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 😀

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.

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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:

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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

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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…

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….AMAZING

Projects in Progress

The Donut Club

Inspiration and ideas can come from anywhere, even through a deep supply closet cleaning.  This past week, while organizing my supply closet, I came across a package of rigid wrap and then all of a sudden it hit me!  We will create paper mache donuts during clubs!  Clubs is a weekly session our junior high students get to take unique classes such as yoga, cooking class, and Art!  🙂

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Students were shown how to create the base of the donut by twisting and wrapping paper around their hand, followed by wrapping their donut shape with masking tape.

Next week will wrap our donuts with the rigid tape to make them extra sturdy!  Stay tuned!


Self-Portraits

In our regular art classes, 6th and 7th grades are currently working on self-portraits.  Students viewed a slideshow of several famous artists that are known for their self portraits: Van Gogh, Picasso, and my personal favorite: Frida Kahlo.

I showed the students how to use this awesome site called blockposters.com.  We uploaded our pictures onto the site and it broke our photos up into larger scale print which we printed out.  Next, students were shown how to use carbon paper and we traced our photos onto a large sheet of white paper.  Check out our progress so far!  They are looking pretty cool…

Next week students will add words that describe their personality to fill the background.


4A Weavings

I rotated the weaving project between the two 4th grade classes.  And this week it is now 4A’s turn to weave.  They are doing a fantastic job so far.  I also created some threading “needles” out of cardboard to help with the process.

Check out some of the finished results from 4B!