Thursday, January 31, 2019

Kindergarten: The Colors of Us

A few things were the motivator for this project.  February is the start of black history month and diversity is our school's theme for this trimester.  Teachers just started more training in social and emotional development AND I needed a cool way to explore shapes and colors with all of that combined, lead me to starting this project with Kindergarten today. 

Once student are seated, I will be asking them some questions.  If the answer to the question is yes, then they will stand.  They will sit down after each question. 

Stand up if:

-You have brothers and sisters
-You are the only child
-You wear glasses
-You are six
-You have a dog
-Your eyes are blue

When we are done,  I will ask them if any of these characteristics make you any more important than the other students in class.
What would happen if the world was made of all of the same person?
Who made you?
Does God love all of you?
How are we all alike?
Does if matter is we like or look different than our friends?
Do we make fun of someone if they don't look like us or if they don't like something we do?

I will read "The Colors of Us" by Karen Katz to the students. 

After the book is done, students will begin a small worksheet to get them thinking about how they are alike and different than a tablemate in class. They will color a picture of themselves and then a picture of their friend.  They will have to see what is the same and what is different. 

Next week, we will be reviewing shapes and then we will begin our REAL project based on diversity and all being of the same human race.  (More pics coming soon). 

Sky Writing Our Love....

2nd Graders just completed these adorable sky writer artworks for Valentine's Day!

The backgrounds were painted using big brushstrokes using blues, purples, and white.  The goal was to be able to see the big brushstrokes. 

Small airplanes were drawn (finally a Valentine's day project that the boys could get and colored in and then they let their planes sky write some "love" into the sky.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Collaboration with San Jose Public Libary: World Book Day

Over Christmas break, an idea came to me that I got super excited about.  I wanted my art students to collaborate with the San Jose Public Library (SJPL) on a bookmark project. 

I got a hold of the marketing department contact and sent them a mock-up of the bookmark proposal (see picture below). The idea that was proposed was that students would create artwork on the front of the bookmarks and additional information would be on the back (I'll explain further along).  The librarians would hide these bookmarks in books in high-traffic areas of the library (Lucky Day, new books, and the children's section of the library). When a bookmark is found they will read the following information on the back of the bookmark.

By using the hashtag and posting it on social media when a bookmark is found, we will be able to track which bookmarks have been found. 

When I presented this to the marketing department they were immediately on board with the idea.  They asked if we could have this ready so they could roll it out for World Book Day in April!!!!

So, students have been creating bookmarks with the artwork relating to reading and/or books.  Enrichment students will be coming up with inspirational quotes from books that we will use for the QR codes on the back of the bookmarks (20-25 different ones). 

No student names will be on the bookmarks.

This project is open to any member of the SFC community (parents, grandparents, staff members, etc..).  If you would also like to make a bookmark, have your child bring home a template for you or for other family members to create one.  The artwork should only be done on the front of the bookmark and should relate to reading and/or books.  Do not put your name on it. 
I would like to have all bookmarks by March 1st to give us time to add the backing to them and laminate them. 

Here are a few bookmarks that students have already created:

Friday, January 11, 2019

Doodle 4 Google Contest

Last Year's 2018 Doodle 4 Google Winner: Sarah Gomez-Lane

All students are welcome to participate in the Doodle 4 Google contest this year.  While we are not working on them in-class this year, I still would like to promote the contest in hopes that many will still give it a go.

I will keep a handout with the theme, deadline, and contest rules as well as entry forms in the Art room.  Students are welcome to come get them at any time.  You may also look up the contest information online at :

This year they are allowing you to submit the artwork electronically as well, which should make the process very easy for you to do at home.  If you decide to mail it in, the website has that information as well.

I will not be collecting these from students.  Each student who chooses to participate will have to turn it in either electronically or mail it from home.

As an incentive to the middle school students, I will give them 3 sketchbook credits for the 3rd trimester if they decide to participate and include a copy of their sketch in their sketchbook on the sketchbook due date.  They MUST show considerable amount of effort.  I will not accept it for sketchbook credits if they did not put forth their best effort.

I will be sharing all of this information with students in grades 3rd-8th starting next week. 

Quick reference: 

2019 Contest Theme:  When I Grow Up, I Hope…
Google Contest Due Date:  March 18th, 2019

        National Winner

The National Winner’s artwork will be displayed on for one day. He or she will also receive:
  • A $30,000 college scholarship
  • A $50,000 technology package for their school/non-profit organization
  • A trip to Google headquarters in California
  • Google hardware
  • Fun Googley swag

National Finalists

The four National Finalists, who do not become the National Winner, will have their doodles featured on the Doodle for Google gallery. Each National Finalist will receive:
  • A $5,000 college scholarship
  • A trip to Google headquarters in California
  • Google hardware

How to enter

We're excited to see some amazing doodles this year. Students can work with any materials they want, but all doodles must be entered using the entry form. Parents and teachers can mail us the completed entry form or submit it online as a .png, or .jpg. The contest is open for entries until March 18, 2019 8:00pm Pacific Time (PT), so here's some information to help you get started:
  1. Download or print the entry form.
  2. Doodle:
  3. Artists create their doodles using any materials they want.
  4. Write:
    1. Doodle description - Write an artist statement to tell us a bit more about what you have drawn and how it represents something that inspires you.
    2. Fill out the rest of the required information and sign the entry form.
  5. Submit:
    1. Entry form doodles: If the doodle is created directly on our entry form, you can either upload them to our site as a .jpg or .png (visit the enter tab) or mail them in (address listed on the enter tab).

      For regular U.S. mail 
      Doodle 4 Google (US)
      Google LLC P.O. Box 391840 Mountain View, CA 94039-9899

      For overnight, mail 

      Doodle 4 Google (US) 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway Mountain View, CA 94043
    2. Detached doodles: If the doodle wasn't created directly on our entry form, take a high res digital photo or scan of the doodle in good lighting and combine it with the entry form.

What materials can be used on the doodle?
This is the third year that students may create a doodle using any medium or materials. However, please note that doodles will be reviewed and scanned in a two-dimensional (2D) format. If students create a three-dimensional (3D) doodle, please make sure to take a photograph and enter the photograph rather than the original. Original 2D scannable doodles made with materials such as paint, pencils, crayons, markers, chalk, pastels, charcoal, cray-pas, or a 2D collage will be accepted. Computer-generated images will also be accepted. For more information, see the How it works page.

Do doodles have to be drawn directly on the entry form?
No. As long as you are able to take a photo of the doodle and combine it with the completed entry form, parents and teachers can enter a doodle created on any material. Parents, teachers, or non-profit leaders can combine the doodle and the entry form by printing hard copies or by digitally editing the photo and the entry form. For more information, check out the How it works page, and when you're done, use the Enter page to send us completed doodles.

Can I enter the contest online?
Yes. Parents, non-profit leaders, and teachers can also enter 2D and 3D doodles online. See the How it works page for detailed instructions, and use the Enter page to enter a doodle via the digital submission form.

Can I tape the doodle to the entry form?
Yes. If the doodle is drawn on another sheet of paper, you can tape it to the official entry form. Just be sure that the tape is clear, the doodle fits above the description, and the information on the bottom of the entry form is visible.

Judging criteria

Doodles will be judged on the following parameters:
  1. Artistic merit:
  2. Based on artistic skill
  3. Creativity:
  4. Representation of the contest theme, use of the letters in the Google logo, and the unique approach to the doodle
  5. Theme communication:
  6. How well the contest theme is expressed in both the artwork and the written statement

Doodles will be grouped and judged by the following 5 grade groups:
  • Grades K-3
  • Grades 4-5
  • Grades 6-7
  • Grades 8-9
  • Grades 10-12

Thursday, January 10, 2019

The Traveling Gnome: Vacation Polaroids

Do you remember the Travelocity, traveling gnome?

8th Graders are taking the gnome on a vacation around the world!  Some students are starting to finish their traveling gnome watercolor project and they are just so cute!  I kept them hanging up in my classroom the whole day today because they made me laugh so much.  The 8th graders used so much creativity and imagination in deciding on the location their traveling gnome was going to be going. 

I can't wait for these to all be completed so I can hang them up in the hallway on display. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Winter Birch Landscapes

5th Graders just completed their winter birch tree landscapes and I could imagine every single one of these framed and hanging in a home somewhere.  Just stunning!!!!

Their color choices for the sunsets and textures of the birch trees all came out so beautiful.  Well done, 5th Grade!!

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Doodle 4 Google and San Jose Public Library Project

In the next week or so I will be providing information as well as the template for the annual Doodle 4 Google contest.  This year we will not be working on them during class time but I will provide all of the information for all of the classes and provide the materials in the art room should any student want to participate this year.

As motivation, I will be giving 6th-8th grade students 3 sketchbook credits for the 3rd trimester if they spend time on it and turn in a project that shows significant effort.  More info to come!!!

Super exciting news to come this week as well! We will be collaborating with the San Jose Public Library on an activity that will be rolled out for World Book Day on April 23rd.  It will involve participation from all students in grades K-8th grade and will also include any staff members or parents that would also like to participate.  I am still ironing out all of the details but stay tuned!!!!!!

Monday, January 7, 2019

Congratulations to Naretu Academy in Kenya!!!!

For those who follow the Art blog, you know hard hard we have been working to raise money for Sabore and the new school in Kenya! 

Well, today is the day!  Today was the very first day of school for the children at Naretu Academy. 

Below are pictures shared by both Therese and Sabore!  I hope that sometime today you send a prayer or a positive thought their way and to the children who I am sure were both anxious and excited to begin their very first day of school! 

All of the money the 5th graders raised went to the building of the kitchen, which is almost completed.  And all of the money from the sale of the bracelets and keychains went to school supplies for the children and the school. 

Therese took with her on this trip to Kenya the artworks and notes from our SFC 5th grade students from a few years ago to hang in the brand new school (more pics to come). 

I hope these pictures bring you some joy today on our first day back!