We are mid-way through the year, and I sat with the sketchbooks this afternoon to reflect. What are the children doing? Is it worth it to have the children working in their sketchbooks every day? What are they doing? Has it changed?
In my opinion, it has been very positive. Some children draw for one minute, some prefer to draw for five. Five minutes is the maximum time we have - but children are welcome to revisit their sketchbooks anytime they want to during the day. I think it is an especially positive activity for the children who do not choose to draw during the day. I am thinking of one boy in particular who does not choose to draw, and typically avoids fine motor activity. This is a time for him to show us something in this drawing medium - no matter how small it is, or what it is.
Some children have filled four books, some are still on their first. I have not been as good recently about giving them different mediums. They have many different drawing tools, but I think we should be including more photography, more collage, more paint, and other mediums for expression. This does take planning ahead. I realize that more now that I looked at 13 sketchbooks that only have drawing. I did find one little surprise - one girl had taped in a drawing that she had made on a long strip of purple construction paper. It was piece that she independently chose to add to her cumulative work, and I found that refreshing.
Now, I am thinking about next steps for sketchbooks...another thing to add to the list!