Friday, October 31, 2014

Kindergarten Nighttime Adventures

Kindergarten artists looked at the book "Flashlight," by Liza Boyd  (a Vermont Artist!).  They took themselves on an imaginary outdoor nighttime adventure.  These paintings show what they saw.  

My picture is the night when there are a lot of stars and I see a pile of gold.  There’s a big golden finger cloud on top of me and it’s shooting out a claw.  

This is gold around the trails and this is a flower and there are clouds and there is a star.

I am in India and I see a rainbow grasshopper with a bird.  

My picture is all about Night.  I always see the stars making an animal or a shape.  They are making a porcupine.   There are stars and a moon.

I am out searching for animals and I see my dog Tess.  

Mine is about a big giant monster with a porcupine and some rocks.  

I see a rainbow in the sky.  I see snow.  I see a golden rock.  

This is gold on top of a spider.  I am making a rainbow.  

It is a picture of a deer and a bear and me shining my flashlight on the moon and five stars and two trees.  

I see a white-tailed deer and a lake that’s golden.  

I am going to draw a person and my cat and my mom and my sister.


A boy was going to a place at nighttime and on his walk there he shined his flashlight on a bear and he saw some fish and a diver.  

It is the sky.  There are stars and moons.  

All of this is about animals technically, like bears, dogs and any animals in the world.  I made a meteor.  

It is about porcupines.  They are getting some food.  

This is a white-tailed deer and this is my flashlight and this is me.  

This is a storm and this is my costume.  I am a wolverine.  

Beetle Mania!

First and second graders looked at the art of Christopher Marley.  He creates mosaics and "prisms" out of real beetles, butterflies and other insects.  Click here to see more of Marley's Insect Art. 
We also read "The Beetle Book," by Steve Jenkins and talked about the many varieties of different beetles in the world.  We noticed that all bugs are symmetrical.  This ties in with students' math class work about symmetry.  
"Some Bugs," by Angela DiTerlizzi was another fun resource for checking out different types of beetles and insects.  This book has beautiful illustrations!  

Additionally inspired by the well-loved art of Eric Carle, first and second grade artists drew their beetles, collaged them with tissue paper and added them to a group mosaic in the style of Christopher Marley.  

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Fall Trees and Leaf Collages by Grades 1&2

First and second graders created beautiful leaf collages and fall trees for our bulletin boards. The fall colors are passing, but we still have their artwork to brighten our hallways through "Stick Season." 

Endangered Species Linoleum Block Printing

Fifth and sixth grade artists chose different endangered species for our linoleum block printing project.  This ties in with their classroom studies of ecosystems, environment and global warming.  
Carving the block

Monday, October 20, 2014

New National Visual Art Standards

The new National Core Art Standards were officially launched at 9 am today.  I think that there is a lot to like about this new set of standards.

According to the NCCAS, the revised standards are meant to “affirm the place of arts education in a balanced core curriculum, support the 21st-century needs of students and teachers, and help ensure that all students are college and career ready. The arts standards emphasize “big ideas,” philosophical foundations, enduring understandings/essential questions, and anchor/performance standards, all of which are intended to guide the curriculum development and instructional practices that leads to arts literacy for all students.”

I found this list of 10 things you should know about the new Art Standards  on the Art of Education.

Waitsfield Art Curriculum Presentation

I have been asked to present about the Waitsfield Art Curriculum to the School Board.  I created this presentation to introduce the new National Art Standards (officially launched today!) and illustrate some of the components of my art curriculum, which I call my "building blocks."  I am excited for the opportunity to highlight some of my students' impressive work and show that art class is so much more than crafts and finger painting.  Please click the link below to learn more about my art program.

Waitsfield Art Curriculum Presentation

Vermont Art Teachers' Association Conference

Last Friday I was fortunate to be able to attend the 2014 VATA Conference at Shelburne Museum.  There were many aspects of this day that were inspiring and rejuvenating.  It was really exciting to be in a room full of art educators from around the state, knowing that we share many interests, passions and challenges.  The keynote speaker, Jessica Balsley of, is a noted art educator, blogger and leader in art education professional development.  She spoke about how to be an "Empowered Art Teacher."  I appreciated how she acknowledged the challenges that many art teachers face, while giving tools and suggestions for how to build successful, meaningful art programs.  Overall, this day served to remind me about why I love my job and why I feel that art is an essential element of education.  I am excited to bring some of Jessica's ideas for empowerment into my classroom and my practice and I look forward to continuing to empower students through the arts.  

The Shelburne Museum was the perfect location for this conference, and we were lucky enough to have some time to explore the exhibits and observe school children on field trips in action.  I visited the printing factory to watch as the Shelburne Museum alphabet was printed on an old printing press.