Expressive Arts Website

Saturday, March 17, 2018

March Charter Chat

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

8th Grade Ceramic Face Jugs

Last year I did not have students work with clay so it was SO NICE to bring a clay project back into Expressions! Students learned about Face Jugs and then created a design that told a story. These are a whole lotta fun and I can't wait to fire them!

Friday, March 9, 2018

7th Grade Heraldic Banner

7th Grade learned about the language of heraldry and created their own coat of arms for their personal house banner. The coat of arms was "tooled' onto an aluminum plate and then students stained the plate using sharpies for heraldic colors. These look amazing hanging in the classroom!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

8th Grade Geometric String Art

WOW... The 8th grade class has blown my mind with their parabola designs this year. This project is a MUST DO in any middle school classroom. So many skills are mastered and the project itself is so engaging! Check these out.

Friday, February 23, 2018

7th Grade Potions Class!

Surviving the Middle Ages means facing disease with very little science... So, the 7th graders partnered up to create creative potion recipes and bottle to help the medieval survival rate. Check out these awesome projects using dip pens, cellulcay and antiquing methods.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

8th Grade Yarn Coiled Baskets

OK. Vent session...

I have been wanting to teach coil basketry FOR YEARS! Finally, I created a Survival Unit where weaving could be incorporated naturally as a survival skill. The small basket, made up of 4 feet of coil, took me about 3 hours to make. However, my kiddos took FOREVER to complete their basket. What I thought would be a highly focused, engaging activity turned out to be a gab-fest that made productivity SO SLOW! Finally, I had to pull the social rug out from underneath the feet my 8th grade students and call a due date.

I need time to think on this one. I feel like if I teach this skill again next year my expectation need to be revised. I also feel like I need to play an active role in quiet focus. I think reading to the students at the beginning of class for 15-20 minutes could promote the calm, focused environment and also make them more self- aware of their productivity when they are quiet.

Despite the slow productivity and what I interpreted as a lack of interest, all but 10 students completed their baskets on time and they turned out pretty darn cute. I do not need or want a silent classroom. It's just that this project may needs more of of a happy medium.

Things to think about over the summer...

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

7th Grade Needle Felted Owls

I am so glad my friend, B. Creative, introduced me to needle felting. Ever since I handled the wool, I knew that texture and felting process would . be a unique and engaging experience for my students. Check out these adorable little owls!

Friday, February 9, 2018

8th Grade Goole Draw Vector Portraits

Once again, Google Vector Drawings by my 8th grade students AH-MAZE Me! This year students worked extremely hard trying to match their drawing to their image exactly. There was such a quiet focus in the room during drawing days. I am really proud of every ones effort!

7th Grade ROCKS Piskel Animations

So this year I developed a Digital At Unit for the 7th grade. A project I wanted to test out is an animation platform called Piskel App. After some research and resources shared to me by fellow art teachers, I decided to give it a go. Students loved creating their piskel animations and blew my mind with their creations! Total Keeper!

Monday, February 5, 2018

Help Me Fund All the Little Things!

I wrote a grant for the new year in hope to obtain materials to offset the Expressions Budget. Fingers crossed! Click this link to read more.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Epic Spirit Week!

Meme Day, Academy Awards themed Rally, Drama Club Performance and a surprise Wedding Proposal. Yup, That's a LE Spirit Week! Thank Goodness it's Friday!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

8th Grade Digital Art Tattoos

This iPad project is a LOT of fun. It takes about 2-45 minute periods, but I recommend scheduling this project on a block day as opposed on 2 separate days just to keep the momentum going. Check out this years Tattoo Artists!

7th Grade Digital Pop Art Portraits in the Style of Litchenstein

I am kinda freakin' out. The 7th graders piloted a project I created on the iPads and just blew it out of the park. Check out these incredible DIGITAL Pop Art portraits!

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

January Charter Chat

Friday, January 26, 2018

Pop Art Exhibit!

the 7th and 8th Grade students worked so hard ion the Pop Art Unit! I love being able to showcase student work in an art exhibit. It's my way of showing my appreciation for all of their creative effort!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Pop Art Cake Sculptures in the Style of Wayne Theibaud

Cake, Cake, Cake! 8th grade students studies cake flavors, cake filling, cake frosting and cake toppers in order to design their individual cake sculpture. Check out these beauties!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

7th Grade 3-D Word Sculptures in the Style of Robert Indiana

After introducing the 7th grade class to Robert Indiana and his inspiring LOVE sculpture I tasked the students to brainstorm inspirational words. From there, students grouped up to spell their chosen word by individually sculpting and design a letter. Here are pics of the finished projects!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

8th Grade Pop Art Portraits!

This project has so many skills built into one and I just LOVE the colorful outcomes. Value, blending, tints and shades- the 8th grade class have all mastered paint and it shows in these masterpieces!

Friday, January 5, 2018

8th Grade Dystopian Book Cover Ceiling Tile Murals

Another 33 Ceiling Tiles were pumped out in one day on The Big Day of Reading. This year 8th grade created original book cover designs based on dystopian books that they love. From planning, to griding, to transferring and then painting- these kids worked really hard and it shows! These murals will look amazing on campus!

Friday, December 29, 2017

December Charter Chat

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

7th Grade Looney Tune Pop Art

7th Grade kicked off the pop Art Unit with Scale Oil Pastel Drawings of Looney Tune characters. These projects ALWAYS deliver helping students gain confidence with their drawing skills. This was a perfect project to lead this group into winter break.

8th Grade Pop Art Post-it Murals

I LOVE the Post-it Note Mural project for many reasons. One, it's a GREAT way to kick off the Pop Art Unit with pixel designs, collaboration and problem solving. Second, it's a 2-day project that leads right into winter break. Third, these murals pack a colorful punch for the Pop Art Exhibit. They are just too darn fun!

Friday, December 15, 2017

7th Grade Enters Unsung Hero Contest

Expressions partnered up with ELA for the 7th grade to participate in the Art Effect Unsung Hero Contest as a culminating activity for the Kindness for Paws Unit. Students selected an animal activist to write their research paper about. They then used they words from their research paper for their Mircography Art Project that they submitted for the contest. These meaningful art pieces are currently being displayed at the North Natomas Library. Way to go, 7th grade!

Friday, December 8, 2017

8th Grade Paints with Lights in the Black Box

The Black Box is the PRIMO spot for light painting and this year we got to use this space! I am hoping that we will continue to be able to use this space for this fun photography project that really tests the limits of collaboration, creativity and problem solving.

Friday, December 1, 2017

7th Grade Hidden Hands integrates Science

7th Grade investigated the science concept of adaptations and camouflage in order to gain a better understanding of environmental factors that impact wild life. They then painted a pattern and attempted to repeat that pattern over their hand to camouflage themselves. I love this project and how it helps students better understand global issues that affect the environment an its inhabitants.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

8th Grade Digital Animal Interaction Using iPads

I have pinned so many digital animal interaction projects that require Photoshop that I decided to try out something a bit less technical using only iPads. I created this lesson titled Where the Wild Things Are linked here that I hope you try out.  My students had SO MUCH FUN with this 85 minute lesson and the results are just so funny!

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!