February 7, 2017


Delft or Delftware is blue and white tin-glazed pottery that originated in the Netherlands in the 1600s in the town of Delft.

My 5th graders are currently studying the geography of Europe in their Social Studies curriculum.  Each student used various tints/shades of blue sharpie to create their own version of a Delftware tile.

The supplies are minimal:  Sharpies & card stock cut to squares.  Note : I was gifted several thousand of these square cards by a student's grandmother many years ago (the student was in the 3rd grade and she's now a Senior in High School....so a long time!) and I'm starting to run out!  I don't know what I'll do when they are gone!  We used them for everything...

Easy, two class assignment with great cross-curricular benefits!

Happy Super Bowl Victory Parade Day friends :) !
~ Kristin

January 11, 2017


A fun one class lesson for 5th graders.  Lots of vocabulary - Matisse; negative & positive space; printmaking; symmetry; balance; variety.

Students printed and stamped heart symbols on papers. Cut heart shapes.  No trash allowed!

These are going to look so cheerful hanging in the hall during these gloomy winter days!
Happy Cutting!

January 6, 2017


4th Graders learn about the photographer Snowflake Bentley and the concept of negatives by making Gelli Monoprints.

Supplies . . .
Gelli plate
Acrlyic Paint
Printer Paper

Cut paper snowflakes . . .

Prepare Gelli plates with acrylic paint.  White paint for blue paper, blue paint for white paper.  Lay snowflake on top of plate.  Press and pull!

Happy Snow Days!

October 30, 2016


Bris house in the country

3rd grade Social Studies focuses on regions of the United States.  I love that the teachers start in New England, because as they/everyone knows

We start with a lesson and visuals on atmospheric perspective, overlapping, tints and color of background and sky.  
Rocky Mountains - Albert Bierstadt
Following that we study Grandma Moses and the style of folk art which has very deep foregrounds but still has the correct technique for the atmosphere and background.
July Fourth  by Grandma Moses
The students watch the Ox Cart Man Reading Rainbow Episode - my favorite of all time of course - and look at the illustrations by Barbara Cooney.

Then we begin our painting.  Kids get a limited pallet with two brushes - first flat or round medium brush, then a chubby fat one.  No water.  We go in a certain order so we don't need to wash.  


Using the medium brush, paint a high horizon line with the darker turquoise.  I use Dick Blick Student Tempera.

Paint ground with green.

Paint the background mountain range with the lighter turquoise paint; this one is Crayola brand.  I have them paint the line for the mountains and then fill in, all the way to the horizon line.

Grab some white and mix into the mountains to lighten them up.  The can even create a bit of overlapping here to show different mountains in the range.

Pick up the chubby brush and stipple in fluffy white clouds.

Stipple in a line of orange paint - these are the hills that are in the background but closer than the mountains. They have leaves that are changing colors so that we know it's fall!

Finally stipple in the red and let dry.

Next class we review the illustrations and discuss simple Folk Art style houses.  The kids draw one or two for the foreground and use sharpies for the windows and doors.

After gluing down they paint in a white fence.  We discuss balance of white clouds in the sky, white fence in the foreground; and the repetition of line in the fence.

Our beautiful fall folk art mixed media paintings are on display.  I can't wait for my daughter to get to 3rd grade to paint me one; I've already got the spot for it :)

Happy Autumn!

October 28, 2016


Today I had a professional development meeting with all the art teachers in our district.  We painted shoes.  I bought these pretty blue-green TOMS and I decided on a design I could easily control.  Something with clean lines and simple symmetry so that little mistakes wouldn't be as noticeable, because of course, I really wanted to be able to wear them.

I decided that paper airplanes would be fun and fill those criteria.  Side note - I love paper airplanes as a doodle, but I HATE them in my classroom.  They just look like disrespectful boredom .... I cringe whenever a student makes one!

I used a tiny bit of gesso and Painters paint markers in black and silver for the shading.  I love the way they turned out!

I just love being able to do my own artwork for myself! Happy Friday!