Feelings are often difficult to deal with, and communicating them is even harder.
The video explores a journaling/sketchbook technique to develop and foster social and emotional intelligence with your children, students, and self.
Arts.mic or Mic.com just published an interesting article on art’s effect on the human brain. Some of the highlights of the article were that “experiencing art decreases stress levels” and that “the brain is hardwired to process art.” The article also noted that the biggest benefits come from actually producing art.
“Along with the perks of enjoying and experiencing art, there are real-world benefits to making the art with your own two hands. According to a 2014 study, producing visual art improved psychological resilience and increased brain activity for the participants by the end of the experiment.
The study had two groups of recent retirees. One group was given lessons by an art educator and the participants actively created pieces of visual art that displayed their own personal form of artistic expression. The other group was treated more like a discussion class, where they talked about and interpreted selected paintings and sculptures. Both groups had their brains scanned before and after the period of courses.
The brain scans of the two groups before the classes (T0) and after 10 weeks (T1).Source: Anne Bolwerk/PLOSOne
Of the two groups, the one that produced art reaped the neural benefit of increased connectivity in the brain’s default mode network over the ten weeks of art class. This area deals with cognitive process like introspection, self-monitoring and memory.
As Hyperallergic points out, the researchers speculate that the first group got the gains because of the combination of motor and cognitive processing. They state in the study, “The visual art production intervention involved the development of personal expression and attentional focus on self-related experience during art creation.” Utilizing motor skills and thinking about art together becomes more beneficial instead of doing either separately. “
Click the link below for the full article:
It’s amazing what children can do when they are allowed to explore, experiment, get messy, and play!
Aelita Andre’s Website:
Thought provoking article on the Chinese elementary school model, where every teacher is a specialist.
If you’re interested in photography here are some great tips and tricks that can turn a basic cell phone camera into so much more.
Q: What grade are you in?
Q: What is your favorite subject? What is your favorite thing to make artwork about?
A: I really like to use my imagination when I do artwork and make up things.
Q: What is your favorite color?
A: Blue. It’s also my middle name.
Q: How do you feel when you’re making work?
A: It’s really really fun and I feel happy.
Q: How do you want people to feel when they see your work?
Q: What are your favorite mediums to use? What are your favorite materials in the CRES studio?
The Inspiration Station is a center in the CRES Studio that young artists can visit for:
– Art History Books
– Reference Books
– Science Specimens
– Still-life Supplies
– How-to-Draw Books
– Drawing Prompts
Since September students have been working on finding inspiration through sketchbook prompts and the Inspiration Station.
Here is a quick little video showing the artists in action!
Each year the 3rd Grade students of Maine spend a large part of the year learning about our beloved home state. The video below illustrates a collaboration between the music educator at my school, Karen Littlefield, the artists and musicians of Coastal Ridge Elementary School, and myself.
The students perform Mike Nobel’s “Coast of Maine” for their spring concert “Maine Night”. Students in the CRES studio were asked to create thumbnail sketches and then a finished piece based on the lyrics.
Coast of Maine (On the Coast of Maine) Lyrics
By Mike Nobel
Welcome to a day along the coast of Maine
No place could ever be more beautiful to see
Stars are in the sky on the morning tide
The fishin’ boats are rockin’ the ocean birds are calling,
“Welcome to Maine” “Welcome to Maine”
Come see the sunrise high on Cadillac Mountain
Come see the sailboat reaching for the horizon
Come let the water carry you away
Along the rocky coast of Maine.
On a stormy day along the coast of Maine
The salty winds are singing, the buoy bells are ringing
On the rising tide, waves are breaking high
and when the storm is clearing, it’s Mother Nature saying:
“Welcome to Maine” “Welcome to Maine”
Come see the rainbow rising over the island
come see the children racing into the ocean
Come learn the song in the music of the waves
On the rocky coast of Maine.
Welcome back to a new and exciting school year in the CRES Studio!
We’re starting off the school year by working in our new sketchbooks. Students will keep their sketchbooks for three years to show their progress and help them keep track of what inspires them.
I started the lesson by asking students some questions about sketchbooks. Here are their insightful responses.
Why is a sketchbook a tool?
Why is a sketchbook a great place to try new things?
Why are mistakes important to keep?
Why do most artists, writers, or other creative problem solvers keep a sketchbook on them at all times?
Why might you write in your sketchbook?
This 2nd Grader has been working with two other boys in his class to create an “Army Base”. Here he is showing me how he created hinges for one of their doors using staples.
“As part of a promotion for the Sydney International Food Festival, the advertising agency WHYBIN\TBWA designed 18 national flags using foods each country is commonly associated with and that would also match the colors of the flag.”
Wouldn’t showing these be great way to help make connections between Art and Social Studies?
Can you guess which countries these flags belong to?
Click the link below to see them all!
Our second graders have been studying what makes up a community in their classrooms. In art we have been talking about what it means to collaborate and be part of a community. The second graders in Mrs. Foster’s class did a fabulous job of brainstorming all of the amazing things that make up our community here in York, ME.
The CRES Studio is ready for an another amazing school year!
Second grade students at CRES have been studying Japan. To go along with their unit we have been exploring pinch pot tea cups and origami.
Here was our schedule for making these beautiful works of art.
Week 1: Build Pinch Pots.
When students were finished they had a choice of working with blocks or working in their sketchbooks.
Week 2: Decorating Their Greenware
The greenware pinch pots were able to dry slightly durning the week so students were able to decorate them with engobes. When students were finished they had a choice of working with blocks or working in their sketchbooks.
Week 3: Origami and Bisque Fire.
Once the pots were no longer cool to the touch they were bisque fired. During this week we took a little time to learn about origami. I started off the class by reading them a Japanese folktale about two frogs and then we worked together as a class to create this simple origami jumping frog. When students finished they were able to embellish their frogs, play with blocks, or work in their sketchbooks.
Week 4 (A): Glazing
Students put three coats of clear glaze onto their tea cups. We did each layer as a group. When students had time in between layers they had a choice of working with blocks or working in their sketchbooks.
Week 4(B): Glaze Fire
All the pots made it!!!
Week 5: Tea Ceremony
To celebrate the end of their unit we had a mini tea ceremony. Students gathered in the second grade pod, where they were given their finished tea cups with a little lemonade. We then watched a 6 minute tea ceremony video and had a group “cheers” to their hard work.
This year students in the CRES Studio have been working in centers using the TAB model of art education. Here are some of their finished weavings.
Here is the Pandora “Native American Station” we listened to while working. Enjoy!