Expressive Arts Website

Thursday, November 16, 2017

7th Grade Shelter Animal Collages

WOW! I mean, just WOW! The Shelter Animal Collages are completed and look AMAZING! I am planning on delivering them to the next placement event at the Davis Petco. They are so excited to showcase the animals through the students hard work and creativity!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

8th Grade Forced Perspective

After an intensive sit down, mixed media art unit I find it best to switch gears completely for a bit. Insert Trick Photography Unit. This unit will have us up and around and thinking outside the box! Check out some stand outs from our first project!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

7th Grade Partners with Yolo County Animal Services

Yolo County Animal Services presented to the 7th grade class this past week. Students learned all sorts of ways they can help out by promoting #adoptdontbuy. One of the ways students will promote adoption is by creating artwork based on shelter animals. The shelters will upload the photos of the art to attract adopters. The shelters will also give the artwork away to the new pet owners once the animal is adopted. Can't wait to get started on this heartfelt project!

Friday, November 3, 2017

Day of the Dead Art Exhibit

The Day of the Dead exhibit was a smash! This years performances included Folklorico, Poetry and Taiko, In addition to performances, live student remembrance recordings played throughout the exhibit added a personal element to the overall ambiance. Still one of my favorite units!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

October Artsonia Newsletter

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

8th Grade Sugar Skull Plaster Masks

This Project! There are SO many skills involved when creating and designing a plaster mask and these kids NAILED it. Check out these stand outs!

Friday, October 20, 2017

7th Grade Skull Stamp/Monster Mail Cards

This year Leadership could not sell monster mail so I signed on! Monster Mail is the equivalent of Boo-grams so it was perfect timing cause we were making skill post cards and layered cards. Check out this years handy work! 7th Grade LOVES printing and so do I!

Friday, October 13, 2017

8th Grade New Spin on Sugar Skull Portrait

It's no secret that I get restless. And though I LOVE the art projects that we create every year for the Day of the Dead exhibit, I felt the need for a change. This year I challenged the students to create a half face, which is a more traditional make-up style that signifies how fast life and death can occur. Because of this new challenge, I took away required elements like a top hat or a flower. Next year I will add back all of those requirements now that I feel confident that students can do it all. Check out these amazing half faces!

Friday, October 6, 2017

7th Grade Wide Open Walls Walking Field Trip

We took the 7th grade class, about 90 students, on a 4 mile walk around Sacramento exploring architecture, historical sits and street art. The Wide Open Walls is an annual Street Art Jam that has recently established itself at the heart of Sacramento. Exposing students to this relevant art form that illustrates the culture of Sacramento was very impactful.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Afterschool Drama Club

It's no secret that I am a drama geek. I was bitten years ago when I was encouraged to audition for the Winters Theater Company and performed in the play Let's Murder Marcia. I LOVED IT! Even before that I taught drama explicitly in Expressions when class sizes were much lower (18-20) then they are now. Some favorite plays students performed include Romeo and Juliet, Pirates of Penzance and Grease. Now that class sizes are at 30, I cannot justify spending 9 weeks on a Drama Unit that only 1/3 of the students are really interested in so I have since substituted that unit with more engaging media art units.

Recently some students hit me up to host a Drama Club after school. It seemed like the perfect way to offer Drama to those who are genuinely interested in performance. So Glad They Asked Me! We are 20 students strong and have scheduled our first lunch performance on October 27th. This club seems to meet a need that hasn't been provided in a while and I hope to continue this club for years to come!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

September Charter Chat

Thursday, September 21, 2017

8th Grade Collaborative Ceiling Tile Murals

8th Grade Op Art Unit culminates with a Collaborative Ceiling Time Mural Project. In years past 12 ceiling tiles have been produced during this mastery project. I don't know what happened, but this year 16 AMAZING ceiling tile murals were completed and they look awesome installed in the classroom. Way To Go 8th Grade! #SOPROUD

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

7th Grade Pen and Ink Manga Figure Drawing

After reflecting on lasts years Paper Children Challenge it occurred to me that students needed explicit instruction on figure drawing. That's when I decided to add it to the Manga Unit and created a lesson inspired by these Pinterest images.

I purchased Dollar Tree Calendars containing landscape scenes for the backgrounds. I created by example and from there, developed a figure drawing skill building lesson plan based upon:

  • 8 head stick figure drawing
  • 8 head stick figure drawing using perspective
  • manikin drawing step- by step
  • manikin drawing pose by observation
  • Next year I will add still life gestural drawing from observation with some guest models.
Once students gained figure drawing skills I introduced them to Pen and Ink Techniques. After some practice students began their rough/final drafts and applied them to their chosen scenery. Here are some stand outs! This is definitely a keeper lesson!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

LE Chalks It Up!

Dream Come True! Every year I attend Chalk It Up and think to myself, "my kids could totally do that". So this year I wrote a grant that NAEF funded allowing myself and a crew of students to create a chalk mural at the festival.

Since the Leading Edge Mascot is a KNIGHT it seemed fitting that we create a design that incorporated a knight. Coincidentally, last spring two alumni students painted a mural of a knight for our school as their community service project. With their permission, we recreated that design onto the chalk sqaure. Mika and Maeya, the two former students, even made a guest appearance at the Chalk It Up event and helped add the final touches!

Students that helped out at the event included 3- 7th graders, 4- 8th graders, 4 -former students who are now in high school, parents and the original student artists. We knocked out this design in 4 hours- thankfully, because it was 102 degrees by noon when we finished up!

I love having my students involved in creating community art and this was our first successful event outside of school. I can't wait to organize more opportunities for my students to show off their stuff outside of class! GO KNIGHTS!

8th Grade Eyes Three Ways

This summer I attended a class called Choice-Based Art Education.  I decided to get my toes wet with my 8th grade students trying out a new project I developed called Eyes Three Ways. In this project students were to create three eyes with each eye design answering the following questions:

  • How do I see the world?
  • How do others see me?
  • How do I see myself?

Students were to explore different mediums for each eye. I had 8 different medium stations set up around the classroom that students could travel to gather supplies. Students practiced on an "Eye Passport" then whittled down their choice of three mediums using a practice eye worksheet. Then, once skills were mastered students created their final draft eyes.

After a gallery walk, we then began the process of creating an armature for an Agamograph. Once the armature was created, students prepped their eyes and assembled them onto the graph. Students then created a video of their illusion explaining their three eyes!

Students loved this project for many reasons and I loved it too! Next year I will focus on developing more understanding of eye anatomy, lash and brow techniques, and shading techniques. Aside from that this project gave me the inspiration to create an Identity Unit that will replace the Op Art unit for next year! LOVE!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

ThankYouX Collaborative Mural

Back to School was the second week of school- SO EARLY! Even though I was excited about BTS, my room felt bare so I was in search of something BOLD to get the kids excited about collaboration. I stumbled across a ThankYouX mural project that my Teacher friend, Leanne Glace, was having her middle school kids create and just HAD to try it. Click this link for details- it's a stunner! Check out how our mural turned out!

Sketchbooks For All!

I am SO excited to have launched a new sketchbook routine in the 7th and 8th grade classes! How? By providing materials for every student to make their own sketchbook on the first day of school. After reading various Art Teacher Blogs about making sketchbooks, I was sold! On our first day of school each student assembled their own 36 page sketchbook which included the following details:

  • Cover/Back Card stock Page
  • Sketchbook Procedure Page
  • Sketchbook Rubric Page
  • 30 Day Drawing Prompt Page
  • 30 sketching pages
  • 1 ATC plastic sleeve
The students used brads to secure their pages and then picked out designed duct tape to reinforce the brads. The sketchbooks cost less that 80 cents per student. I love our new daily warm up and cool down sketching routine and have already written a grant for next years sketchbook materials!

Saturday, August 26, 2017

August Charter Chat

Monday, June 5, 2017

7th Scratch Art Unit

The Scratch Art Unit was fast and furious! Students had so much fun creating their Keep Calm Parody and that practice really helped them build skills for their final portraits. I can't wait to work with these students next year!

8th Grade Pen and Ink Unit

Our final unit of the year was fun but bittersweet. I feel like students put a lot of heart into their work and I love looking at their final pieces on Artsonia. I am really gonna miss this class! Here are some of my faves.

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!