Unity Days – Collaborative Circle Weavings

Unity Days have quickly become a loved Randall tradition! We have two Unity Days in fall and two in the spring. Unity Days have a dual purpose. One, to get assessments done by pulling students out to complete them throughout the day and two to mix everyone up by grade level and experience lots of different community building activities throughout the day.

This year’s Unity Day in the art room, students were all involved in collaborative circle weavings. Creating art work in circle patterns or mandala designs have long been known in many cultures and religions to bring restorative benefits and meditative qualities to the artist and the observer.

Part of an art show for the Race to Equity Summit through the YMCA, this piece is currently hanging at the NEW Central Madison Library in the beautiful children’s room!

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MMSD Art Standards:

Designs: Describes how different expressive features and principles cause different responses.

Reflecting: Understand that there are various purposes for creating works of visual art.

Interpreting: Understand that different subject matter and ideas communicate meaning.

Understanding: Know that the visual arts have both a history and specific relationship to various cultures.


MMSD Social Emotional Standards:

Emotional Development and Personal Emotions: Students will demonstrate a variety of strategies to calm themselves. Students will practice calming strategies and describe their effect on emotions

Emotional Development and Social Skills:  Students will use language to interact with others and communicate effectively in activities and discussions. Students will describe how words, tone and body language are used to communicate with others positively and negatively. Students will work cooperatively with partner and in small groups. Students will identify and practice strategies for resolving conflicts constructively. Student will work cooperatively and productively in a group to accomplish a set goal.



Super Science Saturday Art Exploration Station

As many of you know, Super Science Saturday is always a big hit in the Madison community. This year, my cooperating Art teacher was approached by some of the organizers and asked if she would be interested in organizing an exploration station that integrated Art into Science. I instead asked if I could organize the project as I want to get as much experience as possible working school events while still a student teacher.

Over the few weeks prior to Super Science Saturday I asked for any student volunteers to join me in the Art room at lunch as I wanted the exploration station to be as student oriented as possible. A small group of 4th grade girls stepped up and joined me for lunch for 3 weeks in a row where we brainstormed ideas, possible activities, and made visuals for our exploration station. As 4th graders had recently been learning about magnets in their science class, we decided to organize a booth integrating magnets and painting, and soon the “Magnetic Masterpieces” Exploration Station was created. With student input, previous knowledge, and a little research of my own we created posters explaining how simple magnets work as well as visuals explaining color theory and color mixing.

They day of Super Science Saturday I was met by my group of volunteers to help get things going and we set up 2 stations for visitors to make “Magnetic Masterpieces.” A piece of thick paper was taped in between 2 tables and another in between 2 chairs and those allowed our Artist/Scientist visitors to create a work of art using only magnets and various pieces of metal to move the paint around the paper and create their masterpiece. Using the high powered magnet on the underside of the paper, visitors were able to move the various metal jewelry, paperclips, bottle caps, screws, hair clips, etc. that were on top of the paper and move those items in and out of the paint to mix colors and create an interesting composition.

While our visitors were creating their “Magnetic Masterpieces” my Wonderful 4th grade helpers, the visiting artists, and I discussed color mixing, basic color theory, composition, and how magnets actually work! Everyone got a little messy, but everyone had a great time and created some really awesome “Magnetic Masterpieces”!

I want to give a special thanks to the 4th grade girls who volunteered to help me on the only Student run Exploration Station! It was the volunteers who pointed out that I am technically still a student ūüôā

Youth Art Month South West Regional Art Show

It’s that time of year again! Youth Art Month is celebrated in March and in March is the big student Wisconsin art show at the Capitol. But before the big show at the Capitol, are all the regional shows.

Madison is part of the south west Wisconsin region and our art show starts this weekend! Tomorrow I will go hang Randall student art in the show!!

The show is available to see starting tomorrow (Saturday Feb 18th) until the closing reception on Sunday Feb 26th. The closing reception is noon tp 2pm but you can go see the show whenever Hilldale Mall is open.

What: Youth Art Month South West Regional Art Show

Where: Hilldale Mall

When: Feb 17th to Feb 26th

Congratulations to the following artists!!

Carson Meyer

Ferguson Orr

Hanna O’Brien

Syliva Knauss

Danika St. Maurice

Olivia Boller

Ian Brown

Toby Sibert

Sebastian Brauer

Pa Dao Lor

Hope Judge

Eric Jiang

Katie Ripple

Guest Bloggers – Tshirt Bags

written by Guest Bloggers 4th graders Soren and Anton

For the Franklin, Randall winter dance Soren and Anton, members of the Randall Student Council, made recycled T-shirts into good, quality bags to sell at the Franklin, Randall winter dance. Soren and Anton weren’t the only ones who made the bags; there were other Student Council members and volunteers.

At the dance Soren and Anton got there early and got a table, they set it up in the hallway and put up posters that they made them selves.

They made $32.00 selling bags and used it for teacher appreciation day.

Bags are still available. Proceeds go to the local Domestic Abuse Shelter. Contact me to find out more!

Pinwheels for Peace

First graders created their pinwheels and installed them outside so participants from Open House would be able to see their peaceful ideas as they walked up to school last night.

Pinwheels for Peace was started by “two Art teachers, Ann Ayers and Ellen McMillan, who teach at Monarch High School in Coconut Creek, Florida, as a way for their students to express their feelings about what‚Äôs going on in the world and in their lives.¬† The project was quickly embraced by their students and the entire school community and by millions of art teachers, teachers, parents, children and adults who desire peace in our world.” The first Pinwheels for Peace had 500,000 pinwheels. 2010 had three and a half million pinwheels! Wonder what 2011 will bring?

Gompers first graders were excited to hear that they were participating in an art project that kids from all over the world were doing with them at the same time. I’m excited to share pictures from the 2011 Pinwheels for Peace with them in their next art class. Talk about a personal connection to the world!

We discussed what images we think of when we think of peace. Hearts, peace sign, rainbows were among the top answers. We delved in a bit deeper to the idea of peace and talked about what peace looks like in our classrooms. Friendship, kind words, compliments, helping others were among some of the answers. We talked a lot about specific things first graders can do to spread peace at Gompers. Then we took that conversation and drew those things on our pinwheels. We also created ‘peace hats’ and became ‘peace ambassadors’ for Gompers. The first graders were charged with spreading the peace ALL over Gompers, even to the grown ups and big kids!

Hope you all enjoyed the first grade art installation!

To find out more about Pinwheels for Peace click here.

New Position!

I wanted to inform the Randall and Gompers communities of my new position next year. Don’t worry! I’ll still be at both schools!

I will be teaching art at Randall 70% just like last year. I will be teaching every class. In addition to art, I will be the new Positive Behavior Support (PBS) teacher 20% of the time. This translates to all day Friday and means I will now be at Randall 90% of the time! I am very excited for this new opportunity. I’m not sure exactly what I’ll be doing as the PBS teacher but I know it will involve community building and encouraging positive behaviors at Randall. Especially since I already know all of the students at Randall, this is right up my ally. I get MORE time to be with kids and will have LESS stress in my overall life. (This less stress thing also means I can continue being politically active outside of school during the school year).

I will be teaching at Gompers 10% of the time. This translates to every Tuesday afternoon. I will be teaching all three first grade classes. Gompers will be hiring a new art teacher shortly to teach five classes on Fridays and Mr. Vang will still be teaching all day on Wednesdays. It will be hard having to split a 60% position between three art teachers. It will be really nice for each art teacher to be teaching an entire grade level so the grades aren’t all¬† mixed up into different art teachers like last year. This is truly a really positive thing for the kids to have one art teacher for each grade level. There are going to be lots of changes at Gompers.

School starts for teachers on Tuesday and students on Thursday. I’m excited to see my students again! This is my third year as a Madison teacher. I’m ready!!! Well, close.

Artist Trading Cards

I’ve been wanting to start Artist Trading Cards for awhile now.¬† I’ve seen them all over the web and knew my students would love them.¬† Due to a field trip thrown into lesson plans, I had to come up with a new lesson quickly (24 hrs).¬† I often get really excited about my lesson plans.¬† I know, this is good.¬† It’s good to be passionate about what you do.¬† But it also prevents me from being flexible and throwing in things like Artist Trading Cards every once in awhile. This was the perfect opportunity!

Artist trading cards were started by Vanci Stirnemann in 1996 when he cut out a piece of cardboard that was the exact measurement of a sports trading card.  He used the card as a mini canvas to create mini artwork and named them Artist Trading Cards or ATC.  They are originals, small editions and, most importantly, self-produced. anybody can produce them.

My goal is for Artist Trading Cards to inspire our students (and teachers!) to get creative outside of the classroom and share their artwork.  Also, by signing (and dating) each card, the kids can find the original artist of a card they really like and seek them out to compliment them.  This should be a great community building experience as well!

I haven’t started at Randall yet but Gompers had their ATC kick off today!

1¬† Measure everything! With the art form of ATCs, size matters. They can be oriented horizontally, vertically or diagonally or even fold out to extra dimensions, but they must measure¬† 2×3 inches. Or grab a deck of cards or some old sports trading cards and alter them. Card stock is more resilient, thus allowing for more embellishment.¬† I have some 2×3 watercolor paper cards available out there for now.

2.  Gather your supplies. Typical ATCs consist of no more than the most basic art techniques that can be accomplished with pencil, crayon, pastel, chalk, charcoal, rubber stamps, collage, photography, calligraphy, colored pencil, ink, paint or markers. But some creators of ATCs go all-out, delving into origami, pop-ups, printmaking, embossing powder embellishments, sewing, weaving, acetone transfers, screen printing, stencils, pinprick images, embroidery, foil, beading, fabric, clay, assemblage, wire, metal, Shrinky Dinks, photo negatives, digital distortions, die-cuts, digital imagery, embossed paper and flip books.

3. Create your artist trading card. If you’re using baseball cards or a deck of cards, you may need to apply a layer of gesso first, due to the laminated surface. Be sure to let the cards dry thoroughly before handling them. If the edges curl in the drying process, you can place them between sheets of waxed paper and stack books on them to flatten them. Typically, if you coat both sides, the bending evens itself out after the card is thoroughly dry.

4. Sign and date the artist trading cards. If they are part of an edition, you can also number them. Some artists design their own symbol as part of their signature, either hand-drawing it or rubber-stamping it on the back of the card. Other artists create miniature business cards or labels with websites or other information printed therein, so that recipients of the ATCs can contact them.

5. Swap your cards. The cards are pinned on our ATC clothesline in front of the art room (at Gompers.  Coming soon to Randall).

Gompers students LOVED creating these cards.¬† They didn’t want to stop!¬† Out of all the classes we’ve had this year, kids didn’t want this class period to end.

Here is where we are going to be exchanging ATCs.¬† Aren’t they beautiful?¬† I’m so excited for us to be able to create outside of art class and share our art with each other.¬† Teachers were invited to participate too!

I have a box for blank cards cut to size (2×3 inches).¬† If there aren’t any left, any cardstock or thicker paper will do!

Now go make art!

Bike to School

On Oct. 6, Try a New Way of Getting To School:
Bike to school with the principal, art teacher, Mayor Dave, wonderful parents and your classmates.

As part of International Bike+Walk to School Day on October 6th, the principal will lead kids and parents on a bike ride to the 3-5 school. Join families from around the globe in a fun, healthy, economical and Earth-friendly way to get to school!

Who: students, parents and staff
What: Early morning bike ride to School
When: Wednesday, October 6
Where: Join in anywhere along the path; times are approximate.
7:00 a.m. Start at the K-2 School @ Lakeside entrance
7:02 a.m. Olin Ave. @ Rowell Ave
7:06 a.m. Bike path @ Beld Street
7:11 a.m. Bike path @ Fish Hatchery Road
7:19 a.m. Vilas Park (meet on path near the boot slide)
7:23 a.m. Monroe St. @ Drake/Spooner intersection
7:25 a.m. Arrive 3-5 school and take group photo

Detailed Route
1) Meet at K-2 School on Lakeside Street. Ride the sidewalk and turn left on Rowell St.
2) Cross Olin Ave. and enter the bike path at Goodman pool.
3) Go through the parking lot, and turn right onto Wingra Creek Bike Path before the bridge.
4) The path ends at the fishing pier on Lake Wingra; turn left onto Vilas Park Drive.
5) Turn right just before the shelter and bike over lagoon bridges.
6) Ride past the playground, and exit path onto Drake St.
7) Turn left onto Grant St. and continue onto Spooner Street.
8) Turn left onto Regent St. and right into Randall driveway near the bike racks.

The Fine Print
Please join us anywhere along the way! The total route is 3 ¬ľ miles and please be aware that we will be riding in the street for part of the ride. Bikers of every kind and ability are welcome. We do ask that an adult accompany kids during the ride. Finally, we will have a volunteer wearing an orange vest at the back of the pack with bike tools and a first aid kit should anyone hit a bump in the road. The ride will be canceled if it is raining, but another ride will be organized in the spring.

Need a Bike to Ride?
No problem! This year, Dream Bikes has generously offered to provide bicycles to anyone wanting to ride. There are a limited number of bikes available, and we will make every effort to provide a bike to any child who would like to participate. Please note, that you need to register in advance to reserve a bike. (e-mail Erika Kluetmeier at ekluetmeier@tds.net or call 238-6209.)

After the Ride
Come join in a group photo, pick up a free water bottle, and sign your name to a giant card for First Lady Michelle Obama as part of her ‚ÄúLet‚Äôs Move‚ÄĚ initiative. Let‚Äôs tell her about our healthy choices and how we move at school!

A big thanks to our principal for guiding bikers, Dream Bikes for loaning us bikes, and finally Trek Bicycles for donating water bottles! For more information or to register, contact Erika Kluetmeier at 238-6209 or ekluetmeier@tds.net.