If you are a new parent or student at B.A. this year.  This video will help you to learn the basics about Artsonia.  Click on the "Artsonia" tab at the top of this page to see the B.A. Art Gallery. 
Some 1st grade artists used our interactive whiteboard to practice making visual texture before actually drawing textures on their papers. Others practiced on worksheets at their tables.
Over the summer, I applied for a grant on DonorsChoose.org. This grant for four digital styli was fully funded. Students tested them out today for a few minutes by carving pumpkins using the free app "Carve a Pumpkin" on our iPads. They only spend 2-4 minutes each, but I think they are now ready to paint digitally with these new tools.

See a short video of the B.A. artists in action using our styli below:
I purchased Apple TV for the art room! It's Awesome!!!  Watch the video below to learn how we are going to use it to enhance lessons with rich multimedia content and how it will allow us to connect the iPad2 wirelessly using AirPlay.
Our district updated our web and media consent forms, which enables teachers to post photos and videos of students to the web. Students are excited about seeing themselves online working in the art room. 
I upgraded my iPhone4 and iPad2 to iOS 5 this week and discovered PhotoStream. When my iPad2 is connected to our art room TV, I can take photos using my iPhone4 and they project as a very large scale photo slideshow! Students don't have to wait to see themselves in action. It is instant!

Watch 4th grade artists working in class on Friday. Because of PhotoStream and iCloud, they already saw these photos during art class.

We read the book, "Leonardo the Terrible Monster" by Mo Willems during art class.  Leonardo tried to be scary and mean to Sam.  After seeing how sad Sam was, Leonardo decided to be a good friend instead.  Leonardo and Sam are both happier being friends. They only scare each other to be silly now.  
1st Grade artists made friendly monsters in honor of Leonardo. 
This lesson was inspired by the "Wild Things" that 1st graders at Dryden Elementary School made.  We watched the video "Visual Texture"
http://vimeo.com/9284044  by Tricia Fuglestad to learn about the many ways artists can use line to create texture. 

Dryden Elementary School artists http://bit.ly/bVZOE1   are going to be our "Artsonia Comment Buddies" this year, along with Lowes Island School http://bit.ly/q4U7sP   and Greenbrook School  http://bit.ly/nnm0dr artists!  We will be visiting their online galleries and sending comments to our buddies during art class and they will be doing the same for us!

Watch the video below featuring "1st Grade Brunswick Acres Monsters".
Our Artsonia Gallery has new artwork posted!  View our gallery by clicking on the “Artsonia” tab at the top of this page. 

Over the past few weeks I have been inputting parent email addresses into my Artsonia account.  Please visit your child’s gallery page to make sure that your email address is confirmed.  If you see the word, “unconfirmed” next to one of the members in your child’s fan club, please confirm your email address to ensure that you will be notified each time your child has a newly published work of art uploaded.

Be sure to write down the password that you create for your Artsonia account.  You will need to use your password when you log in to approve comments that may be sent to your budding artist.  You may also wish to access your account to upload artwork that your artist creates at home!  Once you log in, click “upload new artwork” and participate in helping to make your child’s art gallery grow.

Please remember to send compliments using the “Comment” feature on your child’s gallery page.  Entering web comments is a free and easy way to encourage your artist to always do his or her very best work in art class.  Celebrating an artist’s achievements by posting comments can also help in developing pride and self-esteem!

Have you noticed the new Facebook and Twitter buttons on your child’s gallery page?  Some students have already shared that their parents have been posting their artwork on Facebook and Twitter!  Yesterday, a student shared that he was so excited to receive two comments from two of his mom’s co-workers! Sharing your child’s artwork online may be a wonderful way to help your child’s fan club and comment list to grow! 

You may also be interested in purchasing gift items such as t-shirts, keychains, mugs, stickers, and more in the “Gift Store”! Artsonia donates 15% of all purchases back to our art program so that I could purchase more supplies for our artists.  Click on the piggy bank icon in your child’s gallery to access the Gift Store. 

I hope that you will enjoy participating with Artsonia and celebrating your child’s creative accomplishments!  My goal is to upload as much artwork as time permits.  Please understand that there is no time built into the school day for me to photograph and upload artwork, and all of this work takes place during my lunch time and my personal time after school hours.  The process is very time consuming, however, I will do the best I can to make sure that all students at B.A. have artwork published.

We are in the middle of a lesson where teams of students are inventing apps of the future, writing about app features, and creating icons/logos. Many students came to school already knowing that Steve Jobs had sadly passed away yesterday. Take a peek into my classroom to see the first few minutes of art class today and hear what students had to say about how Steve Jobs has changed their world.

Inspired by the book, "Wanda's First Day", by Mark Sperring, 2nd grade artists created witches and goblins. "Wanda's First Day" is about a witch who was starting school as a new student. Wanda noticed that she was a little different from all of the other students, as she was the only witch while the other students looked like fairies. We have over 140 new students in our school this year including students in Pre K through 5th grade. Wanda's story enabled us to be aware of what it might feel like to be new to a school or group and also conveyed the important message that it is ok to be different. See more of our work in our Artsonia gallery artsonia.com/​museum/​gallery.asp?exhibit=424528
B.A. artists folded 1810 paper cranes to raise money to help with the rebuilding of Japan.  These cranes translated into $3620.00 as the Bezos Family Foundation donated $2.00 for every crane they received through on StudentsRebuild.org campaign.   Over 2 million cranes from 38 countries and all 50 states were created, packed, and shipped.  The Bezos Family Foundation ultimately donated $400,000 and an anonymous donor came forward to donate another $100,00, making $500,000 for Japan!

Inspired by the outpouring of support, renowned artist, Vik Muniz decided to get involved with this project too.  He used thousands of student folded paper cranes and created a beautiful piece that he titled, "Large Paper Crane" in his studio in Brooklyn, New York. A poster of his work is now for sale for $30.00.  Sales from this poster will also be donated to benefit Japan's recovery.  See the poster here  http://bit.ly/qVYdDe and on our bulletin board by the art room. 

B.A. artists, I hope you are proud of yourselves for your global contribution and for making a difference!  It is exciting to see how your efforts along with the efforts of other students around the world continue to inspire others to help our friends in Japan.