Posted by: dbjaquith | September 1, 2014

A New School Year Begins

The sun is setting on Summer 2014. It has been a most beautiful season!

The sun is setting on Summer 2014. It has been a most beautiful season!

Today is Labor Day which means the school year is starting. Over the summer our school library got a new floor so I returned to my classroom to discover most of the library shelving and furniture filling the art space. With the help of our amazing custodial staff, we were able to triple storage space in the art room with the leftover shelving. Our Creativity Studio is still a work-in-progress; photos of the changes will appear here soon!

Most of my paintings are small studies, 6 X 6"

Most of my paintings are small studies, 6 X 6″

Once I added a feeder, this little hummer came daily!

Once I added a feeder, this little hummer came daily to the garden.

What did I do this summer? Students always ask me about the art I make. My best art  is simply observation of nature. I can sit for great lengths of time and just watch for small changes. Clouds moving, butterflies, bees, chipmunks, and most recently, hummingbirds in my garden! I document some of these observations with photography, as shown here. Occasionally I paint in oils.

In early July I directed a graduate program at Massachusetts College of Art & Design. There were 42 teachers, plus four faculty, attending the Teaching for Artistic Behavior Institute, representing 18 states. It was a remarkable experience to collaborate with these innovative teachers whose dedication to their students is evident in the care they put into inquiry about their teaching practice.

RIP little hard drive!

RIP little hard drive!

Also in July, my hard drive crashed. Really crashed, as in, no recovery of files. Among the items lost are hundreds of photos of student artwork waiting to be uploaded to Artsonia. The difficult lesson learned is to back up files weekly! My sincere apologies to the many Franklin artists whose work goes undocumented in their Artsonia galleries. Families, if you would like to include an artwork on your child’s page, send me a jpeg and I will be happy to upload it. If you haven’t seen our Franklin School Artsonia Gallery, please visit us at: http://www.artsonia.com/schools/school.asp?id=38943

Each new school year is full of promise, excitement, and curiosity about what will emerge as the year unfolds. See you all tomorrow!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by: dbjaquith | August 21, 2014

4th Grade Stop Motion Animation

This past spring all fourth graders learned to use digital media techniques for narrative storytelling. These videos were created in groups using stop-motion. Students followed a sequence: 1) Storyboards; 2) Characters; 3) Backgrounds; 4) Filming; 5) Editing: timing, titles, special effects, sound effects, and voice recording. Check out these great animations!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by: dbjaquith | June 23, 2014

5th Grade Stop-Motion Animation

5th graders learned about stop-motion animation last year. Here are their new animation projects created with iMovie. Enjoy!

Posted by: dbjaquith | June 1, 2014

Weaving on the Playground

Children weaving on the "spider" playground structure.

Children weaving on the “spider” playground structure.

Weaving2

This weaving shows a unique X stitched into the center box.

Weaving1_edited-1On Thursday afternoons, we special subject teachers (Art, Music, PE, Library) meet with an entire grade level while those students’ classroom teachers have time for planning/prep and personal professional development. The Thursday Afternoon Program (TAP) has been in place for almost 20 years and is a time that we can work together as a team to provide different learning Weaving4_edited-1experiences for children. This past week, we decided to take the entire 2nd grade outdoors for the afternoon. The entire afternoon! It was a gorgeous almost-summer day, not too hot but warm enough to not need jackets or sweaters. Children played games on the grass, danced and sang on the blacktop and explored the playground structure. I brought out their weaving looms and many chose to weave during part of this time. Several weavings were “born” during TAP, when the completed fiber art is liberated from the cardboard loom holding the warp threads in place. It was a great afternoon for all!Weaving3

Posted by: dbjaquith | May 29, 2014

Observations of Spring

Lilacs at the painting studio inspire students to observe through sight and scent.

Lilacs at the painting studio inspire students to observe through sight and scent.

Flowers2The Studio Habit of Mind (Hetland, et. al., 2007), OBSERVE, is activated whenever artists notice the world around them through their senses. In a recent class conversation students realized that watching (TV and other media) is not the same thing as observing the world carefully. Seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and touching allow the senses to inform the artist about nuance. “What did you observe this week at home?” Students respond that they observed new flowers and leaves, rabbits and birds, clouds, sunsets, rain, cars and other people. The powers of observation enable artists to entertain themselves wherever they are!

First grader's interpretation of T-Rex from observation of a plastic model.

First grader’s interpretation of T-Rex from observation of a plastic model.

Posted by: dbjaquith | April 14, 2014

We Work Together to Learn

Mural1

Students traced projected photos.

Students traced projected photos.

We work together to learn. This is the theme of the mural one second grade class painted at the request of their classroom teacher, Robin Moriarty. Robin and I discussed various ways we could organize a class mural and once the theme was determined, we decided to work from photos of her students throughout their school day. The photos were projected onto paper and students traced themselves with chalk. Twenty five students appear in the mural, representing all students at Franklin School.

Students took turns painting the mural.

Students took turns painting the mural.

Each child took a turn painting the figures in the mural, first laying in base colors and later adding details. Those who enjoyed painting the mural had several turns until the mural was complete. Students comments about how they work together to learn appear in the border.

 

 

The mural was painted in stages, during weekly art classes, while students continued their other artmaking activities.

The mural was painted in stages, during weekly art classes, while students continued their other artmaking activities.

We collaborate and practice writing together.

We help when someone gets stuck.

We share ideas.

We share materials.

We agree on what to do.

We make a little group and read together.

We learn from each other’s work.

We give each other advice.

We remind our classmates of what to do.

We teach each other our math strategies.

We help each other.

We never give up!

Our mural will hang in the school’s main corridor and then move to the district’s Education Center over the summer.

Posted by: dbjaquith | April 13, 2014

Tantalize!

Mrs. Dunn's tape dispenser was one of the first objects to be Tantalized.

Mrs. Dunn’s tape dispenser was one of the first objects to be Tantalized.

A sign on the door shows where to donate objects.

A sign on the door shows where to donate objects.

On Friday the Tantalizer made an appearance at Franklin School! The idea for the Tantalizer comes from Mary Olson, a Santa Fe, NM art teacher and friend who introduced “The Tantamount” to her students. The word “tantamount” means “equivalent to.” The Tantamount is a human art machine that duplicates the essence of an object into a complementary art object.

A sign announces the Tantalizer.

A sign announces the Tantalizer.

We altered the concept slightly and renamed our art making machine “The Tantalizer,” an art temptation. Adults in our school community were invited to bring a favorite object to the art room to be tantalized. Third grade Tantalizer

Mr. Pepicelli's spray bottle

Mr. Pepicelli’s spray bottle – form over function!

Teams worked collaboratively to interpret donated objects through a wide variety of materials. Upon completion, they delivered the objects and artworks back to their lucky owners.

We had tremendous fun with the Tantalizer! Special thanks to Mary Olson and Kathy Douglas, our guests for the day, who assisted Tantalizers in their creative work.

Ms. Foster's skeleton got a makeover.

Ms. Foster’s skeleton got a makeover.

Posted by: dbjaquith | April 6, 2014

Papier-mâché

These paper mache sculptural creatures admire the 2nd grade mural.

These paper mache sculptural creatures admire the 2nd grade mural.

Second graders (and soon third graders) have been working hard on papier-mâché sculptures. Sculpture is different than the work students typically do at our 3D Design Studio. There, students innovate to design functional objects, machines, architectural designs, vehicles, and occasionally fashions.

Papier-mâché sculpture begins with an armature made of recycled materials.

Papier-mâché sculpture begins with an armature made of recycled materials.

Sculpture is similar to painting, in which an art idea takes on three-dimensional form with a purely aesthetic purpose in mind. Most of the sculptures created by second graders are creatures of some sort, though often the species is not determined until the artist paints the sculpture. These vibrant beings will be on display in the glass cases on the first floor.

The paste is very slimey to the touch, part of its appeal to many.

The paste is very slimey to the touch, part of its appeal to many. Strips of newspaper, coated in the paste, are wrapped around the armature to create a universal surface covering which is painted when dry.

Posted by: dbjaquith | March 16, 2014

Multicultural Day and Night

The Canadian flag is very popular with students, who discover how to cut out a silhouette of a maple leaf.

The Canadian flag is very popular with students, who discover how to cut out a silhouette of a maple leaf.

This past week Franklin School celebrated world cultures with a day of dances and an evening of sharing at booths created by families that highlight the unique culture and traditions of their countries of origin. Franklin School has been hosting Multicultural Night for many years and it has become a model for other Newton schools.

A third grade boy was so engaged with the flag of Wales that he continued during recess and brought it back to show his art teacher at the end of the day.

A third grade boy was so engaged with the flag of Wales that he continued during recess and brought it back to show his art teacher at the end of the day.

We observed world cultures in the Creativity Studio, where a table provided flag imagery, large pieces of color paper and smaller strips and rectangles for replicating world flags or designing new flags. This pop-up studio center was especially popular with children in grades K-2 and will repeat again this week due to many requests to continue creating flags.

Posted by: dbjaquith | March 16, 2014

The Creative Flower

Creative JuiceThis drawing was a lovely surprise on a recent Friday afternoon. A second grade girl was highly engaged in her drawing and when I asked her about it, she replied: “This is the Creative Flower. The Creative Flower contains a special kind of juice inside it which attracts non-creative people. When they smell the juice it makes them creative.”  I hope that we can grow many creative flowers in our schools this spring!

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