Students have direct art instruction for 50 minutes. Grades 5-8 have art class two to three times a week using block scheduling (A and B days), while grades K-4 meet with me for weeklong art instruction for one week every month.

The Core Concepts + Skills

 Students will work with a variety of materials including markers, crayons, tempera paints, watercolor paints, and clay. My curriculum includes the role of artists in society, recognizing art as a form of communication and expression, learning about and gaining creative influence from other artists, and identifying elements of art such as line, shape, color, texture, and space. Art history instruction is a huge component of the curriculum. Throughout both the elementary and middle school art experience we are exploring different age-appropriate methods of becoming artists. 

All projects help students to use their imagination. I believe in the power of integrating art lessons with content from the classroom. This is highly beneficial for those students who are visual-spatial and bodily kinesthetic learners. It also allows students to bring knowledge they have learned into the art room to demonstrate understanding or solidify abstract concepts from the classroom into practical use. 

I align my lessons carefully with the Maryland State Curriculum, and Core Knowledge Sequence. 

Benefits of Art Education (helpful links)

Motor Skills - many of the motions involved in art making are essential to the growth of fine motor skills in young children. 

Language Development - talking about art and artistic process provides children/teens the opportunity to learn new words for colors, shapes, and actions. 

Visual Learning - drawing, sculpting with clay, painting etc., all develop visual-spatial skills. Art education teaches students how to interpret and use visual information, and how to make choices based on it. 

Creativity - when children/teens are encourage to express themselves and take risks in creating art, they develop a sense of innovation that will be important in their adult lives. 

Cultural Awareness - art history and art-making promote learning about world cultures, which can increase in students' abilities to interpret, appreciate, and understand differing styles and symbols within cultural contexts and increase knowledge about the role of arts within certain cultures. Knowledge about other cultures help facilitate an understanding for diversity and broaden children/teens perception on the importance of mutual respect and acceptance in a multicultural world. 

Art Assessment 

 It is important to know and understand that everyone is an artist in their own way. In art, students are assessed in 3 areas: skills + content, and craftsmanship (effort). I do not base my assessments on the child's ability to draw or paint. Ability is a great thing to have and will be nurtured, but raw talent alone is not what art is entirely about. I want each student to enjoy the time they spend in art class. I try to establish a safe and creative space for students and encourage group activities that foster classroom community. 

To measure students skills I use a performance-based assessment when evaluating each student. To make my evaluations more consistent and fair, I use a grading rubric when grading each students' art projects. This rubric can help students improve their performance in art class by knowing exactly what is expected of them and what they need to work on. 

Parents: How you can help

Many parents ask what they can do at home to help support their child. Give them time to create! Drawing, sculpting with clay, cutting + gluing, painting, art museum visits (DC has many amazing art museums) etc. - all these help support elements of the art curriculum. Art exploration/making encourages aesthetic choice and decision-making while forming a life-long love of art.

Here is a list of art museums in the DC Metropolitan Area:

BLOG!
You can find out what your child has been learning in my class by clicking on the links, "Grades K-4" and "Grades 5-8" on the navigation bar at the top of the page. I will provide instructions and materials lists for a few projects just in case you would like to do this project at home with your children!