Dear Hillel Torah Community,

It has been an absolute honor working your children these past 2 and half years.  During my time here I was blessed to assist and watch your children develop their artistic talents.  I sincerely hope that they will take something away from our time together and I wish everyone all the best.  As many of you know, I am moving on to the next chapter of my life, in a move that is best for my family.  I will miss the Hillel Torah community very, very much.  I trust that your children will end up in the fantastic hands of a new art teacher.

So to end our time together on a happy note, I would like to share with you all, some of my favorite moments in the HT Art Classroom.

Favorite Memory No. 1

The Kiln Addition…..

We were blessed by the PTA to add a kiln to the art department.  Students in grades k-2 created a 3D ladybug.  They were obsessed!




Favorite Memory No. 2

Faces and Vases Project

In this project, 5th and 6th grade learned about positive and negative space and optical illusions.  The end results were super cool.




Favorite Memory No. 3

Pop Art Prints

Students studied the work of Andy Warhol and his interest with modern day pop culture.  Students selected something they found relevant to their time and made multiple prints of it.  Their choice of subject matter was SUPER impressive.



Favorite Memory No. 4

Wisconsin Trip with 6th Grade

My first year here, I was honored to join 6th grade on their trip to Wisconsin.  It was so scenic and beautiful and I had a blast with my colleagues and the kids.  We also created these beautiful “God’s Eye” weavings using sticks we found in the woods.




Favorite Memory No. 5

After School Ceramics

Upon our kiln addition, we were able to have an after school ceramics class.  This was SUCH a fun group of kids to work with and they made some beautiful pieces!



Favorite Memory No. 6

Matisse Projects

I always love introducing students to my favorite artist of all time: Henri Matisse.  


Favorite Memory No. 7


I love this holiday!  I seen so many creative and awesome costumes!  The Rappin’ Rabbi may have been one of my faves!


Favorite Memory No. 8

STEAM Drawbots

Finally, this year I hit the jackpot in the Art Lesson dept!  I taught students how to create “Drawbots” and it was quite a hit!


Again, thank you all for the wonderful memories and I wish you all the very, VERY best!

Tiny Winter Villages & 8th Grade Collagraphs

Just in time for the chilly temperatures, k-4 have begun working on their “winter villages”.  I demonstrated to the students how to design, cut and create their own little villages.  What it made it even more fun, was that they had complete freedom when it came time for building.





8th grade is ending the year with a collagraph printing project.  They were asked to design a symbol that represents them.  The results were pretty cool.



Blind Contour Line Self-Portraits & Piet Mondrian

This week was a full week of art!  Currently, 3-5th grade have been working on self-portraits in a variety of ways.  The first technique they learned was called a “blind contour line” portrait, which is when students used a mirror to illustrate their own face, but the catch was – they could NOT look down at their paper OR lift their pencil up.  It had to be done in one long continuous line.  This made for lots of challenging fun!


Next students were allowed to look at their paper while they worked, but they still had to use one long continuous contour line.

And finally, they were asked to create a “normal” self-portrait, paying extra special attention to their features that make them unique such as birthmarks, freckles, braces, dimples, glasses, etc.

Lastly, I had the pleasure of visiting the nursery school this week where I taught the little ones about Piet Mondrian and his use of primary colors.

It was a very lovely and eventful week!


I may have discovered the diamond of all art projects….DrawBots!!!  Students have been going NUTS (in the best way possible) over this project.  4th through 8th grade have been designing, creating and building their own robots that draw abstract designs.  They are to design their DrawBot in their sketchbooks, followed by working as  team with their table-mates, building and constructing a DrawBot that works.  It truly is a sight to see when the kids get their DrawBot to work.  The excitement is tremendous.  See for yourself!  There are plenty of videos below of the DrawBots in action. 🙂


Students get to see the following before designing their DrawBot.


This project is truly awesome because it encourages creativity, building, and teamwork…not to mention is also a STEAM project!  And parents, if your kids come home asking for an electric toothbrush, don’t fret: they’re only $3 at Walmart!

Israel @ 70 Design Contest and Clay has Started!

Parents & students, as I’m sure most of you might have seen in your email, HT is holding a design contest for grades 1-8.  The deadline for submissions is November 20th and I have been telling the students all about it in art class.  For this contest, the kids are encouraged to work on it at home.  It is SUPER easy!!  All they need to do in order to participate is create a design that features the number 70, the verse מתחברים לישראל ב70, and a shnazzy design!  AND to make it even EASIER to participate, it only has to be done in black marker (please use pencil first just in case you make a mistake…happens to the best of us!).  The top two winners will win a gift card.  Store and amount of gift card are TBD.

Contest Guidelines

Moving on to our classroom projects, students in grades k-4 are now manipulating and experimenting with clay.  It really is fascinating for me to watch as an art teacher, how the students develop their sculpture skills as they move on from grade to grade.  I had 4th grade today and they created some truly magnificent works of art.  I was sincerely impressed!

In grades K-2 we are creating Israel Star Pendants.  Students are getting to work with REAL clay.  The first thing they tend to notice is the texture, which is a lot colder and wetter than the modeling clay we have been working with.  I’ve been hearing a lot of “This is REALLY cold!”

***I had just finished explaining the Israel @ 70 contest to 1st grade, so they were inspired to create Israel works of art with their clay.  How cute is this?***

Finally, I apologize for not being able to share what I did with the older grades this week as I had mentioned I would in the previous post, but we had an AMAZING guest speaker, Mr. Ernie Heimann, come in today, and give a presentation on his experience during Kristallnacht.  We were so honored to have him come and share his experience with us…art will of course continue next week!    I hope everyone has a lovely 3-day weekend!  Shabbat shalom!

The Fall Theme Continues and Comics…

I hope everyone had a lovely Sukkot break: we are back at school and ready for the long haul.  This week has pretty much been a continuance of what we had began before we left for Sukkot break, which was a Fall Theme.  Kindergarten and 1st grade have transformed their painted fall color experiments into “Eric Carle” style trees.  They tore up their painted paper and construction paper, and glued the pieces into a circular shape to create a collaged tree.

Here are some of our results!

We are also beginning to work with clay.  The Art Class Forecast predicts clay projects in our future 😉

3rd-5th Grade have read the book Adventures in Cartooning (which they LOVED), and are now developing their own comics.


They are learning about character development, up-close shots, background, story-lines, and onomatopoeias.  They are still in the works, but check out a few examples of what’s been brewin’…

Tune in next week when I reveal what our upper grades are working on!

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”.