I love this time of year. Grading is just about done, and I get to spend the last few days of the year enjoying the kiddos. We finish up the work we didn't quite complete and we get to try out some projects that aren't for a grade, just for fun. I taught the 2nd graders how to make clay dragons. I'm moving out of my room, and don't want to pack up 1/2 used boxes of clay. They loved it. We "dunked" the finished dragons in a very watery green acrylic paint, then used tiny brushes to add little details. Of course, some understood little details better than others. We had also made castle drawings while waiting for the dragons to be fired, so I showed the kids how to put triangles on the back of their paper to prop it up, and we used it as a backdrop for the dragons. By dunking and painting small details, I have learned that clay will most likely be dry quickly, and in time for the dragons to be taken home same day. If not, they just set them aside, and came back the next day to pick them up. It also puts color all over quickly, so you don't get that scratchy, brushed on look that can so easily happen when young students try to paint clay.