Donors Choose, a Smashing Success!


Thanks to everyone’s generous contributions we reached our goal and we will be receiving a beautiful new kiln next October! It will be wonderful to be able to fire student work at our school and not have to drive it over to the middle school.  I am overwhelmed with gratitude to everyone who helped make this a reality!  Also a big THANK YOU to Donors Choose for connecting teachers with people who care about education and are willing to donate to make a difference!



Hill-Stead Museum Field Trip

This year we were the lucky recipients of a grant from Farmington Bank in CT which allowed us to take a field trip to the GORGEOUS Hill-Stead Museum for free!  The Hill-Stead Museum is a fabulous Colonial Revival house located in Farmington which houses an amazing collection of French Impressionist art.  We were so fortunate to be able to see two of Monet’s Haystacks, Manet’s The Guitar Player, Degas’ The Tub, and so many other amazing works of art!

Here is a link to the Hill-Stead’s Collection:

My personal favorite is Fishing Boats at Sea by Monet, I have a soft spot for Monet and boats so I don’t stand a chance!


So beautiful! If you have a chance you absolutely must go to this museum and take a tour, I can’t recommend it enough!

Donors Choose, Please help!

My Donor’s Choose Project was approved!

Ceramics have been tough this year without a kiln, I have worked with another teacher to fire my students work at her school however that involves a lot of driving around and coordination so I plan to fix all that with a Donors Choose project for a new kiln!

Kilns are expensive but they last forever so this would be a sound investment towards bettering the art program at our school for years to come!  If you are interested in donating or you are a teacher and would like to see how Donors Choose works click the link!
My Kingdom for a Kiln!

If you dontae to my classroom by April 5, 2015 your donation will be doubled thanks to Just enter the code SPARK on the payment page and you’ll be matched dollar for dollar (up to $100).

Thanks so much everyone, wish me (and my students) luck!

Making Sketchbooks on the Cheap!

If you are finding the cost of sketchbooks prohibitive I highly recommend you purchase a Saddle Stapler!  This stapler is a LIFE SAVER.  I used it to make sketchbooks for my entire 7th grade and it only cost me the stapler, one pack of drawing paper, a row of staples, and 40 sheets of construction paper (which is optional anyways since it’s just the cover).  If you’ve never heard of a saddle stapler it looks like this:


It has extra room at the bottom so you can take regular sized sheets of paper and fold them to make books or pamphlets.


So if you’re like me and cringe at the idea of buying a $5 sketchbook per student then I can’t recommend this handy tool enough!

But only slightly less well known is this……. There are TONS of great careers in the Arts!

This past  month we had Exhibitions at our school.  This is an opportunity for students to stand up in front of their peers and reflect on their past accomplishments, their goals for the future, and how they plan to go about achieving their goals.  Everyone did a fabulous job but I was disappointed with how few students wanted to pursue careers in the Arts!  There were lots of potential doctors, lawyers, and detectives but very few photographers, graphic designers, and art historians.  I blame myself; doctors, lawyers, and detectives get lots of TV time but it’s my job as the art teacher to let kids know about all the great careers to be found in the Arts!  SO I made an informational bulletin board outlining various opportunities for students to shine using their art skills!  I drew my list of careers from a lovely pin I found on Pinterest here: and here is my finished display:





On a Roll…

Another lesson is up! Learn how to shade and create value with a variety of techniques with my 8th gradersI Go to the 8th grade tab and look for “Creating Value with Pencil.” There are downloadable worksheets to help you create the illusion of 3D figures and objects.  Good luck and have fun!


New Lesson Added… Weaving!

It’s been ages but I finally added a new lesson!  My lovely sixth graders recently finished their weaving projects and they were so adorably excited about them!  You can find my basic weaving tutorial under the 6th grade tab.  A basic Todd loom isn’t too expensive or if you’re crafty you can make one using a wooden picture frame or cardboard.  Enjoy!20150106_150900