In Lafayette’s art studio classroom we are not only learning about the elements, principles and media of the visual arts, but are using the arts to gain a greater understanding, depth and richness of language arts, math, science and social studies curricula. Using the arts to teach, creates learning that is internalized and understood by children with all learning styles and on multiple levels. By educating students through the visual arts and traditional academic content simultaneously, I help inspire and nurture the truly creative thinkers needed for this new millennium.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Lafayette Alum Brings Visiting Artist to Lafayette's ART Room

Lafayette alum, Jeffrey Prost-Greene, returned to Lafayette last week to launch his new venture to bring young artists into classrooms to share what inspires them.
Jeffrey wearing his 6th grade Lafayette T-shirt, poses with Ms. Harn's 2nd grade class

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Underground Railroad + Math + ART + Computers = Fabulous Code "QUILTS"

Excitedly sharing our work in a "gallery walk"

One of our reflection creations!
Fifth graders explore the myth of underground railroad code quilts and create mathematical translations, reflections, and rotations with their designs using the Pages program in the computer lab. The results are spectacular!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Creativity Flourishes During Open Art

Sometimes its great to let our creative juices flow and explore a new medium or an idea... just one of the many reasons why the art room can be a beehive of activity during OPEN ART!
A few creations from November:
A paper mache piggy bank 

A gift for a penguin lover

Masking tape is always fun to "draw" with

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Conservation is an Art at Lafayette!

This month fifth graders have explored how artists can impact conservation efforts through paintings and drawings of waterfowl in their habitats. 

Our unit culminated in a visit from Susan Mitner and Laurel Harrison from the Patuxent Research Refuge, and biologist Dan Rauch from the District Department of the Environment, to talk to us about the Jr. Duck Stamp Contest.
Exploring the contest, why it's important and our role in conservation.

Playing a game to experience what its like when migratory habitats are compromised.

Talking about wingspans and the shapes and habits of various species of ducks.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Arts Integration Celebrates How The Arts Keep Native American Traditions Alive!~

Regalia created to represent our heritage and what's important to us + a processional with flags to represent our class characteristics + a museum of storytelling skins, spirit masks and totems, and lesson-teaching Kachina dolls + Native American songs and dances + legends told through CETA Reader's Theater + lacrosse and archery videos of what we learned in P.E. class + hands on craft activities for the whole family + a museum scavenger hunt + a connection to our social studies curriculum = THE 2012 LAFAYETTE 4TH GRADE POWWOW INFORMANCE held November 2nd! 
Sharing music and dance

Sharing fables and myths

... like the legend of the three sisters.

Sharing our museum crafts with labels to explain their meaning to us

Our regalia represents who we are and our heritage!

Trying the museum scavenger hunt

A beaded necklace created during our craft portion

Enjoying sand painting to heal

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Our Own Kreeger Museum Fascinates Lafayette Pre-K Student

Andrew, a Pre-K student in Ms. Martinez's class, spent an engaging Saturday with his Mom exploring the Kreeger at a workshop for young art lovers and explorers! See if you can spot him here inside a sculpture meant for discovery!

Thank you to Laura Lindsley for sharing her photos and enthusiasm!
Check out the link to the Kreeger in the right column to register for future workshops!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

First Graders Can Tell You So Much About the ELEMENTS OF ART

Ask them about color... our most recent unit... how you mix the primaries to make secondaries, what are warm and cool colors, and how you create tints and shades... they are experts!

Exploring tint "stations" on the day we created color values (tints and shades) using white and black.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Pow Wow Regalias Reflect Who We Are

Fourth graders have begun to work on music, stories, and artwork to share in "Celebrating how the ARTS Keep Native American Traditions Alive!" Our Pow Wow this year for 4th graders and their parents, will be held on the morning of November 2nd. 
Each 4th grader has been sent home with an assignment sheet to create and wear a regalia to reflect their personality and their heritage. Because the timing this year is so close to Halloween, we encourage students to plan and assemble their regalia well before the due date of November 1... anotherwords ASAP! Here are a few regalia photos from years past to get your creative conversations flowing:)
My regalia involves an apron, safety pins, and a raid of my dresser and the ornament bin... be creative... but most important, be personal!
Iron on... fabric paints... 

... on a dress... add items that mean something special

...or paint on an old jacket...

... or on an old t-shirt...

...or Brownie uniform... no special purchases necessary:)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Exploring the Hirshorn... Always Something Thought Provoking

I spent this past Sunday afternoon at the Hirshorn with my son, finding inspiration in the found object sculpture, the zodiac heads, and the sculpture garden on a delightful day... what a refuge and an inspiration! I highly recommend this museum to inspire conversations about art and life.
Beginning this week and running until 2014, “Belief+Doubt” will cover 6,700 square feet of surface with bold slogans that are 12 feet high, and black and white and re(a)d all over.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

OPEN ART... a Time to Chill

Fourth and Fifth graders use OPEN ART from 12-1 every day as a time to finish their projects, work on the pottery wheel, try their hand at Comic Life, Kidspix, or Garage Band, or just draw or paint. Younger students are invited when they need a little more time on their art project. Everyone enjoys the freedom to create during other times of their day at school.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Sophisticated Conversations About ART

I love listening to Lafayette 5th graders explore REALISM, EXPRESSIONISM, FANTASY, AND ABSTRACT styles of art through conversation, games, drawings and writing.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Sporty Look for the Lafayette ART Room

Many thanks to the Washington Tennis and Educational Foundation for their generous donation of 100 used tennis balls to our art room stools. The traditional stools, a new addition to the art program last spring, are now quieter and safer for our youngest and oldest students!  Check out

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

New School Year Warm-Ups

Before fourth graders learn about the proportions of the human face and personal expression through a self portrait Frida-Kahlo style, we warm up those observation skills with some BLIND CONTOUR DRAWINGS.

Students in Ms. Culver's class showed incredible focus as they studied and drew their hands and then the faces of their classmates. 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Summer Creations By Your Art Teacher

After a 30 year hiatus, I spent 6 weeks this summer at Glen Echo in the pottery yurt throwing pots. It was delightfully "centering"- both calming and inspirational to be one of many ceramic artists exploring their craft in a myriad of ways.

Photos: A batch of pots waiting to be glazed and a kiln of newly glazed ware waiting to be unloaded.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Summer Fun at Area Museums

Fascinated by Dragons or other Mythical Creatures? Interested in Baseball Hall-of-Famers? Just a curious person? Check out the right column of the blog all summer long for links to interesting art related happenings!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Creativity is Alive and Well!

During the last week of school, an industrious fourth grader spent his before school time working on a 3-D architectural city planning design using parts from old computers and printers. I hope all our Lafayette students find something this summer that inspires them to build, draw, sculpt or create during their time away from school! Happy Summer!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Field Day "Peace Out" Art

Ms. McClure chose foil repousse as the field day art medium this year and we had a blast creating peace symbols in relief and psychedelic colors! Fun was had by all.

Even reading teacher Ms. McClanahan got in touch with her creative spirit, peace symbol style:

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Learning to Look, Loving the Fresh Air

First, second and third graders have been spending time drawing Lafayette and the houses in our neighborhood. From large shapes and forms to minute details and texture, close observation is key.
Noticing the neoclassical columns on Lafayette; third graders wrap up our semester long unit on architecture.