Sunday, May 8, 2016

The Ratner School Art Program

Thanks to everyone who attended the Gala last weekend and for all your wonderful support of our school and the art program. Your kind words, appreciation for the work your children create and the enthusiasm you share for the arts is greatly appreciated. We raised over 5,000.00 for the school Learning Garden through the sale of rain barrels alone! The students were so proud to be a part of the process and it is a great way to show them the important role art has in our lives. The greeting cards were a great success as well and the fund raising continues for the Maker Space. Please remember the deadline for all the personal orders is MAY 16th!  You can find the form at the end of this weeks blog post on the 7th and 8th grade page. I also have extra forms available in the front lobby if needed, or you are welcome to email me at if you need any help with your order. Thank you all for your continued support!

Even Ratner alumni helped sell the cards at the Gala! Thanks Nolan and Brent!

Kindergarten Art

The students were so excited to share their Earth Day poetry books with you at the Gala. I thought they did a great job and loved the video shared at the event. We finished up the study of Leonardo daVinci this past week with the building of "inventions" and experimenting with different watercolor paint techniques. The students enjoy building and have wonderful ideas and show creative problem solving with this project.

1st and 2nd Grade Art

 The students finished their self portrait projects this past week and created many imaginative and successful pieces in a variety of material. The first portrait was drawn from memory, the second using observational skills, the third was constructed using found objects and the final portrait was created with materials found in nature. The complete portrait exploration is now hanging in the first floor hallway, I hope you can take some time to explore the creative work. We have begun our sculptural unit and the students are working with various found objects to create 3-dimensional inventions and experimenting with new ways of connecting objects. The process of exploring new methods of building is so important at this stage of the artist's development and the students love figuring out different ways of working. We will continue with the sculptural work for the remainder of the year.


3rd and 4th Grade Art

The students helped put the final touches on the rain barrels for the Gala and showed nice sensitivity to the design of each barrel. They were proud to have such an important part of the project and were pleased with the final product. We missed a couple of classes due to the field trips, but began working in the Maker Space this past week. The students are so excited to have a dedicated space to construct and build sculptural work safely and helped tremendously with the sorting and organizing of materials. We will begin working on the final big project in art this year, the construction and design of the wooden totem poles for our outdoor installation. The students will sand and prepare the blocks in the maker space and then paint the designs in the art room. The final installation will probably happen in a week or two. 


5th and 6th Grade Art

Although the students were out for a week due to the Michigan field trip, we have begun working in the Maker Space. They have all been helpful moving materials into the space and helping organize and set up the shop. They are so enthusiastic about the space and have a strong sense of ownership in the maintenance and care of the Maker Space. We began what will likely be the final project of the year this week. The students are creating found object "robots" using the typewriter and piano parts. The main motivation for this project is to practice using the drill press, hand held power tools and screwdrivers. They will have to measure, plan and execute a set design and for the first time, no glue will be used to create the sculptures! It will be wonderful to correctly and safely have a method to construct the sculptures. 

Example of "FOBOTS", found object robots.

7th and 8th Grade Art

The classes were out this week due to the Washington DC trip, but I wanted to give you an update on the work they have been focusing on in art. Toward the end of the last trimester, I give the students an opportunity to lead the class with a project they design and teach to their peers. Some years I have the whole class that want to lead, I have had a year with no interest in leading a project. This year I have had several students with ideas on projects they wanted to present. We had a student present a challenge to create a sculpture that would be constructed with only paper and tape, the structure had to be free standing and taller than the creator. Another student created a project that revolved around the concept of drawing or building a recognizable animal only using one shape repeated. In another class, a student led the design and presentation of wood burning designs on the wooden picnic tables. The student led projects offer an opportunity to flip the classroom, focus on areas of interest, practice leadership skills and help support the needs of their peers. I always enjoy seeing the projects that are created by the students and they seem to appreciate the process as well.


YES! I want to purchase a set or more of notecards!

Student ______________________________________________________________________
Teacher/Class _________________________________________________________________
Parent   ______________________________________________________________________
 E-Mail _______________________________________________________________________

    MIXED SET:                   QTY: _____________ 
ALL ONE STUDENT SET:  □   QTY: _____________         

TOTAL COST   $ _______________

Please return this order form with your
 payment by MAY 16th

Make Checks Payable to: The Lillian and Betty Ratner School

For more information, contact Patti Fields at

If you would like to see your child’s work, click on the link below, click on their grade level, click on their name to see their work.