Sunday, October 13, 2019

MIddleton 2019 Dot Day Celebration

One of my favorite days of the year is International Dot Day.

Dot Day was first celebrated in 2009 by teacher Terry Shay.  Shay encouraged her students to harness the creativity and courage displayed by Vashti in Peter Reynold's The Dot

Image result for The Dot

Today Dot Day has become a global event, celebrated by more than 16 million people in
183 different countries! WOW!

I love Dot Day because it is the one day that both of my school communities
come together to celebrate creativity and courage.
 We start getting ready for Dot Day during the first weeks of school. 
Take a look at the different projects we worked on this year. 

Kindergarten: Dot Prints

1st Grade: Collaborative Dot Community Garden

2nd Grade: Dots Have Feelings Too!

2nd Grade: Coding Dots with BeeBot

5th/6th Grade: Augmented Reality Dots with Quiver

All of our creative exploration culminates with Dot Day.
This year celebrated on Monday September 16.

The first signs of Dot Day creativity show up first thing in the morning when a slew of dotastic outfits walk through the doors.  All of the homemade dots brought me so much joy!

I loved seeing whole school spirit!

Some students even brought dot snacks and lunch - How's that for making your mark!

Every year classrooms amaze me with the activities they plan with their students. 
Each one highlights the importance of creativity and courage.  

What's your favorite Dot Day activity?

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Welcome Back!

We are now few weeks into the new school year and I have finally met all of my young student artists! I wanted to take an opportunity to welcome you all back and share some new happenings in the Middleton Art Program.

This year I will be working hard to help students be risk takers in art and Artovation class!  I always start the year off with a class mantra to motivate and inspire.  Take a look at past mantras here.

This year's mantra is brought to you by one of my favorite teachers: Ms. Frizzle!
Image result for ms. frizzle
If you are familiar with the Magic School Bus, you know that in each episode Ms. Frizzle encourages her students to take chances, make mistakes, and get messy of course!

I can't think if a better way to help develop risk taking skills in the art room. 

I love this quote by Thomas Edison:
"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."

Quotes likes these give us permission to fail.
It is under these conditions that true learning can take place!

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Chatterpix for the Win with 1st Grade Self-Portraits!

Have you tried Chatterpix in your classroom yet?  No, well then you definitely need to.  It's easy to use, super fun, and helps students give voice to their artwork! This year the Fuller Meadow 1st graders used Chatterpix through one of my favorite self-portrait lessons.

1st grade artists started out by learning the basic rules for drawing the face.  They used an eye line to place the eyes right in the middle of the head.  Next, the nose line was added, followed by the mouth line.  Finally we placed in ears and a neck. We basically learned a simple version similar to this diagram shared by Expressive Monkey.

Throughout the project we examined an amazing group contemporary portrait artists like Kehinde Wiley, Amy Sherald, and many others. 1st Graders made choices to make detailed patterned backgrounds in the style of Wiley or keep the backgrounds solid to highlight the figure in the style of Sherald.  Or they choose to put their self-portraits in a background that shows them in everyday favorite situations like figurative artist Jordan Casteel. We used these examples as inspiration in creating the details on our own first grade portraits. 

Finally,1st graders brought their self-portraits to life with the help of Chatterpix.  
They used Chatterpix to describe their unique qualities and show 
how they represented those qualities in their art.

Find your favorite artist's class below and enjoy!
Mrs. Higgin's Class
Mrs. Shaffenberg's Class
Mrs. Thomson's Class
Miss Tiexeria's Class

Kindergarten Habitats: No Dioramas Here!

Arts integration is all about collaborating!  It heightens understanding and keeps students engaged and excited about learning. I love finding new ways to help students make critical learning connections to other content areas.This arts integrated science lesson checks off all of those boxes.

When I first started developing this lesson with the Kindergarten team, I knew I didn't want to do a shoe box diorama. Every project I created in elementary school (a looooong time ago) featured a diorama.  I needed something more current.  I discovered this new take on a diorama by
Second Grade Nest while scouring Pinterest: 

Kinders were introduced to habitats as part of their science curriculum.  Research for their habitat took place at home.  Following this, they each picked a habitat and a corresponding animal based on animals available in their science kits.
Finally we were ready to create their habitats in art class.  Although the habitats would eventually turn into a triangle, they start out as a flat 2D paper.  Each student gets a piece of cardstock folded into 4 triangles.

This year I placed a post it note on each side triangle to help them focus on the base or ground of their habitat first. Once the grounds were underway, I walked around a removed the post-its so they could work on the walls.  Kinders had a hard time understanding that the entire bottom triangle was the ground.  It helped to fold up the sides as they worked to show them how that part would form the base of the habitat.  We visualized what you would find if you were crawling around the ground of your habitat.
We also talked about how this was a resist lesson and that they should focus on drawing and coloring small details in oil pastel but to save the larger areas for painting.  That was all day one, phew!

Day 2 is when the 2D papers become their 3D habitats.  Kinders fold up the the sides and tuck and glue the back panel.  We then discussed which elements of their habitat might pop up and created those details out of paper. 

I loved seeing these settings come together.  This year one Kinder said the habitat was kind of like a stage.  What a perfect description because each habitat would become a stage for their very first stop motion animation. That is a whole post on its own but in the meantime check it this picture of how I set up their sets for easy animating!
This project is adorable and these young artists are so excited and proud of what they create.  
Take a look!

Miss Balfe/Mrs. Pacini's Class
Mrs. Halligan's Class
Mrs. Libby's Class
Mrs. Murphy's
Mrs. Newton's Class
Mrs. Ochoa's Class

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Adopt a Rescue Animal Today!

This is one of my all time favorite projects! 

2nd grade is the perfect age for learning about the importance of shelter animals and why you should adopt not shop.  They do such a great job of bringing out the character and 
personalities of their dogs and cats.

Learn more about this lesson from my original post.

Thinking about adopting a pet?
Let this year's group of 2nd grader artists tell you why you should!

Mrs. Begin/Mrs. Frey's Class
Mrs. Kennedy's Class
Mrs. LeVangie's Class

Mrs. Mulligan's Class
Miss Polom's Class

What did you think? Ready to adopt? 
Check out Middleton elementary alum Molly Wogan's
foundation, The PAWS Project to learn all about local animal shelters.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Summer PD: The "Art" of STEAM

The "Art" of STEAM

I am so excited to announce that I am teaching my 
first graduate level class this summer with Masscue

This course will explore and examine strategies and techniques to create innovative STEAM lessons for your classroom.  Activities will include readings, videos, hands-on activities, discussions, and feedback sessions. The course will identify and study leading innovators in the field, such as Education Closet, Turnaround Arts, and Tricia Fuglestad with Dryden Arts to name a few.  Participants of this workshop will walk away with a library of engaging ideas and lessons that can be implemented starting on day 1!

Are you interested in learning more?!

Sign up now and discover how art integration + STEAM = Total Student Engagement!

Sunday, April 14, 2019

2019 Flint Public Library Art Exhibit: Our BIGGEST Yet!

A few years ago my colleague and I made the switch from doing an art show 
in our school to hosting one in the community at the Flint Library. 
I love that the greater Middleton community gets to see our student's amazing art work. 
The hardest part of this was only having a smaller select group of students on display.

We make a conscious effort to have as many different students as we can from previous years. This year's show did not disappoint! It was our biggest yet with 229 pieces of student artwork on display. 
That is almost 100 MORE pieces than we had last year.
I am always amazed how wonderful the student work looks when matted and mounted 
and displayed on the walls of the community room at the library.
 I love grouping Kindergarten artwork next to 5th and 6th grade work with similar colors or styles.

We had an incredible turn out at our opening reception for the 2019 art show.  
I was blown away by the number of  proud artists and families who came!
If you didn't get to see your child's work last week, There's still time! The exhibit will be up at the library for the whole month.  Please note, that some of the 3D works have been moved to the children's room for safe viewing.