Category Archives: Announcements

International Dot Day – Make a mark and see where it takes You!

Because September 15th fell on a Saturday, I decided to promote International Dot Day with my students I have at my second school on Friday’s (Friday, September 14th to be exact J).  International Dot Day celebrates the book The Dot by Peter Reynolds, and urges all artists to “make a mark and see where it takes [them]”.  The Dot is about a young girl, Vashti, who is struggling with ideas and motivation in art.  Her teacher encourages her to make a mark on her paper and sign it – the next day Vashti sees her artwork (a tiny dot) nicely framed up on the wall, but knows she can do better than that (especially if it’s going to be displayed) and proceeds to make lots of dots big and small, using different colors.  It’s a very cute and encouraging book – especially for the budding artists.

To celebrate, I read and showed the YouTube video of the book, and had each grade level create a square to be included in one large collaborative piece done by the entirety of my Friday art classes.  Each square contained concentric circles inspired by Wassily Kandinsky.  See my previous lessons on Kandinsky Concentric Circles here.  The end result was a gigantic collage reaching almost floor to ceiling of concentric circles – it makes quite the statement!



Special Note: Because I travel Fridays to a different school, I only have one kindergarten class/section my whole week.  Some of the projects we do are the same as those as I do with 1st grade, but others are solely unique to kindergarten creating!


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Filed under 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, Announcements, Kindergarten

I’m BACK! (Finally!)

And I am back!  I apologize for the lull in the first half of the year! Who knew full-time teaching your first year would be SOOO busy!  I am excited to finally get the amazing work the kiddos have been doing up here to share, and for you to see what we have been working on so far this year!  The projects and creativity they have shown and produced truly blow me away and show a tremendous amount of talent.  Some projects are more challenging and time-consuming than others, but the level of engagement the students have shown in the creation process of these projects is stupendous.  Within the next week, all projects up until this point in the school year will be posted – your students are all very knowledgeable about each of the projects, concepts, artists, and techniques we have covered – ask them about it! 🙂 Take a look at what each grade level has been working on, and I absolutely cannot wait to see what the rest of the year brings.  Thank you for your patience and feel free to contact me if you have questions or comments! 🙂


For each grade level, I began the year reading and discussing the book Beautiful Oops by Barney Saltzberg, and exercising our creative minds using my “Seeing Outside the Box” cards.  Beautiful Oops emphasizes the idea that mistakes in art are OKAY, and can even become happy accidents.  I will occasionally hear some students mention to each other – and to myself – that they made a beautiful oops, but that it’s okay and even makes their project more creative, unique, and beautiful.  I think this concept is so important to the creative process, builds their confidence as artists, and increases the avenues for expressing themselves, while actively problem solving and thinking critically to maintain the integrity of their artwork!

The “Seeing Outside the Box” cards have to be one of the greatest inventions for sparking creativity in the art room – each card has a unique set of 2-4 colors and shapes laid out to vaguely resemble everyday objects (think finding images in the clouds in the sky).  There are no wrong answers, and the challenge is coming up with an answer that hasn’t already been said.

After working through these activities, students were given their sketchbooks with a beautiful oops (a line I doodled) on the first page of their sketchbook and were challenged to make the oops into something.  On their own, they continued to challenge each other by drawing more beautiful oops’ in each other’s sketchbooks for the other to complete.

Engaging creativity, seeing outside the box, and familiarizing themselves with their artistic confidence was a success!

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Beautiful Oops Image:

Seeing Outside the Box Image:

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Filed under Announcements

Hello, hello, hello!  I started this blog with WordPress versus Blogger because I was having technical difficulties with my old one!  Maybe some day I’ll figure out what was going on, but this will be the official Polka Dotted Canvas – Art Room Blog! (Plus it was fun redesigning an all new layout and feel!!)  So I hope you enjoy this newer version – I will link to my original posts (on the old blog) when possible or as they relate to new posts.

I can’t imagine a better time to experience technical difficulties because in August I will be beginning my first official year of teaching at my very first elementary art teaching position!!  I graduated in December with a BA in Psychology, a BA with Honors in Art and Art History, and of course acquired my Initial License in Art K-12. Throughout the spring semester I had the awesome opportunity to fulfill two long-term substitute positions, one teaching kindergarten and third grade art, the other covering a maternity leave, which was also elementary art. I know I am soo fortunate to have acquired this full-time position right out of school and will always strive to be innovative, creative, effective, and a facilitator of positive artistic experiences for all my kiddos!

My original Polka Dotted Canvas painting – visit the old blog:

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July 10, 2012 · 1:18 am