Sunday, May 24, 2015

Wrapping up the year

The year's end is always a whirlwind of activity, from finishing those last projects to wrapping up clay and packing portfolios. We always try to get in a little reflection time in that last week too, by reviewing some of our favorite moments and media from the semester. We have a "media talley" section on our portfolios and we were successful at checking off all of them this year.

 Every portfolio contains a handout with instructions for our "Summer Sketch" activity - a list of suggested topics and directions for posting them online. #dolvinsummersketch
Teachers, I have a generic version of this handout on my Teachers pay Teachers page:

Another big event happening now is prepping for a major renovation in our forty-year-old building. All the framed student art collected over the years was removed from the walls and will be reconfigured, and many of my murals, like the Jack in the Beanstalk inspired one outside the media center, will be painted over - bittersweet, but excited about a fresh start too.

Weaving is part of our final curriculum unit and we didn't get much time to complete these due to interrupted schedules during testing weeks. I sent the looms home with instructions on finishing them up, and this student did a great job working on her own.

Our Artsonia page was super successful in our first year - we are ranked #2 in the state! It was so exciting reading the parent comments that poured in. I have to say that developing this program and watching the kids take it over with our iPads was one of the highlights of the year. Profits from sales will go toward keeping our studio stocked with tools for creation :).

Notes and gifts of appreciation are always a highlight of the year's end, so thank you so much to the students and families who brightened my days with flowers, notes and gift cards!

Happy summer to all - I'm looking forward to seeing those summer sketches very soon! 


  1. Happy Summer Hope! take some time to creatively re-charge your batteries! I have 4 more weeks and then it's time for me to say" Yay! It's summer! " :)

  2. Hi Hope,
    Do your students return the cardboard looms to you or do they keep them? I let my 5th graders take them home this year with the understanding they would be returned in good condition. Many came back bent so they are unusable now, and many did not bring them back at all. I had a check out system but it was still a hassle trying to get the looms back--more trouble than it was worth. My budget won't support supplying students with a free loom. Any suggestions?

    1. Hey Suzanne - this year I let the students keep the looms, only because they had been used several times before and the notches were starting to bend and break. Normally I do not let them take them when the looms are in good shape. One year, we made our own cardboard looms out of cereal boxes that the kids brought in. This was good because it was free and the kids could keep them to reuse - the only drawback is that the cardboard is much thinner and flexes, so you have to be really careful putting the warp on. I think they are a great solution because you can customize the size, shape, number of notches, etc. Good luck!

    2. Hi Hope, I love your blog. You keep things interesting. I have only used artsonia when I've been directed there via an image I've found. I think I will do a bit of research because I like the idea that all the art can go up on it. Also that the feedback from parents may come our way which is always motivating. Thank you. Have a well deserved holiday. We are holidaying in your corner of the world in a weeks time. Starting in New Orleans, driving for 3000kms and back to New Orleans.

  3. Oh, New Orleans is a great place - it will be hot and humid right now but great food and culture! Safe travels to you and let me know if I can help you with any Artsonia questions - I think you will like it! Enjoy :)


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