Congratulations to all B.A. 5th grade students!  I've been working with many of you since you were in kindergarten and will miss you next year.  Please know my door is always open and I hope you will come back and visit!  

Since I will no longer be uploading artwork for you, I've joined your fan clubs on Artsonia and hope that you and your families will continue to upload your incredible works of art in the future.  I have already received emails to let me know that some of you have already added new works of art to your galleries! This is so wonderful to see!

One of the many very special things about Artsonia is that you will literally be able to have your entire art portfolio available to you from the time you are a very young child into your adult years! 

I look forward to following your progress and keeping in touch by sending comments to you as much as possible. 

Have a wonderful summer and best of luck to you at Crossroads School!

By the way.....Your end of year "Mixed Media Peacocks" are absolutely beautiful!!!
Watch the video by Tricia Fuglestad below to see how Snappables work!
Jenna and her mom popped into the art room this afternoon after school.  Jenna's mom had ordered a hard copy portfolio book in the Artsonia Gift Shop online. This book featured Jenna's artwork from Kindergaten through First grade. The book arrived in the mail today, and  I was so honored that Jenna's first preview of her portfolio book was with me.  

We flipped through each page, talking about our favorite lessons.  Take a look at the cover of Jenna's book and the page displaying her Fantastic Feline (above)!  Click on each photo to see larger versions.

This is the time of year when more students like to share their Artsonia products with me.  Check out a few student keepsakes below:

Parents, thank you for your participation with Artsonia.  This year, our gallery is ranked #2 in the state of NJ and #16 in the nation! Rankings are determined based on how many comments students receive, how many fans join student fan clubs, how many works of art are uploaded, how many artist statements students compose and how much fundraising we do.  

Artsonia donates 15% of all purchases back to our art program at B.A.
This money directly impacts students as it is spent on supplies and technologies that will enhance your child's art education.

Thank you for supporting your artists and our art program!

Harshini (12th grader) is a former student of mine. She attended B.A. from 1st through 5th grade.  Last year she invited me to attend her National Honor Society induction and at the same time, she asked if she could do her Senior Society placement with me. I accept this position on a first come first serve basis, and asking a year in advance assured her that the spot was hers.  Harshini graduates high school this week and is going to the University of Pittsburgh next year!  She spent the last couple of weeks assisting me in the art room.  It was wonderful to have her help and to spend time catching up too.  We managed to find time for her to be creative once again in the art room with me.  This video features Harshini's melted crayon artwork.  We recycled an old wall hanging, added gesso, applied crayons using hot glue and used a blow dryer to melt the crayons. 
Thank you again Harshini!!! Best of luck to you next year!!!!!
K-4th grade students created these interactive chalk drawings on their last days of art class.  Their objective was to draw a scene that they could then become a part of.  They had the option of working alone or with others.  This year, our district web and media non-consent policies were updated. Teachers are now allowed to post photos of students online (if parents did not send in a non-web/media release form).  Because of this change, we are able to share these creative images with the world. These are only a few of the photos taken this past week. More pics will be posted to the B.A. Art Blog soon.  Stay tuned.

Click "Fullscreen" for the best viewing experience of Jason's book.
Jason is in the 3rd grade.  He stops by the art room in the mornings before he heads off to his class.  Sometimes he just wants to say hello, while other times he likes to share his artwork and original stories.  

A couple of months ago, Jason expressed an interest in writing about adventures of superheroes.  He carried in his notebook filled with interesting story lines.  Jason's interest in writing and art reminded me of a special art and digital storytelling project I did with a few 4th and 5th graders last year.  Jason enjoyed hearing about how these students used the app Story Patch on our iPads to write and illustrate their stories.  He flipped through the printed versions of the student created books and asked if there was any chance he could write and illustrate a book too.

Jason decided to forego his recess time on several days and worked on his digital story until it was finally finished today.  He would have liked to work on it longer, but the iPads are being wiped tomorrow.  The pressure was on, but he was happy with his finished product.  

We hope you enjoy Jason's first digital story, "The Fantastic Three"! 

Learn more about the Story Patch app here: more digital stories by B.A. student artists on our Vimeo Video Channel: 

Ashlynn: Grade - 3 "Sunset"

Matthew: Grade- Kindergarten "Rainbow Fish"

Jenna: Grade 5 - "Sparkle Through the Trees"

Staff members who have worked in the South Brunswick School District for 20 years were recognized tonight at the Board of Education meeting.  Artists from each of the elementary schools were selected to have their artwork printed and gifted to the honorees.  Joanne Kerekes, Assistant Superintendent of Schools, reflected on some of the memories and special qualities of each employee who has reached this impressive milestone.  Mrs. Kerekes read artist statements written by student artists and their art teachers, and invited each artist to the podium to receive certificates of achievement before presenting their work to the 20 year folks.

The B.A. artists selected for this special award ceremony are Ashlynn (3rd grade), Matthew (Kindergarten) and Jenna (5th grade).  

Congratulations to our artists for being chosen for this special event and to the 20 year honorees!

Thank you to all three of our artists' parents for bringing your children to the Board of Education meeting.   It was a pleasure sharing this special evening with you.

I grew up watching Mr. Rogers on TV.  He taught my generation a lot of life lessons.  This remix reminds me of the many times he encouraged me to wonder about things.  He inspired us to be creative thinkers and problem solvers.  As a teacher, I strive to instill that sense of wonder in my students, as these skills are what will help them to succeed and be happy in the future. 

A few of my favorite lyrics in this remix:

"Did you ever grow things in the garden of your mind.  You can grow ideas in the garden of your mind.  It's good to be curious about many things.  You can think about things and make believe.  All you have to do is think, and they'll grow."
12th grade student, Harshini, is doing her Senior Society  volunteer placement with me in the art room.  Harshini is a former elementary student of mine.  She is going to college with the goal of becoming an Oncologist.  She says that the creative thinking and problem solving skills she learned in art class have helped her with her studies and reaching goals throughout her schooling.  Studies have proven that the arts are essential and benefit student test scores and success, however, it is always pretty wonderful to  hear this first hand from former students.

Harshini is still very much into art and her medium of choice these days is photography.  She created the ink blot creature above along with other students I was teaching last week.  I thought it would be fun to upload her work to her Artsonia gallery, considering the last time I published her work was when she was in 5th grade.  

Something unexpected happened!  Her fan club members must have received an email notification and started sending her comments about her new work!  I love Artsonia for so many reasons.  The fact that my former students have the ability to access their elementary school artwork they created for years and years to come is very special.  Click on the photo of Harshini's ink blot monster above to link to her gallery, see her artwork and read her comments. 

If you love Artsonia, feel free to help them win a small business grant worth 250,000 by voting for them here: 
Artsonia is the The World's Largest Student Art Museum

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I frantically searched for my iPhone when I noticed the double rainbow stretched across the sky in front of my house yesterday.  It was one of those moments I felt so lucky not to have missed! 

Today in school, I shared the photo I shot with my students. They were just as excited as I was in sharing the stories of their sightings.  Isn't it wonderful that nature gave us this colorful gift?  

If you missed it, check out my photo above. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Some students had time to draw rainbows after they finished their artwork during class!  
Have you ever wondered why rainbows appear?  Learn more about this by visiting Wonderopolis