Welcome back! I can't wait to see what wonders we create this year! I am so excited to announce that we are now a choice-based art classroom! Students will be making decisions about their artwork from the subject matter to the materials they use. For more info on what that means, check out the "What is Choice-Based Art" tab.
Wishing everyone a spectacular first day!
We have had a very busy Spring in art classes! At the beginning of Youth Art Month (March) I attended the NAEA Convention in New York City with my colleagues Mrs. LaPosta and Ms. Pessolano. We had such a great time learning about new philosophies of art education and sharing ideas with teachers from around the country. My older brother, who also teaches elementary art, came up from his home school to participate as well, so that was pretty awesome for me! One of the philosophies that I learned a lot about was Choice-based Art-Education and T.A.B. which stands for Teaching for Artistic Behavior. Choice-based Art education is similar to workshop style lessons in a regular classroom: students receive instruction on techniques in a short demo, and are then sent forth to make art at permanent centers throughout the classroom. Students have much more choice in their artmaking, and self-confidence and creativity blossom in this environment. With all of the research, I decided to turn our art rooms into Choice-Based art rooms for the coming fall. It's going to be a big transition, but already I am seeing such wonderfully expressive art come from my students.
Students have been working on incorporating choice into their latest projects (the art show pieces, and their last 2-D work). This week, students will be coming home with all of their artwork that is still here. Most students have taken home a clay project. If we can get our kiln fixed for next year, we will be doing clay again. The clay project will most likely not be a free-choice project simply because we will only have one opportunity to do it.
And suddenly, it's summer. I am so looking forward to all of the wonderful work your students will turn out next year. Have a relaxing summer vacation! I'll be here at FES for camp until the end of July :-)
All the best!
I am so excited about this that I had to write a quick post about it. My kindergartners, who came to me not knowing how to fold a piece of paper in half just a few short months ago, successfully learned how to braid together three strings today. I am so, so proud of them, and know that we can build on this skill. Braiding helps children develop their finger strength and dexterity, and it's also fun! Finger strength will be important for kindergartners as they grow into more advanced textile projects such as weaving with yarn or sewing in older grades.
To learn how to braid, we borrowed jump ropes from our gym teacher and practiced braiding as a group before trying it on our own. We also watched a short youtube video on "how to braid three strands." My favorite part of this activity though, was telling this story about three friends who all wanted to play together, and used kindness & empathy to make sure no one felt lonely.
Here's how it goes: Three friends were playing but only two could be together at one time. Red & Blue play, but Yellow feels lonely and says "Will you play with me?" So Red hops over Blue and joins Yellow. But now Blue is lonely and says "Will you come play with me?" Yellow, knowing how it feels to be alone, feels sorry for Blue and joins him. But now Red is lonely! Red says "Who will play with me?" And Blue, knowing how hard it is to be alone, joins Red, and so on... It's way cuter with a bunch of kindergarten students shouting string colors at you. Even better when I had three students hold onto one jump rope each and made them the braid. None of the kids wanted to see their classmates be the lonely ones! They said, "Why don't we just put all the strings together so that no one is alone?" So sweet.
As always, thank you for sharing your kids with me!
So grateful to have these experiences.
Yesterday, I took my boys to see the puzzle pieces and the mega model trains exhibit at the Morris Museum. What an adventure! There was lots of button-pushing exploration to be had, and plenty of fun for all. (Actual buttons to push, not just an exasperated mom, here 😂) We took in the Lego, Trains, Puzzle, Native American, and Dinosaur exhibits. Then, ended our tour with my favorite permanent display, the mechanical music and automata collection. These animated puppets and musical organs simultaneously fascinate and terrify me. Love to see and hear the music boxes, though!
Here are some pics of Roxbury's puzzle pieces, and one of my very active littles.
Wishing all a very Happy New Year! See you soon!
This month in art:
Artsonia, Morris Museum display, Vocabulary building, CLAY!
We have had a busy year so far. Our projects have been colorful and varied and full of all sorts of artistic elements. Most of them have not gone home yet, either because they are decorating our walls or simply because they are waiting to be uploaded onto Artsonia...which brings us to...
Many parents have had questions about this awesome online gallery that we are now using. Artsonia is a really great way to archive and display your child's artwork. I will make sure that every student has at least one project uploaded onto Artsonia by the end of the school year. Hopefully, the process for uploading art will get quicker and easier as we go. I am still working on getting some older students (grades 3-4) trained in using the app so that they can upload their work themselves. If you have a younger child in K-2, most likely I will have to put their work onto the site myself, which means that it might take me a little longer to do it. Thank you, in advance, for your patience with me :) Side note: If your child has artwork at home that you'd like to get onto Artsonia, please feel free to upload from home. You can do so using your parent account.
If you need something to do over the winter break, why not take the kids to the museum?
Our second graders participated in Morris Museum's Storybook Puzzle display, decorating a large puzzle piece that was inspired by a favorite story. Franklin School split up into small groups to discuss monsters and wild things. Then, they drew out Wild Things in Sharpie and Mr. Sketch markers to create a doodle-style wild design for "Where the Wild Things Are." Kennedy School split up into centers in art class to create different parts of their puzzle piece. Theirs included elements of painting, collage, and drawing to complete the design for "Strega Nona."
Check out our Storybook Puzzle Pieces in the Main Gallery with the Lego Exhibit.
Exhibit opens Saturday December 17th.
Ask your artists to tell you what the following words mean:
abstract art, portrait, outline, Picasso
Yes, for students at Franklin, we have started using clay. It's been a fun experience! I am hoping to have it fired in the kiln before winter break so that we can start glazing when we return. Due to the way the class schedules fall, Kennedy will *hopefully* start clay in January. But, everyone has had a chance to work with clay in some regard, whether it's practicing with modeling clay, or the real deal. We are learning a lot about texture, and the importance of "Testing My Tools" before using them!
Thanks for reading...and as always, contact me with questions or comments!
Happy to be teaching the best students around!
I love to experience Art and hope to share that passion with others. I believe artistic expression can help promote happiness, and seek to encourage children to develop their creativity.