Expressive Arts Website

Friday, May 19, 2017

7th Grade Hand Sewn Pet Beds!

The 7th grade class wrapped up the sewing unit by sewing pillows that could be used for pet beds. To my surprise, many students decided to donate their pillow as opposed to keeping their hard work for themselves. I donated 22 student pillows to the Yolo County SPCA this past Friday. A great amount of effort was put into the sewing unit and I am proud of all my students!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

8th Grade Historic Skit Masks

The 8th grade class is performing a variety of historical skits for their Social Studies final. The students used Expressions class time to create their character masks for their performances. Creating masks was a fun activity that livened up the week of SBAC testing!

Monday, May 8, 2017

8th Grade Breaks In Silk Screens!

I have been wanting to try screen printing for a couple of years and have written a series of grants that have never come to fruition- until NOW! Just recently, LEAP funded a Donors Choose Grant on a money matching day. That meant that HALF of the grant contribution would be matched! That meant that we acquired around $600.00 worth of silkscreen merchandise for just $300.00. Cartwheels!

I introduced the 8th grade class to a silkscreen street artist named Shepard Fairey. Shepard not only created the iconic Obama Hope campaign image from the 2008 election, but is also one of the founders for the website I challenged the class to create an original stencil to communicate a social issue that was important to them. Now understand that we are in the last month of school, so though I challenged the students I was a little uncertain how many would take on a heavy topic as opposed to creating something light and fun.

The outcome? As always, my students blew me away with their original creations and their deep connection to our culture and the world we live in. I am also uber impressed with their level of engagement with the overall process of screen printing!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

May Charter Chat

8th grade Banksy Style War and Peace Stencil Skateboard Deck

My 8th grade students are LOVING the Street Art Unit. This most recent project involved learning about the street artist named Banksy. Banksy's work tends to reflect his anti-establishment views which appeal to my middle school students. They were tasked to create an original design that reflects their views on war or peace. Once their stencil was completed they cut out a skateboard deck out of foam board. I required some type of striping or color blocked element that was painted first with acrylic before their stencil was applied with spray paint. Man, these turned out SO GOOD!

7th grade Bradshaw Shelter Animal Collages

WOW! I could tell that as soon as my students viewed the list of animals at the Bradshaw Shelter website they were totally invested in the project inspired by artist Deborah Shapiro. Students chose an animal from the shelter website to draw and collage using thumbnail sized magazine papers. They turned out amazing, so much heart was put into these collages!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

8th Grade Graffiti Art

Our Street Art Unit kicked off the day before we departed on our 3-day Ashland trip. And from my experience, trying to teach middle school students the day before an overnight field trip is like herding cats. UNLESS you are teaching students about Graffiti.
This project started off with viewing many forms of Graffiti in the US from tags, stencil murals, and spray painted messages. Then we viewed Graffiti in Argentina where store owners welcome this art form and contract artists to graffiti their storefronts to attract customers.  After viewing these contrasting intentions, the students discussed their views on the many forms of graffiti, the impact on graffiti and whether or not graffiti is vandalism.
Then the students were tasked with choosing and inspiring word to paint in the style of Graffiti.
It has been one week since we returned from Ashland AND Spring Break- with 7 more weeks of school and based on the level of engagement, effort and creativity it seems like we just started the school year! Check these out!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Donors Choose Grand Slam!!!

In just ONE week TWO of my Donors Choose Projects were funded and I couldn't be happier! The first project, We Got The moves Like Warhol, was funded by our very own Parent Organization, LEAP. I have been wanting to learn and teach screen printing for several years and now it has become a reality! I have done some research at home and feel confident that my students will LOVE this art form as a way to communicate their ideas!

The second project, Harry Potter for Hospitals, was funded during the Ashland Field trip! I had to control myself not to wake up Sierra while she was sleeping in her dorm to tell her the news. Soon, she and I will plan the delivery of the book sets to children staying in the pediatric ward.

I feel so very fortunate to work with such a supportive parent group and to teach such inspiring students. It was been an amazing year with so much more o look forward to!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Back to Ashland!

I took an 8 year hiatus from leading the 8th grade Ashland trip after the birth of my second child. Since then the trip has been reinvigorated with a trip leader named Lisa Landry, owner of Seize the Day Tours. I am SO HAPPY that I got to go back to Ashland this year with the 8th grade class! Here are some highlights of the trip!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Animal Adoption Event at Street Fair!

OM to the G! The Sacramento County Shelter has agreed to host an animal adoption event at the Natomas Charter School- Leading Edge Academy Street Fair on April 27th from 5:50-7:00. I can't wait to tell all of my students!
Some ideas for student involvement (like that will be an issue ;0) is to have a sign up for students to read to the animals while they are in their corrals on campus. As a fundraiser for the shelter, I am wanting to host a face painting booth and sell pet treats made by Winters Culinary Class that my students can sign up for working shifts.
I think it would be amazing if at our event some animals could find their Furever Homes and love that my students can possibly play a role in that #kindnessforpaws experience. <3

Monday, April 3, 2017

7th Grade Double Exposure Watercolor Animals

I really wanted to try extending the Digital Double Exposure into a painting project using watercolors, so when I created the Kindness for Paws Unit the timing was right! I had just acquired a class set of metallic watercolor that I thought would make some of the exposure effects very realistic. Watercolor is a medium that I haven't spent much time developing so I was very happy that this project allowed for a ton of watercolor exploration. Next year I am going to spend more time on the drawing of the animals along with requiring a partial or full border to take care of the negative space. Other than that, I think this project is a keeper!