Fall Color Experiments

This week I allowed my kindergarteners to play with “fall color” paints.  I laid out red, yellow and brown paint and allowed the kids to “experiment” with the colors.  The hope was that they would discover that red and yellow mixed together would create orange…guess what?  They TOTALLY discovered it!  It was amazing to watch.

We’re starting off the school year with developing fine motor skills:  I’ve been having kindergarten and 1st grade work on tearing fall colored paper into small pieces and glueing them into a circle shape.

Choice time is still going great and getting even better now that we have established routines.  5th, 6th and 7th grades are continuing to develop their own art.  It’s looking fabulous!

Finally, I am in the process of developing a unit titled “Me, Myself, and I”.  I am going to have 8th graders use their sketchbooks as a tool to learn more about themselves as they grow into teenagers.  They will consistently use photos of themselves and alter them depending on the current project.

I’m loving the results and I’m finding it to be very therapeutic for them!

Getting into the Groove!

We are currently in our 3rd week of school and routines are close to being established.  Students are getting the hang of the art classroom again; it’s like riding a bike.  One of the newest routines I’ve introduced to students are Bell-Ringers for grades 3-8.  Upon entering the classroom, students have a bell-ringer assignment on the board that they are to work on right away.  They have 7-10 minutes (depending on the grade).  Bell-Ringers are done in their sketchbooks.  Here was this week’s bellringer:

Bell Ringers 2017-2018.jpg

These were just a few of the lovely responses I got…

Portfolio production continues…

All classes are currently working on designing their portfolios.  The portfolios will take about 2 class periods.  Students are asked to illustrate their name large on one side, and draw whatever they like on the other side.  The portfolio process is particularly exciting for parents of younger kids: the progressions and development of their skills is significant and VERY noticeable from the beginning of the school year to the end.

Choice time for 5th, 6th, and 7th Grade

Something new this year for our middle school students, is something called choice time.  On Wednesdays, students in grades 5-8 have the opportunity to choose where they would like to go for 20 minutes.  The options are gym, art, computers, library, game room and study hall.  I have had several visitors 🙂  This is really a wonderful thing for the students, because they have the opportunity to explore, investigate and do their own thing…


Art Begins for the Nursery School

Finally, art is officially in session for the Little Littles as I call them.  This week I read The Dot to the pre-nursery and read a book about the artist Paul Gauguin to the nursery school.  Pre-Nursery worked on Dot paintings and the Nursery students worked on colorful landscapes inspired by Gauguin.  I actually drew my inspiration for the Gauguin lesson from a weekend visit to the Art Institute of Chicago.  They currently have an awesome exhibition of Gauguin’s work called Gauguin: Artist and Alchemist.


Thanks for tuning in!  This week has been great 😀

Portfolio Production

Last week, students and I went over the rules and routines of art.  This week we are working on our portfolios.  Portfolios, for those who might not know, are giant folders used to hold artwork.  Every HT student in the main building will now have their very own portfolio that will be used to hold their completed and in-process artwork.  These portfolios will stay in the art classroom and will go home at the end of the school year.  I will send home student art at the end of each term and will give parents the heads up to check their children’s backpack for their art.  So far these have been very entertaining for the students to create because they are so large!

Please take a look at our students working hard, creating their “Portfolio Design”.


Welcome Back!!

Students, parents, family and friends:  welcome back for another fabulous year of creativity and learning!  I am so excited for what’s in store for this upcoming school year!  This summer I put a lot of time and energy into developing an amazing curriculum for the HT students.  I feel very confident that the students and I will have a wonderful, artistic journey this school year.

There will be an email going out soon informing you all of a few good “Things to Know”, so please be on the lookout…

A few bullet points of that email will include:

  • My new last name
  • Sketchbook policy
  • Portfolio system
  • how long it typically takes to create an art work
  • dates that art will be sent home

As always, I am thrilled to be working with your children and am super appreciative of all the support!  Can’t wait to CREATE!!

….here’s a few pics of Kindergarten [KC] on their first day in the art classroom…


So Glossy!!!

These last past weeks have been FULL of ceramics!  Every single class in HT has had the opportunity to make a ceramic work of art…so parents expect your children to come home with clay art very, VERY soon (if they haven’t already)!

Students have been glazing their pieces and they are going right into the kiln afterwards.

Glazing is a very interesting process because the colors do NOT look like what you’d expect them to.  So I have to explain and show the students what the colors will really look like when they come out of the kiln.

So Glossy!


Since 7th grade made pinch pots, I seized the opportunity to teach the students about Greek vessels and the various vessel shapes.  They selected a shape, practiced it, and then made a final copy.

This is a scratch away piece.  So students color in their vases with an oil pastel, followed by painting in with a special scratch away paint.  Once the paint is dry, the students use special greek design sheets to scratch designs into their vessels.

How cool are these?

Lots-N-Lots of Ladybugs

We are on a theme right now with the younger grades, and that is Ladybugs…ladybugs in 3D versions and 2D versions.

As you seen in the previous post, the students created a 3D ladybug using the clay.  To keep with our theme, I had kindergarten create a collagraph version of a ladybug.  They had to also draw their ladybug’s “habitat” (we’re using fancy words here!).  We then used printing ink and rollers to create a stamped work of art.  It’s an advanced art technique, but our kindergarteners were totally able to rise to the challenge.  And they turned out beautiful

Take a look at our collagraphs!


We are now moving on the “glazing” process of ceramics.  2nd grade began the glazing process of their ladybug.


And last but not least here is our lovely kiln with freshly bisqued artwork!  Isn’t just lovely.  The kids have been so excited to see their pieces bisqued!

Good Weather = Good Day for Outdoor Art

This week we were fortunate to have some amazing weather!!  Thank you April! As much as I love to be outdoors, sometimes the projects we’re working on, just can’t be brought outside (wind, paint, MESS, etc.)….but NOT THIS WEEK!  5th grade is finishing up their weaving projects, and the wonderful thing about weaving, is that you can do it just about anywhere.  So we gathered our materials and went outside…


I hope May is good to us too and we can take our artmaking outside again.


This week in afterschool ceramics, we are creating coil pots….and although I have a tendency to love everything the students create, I REALLY, REALLY love these.  Even the kids commented how much cooler they look when they’re done vs first starting out…just goes to show, that you can’t really judge your artwork until it’s done.


Take a look!


Welcome Back!! Hooray for Clay!

It’s absolutely refreshing to be back after a wonderful 2 week break.  I hope everyone had a lovely Pesach break!  Right  before we went on break, my after school ceramics program had just started.  I’ve got a great group of kids and we hit the ground running on our first day.  We learned about “wedging” clay and created our first piece which is a texture pinch pot.


They look really Great and I can’t wait for when the kids will get to GLAZE their work!

Now that we are back from break, I am beginning to introduce clay to most of the grades.  We are beginning by learning clay vocabulary such as greenware, leatherware, bisque, slip, score, coil, and slab.  I then let the students play with the clay so they can get familiar with the texture, since it is different from the modeling clay we have used in the past.


:::  Apparently I took a video, but it turned out so cute: I had to share 🙂  :::

Look at the adorable lady bugs kindergarten made today in art!!  Can’t wait to create more ceramics with HT!


Donuts: The Finished Product

Our donut project had a very nice conclusion.  I provided the students with cake colored acrylic paint and the students applied the paint to half of their donut, followed by a frosting color of their choice (and sprinkles of course), although most went with pink.

This was a great opportunity for the students to work with 3-Dimensional materials, as we will begin our clay segment of art once we return from Pesach Break.


They turned out awesome and a lot of kids from the other grades have been asking if they can make them too…maybe we will: but out of CLAY!

Positive and Negative Space with 4th & 5th Grade

Students in 4th and 5th grade have been learning about the element of art that is Positive and Negative Space.  I begin by showing them the below picture:


I ask them what they notice first: the faces or the vase?  and then I explain positive and negative space.  5th grade is working on a project called Faces & Vases where they create a Greek Patterned design followed by attaching silhouette cut-outs of their face (which I trace for them).

4th Grade is learning about symmetry in Positive & Negative space by creating the following cut-out project:

Where the Wild Things Are


Last, but definitely not least, k-2 is learning about the wonderful author that is Maurice Sendak.  I have been reading them the book Where the Wild Things Are, because it is 1) a cute story and 2) it is a Caldecott winner for Outstanding Picture Book.  I have been teaching them how to draw a “wild thing” although some kids are just naturals…such as Ayelet who is in 2nd grade…