2nd graders in Ms. Castrantas' class (above) and in Mrs. Babler's class (below) decided that they wanted to work on a level 0 voice level today, which means they decided that they should not talk at all while they were working.  Because of this choice, they were working independently and it gave me the opportunity to take a step back and film them as they worked.  They loved the snow effect in the Video Star app and enjoyed hearing the music, "Snow Day" by Toby Lightman as I filmed with an iPad. The camera on the iPad 2 is not the best, which is why this video is not as clear as the ones that I normally shoot with my iPhone, but it was fun to mix it up a bit.

They are so proud of the progress they are making with their winter rabbits!  Stay tuned and you will be able to see them in our Artsonia Gallery.

Brunswick Acres is closed again today, making this the sixth school day to be cancelled since last Monday due to power outages caused by Hurricane Sandy.  Many of us were left without power, some for a longer time period than others. As frustrating as this has been and continues to be for many in our area, the sentiment that seems to be shared by most is that we are feeling very fortunate compared to our friends and families who lost everything along the coast

During these times, we try to do what we can by making monetary donations, dropping off supplies to shelters, inviting people into our homes, traveling to areas that need help with clean up and more.  These efforts are so important for our state to recover from this unprecedented storm damage.  

In an effort to provide a way for kids to help, I created a project called, 
"Shells for NJ Shores" .  It is an art project in which teachers and students everywhere are invited to participate to help Sandy victims. The idea is that students can create and sell "shell-themed" art, make a donation to the organization of their choice and track our progress online so we can see how our heart-work is making a difference.  

To learn more about Shells for NJ Shores, click here or on the image above:

Please pass this along to anyone you think may want to give their children a chance to assist in the recover and rebuilding efforts in New Jersey.

To all of my students and B.A. parents, I hope you are doing well and have had your power restored.  I hope school will be open for us all soon. 

We are currently in the lead in the $5000.00 Kris Wine Grant Contest!  In order to help spread the word and possibly get more votes, we are going to take this to the next level (and by this I mean we are going to make a MUSIC VIDEO of course)!

I downloaded the karaoke version of the popular song, “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen, wrote new lyrics to promote our school for this contest and recorded myself singing our new version. 

To help students learn the words, I created this karaoke video with lyrics so they can practice singing and dancing at home. 

We are soon going to turn this song into a MUSIC VIDEO featuring students, staff and admin!

Please keep the votes rolling in! It will take dedicated voting each day by all of us to help us to stay in first place! 

Directions to vote:

* Click this link.  http://on.fb.me/O7U1AF
Note: You must be on a computer to vote, NOT a cell phone or iPad.

* "Like" the Kris Wine Facebook page.

* Click "Vote Now"

* Type, "Brunswick Acres" into the box and click "Search"

* Click on the red pin that appears on the map

* Check the box to vote next to our school's name.

* Vote once per day up until October 31st. 

* Help spread the word by sharing the link to this blog post!

Let's Make This Happen Together!!!!  

Thank you for supporting my students and our school!


Tomorrow kicks off the 2012-2013 school year for the students of Brunswick Acres Elementary School!  I am excited to hear what everyone has been up to over the summer and am looking forward to breaking out our art materials again.

Students, parents, teachers and staff are all invited to join me in creating a collaborative “Word Art” collage!


This is what our "Word Collage" looks like now.  I can't wait to post a pic of what it will look like when we are finished with it! 

Have a look below at artwork created by famous artists who incorporated letters into their work.

Need some inspiration for creating our "Word Art" Collage?  Check out some of the words on our other art bulletin board in the hallway!

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!

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.
2nd grade artists are in the middle of a family and friends unit. They had the choice of either drawing their family members or a group of friends as “Fantastic Felines”.  This unit allowed students to bring in personal feelings and thoughts about people they care about.

The drawing lesson required that students explore the concept of depth and perspective by overlapping cats in size order depending on height and age of their loved ones.  Two principles of design most focused on in this unit of study are pattern and contrast.  Each cat features an interesting pattern.  Redimark markers allow students to flood black into shapes and make thick lines, while Sharpie markers are enabling them to create thinner lines.  The idea is to create a good balance of contrast between the black and white.  

2nd grade artist, Hailey, gave me this Artsonia magnet featuring her artwork! She ordered these to give to her family members at her Holy Communion celebration.

She says that it was her idea to give her loved ones these magnets with her artwork and she hopes everyone likes this meaningful gift!

I was thrilled that she gave me one. It is on display in the art room.
Thank you Hailey! Enjoy your celebration!
I was pulled offline to attend a "21st Century Learning Committee" meeting for one day.  I designed a lesson for my substitute that would provide the opportunity for students in grades K through 5 to create a collaborative work of art.  

The substitute read the book, "Ish" by Peter Reynolds to each class. This is a story of a young boy who has doubts about his artistic abilities. His little sister helps him to learn to have an appreciation for his own style of creating.  The vase that he was trying to draw may not have looked exactly as it did in real life, but it looked vase-ish!  

Students created ish drawings all day and taped them together to form a quilt-ish on the wall outside of the art room.  

I was so excited to return to school the next morning to see all of these "Ish" drawings!

See photos of their work above and watch a short narrated video clip of the story below.
Poppies are in full bloom in the art room! 2nd grade artists in Ms. Mottola's class finished their poppy paintings today.  These will eventually be photographed and uploaded to their online art galleries on Artsonia, but I thought it might be nice for everyone to have a peek now.