You could also start an art gallery where each student can choose one art piece each week (or 2 weeks or month) to display that isn't a coloring page or project piece.
     
  5. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

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    We don't do worksheets. Though our art center was a shmorgoshboard of activities. Mostly collage and cutting and gluing. More of the writing happened at the writing center which had pencils, crayons and markers. But they did some writing and drawing at the art center too. I also try to do journaling or writing and story dictation with the kiddos.
     
  6. MsWK

    MsWK Habitué

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    Nope. None. Occasionally, a child will bring a coloring book from home to share, but otherwise, it's all process-oriented art and sensory experiences.

    I don't necessarily have any ill feelings toward them, but we have a ton of other stuff to keep the kids busy.
     
  7. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Something else you can do is provide outlines and let them color in the details with their own creativity. Ex: outline of a body or gingerbread cookie. They decide if they want to color it simply, add body details and clothing or use some of the other art materials provided to create something new.
     
  8. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    That reminded me :) When I taught pre-k we had some "coloring" pages with random shapes on it. The kids colored each shape in and then cut them out to make a collage of something else. One sheet might have a square, a rectangle and four circles. One student could make a truck and another made a swimming pool with inner tubes and a diving board. It does take a little time for some kids to get into the idea of not having a finished product to use for a model, but they catch on quickly and get very creative! :2up:
     
  9. rosew

    rosew Companion

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    what do you think about coloring in defferent letters..that would help with letter recognition and possible help with handwriting..

    rose
     
  10. MrsPatten

    MrsPatten Comrade

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    Jun 25, 2008

    Tasha--that's a great idea. I think I'll use that idea with my first graders during the first week or so of school. I know I'm not a pre-school teacher but we use coloring sheets to help develop motor skills. I wish we had more time for cutting, pasting and all that stuff.
     
  11. vannapk

    vannapk Groupie

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    This is a very "hot topic" in early childhood education. I will probably become very unpopular on this board for my beliefs because I know there are many early childhood teachers who do use worksheets, however, I am strongly opposed to any type of coloring sheet; there are so many other things that you could be doing that are more beneficial for children. Coloring sheets are not considered Best Practice in any early childhood classroom. I have an entire page on my website devoted entirely to the worksheet debate, you can read it for yourself and make an informed decision.
     
  12. vannapk

    vannapk Groupie

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    Jun 25, 2008

    fine motor skill ideas

    There are many fun and engagning types of activities you can provide for your students to develop their fine motor abilities. Here is just one list I have found helpful: Fine Motor Skills My kids love to use plastic tongs or small strawberry hullers to put brightly colored pom-poms into egg cartons, this activity is one of the most popular in my classroom. Sometimes they try to pattern the pom-poms in the carton, other times they make rows of all one color. This activity is great for fine motor development but they are getting so much more out of it than they ever would a worksheet.
     
  13. princessa48

    princessa48 Companion

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    I don't really use coloring sheets, but I'm not completely opposed to them being used in moderation. One of my teaching partners uses them all the time...so I've gotten a bad taste in my mouth for them. My art activities have a bit more freedom of choice. We do a lot of crayon resist paintings, collage, and similar things. I do like the idea of just giving them an outline and letting them add details. That sounds really cool. Again, I don't have anything against coloring sheets as long as they're not used all the time.
     
  14. sarzacsmom

    sarzacsmom Groupie

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    I do not generally use worksheets-- I do use writing practice sheets that I made myself though. I do have coloring books in my room in the art area that they can use during free play if they want. Mostly the coloring books get used by children who have a hard time letting Mommy ro Daddy go to work--- they can color a picture to give them when they come back-- it helps them realize that they are coming back and gives them something concrete to focus on -- the older children will often draw theri own picture but for the little ones who don't have many skills yet having the pictures for them to color helps them make the transition better. they don't have to color a picture it is jsut an option but it seems to be a popular thing agian I th ink it has a lot to do with them giving it to the parent when they come back to get them---it helps them understand that theya re coming back.
     
  15. ksmomy

    ksmomy Companion

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    My co-teacher was giving the children (4-5 year olds) coloring sheets during free play time. Then the children started bringing in their own. It got to the point they were ONLY using the coloring sheets and not doing any other kind of art so I completely banned coloring sheets from the classroom. Once I did that they got back to creating their own art and making books and doing the things they had previously been doing. I think some coloring sheets may be okay at home but in the classroom I took this as a clear example of what happens when you use coloring sheets.
     
  16. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    perhaps a risky position

    :eek:I completely agree with the worksheet debate values expressed by Vanna. That said, the only time we use worksheets is during the summer. We are a family home child care set program and so in the summer we have schoolers who mix in with us. In almost all cases they are our siblings-so the preschool regulars really want to emulate them. We have the schoolers do worksheets and journal to combat summer slide-not much about 20 min total for both. During that time the pre k children have a journal and a inexpensive dollar store workbook. They can use the workbook or draw and dictate a story and then be done. It is a prop-not an activity. Even then it is sparing for them. I believe, like many other early ed professionals that the children of early ed age learn so much more from real word activities - especially when those involve friends. I am sure that all of you offer plenty of hands on friend activity time as well. Thanks.:eek:
     
  17. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Jun 26, 2008

    I have a variety of paper available in my art center... blank paper, lined paper, colored paper, and some "coloring pages." Usually the coloring sheets are just a simple clip-art pattern, and they LOVE coloring them in. They aren't available all the time, but are sometimes an option. I have kids who won't go to the art table otherwise, and I have kids who never use them. Some of my kids are really into turning the paper over and tracing the outline on the back; some are still into coloring the whole page one solid color. They also really like using the outlines for cutting practice (which usually I like because it beats the snipping random sheets to confetti I often get otherwise).

    I'll let them be an option during our "free play" time in the morning or afternoons during arrival/dismissal, but they are VERY rare as an option during our curriculum center time.

    Their new favorite activity is using large stencils to make their own "coloring sheets" and then cutting them out and coloring them in...
     
  18. hdb2008

    hdb2008 Rookie

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    For myself, I don't feel that there is anything wrong with using coloring sheets in moderation. Every where I have worked we have allowed the children the opportunity to using "coloring sheets"--these mostly consisted of clip art pictures from our theme.

    In one particuluar classroom (where I was an assistant) the teacher used "coloring sheets" as an example for our theme about occupations. When doing this particular theme--we progress from using already made "coloring sheets" to the children making their own "coloring sheets". After the children made their coloring sheets we copied them for each of the children to use if and when they wanted to.
     
  19. Minnie Mouse

    Minnie Mouse Rookie

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    My opinion is that anything a child may possibly learn from a worksheet would be better learned in another way. I think that real experiences with 3 dimentional objects are best. As for coloring sheets, I do know that some children enjoy coloring but to place them in the art center is a bad idea. Most kids get plenty of experiences with coloring but get little to no experiences with art and art media. I just see no value whatsoever in coloring sheets. My own children have had very few coloring sheets/coloring books through the years. I preferred them to have blank paper to draw and color their own pictures. This was cheaper and engaged them for much longer periods of time. Coloring within the lines is an over rated skill anyway.
     
  20. sarzacsmom

    sarzacsmom Groupie

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    learning to color inside the lines does help develop visual discrimination, fine motor skills and patience----
     
  21. LA-4

    LA-4 Rookie

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    I also do not believe in using coloring sheets or worksheets. In fact I was working on our "art bar" today. I use a shelf with 20 colored tubs for my art center. Each tub holds a different material and paper is stored on top as well as a ribbon dispenser and a yarn dispenser and some art books. (They never look at the art books, but books are required in every center. They are too busy creating their own art to look at other people's masterpieces!):lol:
     
  22. MorningGlory

    MorningGlory Rookie

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    I think that coloring pages are theraputic and relaxing for some children. They require a type of methodical motor repation to complete.

    Yes, I know all about the controvesy, but I just don't agree that the pages are all bad!

    Plus, why are stencils okay when the pages aren't? It is essentially the same thing!
     
  23. Yank7

    Yank7 Habitué

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    Sorry,I have never taught below the fourth grade,but I am curious why an ocassional coloring worksheet would be so terrible for 4 0r 5 year olds. My 4 year old loves to use a coloring book at times and the pictures introduce him to things which are new and interesting to him.I have often wondered if our pre K and K classes are so worried about preparing for tests that we don't give the children enough time to socialize and learn how to interact with each other.(I see Fifth graders who have high test scores,but have no idea how to relate to their fellow classmates.)
     
  24. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    ribbon dispenser!

    LA-4, could you please tell me more about your ribbon dispenser. Sounds like a great idea. We have colored tape on a dispenser sometimes, and that leads to great map building and and traps. I can't imagine what they would do with more ribbon access!
     
  25. vannapk

    vannapk Groupie

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    You can read all about "the great debate" here Yank.
     
  26. LA-4

    LA-4 Rookie

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    I got the ribbon dispenser at Target after Christmas a few years ago, but I know that I have seen them each year since. I purchase them on sale and give them to other pre-k teachers as gifts. Especially as a get ready for ECERS state visit gift!:eek:

    Basically it is a rectangualr box with a spool inside to thread the ribbon roles on. At the top of the front side are 4 or 5 slits to thread the end of the ribbon out of. They love choosing their ribbon and cutting off a section.
     
  27. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Love that idea


    :2up: Have you seen the tape dispenser in Discount? your class would probably love it-it is much the same action, just a different product. I will definately be on the look out. :2up:
     
  28. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Like I said earlier I only use the workbooks when the older school children are mixed with us (because we are family care). I always wondered why it was a "prop" to use a school (to play "big kid") but there was never any intent to send these items home. I never knew why I felt that way. Now, that I have had to think this through while reading the posts I see that, I was allowing the children to role pay (a DAP approved activity) for as long as they were interested-but since we are using the books as props and not as worksheets I don't send them home to avoid presenting conflicting data to parents. Journals we do send home, when full, but not worksheets.
     
  29. Yank7

    Yank7 Habitué

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    PRE K

    :)
    I am very impressed with your blog and website. I would certainlty be happy to have my children in your class.
     
  30. KarenPreK

    KarenPreK Companion

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    The main point I'd like to make is that drawing requires thought-- color sheets are a mindless activity.

    Children do not learn anything from color sheets or worksheets. They won't learn about a topic by coloring a pre-drawn picture of it. Instead, have children make observation drawings of what you are studying.

    In my class, we make observational drawings of things in our environment-- things the children can see and touch, like flowers, trees, leaves, etc. As the observe & draw, they are noticing details like stems, leaves, petals of flowers as well as the varying hues of color. We draw one day, and color the drawings in another day using colored pencils, watercolor paints, or add detail & design with ultra fine markers.

    In any activity you do in the classroom, ask yourself is it quality? That is so important. It has nothing to do with preparing for tests (my class has no test)-- it is about giving children the best educational experience.

    People argue that children like color sheets-- well, they like TV and candy, but is it best for them? People say it develops fine motor skills-- yet there are better ways for developing fine motor skills (and children can color their own drawing w/o using a pre-drawn sheet). Someone said it is therapeutic-- well, all art is therapeutic.
     
  31. sarzacsmom

    sarzacsmom Groupie

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    I respectfully disagree that coloring sheets are a total mindless activity. I didn'tbuild my house, but I put a lot of thought into what colors I paint each room and how I decorate it. If you give children choices about what colors to put where etc then it's still creating---- and every single second of their day at school does not need to be free art creation----I don't use coloring sheets to teach subjects--- but I might have them color items to make a mobiel--- a toothbrush and toothpaste and a tooth for dental health or have them do a color by number or connect the dots and color the picture to work on visual discrimination. personally I find it realxing and somewhat comforting at times to jsut sit downaand color a picture and those tow things are jsut as important in a school setting as anything else. Obviously if I only ever do worksheets or coloring pages I'm not doing my job. but to call coloring a picture a mindless activity is way off base---- I have children in my classroom that take a great deal of thought about what colors to use and often they add to the picture too.
     
  32. Edu Katy

    Edu Katy Rookie

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    I am not allowed to use any run offs so that means color sheets, too! Personally I do not see any problem with a color sheet or two being available for children that want to use them. There are some very artistic children that come to my class but there are some children that want to be artistic and yet they never seem to be able to get there.
     
  33. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    I have to admit, I never used them in a preschool classroom. However, we expect kids to color things in the lines and with mostly "correct" colors when they enter kindergarten. When kids create something independently it is more meaningful and leaves a lasting impression. However, there is a skill set that involves being able to color in the lines with correct colors. I don't think that coloring pages should ever be the sole art activity and it is never the assessment for anything. That doesn't mean it isn't a needed skill for preschool.
     
  34. KarenPreK

    KarenPreK Companion

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    When you hand a child a color sheet, you are showing them what an image should look like, rather than asking them to illustrate the image as they see it.

    This is why children get frustrated with drawing when they are given many color sheets. They think the illustration on the color sheet is the way drawings are supposed to look and they can't make their own drawings look that way. They lose interest in drawing because of their frustration with trying to get it to look "right". This is why color sheets are bad for creativity.

    When children are always given a blank sheet to draw on, you will see an increase in their ability to draw.

    One of our Kinder teachers gives children daily color sheets, and she complains when they can't draw on blank paper. These are the same children I had the previous year who could draw beautifully. They lose confidence in their ability when they spend so much time on color sheets.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2008
  35. Prekfreak

    Prekfreak Rookie

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    I have to admit that I do use them and probably way too much of them BUT in my defense my kids have quite a bit of variety in art projects. They get a sheet in the morning while they come in and they vary from journals, to an actual picture, to outline form, etc. We also do a teacher guided art project every week. The rest of the time the kids can cut, color, glue, stencils, color pencils, use marker on different kinds of paper during free choice centers everyday and we proudly display their work all over our room. I also teach them to write around the room which once they get the hang of it LOVE it!
    but since we are now becoming HS pre-k this fall I am looking towards changing things up quite a bit using my water table, easel and many other things everyday.
     

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