Saturday, September 27, 2014

We are all just shades of brown!

This year I purchased a class set of "multi-cultural" markers. Any of us who have tried to lead a self-portrait lesson using regular markers knows it is a challenge to find a correct skin color.

My experience working with children and using other types of crayons, construction paper or paint, know that kids are uninhibited by any social convention about their choice of skin color.

First and second graders used these markers for their particular self-portrait lesson at the start of this school year.
I set the markers out organized on the front table with sample cards. Students used the cards to match their skin color and chose their marker to complete their drawing.

They did a great job and hopefully they reflect the variety of students we have at our school.

Friday, September 26, 2014


This past week, I have seen students really settle in to the routine and expectations of school.
The kids are calmer and it becomes easier for them to be more focused and productive.

Every two weeks I have an extra art period to share with a class. I would like to use it as a reward for self-control, cooperative and calm, focused behavior in my classroom.
The first half of September, the Mr. J's 4th graders won.

Today, Mrs.J's 1st. graders won the award!!! and were invited to come to art class for a free-choice time.
Congratulations to them. Good Job!

Pretty soon it will be hard for me to choose winners.

Friday, September 12, 2014


As Mrs. Wilson wrote our school has record numbers of children which means our class sizes are robust. This reality supports a very organized classroom, with calm expectations for behavior, even in the art room where students are traditionally more relaxed.  We still are relaxed, but are working to extend the calm focus of the classroom to the art studio.

Many classes are doing quite well with this expectation, and there is a reward.

The class that has the smoothest behavior in a two week period, reaching about 85% level of cooperation and personal responsibility, is offed a bonus art period, and the honor of hosting the
"Tribute- Polar Bear."
The bi-monthly first winner is:

4th graders Mr. Jayquiss' class


Yay to them!
Hopefully Tribute will visit many more classes this year!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The week is half over! and we are already being productive in the art room.

Many grade levels are starting the year with a self-portrait. They are children and they grow and change, so none of us even get tired of getting a glimpse of how they see themselves!

I am madly trying to update the blog, with more specifics about their first assignments; and please check back in 10 days or so and see images of completed work.

My 2nd year at Capitol Hill is going to be even better. I feel so good knowing the students from day one and being overall more familiar with the community and how the school is run.

Some of the grade level projects will stay the same (within that grade level year) and there will be some new projects. It is no fun doing the same thing year after year, and there is always some new idea out there.

Thank you for your support last year and I hope you will feel your children are learning and growing as creative folks.
I believe in their potential! and I say that with honesty and sincerity.

Nancy Helmsworth