The Art Classroom Surprise is Announced & Maccabia!

Good News Galore Ya’ll!!  So I can finally share the surprise that I had mentioned a couple blogs ago.  Let me preface this by giving a HUGE, MASSIVEThank Youuuu” to the Hillel Torah PTA for sponsoring this AMAZING addition to the art classroom.  You ladies are fabulous and I just can’t thank you enough for this!  I’d also like to thank our business administrator Dov Shandalov who assisted in making this process run smoothly (it wasn’t easy!) and Rivka Varnai for helping this idea come to fruition!  Our students are about to benefit tremendously and I know without a doubt – they are going to love every second of this new experience.  Thank you, thank you!   So are you all ready for the surprise???

Hillel Torah now has it’s very own KILN!!!!


For those of you that don’t know what a Kiln is: it is essentially an oven for baking ceramics.  This is super fantastic for students of all ages as this now gives our kids the opportunity to work with clay, texture, and bring a 3-Dimensional element to our art program.  I anticipate the clay portion of art to begin around Spring and go through summer break.  How exciting!!  Am I right??  Thank you again PTA!

Ok so this past Monday I went to the Nursery school to visit my Little Littles and if you have children at the Nursery School, then I’m sure you might have seen these displayed.  I taught the Little Ones about the fabulous artist that is Roy Lichtenstein.


We talked about his use of Primary colors and dots.  And THENNNN we used our OWN face to create a Roy Lichtenstein inspired work of art!

Last thing I will talk about in this week’s blog is dun dun dunnnnnn: MACCABIA!

I am assisting the students in creating their banners for the competition portion of MACCABIA.  My role is one of guidance.  These kids have been so amazingly motivated and independent: I am so excited to see the finished products!

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!

I Have a Dream…

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I asked my 3rd grade class to create artwork based on their own dreams.  I asked the students to trace their own hand and I showed them how to add some more realistic features, such as fingernails and knuckles.

I then had the kids create a dream bubble and asked them to illustrate their own dreams inside the bubble.  I left it pretty open ended.  I encouraged them to think of dreams that are good for mankind, but if that was not their cup of tea, then they were more than welcome to use their own ideas.  This of course made for some hilarious results as well as some super sweet and endearing ones.

Please take a look at what we created this past week.



6th and 8th Grade are continuing with their tessellation artwork and they are turning out SO cool!


Cara Rosenburg is currently working on a moose tessellation!  AMAZING!!  The final results should be ready by next week so stay tuned!!

Welcome to 2017!

2017 is looking very promising!  The Art room is about to have a wonderful new addition to the program in the next couple months and I’d like to keep it a little secret until it’s officially here.  The suspense shouldn’t last too long because I am anticipating our new addition in a few weeks: so bear with me!

This week I got to visit the “Little Littles”, as I call them, at the Nursery school.  My trip up to the North Woods of Wisconsin over Winter Break (which was FULL of snow), inspired me to create a snowman project for my Nursery school students.  Although we didn’t have snow at the time, ya’ll know it’s just a matter of time before we do!  This is winter in Chicago we’re talking about over here!


I asked the Little Littles to arrange their snowmen in the “correct order” smallest circle to biggest and they had to glue them down.  We added hats, scarves, eyes, carrot nose, and arms.

We finished by adding Snow with white paint all around the snowman for an extra wintery effect!

This project had a variety of elements: cutting and using scissors for the 4 year olds, arranging by size, gluing, assembling, and painting.  It was all in all, a very good project for the age group with super cute results!

….Meanwhile back in the main building… 

6th & 8th grade are learning about M.C. Escher and tessellations!



I taught the students how to make their own tessellations and I’ve got to say: they got so into it you could hear a pin drop in the classroom.  They were amazed at the fact that they were able to create something that could fit perfectly from all directions.

They will get to figure what their tessellations resemble next week!

William Wegman, Paper Weaving and Collage Galore!

We are back from yet another break and ready to get back into action…that is until we break again on December 23rd 🙂 !  My kindergarten students have been watching one of my FAVORITE art videos of all time: William Wegman’s alphabet soup!

The kids get such a kick out it because, C’mon!  …It’s dog heads on human bodies!!  The students were provided with dog heads and asked to illustrate a human body underneath it.


In 6th grade we have been working on creative collages.  I was really inspired by these images and thought it would be cool to do a project inspired by them.

I provided the 6th grade students with animal eyes.  They had the option of either owl or alligator eyes…and they were asked to create a collaged version of their animal.

This one was created by Emma Felix!


And to end this weeks recap: 1st-3rd have been working on paper weavings.  This is really a lovely, tactile project that involves eye-hand coordination, and pattern identification A.K.A. GREAT project for little ones!!

They were so into it!  Awesome week boys and girls!  #SoProud

Contemporary Collage

We are officially on a mini Thanksgiving break and I wanted to be sure that my 5th graders were able to finish up their collage faces inspired by contemporary artist Wangechi Mutu.  Students were introduced to the genre of Surrealist Art first, through a slideshow that showcased artists Salvador Dali and Rene Magritte.

I asked my 5th graders to be creative when it came to creating their collage faces.  They had to construct a face that only used 2-3 human features at most and they had to be “innovative” with the rest.  They did not disappoint!

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving break filled with lots of food & love!!

P.S!  Parents, I am accepting donations in the forms of magazines!  My current stock of magazines are cut up, used and abused – we are in desperate need of some fresh ones please.  If anyone has any magazines at home or at an office that they can donate to the art program – it would be greatly, GREATLY appreciated 🙂

It’s Texturrrrrreeee!!

The last few weeks in grades k-1, we have been really focusing on the element of Texture!  I have introduced this element in a variety of ways, beginning with listing texture qualities, feeling smooth, bumpy, soft objects, etc.  We played with clay, made texture rubbings using leaves and self-made texture plates, and we finished by making stamps, illustrating cacti and even watching a video on a singing cactus!  The song is incredibly catchy and the students found themselves singing it as they left the room: so parents if you heard your kids singing this song at home, this is why!

Take a look below at all the wonderful texture projects we’ve done throughout the last few weeks!

Healthy Body Healthy Soul Art Contest and So Much More!

Dear Parents, Students, and fellow blog readers,

First off, please know that if I do not get to post, it is because I am swamped with projects for the week.  Well, well, well….this has been quite an electrifying month: coming back from Sukkot Break, the 2016 Election, and of course the Cubbies winning the World Serieeeeeees!!!  Such an exciting time for our city!  All of the above have been themes throughout the school and we have been intertwining art throughout these projects, sometimes intentionally and other times unintentionally.  There’s just no way around what is going on in the world!  Which was why it seemed like a perfect fit that I begin an unit on Pop Art with the 5th-8th graders.

I explained to the upper grade students what Pop Art was and showed them a slideshow of Andy Warhol and Roy Lichenstein, all the while emphasizing on how pop art subject matter is about what was “POPULAR” during the current time frame.  I asked students to think about what was popular RIGHT NOW in today’s day and age and to consider fashion trends, name brands, food brands, celebrities, technology etc.  I have got to say we have got some AMAZINGLY bright kids in this school: their ideas were just phenomenal and considering I have taught in a few schools: this is definitely a compliment!

So we made multiple prints in the style of Andy Warhol and check out this amazing subject matter!!!

Lastly and most importantly: we announced our Healthy Body Healthy Soul winners today at the school Assembly.  It was such a tough decision as we had so many wonderful submissions!  But the winners did such a great job and I am super grateful for all that participated!  Good Job you guys (and girls!)

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And here are our grand prize winners!!!   ….Drum roll please……

Ayelet Klein Photography Winner (2nd Grade)
Boaz Stopek K-3 Winner (3rd Grade)
Yosef Norman 4-8 Winner (4th Grade)

Congratulations!  Winners won $10 gift certificates to Michael’s.