Monday, January 31, 2011

Art is alive!

Pictures are really not doing justice to these ceiling tiles that are being painted by my exploratory arts classes.  The text and visual images that the students have developed to describe their thoughts on our school are unique and expressive.  To walk into our building and look up and see these tiles throughout our hallways is a wonderful sight!

We were also lucky this week to experience the artistry of Andrew Siegfried.  Andrew is a phenomenal wood worker who has specialized in everything from small furniture to large ships.  The explanations he gave about his passion of woodworking was enlightening to our students! 

Monday, January 24, 2011

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

Yes, the holiday season is over and the winter is dragging on but at FACA, it really is the most wonderful time of the year.  Here in our art classroom we are gathering each day creating away and having the most fun doing it!  The week in review looks something like this...

My sixth grade students were enlightened by our guest artist this week, Mr. Susi.  Mr. Susi is an extremely knowledgable local ceramist who taught my young artists a new building technique to create hewn pots.  Students cut and hollowed out mounds of clay before adding texture and other details.  Currently, they are drying out and waiting to be fired before adding glaze.

Third graders had an enjoyable time integrating the arts into their science curriculum in the gym this week through a workshop put on by two professionals who have been working with our staff, Mrs. Walker and Mrs. Frazier.  To further comprehend their science words-- friction, weight, push and pull, children looked at famous Norman Rockwell paintings.  A movement activity with a balloon and ball also helped with the retainment of this knowledge.  Lastly, a song and dance wrapped up this incredible lesson leaving our students smarter and our teachers filled with ideas about how to integrate the arts into every subject matter!  Thank you Mrs. Walker and Mrs. Frazier!

In Mrs. Walker's fourth grade class we had a blast manipulating fabric for their class tarp.  Each morning we start our day with a morning meeting in the gym.  It is here that students gather and sit as a class on a class tarp.  Small groups of students perform, act out announcements and display their talents as artists.  Folding, twisting, tying, rubber-banding and altering the fabric before dyeing it led to great results!   

Lastly, I closed out my first semester at the high school where I teach one class each day.  I was extremely sad to see my students go and thoroughly enjoyed getting to know them and foster their abilities.  As they wrapped up these autobiographical paintings, I could not be more impressed with their talents!  I can't wait to see what the next semester brings with my new students!


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Student Art Gallery

This week I was able to steal some time in between classes and update our student art gallery with various art pieces.  Please stop into our building and view these amazing pieces when you get the chance!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Off and running...

Friday, January 7, 2011

In true Academy style we were off and running this first week back from Winter Break.  The two weeks off offered me some rejuvenation and I was thrilled to return to my classroom and tackle what I know best... creating with kids!  In all aspects of our school this week there was much to talk about.  The students enjoyed guest artist Chuck Keiper, a singer/songwriter who entertained them and informed them about various aspects of music.

In Mr. Lemmo's fourth grade class were we able to Skype with his friend Mandy, who is on a missions trip in El Salvador, and check in on the children there.  Our fourth graders have had a memorable time skyping about the weather, Spanish language, customs and culture.  Recently, during my integration time in Mr. Lemmo's room students created pencil pouches out of duct tape and material (with Mrs. Walker) and then through donations we were able to fill them with school supplies for the children down there.  Today Mandy gave the children of El Salvador these gifts and they were very grateful.  I am still fascinated that at 1:00 in the afternoon we can look at and talk to children in another country.  Technology!

In Miss Beatty's class I offered some help with arts integration for their life sized totem poles that correlates with their Native American unit.  Students learned about the various roles that animals play in the spiritual aspect of Indian life.  Using paper mache, students created these amazing sculptural pieces!  The large poles were a donation that are much appreciated!

And lastly, and possibly my most exciting bit of information from this past week is what my students were able to accomplish during our Exploratory Arts period.  Currently I have the Shakespeare group and we are working on School Beautification.  My vision for the appearance of our school has many goals in sight but my biggest hope is that one day people will enter our building and it will simply exude creativity.  Starting small is never easy but we are gradually painting the ceiling tiles of our hallways.  Students broke into groups of three to five and designed a concept with text in mind.  Students had to include a word or phrase that describes our school.  Here are some of our tiles in progress.  The process that takes place as these children paint in my room each afternoon leaves me speechless...