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.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Miles of Chain Link Fence? Sounds Like a Blank Canvas to Me!

Ms Shapiro's 5th graders recently spent a few art classes creating some public art on our campus fences. We began by planning and looking at photos of other fence artists at work! On a recent spectacular fall day we created our own chain link fence art installation! 


Sunday, November 8, 2015

Celebrating Spooky Things Art Room Style

I LOVE Halloween and all the juicy, creative tie-ins to our art curriculum, and I am just recovering from all the fun! It was such a blast that I didn't remember to record the moments to share but here are a few highlights I scrabbled together!
First graders examined African masks as part of a unit on using found materials to create art... then WE collaged mask art with shells, wood and rafia.

Second graders were creating charming box trolls for our fall festival as a part of their unit on how artists use facial expressions... thank you to the fair chairs for remembering to take photos!
Third graders learned about how artists use perspective in these spooky landscapes.
And 4th graders had fun with wacky dancing skeletons as we begin our work on the human body.
And me? I dressed as Frida Kahlo for our Halloween parade and was delighted when both 4th and 5th graders recognized who I was!
Guess who this member of my Day of the Dead mariachi band is?

Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Reason for a Flower...

Ruth Keller's delightful book says, "The reason for a flower is to manufacture seeds!" Plants and seeds were the classroom focus last month in science. But as we painted large O'Keefe style flowers in the art room, 2nd graders also explored color value... how artists use tints and shades to give form to a flat object or to add light or shadow or contrast.

Playing pass the painting with Georgia O'Keefe
Day 1- Mixing tints

Day 2- Mixing shades
Finally adding a pistil and staymens with pollen
...and cutting and attaching our flowers

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Dot Day 2015 Was Dotilicious!

On September 15, Lafayette joined millions of teachers and students around the world to celebrate creativity, collaboration, and the courage to "Make Your Mark!" A delightful, sunshiny day just made our outdoor campus feel more like a delicious celebration! 
Here are a few moments from our special day:
Sidewalk Chalk During Recess... a Great Way to Express How We Were Feeling!

No Walls in Our New Trailer Campus? No Problem!

Have Dots? Think Cookies:)

Negative Space Hand Dots

Dotty Cuna Indian Molas- Thank you Grade 2!

Our Spanish Teachers Show Their Dot Day Spirit!

Sharing Our Dot Day Attitude!

Celebrate Creativity You Say? How About a Custom Designed Shirt?

We Even Dotified the Fence!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Feeling Grateful As We Transform

Feeling grateful for Mr. Young preserving and rehanging our sweet LAFAYETTE panels, a labor of love by Lafayette's class of 2011.
Feeling grateful for a light-filled, functional, air conditioned art room and engaged, curious, thoughtful, creative students:)
Fifth graders classifying art by style and justifying their choice!
Feeling grateful for enthusiastic, warm supportive parents. And feeling grateful for our "tree-house" campus, where we will find new ways to make and hang art in our outdoor hallways and on many yards of fence which beckon like a blank canvas.

And finally, feeling grateful for the opportunity to watch Lafayette reborn... beginning with giant earth moving machines carving huge holes where our 1970s addition used to be and the promise of a crane next week, all right outside our art room windows... so much excitement!!!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Celebrate Creativity at the Visionary Museum!

A few weeks ago, Ms. Perll and I spent an inspirational morning in Baltimore at one of my all time favorite museums where one learns to expect the unexpected and find delight in the quirkiness of humankind!

Art work at the museum has been created by untrained artists who find their inspiration from within.

AVAM believes, "there is great power in not knowing what will or won't work" and they state, "as in science, ignorance often gives birth to genuinely new inventions...Discovering possibilities that others do not see is what visionaries do best."
Whirlygig and found object sculpture by Vollis Simpson
After viewing the museum, we had lunch with a spectacular view of this sculpture and federal hill. Here is the advice posted on the cafe wall:
I am hoping to keep the same sense of delight and wonder as we create art in our magical trailer "treehouse" this school year and watch our new school building be constructed in front of our eyes. What an amazing opportunity for learning and inspiration!!!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Feed the ART Teacher!

An inspiring two weeks in Italy and an intensive week at the Arts, Books, and Creativity Institute at the Museum of Women in the Arts has recharged my batteries! 
The mosaics and frescoes of Pompeii and the architecture of the ancient hilltop towns of Sicily were a reminder of the richness that
the arts gave daily lives thousands of years ago.

During the museum workshop we explored studio habits of mind, many ways to engage students in talking and writing about art, and the ever engaging form of book arts in all it's 3-D glory. 
Many times our books became an engineering challenge as well as a chance to explore language arts, science, and social studies through paper and pop ups and sculpture!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Wrapping it Up!

Where has the time gone!!! As I pack boxes for the big move, art goes on... What's been on tap? Sketching our neighborhood and our school for grades 1-3... our powers of observation are sharpened and our drawing skills refined:

A fourth grade class helped with cleanup (art room style) before drawing and shading bonsai trees. 

Fifth graders are working on using the vanishing point to show perspective Renaissance style. A middle school challenge as we get ready to move on!

And most of our students had a chance to add their farewell messages and grafitti to our art room walls before demolition takes place this summer!
Thanks to those parents who were able to find the precious time to help out in the art room this school year! You made my life more sane and gave your children a wonderful gift!!!

Hoping everyone has a great summer filled with visually rich experiences!!!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

COLOR is COOL! ... and WARM:)

First graders spent some time last month playing with color... mixing secondaries and tertiaries from primaries and slicing the color wheel in half as we learned about warm (fire! hot lava!) and cool (blue water, cool green grass) colors.

Van Gogh's "Wheat Fields" was our inspiration piece for a landscape painting as we traveled to color stations dab, dab, dabbing like Mr Van Gogh, separating our warms and cools at the horizon line.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Third Graders Have Gone Goth (ic) !

Crumple up our art? For the sake of stone texture that is just what we did after we finished drawing our Gothic style buildings… one of many lessons in our unit on Washington DC architecture! A fun interactive game we tried on stone arches and buttresses can be found at PBSLearningMedia !
 Draw with sharpies & colored pencils
Soak in paint water and unfold carefully
Lay flat to dry before ironing
Next week the architects designing our school will come talk to us about the process architects go through to design a building like Lafayette! After that, we will work in groups to create our own recycled material model for a new building in Washington D.C. We'll see where our imaginations and the power of teamwork take us!!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Rock Me Lafayette

The Lafayette Auction Cometh! The 4th graders are exploring Gilbert du Motier's Marquis de Lafayette rocker style as inspired by our auction poster designers. 
Gilbert du Motier

...and the rocker version

And Lafayette students take the challenge... works in progress:

Make-up and a "do"?

St. Pepper's here we come...
All of these creative masterpieces will be on display at the March 28th auction... not to be missed!!!