Monday, December 4, 2017

Progress Reports in Art

Art learning is not just about how well one colors or paints. Sure, grading in art can be somewhat subjective, but content standards in art provide a framework for deeper objectives that help our students become well rounded citizens. The two content standards that will appear on your child's progress report this semester are: "Observe and Learn to Comprehend" and "Invent and discover to Create." Listed below are the specific focuses for each grade level. In addition to the content standards, students will receive feedback on the life-skills of resiliency and creativity. If your student is doing their personal best, demonstrating understanding of concepts,  participating, and following studio guidelines, their grade will be a 3 for "meets." Feel free to reach out if you have any questions.

"Observe and Learn to Comprehend"

Grade 5
*Visual arts connect multiple characteristics of art
*Visual arts communicate the human experience
*Visual arts learning involves analyzing the formal and informal qualities of art

Grade 4
*Artists and viewers determine artistic intent by comparing and contrasting the characteristics and expressive features of art and design
*Works of art articulate and express different points of view
*Artists and viewers and patrons respond to works of art using inference and empathy

Grade 3
*The identification of characteristics and expressive features in works of art and design help to determine artistic intent
*Art has intent and purpose

Grade 2
*Artists make choices that communicate ideas in works of art
*Characteristics and expressive features of art and design are used to identify and discuss works of art

Grade 1
*Works of art express feelings
*Art represents and renders the stories of people, places, or things

*Artists and viewers recognize characteristics and expressive features within works of art
*Personal feelings are described in and through works of art

"Invent and Discover to Create"

Grade 5
*Use artistic media and expression to communicate personal and objective points of view
*Create art using technological media
*Apply an understanding of art processes and creative thinking to plan and create art

Grade 4
*Use media to express and communicate ideas about an issue of personal interest
*Materials and processes can be used in traditional, unique, and innovative ways

Grade 3
*Use basic media to express ideas through the art-making process
*Demonstrate basic studio skills

Grade 2
*Use familiar symbols to identify and demonstrate characteristics and expressive features of art and design

Grade 1
*Create art to communicate ideas, feelings, or emotions

* Create 2D and 3D works of art based on personal relevance

Monday, November 27, 2017

Students Own their Learning

Students are owning their learning throughout the creative process in art by planning and designing their own works on an artist proposal planning sheet, selecting their own materials, and finally presenting to the class. Students are learning to constructively critique each others products and then reflect on and evaluate what they learned and what they would do differently on a google form.  This process supports student directed learning and growth mindset. Students have been super engaged and are able to explore what matters to them while building skills that will help them in all content areas.  

Thank you to everyone that has signed the Artsonia permissions. We have over 95% participation with nearly 1000 artworks uploaded already! 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Studio Habits Of Mind

Sometimes we think of arts as "extra," but in addition to aesthetic appreciation, the arts teaches other modes of thinking that are valuable across every discipline. Students who learn lessons in the arts are prepared to see patterns, learn from mistakes, and envision solutions. (How 21st century!) These 8 habits provide a framework and language that supports such a disposition: 

Develop Craft: Learn to use tools, materials, and artistic conventions. Learn to care for tools, materials, and space.
Engage & Persist: Learn to embrace problems of relevance within the art world and/or of personal importance, to develop focus conducive to working and persevering at tasks.
Envision: Learn to picture mentally what cannot be directly observed, and imagine possible next steps in making a piece.
Express: Learn to create works that convey an idea, a feeling, or a personal meaning.
Observe: Learn to attend to visual contexts more closely than ordinary “looking” requires, and thereby to see things that otherwise might not be seen.
Reflect: Learn to think and talk with others about an aspect of one’s work or working process, and learn to evaluate one’s own work and process and the work of others.
Stretch & Explore: Learn to reach beyond one’s capacities, to explore playfully without a preconceived plan, and to embrace the opportunity to learn from mistakes.
Understand (Arts) Community: Learn to interact with other student artists and within the broader society. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Gold Rush Community Rocks!

Students have been having a blast painting rocks to inspire others, beautify our school, and build community. You might even say we're sneaking in a little learning under all that color. In addition to practicing basic studio skills, students were asked to go through the creative process with a purpose in mind and make a plan. Students are writing artist statements that explain their thinking and intent to the viewer. I can't wait to see how it all comes together when we place our rocks outside!  This is a good time to mention that if you not yet signed the Artsonia permission that was emailed, I invite you to do so as it would be great to be able to upload a photo of your child's work for your viewing, sharing, and/or commenting.

Staff members have been invited to paint a rock also. Part of our school's philosophy is that of growth mindset. Art is such a wonderful avenue to practice this as well as express creativity, think critically, problem solve, and build resilience. The cool thing about acrylic paint is that if it just doesn't work out after you've tried to turn that oops into beautiful, you can wait until the next day and paint over it. Phew. Did I mention cultivating risk taking? Support for this is just one of the great things about our school community!

Saturday, August 5, 2017


Welcome back to a new school year! I'm excited to dig in and get started in art with each and every one of your kiddos! Through art students will be participating in fun and meaningful artistic experiences that support GRE’s values as reflected in this statement:

“We foster growth by challenging critical thinkers to take risks, honor differences and care for others.”

This year we are going to be utilizing an online digital portfolio called Artsonia. This program allows students to share work with you. You also have the opportunity to order keepsakes and items featuring your child’s artwork, if you choose. This program will replace the Original Works program we have used in the past for ordering and will have other features such as allowing students to receive positive feedback on their creations. More information to follow.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me.