Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Inspired by... Sunflowers by Vincent Van Gogh

First and second grade artists looked at Vincent Van Gogh's sunflower paintings for inspiration for their artwork for this year's Original Works fundraiser.  We used black crayons to outline and liquid watercolors to paint.  

Monday, September 23, 2013

Art and technology integration in Kindergarten

I have teamed up with or tech teacher, Allison Schlageter, to integrate art and technology. We are going to do a photography unit with kindergartners, focusing on finding patterns. They will use the new iPads to take their photos and learn some basic editing skills. Today during tech time, they explored their classroom with the iPads and took a few photos of repeating patterns and objects around the room.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Why Arts Education is Crucial

I feel incredibly lucky to work at two schools that value our arts programs and support them as we build our schedules and budgets.  However, in education as a whole right now, there is a push to focus on the Common Core-- literacy and math.  Of course these areas are immensely important, but it is equally important to recognize the role that the arts may play in helping children to achieve in all areas, including these Common Core subjects and areas of social and emotional growth.  This article shows that there is a strong connection between art education and academic success and that the arts are essential to the development of our students.  

From the article
"Art does not solve problems, but makes us aware of their existence," sculptor Magdalena Abakanowicz has said. Arts education, on the other hand, does solve problems. Years of research show that it's closely linked to almost everything that we as a nation say we want for our children and demand from our schools: academic achievement, social and emotional development, civic engagement, and equitable opportunity.
Involvement in the arts is associated with gains in math, reading, cognitive ability, critical thinking, and verbal skill. Arts learning can also improve motivation, concentration, confidence, and teamwork."
Click here to read the rest of this article.  

Third and Fourth Grade Self Portraits