The Very Amazing Eric Carle















First Graders learn so many skills all at once, like butterflies, they metamorph into beautiful artists!

First Graders learn so many skills all at once, like butterflies, they metamorph into beautiful artists!















First Graders read, "The Secret Birthday Message" and build their own home.

First Graders read, “The Secret Birthday Message” and build their own home.

We found ours!

We found our!

A Proud Artist, and she should be!

A Proud Artist, and she should be!











He teaches us color, science, kindness, perseverance and so much more.



Check out his books at the book fair or bookstore and find the gimmicks and hidden messages for children as well as adults.


One class this week adopted “The Very Busy Spider” story because it showed us that we can learn to focus and concentrate to get the job done.

Well, we are all focussing on making colorful textured papers to collage beginning next week.

The studio is a mass of painted papers in every color imaginable. We are having too much fun to stop!!


I’ll post some more pictures tomorrow. I’ve gotta run (Girls on the Run, that is!)


Students finding their own creations throughout the building.

Students finding their own creations throughout the building.



meow, says my cat, Ellie!

Trick or Treat!
Be sure to stop in school to see the many fall artists beautiful observation drawings!
I’ll try to post some of them later.
Some are finding their way to see the link to the right. If you haven’t already registered, now is better than later…

Fall Grounds 2009

I just saw these to do around town!

Be Safe everybody!

October 31, Thursday
Westminster Organ Concert Series.
Spooky organ music for Halloween, followed by a tour of the pipe organ. This half-hour concert is free and fun for all ages! Westminster Presbyterian Church. Directions: 400 Rugby Road. On Rugby Road next to Beta Bridge, just north of the Rotunda. 3:30-4pm. $free. All ages welcome. Contact: Jonathan Schakel. Email: For details, please click this link. For more info call: 963-4690.

October 31, Thursday
And as a special Halloween treat, on October 31, participating IHOP restaurants will offer kids 12 and under a “Scary Face” pancake free – and that’s no trick! The Scary Face pancake comes with one of IHOP’s buttermilk pancakes, a whipped topping mouth, a glazed strawberry nose and a set of delicious decorations: two mini Oreo cookies to create eyes and eight pieces of candy corn to add teeth or fangs. IHOP. For details, please click this link.

October 31, Thursday
Students of The University of Virginia.
A long-standing tradition on the historic UVA Lawn. College students hand out goodies and parents don’t have to worry about zooming cars! Stop by Edgar Allan Poe’s room and say hello to the resident raven. The Lawn/Rotunda. Directions: The Lawn is the grassy area on the inner side of the famous domed UVA Rotunda. 4-6pm. $Free. All ages welcome.

Pumpkin Policies


Pumpkin Policies
In the First Grade Courtyard

Our Policy on pumpkins seems to be, “Anything Goes”. And it was fun, even for the birds!!
We studied pumpkins, watched them decay, shaded our drawings to look 3-D,

3-AlaniAlani, grade 3

3-claudiaClaudia, grade 3

painted them rainbow colors

1-keyly.jpgKeyly, grade 1

1-jadaJada, grade 1

1-alexAlex, grade 1

and planted them outside.
We even carved them, cleaned them and hung them up to feed the birds. It’s getting cold out little birds. We left you some food in the courtyard by the First Grade. Thank you Ms. Smith’s class!




Some of our pumpkins look real, some of them are imaginary, but all of them are beautiful.
What will you find inside a pumpkin?

We had quite a surprise when we finally got the pumpkins opened!

We hope you enjoy our fall artwork!

Kandinsky, we drew circles around him!


Wassily Kandinsky is the “Pop” of Abstract Art.


Now we are, too.

Students finished their first color investigation with murals and individual abstract mixed media art pieces.

We drew, painted and collaged beautiful, original works which are all around the schools.

Students reviewed glue use, brush handling, color mixing a scissor work within this packed-with-skills unit.

Why does the paint bubble off the pastel?

What happens when i mix two primary colors?

How can I keep glue off the front of my art?

How will I ever finish?

What happens when I mix all the colors together?

These were what students wondered as they experimented with Kandinsky’s theories and style.


The wall outside the cafeteria at Burnley-Moran

Selena, Grade 2

Miranda, Grade 3

Art IS For Everyone! from

We all love COLOR!

We all love COLOR!

There is lots of talk in education about skills needed for the 21st century workplace. Daniel Pink, author of A Whole New Mind, predicts that creative, right-brained people will be in great demand in the 21st century workforce. Our job as parents is to prepare our kids for a future we can only imagine. So, what are 21st century skills exactly? Why do they matter to “art smart” parents and how do we help our kids? 

The Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21) is a national organization of business, education, and government leaders working as a catalyst to prepare every child for the 21st century. Their mission is clear: “Every child in the U.S. needs 21st century knowledge and skills to succeed as effective citizens, workers, and leaders.” They understand the workplace is dramatically changing and will continue to demand innovation and creativity in order for our students to succeed in the global economy. Many schools are on this path and P21 wants to ensure our students are appropriately prepared for the future. 

To meet this challenge, The Partnership for 21st Century Skills has identified skills and knowledge for success in the workplace and in life. Student learning is developed through core academic subjects, including the arts, language arts, world languages, math, sciences, economics, geography, history, and civics. In addition to this core knowledge, key skills are required in learning and innovation; information, media and technology; and, life and career (see sidebar). The goal is to take these skills and knowledge and use them to explore five important areas of understanding: global awareness, financial literacy, civic literacy, health literacy, and environmental literacy.


What This Means and Things You Can Do

Arts are fundamental. The great news is that 21st century readiness recognizes that every child should learn in the arts. The goal is not to turn every child into a professional artist but to give them grounding in the arts. A complete education includes arts instruction. 

What parents can do: Advocate to your local school board to keep the arts in your school system. Volunteer to share your own arts skills in your child’s classroom.

Arts are creativity. Creativity leads the list of necessary skills and the arts are the perfect place to cultivate imagination and expression.   

What parents can do: Seek out opportunities to learn more about the arts—particularly those that may be less familiar to your family. Many communities offer low-cost and free arts events intended to introduce families to the arts. 

Arts are communication. It doesn’t take long to figure out that kids—even siblings—express themselves in their own unique ways. The arts are forms of communication and strengthening communication is a key element of 21st century skills. The arts are a tool that helps kids express ideas and emotions in a way that works for them.

What parents can do: Do you sing or play your favorite music around the house? Do you doodle? Do you dance while you vacuum? Share these moments of artistic expression with your kids. Maybe they’ll even dust.

Arts are technology. Lots of kids and teens are finding media to be an artistic outlet. Whether it is the camera on your cell phone or music editing software on the family PC, technology is an increasingly important tool for young artists. Twenty-first century skills embrace the need for media literacy and many student artists are leading the charge.

What parents can do: Put your kids to work on a family media project. Make a film of family stories to share at the holidays. Is the fridge covered in your kids’ art? Create a family online gallery to showcase their drawings and videos. 

Arts are 21st century. The arts encourage many of the life skills desired for the 21st century and these are skills parents want their kids to master. 

  • Problem solving is at the top of the list for good reason. Art rarely goes according to plan. Our kids often have to come up with new solutions to reach their artistic goals. 
  • Adaptability is part and parcel with arts learning. Learning how to adjust goes with the territory. Whether in rehearsal or in the studio, the arts foster adaptability and flexibility. 
  • Working well with others is an important component of 21st century readiness. The arts provide opportunities for our kids to develop these skills. 

What parents can do: All of these skills require practice. Take time to model problem-solving, cooperation, and collaboration at home. When your child completes an art work or a performance, reflect with them on how they worked through the challenges involved in the process. This will help them identify what they learned and what they can now do.

Tertiary colors are Ishy!

Today we went beyond the primary colors turning them into secondary colors. We made a discovery with our liquid watercolors and that is that there might not be a limit to the amount of tertiary colors we can make. Perhaps our eyes need to adjust! Infinity is a lot of blue-green!!


In search of more examples to show the children, I came across this blog by another veteran teacher. One who, perhaps is a bit more organized than me… I love her words. She has been teaching ART! for a very long carreer.

I like her style. Check out the blog below. Let me know what you think.



Making Orange is just one part of our experiment


These first graders connected science and art with sizzling color mixing experiments. This week all the classes tried making everything from primary colors (no luck) to secondary colors, to infinite tertiary colors.

By putting baking soda and paint together and mixing another primary which has vinegar in it we made colors pop like “fried chicken”!
“Let’s all paint”, they say!