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Start the Year with Student Portfolios

I love to start the year by having my students decorate their portfolios!  You can make your own portfolios inexpensively, and safely store a whole year’s worth of artwork.   The first time I see each class at the beginning of the school year, I like to read them one of my favorite art-themed kids’ […]

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6th Grade Portfolio Project – Follow Your Star!

I’m especially excited about my 6th grade portfolio project! This project is inspired by an amazing book by author/illustrator Peter Reynolds, who created the classic children’s books “The Dot” and “Ish“. This potentially life-changing book, “The North Star”, is so special, it even has it’s own website! (Check out this site for fun activities for […]

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Grade 5 Portfolios – Collecting Words

 I LOVE kids’ books!!! I just discovered a great new book, titled “Max’s Words” by Kate Banks. While this book doesn’t have a specific art theme, it inspired me to create a portfolio project for my 5th graders based on WORDS. Kids LOVE to collect things. I learned this from personal experience, with a daughter who […]

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Grade 4 Portfolios – “Ish” Drawings

There are lots of wonderful children’s books available today, but “Ish” by Peter Reynolds stands out as one of my all-time favorites. This is a story that everyone (kids and adults!) can relate to…. in fact, it’s so influential that I can literally see a “before and after” effect each time I read it to […]

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Grade 3 Portfolios – The Shapes and Colors of Joy

“Matthew’s Dream”, by Leo Lionni, is my inspiration for our third grade portfolio project. In this charming fable, a boy named Matthew visits the museum with his classmates and is entranced by the paintings he sees there. That night Matthew has a magical dream which helps him to see the world around him in a […]

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Grade 1 Portfolios – Design a Dot!

Every year, I start each of my Art classes by going over my “Art Rules”.While this is review for most of my students, it never hurts to hear it again! And reading this book provides a great on-ramp to having this discussion! The Dot, by Peter Reynolds, has to be one of my favorite children’s […]

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K Portfolios – A Purple Crayon Adventure!

I’ve always loved books, so I love to start the school year off by reading an art-related story to each of my classes. My favorite “art story” for Kindergarten is Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson. This classic children’s tale was first published in 1955 and has been hugely popular ever since. It […]

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