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. 

It was my pleasure to attend the Board of Education meeting tonight to celebrate our Brunswick Acres 2012-2013 "Calendar Artist", Umar! 

Umar created this work of art last spring and it was featured in the South Brunswick District Art Gallery.  Students were asked to draw fish and include a word that a fish might say to humans who may mistreat their environment.  This piece was printed on our district calendar and distributed throughout South Brunswick.  

Umar's artwork can also be seen in an Animoto video on our district website.  Click on the image below to link to this video.

Congratulations again 

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.
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!

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!!!
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!

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.

_The Reflection app enables us to mirror our iPads to my Mac computer. The reflection app only works on Mac OX 10.6 or higher and mirrors the iPad2 and the iPhone 4S.

We used the Reflection app in the art room for the first time today. Students were importing photos of their paintings into the iPad and exploring digital filters in a variety of different photo apps.

Aravind was kind enough to demonstrate how we were using the Reflection app on the iPad he was working on.

Thanks Aravind!
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.
Most students say that they would prefer to only save a couple of minutes for clean up, because they want to be able to use as much time as possible to do their artwork. We are timing how long it takes to clean at the end of class today, and if classes clean up quickly and efficiently in only two minutes, then we will only save two minutes for clean up next week. The stopwatch helps us to track how long it takes us and gives us an exact time to have as a reference.
Link to online stopwatch: