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:

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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…

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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.

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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”.