Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The Ratner School Art Program

That was a busy week and weekend. Thanks for waiting an extra day or two for the blog post! Several classes began new projects last week, I hung over 100 new pieces throughout the school, installed a mixed grade level show for the Art Brunch for donors on Sunday and finished the school wide report cards. I enjoyed talking to several of you Sunday and thank you for your kind words and support for our school. I have said it before, but I truly do love my job as the art teacher at The Ratner School and am extremely proud and grateful for all that I have here. I hope you all have the opportunity to walk through the hallways once and awhile and take the time to view the work of the students. 
                                          Image result for fall

Kindergarten Art

We had an active class of building in art last week. The students are studying aviators and I developed a project where they could "invent" their own machines. I offered several material to them including styrofoam balls, wire, paper, tubes, pipe cleaners and wooden sticks. I did not give them glue or tape to use and did not show them how to attach any of the items together to construct their inventions. They relied on trial and error, using visual cues from their peers work, and pure inventiveness to create their work. Everyone had amazing narratives for their inventions and I was excited to see the great problem solving and joy in creating. I love working with the Kindergarten students, their enthusiasm is contagious!


1st and 2nd Grade Art

The jungles are completed! We had a great time constructing, cutting, gluing, painting and sculpting the Henri Rousseau jungles. The students learned several new techniques, used materials in a different way and enjoyed creating an environment based on the work of an artist. It is beneficial to have the work in art tie directly into a unit of study in their main classroom. I enjoy working with the teachers to develop the art curriculum to help support their core education. This week the class will be working in the Maker Space finishing the construction of their "Three Billy Goats Gruff" work. I am also giving them lessons on using various hand tools including hammers, pliers and wire cutters. They are loving building in the Maker Space and are doing a fine job using the tools. 

3rd and 4th Grade Art

We are completing the construction of the Monet bridges this week and will attach the forms to the watercolor paintings as well. I am pleased to see the level of detail, design and attention to craftsmanship continue to increase with the students. They are beginning to critique each other's work and I love to hear the suggestions they offer one another to help improve their work. I am proud to say there have been no accidents or injuries with the use of tools and they are proving themselves capable of handling higher level work. This is a great group of students and they are keeping me hopping with their high expectations of complicated projects. I do love a challenge!

Gavin C.

5th and 6th Grade Art

We are continuing work on the cut paper portraits. I have an odd split of students this year in 5th and 6th grade art. One class is small in number, all boys, a different energy level than most classes. The other class is large with several students all of varied experiences and levels. Both classes are understanding the project objectives at this point and work is progressing on track. The ability to see details in their portraits is increasing and the skill level with the tools is growing as well. I am excited to see the students understanding the process more readily and the work is coming together nicely. I expect we will work on this project for a few more weeks.

7th and 8th Grade Art

The students have completed their still life projects! I am once again impressed with the level of work the young artists have created. I have learned that the students are capable of high level work if given the time, the tools and the support they desire. I understand that a long term project is not easy for this grade level, but once the student can see marked improvement in their pieces week after week, they become so invested in their work that the skill level increases each class. I am excited to enter several pieces in the Scholastic Art Awards as most of the students have decided they want to enter their work. It will take me a while to enter all the information into the Scholastic system, I will need a parent signature on the forms at some point. I will keep you informed!

Christian A.

Matthew R.

Simon D.