Mission Statement

Mission Statement: I will develop the higher level thinking skills of all students. I will create an environment for my students that encourages creative thinking, problem solving, and risk-taking. My students will gain knowledge of art and culture throughout history and the modern world. My students will use the elements and principles of art and design to create a portfolio of original works of art. My students will evaluate their work and the work of others.

I have taught art for over 16 years at every level from age 3 to adult in both public and private schools.  I have taught in an art in a room with a sink, from a cart, in a portable building and in a virtual environment.

I am grateful for the opportunity to teach creative expression, problem solving, high expectations and perseverance to the next generation.  I believe visual art is an integral part of 21st Century Skills and STEM education.

I am a wife and mother of two children who always inspire me more than anyone.

 Studio Thinking Practices

1.Establishing purpose and intention

2.Building basic skills (artistic skills and techniques)

3.Encouraging acquisitions of domain-specific knowledge

4.Stimulating and rewarding curiosity and exploration

5.Building motivation, especially internal motivation

6.Encouraging confidence and a willingness to take risks--mistakes and dealing with mistakes in a positive way is encouraged

7.Focusing on mastery and self-competition

8.Promoting supportable beliefs about creativity

9.Providing opportunities for choice and discovery

10.Developing self-management (metacognitive skills)

11.Teaching techniques and strategies for facilitating creative performance

End of Year Portfolio Review

Questions to answer on their portfolio
At the end of every school year, my 2nd-8th grade students do an "end of year portfolio review."  My goal is to teach them how to think objectively about their artwork, practice using art vocabulary, incorporate writing about art and realize how they've grown as artists.  

We fold a poster board in half, label it with name, grade, year, etc.

Students answer the following questions on their portfolio:
1.  Art is.......(fill the space with descriptive adjectives or facts about art)
2.  This  year I learned that....
3.  My best piece was...(describe or sketch what that piece looked like).  This question can be skipped until I've passed back all the artwork.
4.  My favorite media is....(I put up a word bank for younger grades)
5.  Color is...(fill the space with descriptive adjectives or facts about color)
6.  One thing I'll never forget is....

After students answer all questions in their own words, I pass back all their artwork from the current school year.

I tell students that now they are going to "think like an art critic" by judging their portfolio of work.  I use the colored circle dot stickers that you can find at most  grocery stores or big box stores.  Each colored sticker represents something and students put the dots on the pieces they think are best deserving.  For example, the blue dot goes on the piece they think is their best artwork.
Key to the sticker colors
In progress portfolio

For Kindergarten and 1st grade I only use one or two of the questions and I keep it simple.  I sometimes have them draw a self portrait or list all the words they can about art.  Word banks on the board are very important for these students too. 

Acrylic paint on air dry clay

I tried acrylic paint on air dry coil pots this year.

Air Dry Clay fun

frogs, fish and pinchpots

Mixed Media Mandalas

All of my classes created Mandalas this year for the SPA Competition.   We looked at many mandalas from around the world and from different religions.  We had great discussions on what the common themes were (circles, radial balance, patterns, color schemes,  etc.).  I let students use one circle tracer but the rest was their own design.   My middle school students also looked at the Zendala book for inspiration.   Students used their choice of media and most choose watercolor resist.  This was a great theme and I can't wait to find out next year's theme.