Braiding Strands of Theory into Practice

Every teacher-in-training takes theory classes in preparation for entering the classroom.  Over time, our theories about children and learning become the foundation for our practice–the daily life of working with children in the classroom.  As I have matured in my teaching I have integrated various strands of theory into my own unique hybrid of classroom [...]

Collaborative banner-making with the ARRT team

http://www.pressherald.com/2016/02/22/banner-making-project-brings-maine-artists-together-for-a-cause/ Bob Keyes from the Portland Press Herald visited our work session on Sunday February 14th to observe our process and talk with people.  In his article, he conveys a sense of what we are all about.  ARRT paints banners for non-profit organizations in Maine that work to advance the Common Good.  I have been [...]

Children and Collage

I have often heard comments from art teachers about the challenge of inspiring children to make collages in choice-based art classrooms.  We know that kids respond strongly to the collage illustrations of Eric Carle, Leo Lionni, Ezra Jack Keats, and other visual storytellers.  So what happens when we ask children to make a collage as [...]

Choosing What to Paint–Easel Painting with Grades 1 and 2

To become painters, children need many opportunities to explore imagery, color mixing, how paintbrushes make marks.  Easel painting allows children to carve out their own space in the hub hub of the art room.  The physicality of standing at the easel and wielding a brush loaded with color is exciting and dramatic.  With the sweep [...]

Choice-Based Art Teacher–An Interview

Introduction:  I chose to interview Robin Brooks, art educator and artist because I admire her ability to connect her teaching with her personal artistic journey.   If your experience with art in school was typical, most of the time you were instructed to complete projects or solve creative problems that were teacher-designed.  Robin and her choice-based [...]

Speaking out about School Reform

Public education, teachers, and unions have been under attack ever since the report entitled “A Nation at Risk” came out during Reagan’s presidency.  Most lay people–those not directly involved in K-12 education– simply assume what they hear in the media is true–that our schools are failing our children and that, as a country, we are [...]

“Bubble and Stamp” at the Family Arts Festival

On Saturday September 16 the annual Family Arts Festival was held on the Mall in Brunswick.  The grassy Mall was teeming with children and families who came downtown to celebrate creativity and to make art under the big white tents.  The cool morning air gave way to clear skies and sunshine, with temps in the [...]

mid-year musings from the elementary choice studio

This photo gallery shows student work completed in the last six weeks.  With three snow days to interrupt our flow, students nonetheless have shown great focus and persistence in creating original works in a variety of media.  My students are working hard to prepare work for our annual art show on March 31 in the [...]