Here are a couple of techniques that I like for teaching clay...
1. The classtimes in my schools are 40 minutes for upper elementary. I have been
lucky to work out with the homeroom teachers to have one class for 2 class
periods back to back. In other words, one 6th grader class will meet one week for
80 minutes. The following week the other class will meet. That way we can complete
the clay project in one session. No worries about clay drying out.
2. Names on the projects. I have a simple form ready for each student. They are
to print their name and circle their homeroom teachers name. I tell the kids when
they are done with their clay piece the form must be underneath the clay piece, no
form no firing. When the clay dries I write their name on their work with black
underglaze, and put an initial for their homeroom teacher. Doesn't take long, and
much better than trying to figure out whose name in carved into the clay, and I
instantly know what class it belongs to by the teachers initial.
3. For drying the clay, I purchased an inexpensive plastic shelf unit that has
shelves with square holes, like an open grate design. Works great for air
Hope this helps, start small with one class to work out the bugs and get a routine
you can live with. Have fun, Jean in Michigan