Friday, December 30, 2022

Welcome to the Art Room at the Chilmark School!


"Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution." Albert Einstein

First Day of School! 
This blog is a place where those outside our magical, inspirational art walls, can get a glimpse of what happens in here! 
Classroom philosophy and classroom routines next up...

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Teaching Philosophy

                        teaching for artistic behavior

I teach a choice based art curriculum based on the research and philosophies of a great many amazing researchers and educators.
The basic structure is that at the beginning of the year there is an introduction of techniques, materials and routines.
As the year progresses the students are given more and more freedom until eventually the art room becomes a studio, and the teacher just the manager.
Students come in, do their beginning of class routine, (see next post) and then get right to work on projects of their choosing.
By this time they know where all the materials are, and how to take care of them They have journals where they record what they do, how it went, and assess themselves weekly (see grading post).

I believe in the power of choice for many reasons. Not all of my students will pursue an art career as adults but ALL of my students will need to make choices for themselves and solve problems large and small on a daily basis.
The purpose of the art room in a 21st century school is to stretch and explore students' ability to think, fail, persevere, self assess, self motivate and work cooperatively.
Resources about choice based art education:

Project Zero:
The Art of Ed:

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

National Poetry Month and Whales

April is one of my favorite months, because it is National Poetry Month
I have had students experiment with writing 6 words stories or poems this year. This most famous 6 word story rumored to have been written by Ernest Hemingway reads: "For sale: baby shoes, never worn."

Since the 2/3 is currently studying whales, they wrote a 6 words story about whales and illustrated it!

The K/1 designed their own scrimshaw and carved it out of Ivory (soap, that is)

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Drawing Techniques!

It's been a long time since there has been an Art Room Update...
For the past few weeks we have been learning drawing techniques such as shading, crosshatching and perspective!

It's almost like magic to turn a two dimensional shape into 3D  with just a pencil!

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Beginning of a new year!!

It is the beginning of a new year!
The Art Room has changed a lot over the summer, more tables for more students, new stations and even MORE materials to facilitate independent art making!

I will be participating in a webinar led by one of my professors from grad school tomorrow night, Lois Hetland, on Teaching for Artistic Behavior or TAB.

More info in the links below:

And now... pictures of our lovely studio!

The graveyard has relocated                                 A new board to showcase photographers!

New desk & library                                                          The idea box has become a fancy pot

What to do when you don't know what to do.....             activities, games and techniques tutorials

New fiber arts station!                                                       The Basics

The Ultimate Question

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The Year is Flying By!

Yes, the school year is flying by! The annual Chilmark Library student show is up until the end of the month, the 4/5 has just started practicing for the May Day festival, and the days are getting longer!

This week we had a "have to" project exploring negative space.
Negative Space was the word(s) of the week, and then students explored what it means by using cut paper to create silhouettes of shapes. Next week we will "draw the air" around an object.


A new Art News bulletin! Dalia Messick, one of the first prominent female cartoonists in the 1940's, is having a show at the Library of Congress.
Spoiler alert! We MAY be starting to look at comics in the art room ;)

AND of course...... no day is complete without a fairy dustpan!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018


Students are expected to reflect on their own work as well as critique their peers.
Every class student write in a journal that they made in class. In the journal they record the Word of the Week (or WoW :), what they did in class, and give themselves a kind of grade based on the art room grading system.  
The system is: Head Hands Heart, adopted from other educators. Specifically a professor, John Crowe at MassArt who helped to develop the choice based art model that I use.
Head: how much did you plan/think about it?
Hands: how is the craftsmanship? How well executed is it?
Heart: how much do you care about it? is it just an experiment or is it a masterpiece?

Students also fill out a chart recording what station they have been working in so that I can make sure no one sticks in their comfort zone for too long! If I notice a student has been at the drawing station for weeks in a row, I will require them to try something else.