Fun with Paper Sculptures & Watercolor Experiments


Art Class is in full-swing at Hillel Torah!  Right now 5th-8th grade is working on “watercolor experiments”.  Students get to play around with mixing colors and see what kind of cool effects they can get when they sprinkle salt and drop rubbing alcohol onto their paintings.  They have been so engaged in this art making experiment.

I have been assessing kindergarten through second grade by having them practice line varieties i.e. straight, wiggly, zig zag, etc.  This gives me great insight into their capabilities and what areas I can help them along.  Of course I have to make this process fun for them, and what better way than to have them make paper sculptures?!  I showed the kids how to make “curly paper”, zig-zag paper, and different shapes.  Next I asked them to glue them together and create an “Abstract Paper sculpture”.  They had a blast – and so did I by just watching them enjoy themselves.

Welcome back!!

Hello Students, Parents, and fellow blog readers!  School is back in session!  I am so excited to be back with the Hillel Torah community for my second year.  I anticipate this year being even more successful than last, especially since I now know the students and their various learning styles.  I have some very exciting art in store for us!  I will be sending out occasional requests either through a paper note home with your child or via email, requesting certain supplies such as newspaper, magazines, yarn, etc.  I have very strong intentions of taking our art course into a 3-Dimensional realm this year and  I hope to accomplish this through the art form of paper mache!  Paper mache is so easy, crazy affordable, and tangible, and I personally just LOVE, love, love it!  Take a look at what we accomplished last year – this year will be even better!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Camp Chi Trip


The past 3 days – Ms. Calleros was M.I.A. in the art classroom.  Why you ask?  Because I went to Camp Chi with 6th grade!!!  It was tiring – but of course: AMAZING.  I absolutely LOVE Wisconsin Dells.  The terrain over there is stunning.

We had numerous activities planned for the students.  The activity I led, was a weaving project that used sticks collected from the forest (after dousing myself in bug spray).  The project is called God’s Eye and it’s actually a weaving style that originated in Mexico.  The kids got super into it and it’s really quite easy and beautiful.  The only difficulty is finding straight sticks….not as easy of a find as you’d think!

Excellent work ladies and gentlemen!!!

We finished our trip with a ride on the Wisconsin Dell ducks which are these boats that drive on land and water!


It was a blast!  Now we’ve only got 7.5 days left of school!!  Where did the school year go??

Weavings for End of the School Year Ants in the Pants


I like to save my tactile art projects for the “End of the School Year Ants in the Pants” syndrome, as I call it.  One of the projects I’ve done in the past that has been met with tremendous success – would be the Plate weavings.  I changed the project up a bit this year and had the students design their plate which serves as the loom.  5th- 6th graders are doing this project.

I first provided the students with a compass to make circles within circles – and then create designs within them.  That portion of the project took up about 2 class periods.

Next I had the students cut 19 slits all around their plate and get their loom prepped.  It somewhat resembles a bicycle wheel…

I had enough time to show some of the students how to begin their weavings and all I’ve got to say is “SUCCESS….AGAIN!!”  Hillel Torah students: girls AND BOYS love to weave.  The boys have even mentioned that the weavings resemble kippahs – so who knows….??  Maybe we will be able to successfully pull the weavings off and they could be used as kippahs.  We shall see…!

Not So Icky Bugs…

Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 1.19.31 PM

I can not believe how fast this school year flew!  I literally did a double take at my calendar when I seen how little time I had left for my remaining art lessons. On a sadder note, my phone with all my glorious pictures of beautiful student work, has ceased to work.  I am terribly sad because I had some beautiful pictures to share with you all.  However, all is not lost because I take photos regularly and have already accumulated a good amount on my new phone to show you what has been going on in the art room.

Before we left for Pesach Break, I had begun a Bug Unit with my younger kiddos.  I have a love/hate relationship with bugs.  I love their designs and patterns and I think they’re pretty cool creatures, but I HATE when they crawl on me….oooof!  I’m getting the Heebie Jeebies just thinking about it.  Anyways, the kids loved them.  They started by designing their own insects.  Then they selected their favorite insect and painted it large.  They also created a styrofoam print of the insect and made insect prints.  I think they turned out so cool.  I personally would matte and frame these!  Here is the lesson/process of how we made the print.


And here are some of our Kiddo’s results.


Even if the print didn’t come out clear every time, the art was still very beautiful.

The next project on our list for kindergarten is creating 3-D paper mache bugs.

I am expecting them to be pretty rad…

Parents…Gotta Love ‘Em!


I sincerely appreciate when I have students that are crazy, enthusiastic about Art…it only further cements the reason of why I became an art teacher.  So when I had a student approach me last week , bursting with excitement over an idea she had for an art lesson – I of course, was all ears.  She suggested making tie-dye pillow cases for passover using sharpie markers and rubbing alcohol.  Sounded cool enough for me – I was in!

Luckily for the students, school and myself, her mother sponsored the project and also came in to give a demonstration for the students!  How cool?? So this is what we did:

Students were supplied with white cotton pillowcases and given a variety of sharpie markers.  We put a big piece of cardboard in the pillowcase to keep the markers from going through to the other side. The students were encouraged to come up with abstract designs that they wouldn’t mind “bleeding”, meaning that the ink would spread once we hit it with some rubbing alcohol.

We used spray bottles and droppers to distribute the alcohol once their sharpie marker designs were completed to their liking.  The kids loved this project due to the freedom of design and the “coolness” of the rubbing alcohol spreading the ink.  A couple of tips for those who would like to try this – definitely do the alcohol portion of the lesson outdoors if possible or somewhere that has amazing ventilation – the smell of alcohol is pretty powerful.  Also if you would like the design to bleed through to the other side – simply pull the cardboard out of the pillow case and then distribute the alcohol.  When the alcohol spreads it will automatically soak through to the other side of the pillow case and color it as well.

A BIG, BIG thanks to Shani Jacobs for sponsoring our Tie-Dye Passover pillows and to Dalia Jacobs for coming up with the brilliant idea!

Painting Galore!


These last few days have been filled with lots and LOTS of paint…and if you teach art – you know that paint = mess = fun = lots of work.  I usually spread my painting projects out so that they aren’t occurring simultaneously, but that just hasn’t been the case this week and I’m totally fine with that!  My tables are looking beautiful, bright and abstract!

This week I’m having kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade play with primary colors.  I took rolling pins and covered them with bubble wrap and asked the little ones to cover their pins with red, yellow, and blue paint.  Then they were able to have at their papers by gently rolling the pin up and down their large white paper.  They were so excited to see the variety of colors they were getting.


The results have been beautiful!


We will add more to the dried pieces next week, but that is a surprise!


This week with 5th grade, I’m having 5B create color wheels.  I typically save color wheels and paint mixing for 6th grade, but I felt this group was up for the challenge, and they definitely were.


Look at the concentration on those faces!


I of course can not end this post without mentioning our school’s Purim celebration last week!  We had some amazing, amazing costumes: the creativity was out of this world!  I only wish I was able to get more pictures…

Here were some of my favorites:

And here was my costume:


What do YOU think I am??

A New Resolution!


I have admittedly had a harder time updating with all the activities and days off we’ve been having with Fridays.  Fridays are typically my updating day.  However, I attended the NAEA (National Art Educators Association) conference this past weekend at McCormick place and I came back totally inspired (even more so ;))  and absolutely dedicated to the idea of regular consistent updates, even if it kills me!!

I attended a lecture on Art Teacher Blogging, which was led by the phenomenonal Cassie Stephens, Phyllis Brown, and Laura Lohmann  All incredible art teachers and totally inspiring.  I even had the opportunity to take a picture with Phyl who I am sure was like “Who is this crazy lady asking for pic?”  Anyways here we are and I look completely geeked (which I was!)


I can’t wait to share some of the techniques, lessons, and ideas I’ve gained from the NAEA conference in my lessons to come!


Anyhoo, going back to the Picasso lesson I taught not too far back: the results are in and they are…drum roll please: …..STUNNING!

I’ll guide you through the steps/process I took for this lesson.  First I had the students illustrate faces and color them in using coloring blocking.  This lesson was altered for the nursery school students since obviously their fine motor skills are a bit limited.   Then I had them cut their faces up and rearrange to create a face in the style of the Marvelous Pablo Picasso.  Gluing them onto black paper made for a more dramatic effect.  This lesson is great because it can be tweaked and altered for ages 3-10.

Here are a few more results!

I hope you all have a great Tuesday despite these clouds and forecasted rain.  Up NEXT: Purim!!!


…and it’s time for Picasso!


When I first started teaching, I was shocked to see the amount of students who did not know who Pablo Picasso was.  I just took it for granted that everybody knew this amazing artist.  Well it’s safe to say that I no longer assume anything and so now, to give the students a head start, I try to introduce Pablo Picasso as early as kindergarten.

I begin by reading the kids a few pages of the book: Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists – Picasso.


Students learned about Picasso’s father being an art teacher, how he had a blue period and a rose period, and one of his most popular art movements: cubism.

We studied the following paintings:

Next, I had the kiddies draw a face using a few of Picasso’s trademark facial features: noses with nostrils and eyelashes, etc.

I’m teaching this lesson up to 4th grade.  I always like to see how projects can transition throughout the grade levels.

Next week we will cut up the faces and arrange them a mumbled/jumbled way in a similar fashion of the amazing Pablo Picasso.