I also put up everyone's work. My husband is a writer. How many rejection slips for one acceptance??? Who am I to decide oneperson's work is not good enough to hang? My kids know I always hang up everyone's work. I think having work hung up is a motivating factor as well. And I am always amazed that the works that I think are best are not always the ones that faculty and other kids think are best once they are hung up.Some people LOVE simplicity or abstraction, others love the pattern and business of some of the other work. There's something for everyone and I also think it motivates kids to finish and do their best, no matter what their approach. And if they don't try their hardest and rush to finish something, it might teach them to work harder next time and lead them to take more pride in a job well done.
I wanted to tell you that I tried Melissa Speelman's project of the hand and arm portraits. What a hit! We had every single kid in Lower School do this as the first project. Rather than use magazine images and collages, we drew ours in dfferent ways. Some kids used pen and watercolor. Some used pen and crayon. Some used colored pencil on black paper. The ones on black paper were placed together to form three big trees in our mural. The trees were great with the hands/arms as the trunk/branches. We let early finishers make Eric Carle type butterflies, birds, bugs, squirrels, etc. What a great and joyful wall we have, and I LOVE the fact that all of our students are part of it. IT was even finished and up by parents night. The other wall was where we used the sun in the middlw with the arm/hands as the rays. It's stunning. I'll upload some photos for sharing this weekend sometime. We gave each child a questionnaire that helped them to quickly identify those things that make them unique, the things they cherish, what they do for fun, hobbies, who they love, sports, things they do outside, etc. It got them started right away. Their answers to the questionnaire were what they used to illustrate their hand/arm. One of our 5th graders suggested that we name the project "inner portraits." Thanks, Melissa!