Painting the Past

Today our 5th grade presented their illustrations of Grand Oaks residents child hood memories. We gave the idea a a try six years ago now it’s an annual program Here is the original documentary by Matt Conley from Mass.

Ballet slipper used as theatre for Miss Charlotte a lifelong ballerina!

Art News 1st Six Weeks

Art News: First Six Weeks

1 six wks.png

Students Speak about their work, thinking and performance.

Finding time for all students to reflect upon their performance has been successful using this magnet system in our Elemenrary choice based art studio. The last 10 minutes of class is reserved for clean up and final five for closing circle. Each student is assigned a number and shares one sentence about their performance inspired by the goal chart. With practice and time we have heard remarkable and meaningful statements:

“I chose application for my ideas about making a ship in sculpture rather than drawing because my grandfather and I used to build things” Henry 3rd.

“I chose effort because I had never tried plaster strips before.” Isabella 4th

” I planned to continue my drawing and I ‘le penned*’ it.” Andres 2nd

*You know those slender fine tip Le Pens? Like sharpies great colors, but I get dozens of black.  We nick-named the act of outlining amazing sketches into finished drawings by terming ‘le penned’~ Just a silly, funny, but seriously official hard working moment! 

Students arrive to art in half groups willing to watch demos, but often have a plan in place. Students also track their choices and additional reflections during portfolio week, the last week of each grading period. Our largest homeroom of 28, then half group of 14 did take longer, so I’ll consider odds share one week and evens the other, but this group also cleans up in less than five. Sharing is also relative on which group can transition smoothly. Some groups are better than others. Students DO value creative time and closing circle immensely, so I remind: The more time you spend cooperating, buys you creative time and closing circle minutes. 

We do highlight SHOM behaviors, but more in introduction, demonstration & portfolio reflections. The goal magnet system has been working for about three years, did take some time, but now they desire. 

SFMOMA you gotta go-a!!

Every floor, every turn and every space of SFMOMA was filled with an exciting, joyful and remarkable work of art! While in San Francisco for three nights, we did everything else but go to SFMOMA, but the next week while in Berkeley I decided to zip back over on the BART and I’m so thankful.

First you are greeted by this beautiful sunlit grand foyer

Then you get to see striking contemporary art and take photos!!  Many of the SFMOMA works reminded me of student work completed this past year.  Like this one, I remember the student feeling so strongly about using just blue!


mann student

And reflect upon how great elementary students respond to contemporary art.  In the spring, Students viewed Diebenkorn’s work and we talked about collecting colors in our community. This work reminded me of the 100 color challenge for 100th day of school.  Students used cute & clever names for their tints and shades!


mann student art

Be reminded of their independence to explore themes of their work in a variety of mediums like animals, shoes and nature.


mann student art

Recognize students development of aesthetic.  I loved getting an email from a student over the holiday sharing his favorite collection of cards displayed in a new formation.


mann student art at home

Ability to transform and showcase natural materials.  These girls have constructed a xylophone out of twigs & sticks~adding music to our hike for an art & science class!


mann student art

I just could not get enough of this place.

sfmoma found object forms


You can watch this amazing film that combines art, theatre, storytelling + more!



Find works to relax in the normalcy of just being in your own space of this beautiful world

And spaces you want to walk along forever

sfmoma Sol Lewitt



And works that make you laugh…can you imagine if any living artist today invited us to come on down? There are more of these…so funny! 

I love you SFMOMA!!

A few more lovelies………………

knee impressions of artists




Thank you Centaur Community!

Dear Centaur community,

Artsonia, an online student gallery, has been an excellent tool.  While under construction, student work was still celebrated and you raised $200 plus funds to purchase the Keva planks for our Inventors Center.  Now settled in the new studio this year through Artsonia you raised $300 that will be used to build our Sculpture Center with tools in wood work in the Fall.


Angel in White


Thank you Clapp family for your donations to our sculpture center.  Do you recognize this food container is now a form to showcase meaningful symbols by Gabriella, 3rd grade?

Our students are imagining, telling stories, applying meaning, collaborating and inventing.  Discovering ideas can surface anytime and from anywhere then could be explored in their own studio on Centaur campus is a true delight for our creators and we are proud of them.  Thank you for your support!

I would also like to say thank you to Donna and Ann Marie for assisting with the art walk and recording students statements!  The wonderful original work “WOW” work (from TAB) looked amazing on all three floors blended together with QR codes.  Thank you both for the labeling and recording of students to make Art Walk 2016 truly come to life!

Happy Summer and excited for next year!!

Paige Byrne


Mann Art News Spring 2016

Weeks of spring filled with students finding their spark and visiting artists igniting new ideas. Here is our Art News SPR’16 and flyer for Art Walk on June 1st, 2016.

Art News SPR’16

flyerblog '16

Contemporary art for elementary 

How I incorporate current methods and contemporary artists into the studio classroom for elementary can be found in my ebook. During grad school, I learned elementary students embrace and connect to contemporary art  with ease, excitement and wonder. Now as a TAB teacher, I like to use contemporary art in the Five Minute Museum and start with a big question that would lead us to think about what center would be best their idea. Because our studio classroom has been choice based for almost three years now, discussion/demonstration averages around twice a month for each grade level. 

The ebook contains ten lessons (as a TAB teacher now would say art explorations) inspired by the contemporary collection of the former Corcoran Gallery of art. While I was writing this ebook, I was in the beginning of practicing Teaching for  Artistic Behavior. I used the concept behind the work to inspire my students thinking about their own work. For example Deibenkorns “Ocean Park” inspired our first graders in the spring to collect colors in their mind that are meaningful to them or perhaps of our campus to incorporate into their artwork: brick, stone, grass, forsythia, cherry tree. 

While reading through this ebook again, now that I’ve settled into new art room & how the space works best, I’m able to put some clear thought on demonstrations using more contemporary works that my students love. The contemporary artists behaviors align well in that they collect, use symbols, untraditional materials, found objects, transform materials and tell a story.  Teaching for Artistic Behavior still includes opportunities to learn about artists as my former method, just now at any point in the process of art making and certainly to inspire students ideas.