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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 collected […]

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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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