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!

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!

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”.


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!

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!


SOAR Art Show

It’s that time of the year where we come together and honor our outstanding Hillel Torah Artists as well as other young Skokie artists.  The SOAR art show will be this Wednesday from 5-6:30 at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts located at 9501 Skokie Blvd, Skokie, IL 60077.  We will be honoring the following artists:

  • Kindergarten: Rina Felemovicius
  • 1st Grade: Aaron Gelb
  • 2nd Grade: Shaina Lennon and Joshua Zaff
  • 5th Grade: Anna Meyer
  • 6th Grade: Andrew Bersson, Emma Felix, Kayla Kupietzky, Hersch Linzer, Audrey Perlman, Cara Rosenberg, Adam Schwartz, Charlie Singer, Noah Strahlberg, and Phoebe Wolmark
  • 8th Grade: Noi Cohen, Tehilah David, Danni Glass and Simone Miller

In addition to being recognized for their phenomenal talents they will also have their awards presented to them by the Mayor of Skokie!

Please view our artists from last year’s show  and stay tuned for an updated picture of this year’s artists!


The Art Buffet

This week has been jam packed with so many different art projects, that I am referring to it as the Art Buffet.  And the title is actually very fitting for the first project I am going to introduce you to:

Now Presenting: My Favorite Family Meal

Students in 5th grade were asked to write about their favorite family meal in their sketchbooks.  They had to go into detail with it: who makes it, how often do they get to eat it, what’s in it, how does it taste, how is made, etc.  After the written description they had to draw a picture of it and THEN they were asked to create a paper collage of the meal.  They came out fantastic, and I was super appreciative of students adding details such as silverware, ice cubes, spices, etc.  It’s the little things that make all the difference in a masterpiece 😉

Next up: Weaving with 3rd Grade

I introduced 3rd and 4th graders to the wonderful world of weaving.  This was a very in depth process and both grades rose to the challenge.  They learned how to thread a loom and how to weave and switch colors.  They got really into it: the concentration levels were through the roof!

Under the Sea Value Studies & Perspective with 4th Grade

I know….I know….I love under the sea stuff….this will be the last ocean inspired project for a while!  I promise.  Anyhoo, I taught 4th grade how to paint using value with watercolor.  This week they added sea creatures using perspective.  I asked them to pretend they’re at the bottom of the ocean and they had to draw large and small fish in relation to how close they were to them aka Perspective!

Matisse with Kindergarten

Not only do I love under the sea creatures: I also love the artist Henri Matisse!  Kindergarten learned about the wonderful artist Matisse and his use of bright colors and patterns.  I taught them how to illustrate one of his most famous patterns too!


All in all: a very lovely week full of variety!

Under the Sea with Kindergarten

The last 2 weeks Kindergarten and 1st grade have been working on “Under the Sea” art.  I am such a huge fan of the ocean and sea life.  As a kid I would pretend I was mermaid: so teaching my students how to draw under the sea life is always super exciting for me.  In the weeks prior to, I had the students create a water color wax resist to create some beautiful, realistic-ish waves.  We used oil pastels to create wave lines and painted over them with blue paint.

When we came back to art class the following week I taught the students how to illustrate various sea life: we drew “schools” of fish, crabs, jellyfish, sharks, and sea turtles.  I demonstrated how sea weed moves with the water.  The kids were super engaged!

Take a look at what Kindergarten created today!