Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Mrs. Snead goes to School

This past November I had the opportunity to attend a Portrait Workshop with Ann Kenyon, an internationally known artist, at the UNF Campus. WOW! Did I ever learn what I didn't know about painting portraits in oils!!!!!!! This was an all day workshop and I must say, I was exhausted at the end. On interesting point was I experienced some of the frustrations the kids feel when they are tackling a challenging project with me. Many times, I will tell them to look at their work and figure out what it needs. They tend to look at me with blank stares and say "I don't KNOW what it needs." Well, I was feeling their pain during the production time. I would look and know that my portrait definitly needed something but I could not figure out what. I was having trouble getting the right color mixed with the paints and ......well, I could go on and on. Ultimately, I did paint a portrait that looked like a human being, however, it did not do justice to the beautiful model I was painting. BUT, the great thing was the EXPERIENCE! I know I have a lot of work to do to be successful at Portraiture, but I know that I was motivated to do the work and get better. What a wonderful experience!!!!

LIME GREEN... the color for 2009-2010

Have you noticed that new artwork has FINALLY begun to fill our frames and cases on the 2nd floor? Well, if you are not sure, look for the lime green tags and you will see fresh work. We are framing 2-D work and are replacing old 3-D pieces with new ones. Make sure to look around when you are up there. We have some fabulous artists here at the Creek!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


This year's entries for the PTA Reflections Visual Arts Exhibit are ready to compete! We had some very nice art pieces as well as photographs. These student's work will compete locally. Those selected at the County level will then compete at the state level. If they are selected at the state level they will then go on to compete at the national level. Congratulations to all these students and good luck!!!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Another Great POW WOW!

Every year our Kindergarten classes study about various Native American tribes for two to three weeks, in their classrooms. I try to have the students work on a small clay piece when they are with me to teach the importance of that medium to these people, as it was used to create vessels, bowls, everyday items necessary to life, ceremonial items, as well as items with which to barter.

To culminate the entire unit of study, the whole kindergarten class participates in a huge POW WOW, including Native American music and dances. The resource team is responsible for running the various centers that the students visit throughout the day. My job is to talk about natural dyes and paints made by the early Native Americans and then let the students experiment by painting with beets, paprika and tumeric. Always fun! The students really have fun playing with food, but they also learn a lot about having to be resourceful with what you have available.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

FAEA Conference Report

I can't believe how much time I DON'T have to post info on my blog. It has been forever!

Just wanted to say the FAEA Conference was wonderful as always. It seemed I was really in "collage" mode as most of my workshops dealt with collage techniques. One was particularly interesting, as it dealt with layering digital images ( on a very wide variety of papers) to create a collage. I am thinking I need to think about doing this with some of my 5th grade classes.

My other workshop was about different collage techniques, using a large variety of media. It was fun and refreshing. I had done something like that before BUT we can always use a second time around reminder.

I attended the District Workshop and was amazed at the art advocacy and activities going on around the state. We came back with some wonderful ideas for DATA to think about.

One workshop I attended was a lecture on how one school created large mosaic murals. I am thinkin'.....I am thinkin'............

The big thing that happened was I was elected to the FAEA (Florida Art Education Association) board as the Elementary Chair for the state of Florida. WOW! I start officially in January. Now I can really get great ideas from around the state.

I will try to blog more often so I can share all the wonderful things happening here , and now, around the state.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Miss Fravel Moved to Music City

So it has been almost 6 months since I completed my internship and graduated from UNF. Amazing how it only seems like yesterday I was teaching the students about maps and helping with the Kids Art Fair Fundraiser!

After graduation I looked for jobs in Florida, Georgia, Maryland, and Tennessee. I saw more jobs for art teachers in Nashville then anywhere else, so I made the decision in May that I would move to Nashville, TN.

However, they have a strict policy to not see anyone for interviews unless they have a TN teachers license, I started the long paperwork process as soon as I graduated, first needing a FL license, then needing to apply for an out of state teachers license in TN. The good news is I just got my TN teachers license last weekend! The bad news is all the jobs have been filled at the moment.

I moved in August, now living with one of my best friends and her family. They have helped me adjust to the new environment and shown me what an exciting town Nashville can be! There is a lot of support from the community to keep art and music in the schools since it is Music City, and there is a growing art scene here. I am very excited about how much they seem to love art here, and the new superintendent is really doing a lot to improve the school systems here for students and teachers.

I start substitute teaching next week, which will be a great way to improve my classroom management, as well as learning more about the schools and students around the area. I have also been doing some volunteer work in the area as well through a great organization known as Hands on Nashville. Volunteers can participate in many different kinds of activities in and outside of the schools, so far my favorite volunteer work has been going bowling with the blind.

I certainly miss Jacksonville and can only hope my experiences in the schools here will be as wonderful as Chets Creek, but I feel I am off to a great start experiencing the town and getting involved in the community.

Here's a picture from the park downtown, Cenntenial Park, its a very large and beautiful park, there are always people there jogging, picnicing, painting, and enjoying the outdoors. There is a giant Parethenon replica which you can see in the picture in the middle of the park.

And here is a picture from the Opry Hotel, which is one of the largest (or maybe it is the largest) hotel in the country and its right next to the Grand Old Opry (one of the big tourist attractions here). Inside the Hotel are lavish gardens you can walk through.

I hope everyone is doing well and having a great school year so far!

Friday, October 9, 2009


Many of you who walk the halls of Chets Creek Elementary have heard the name Tamburrino plenty of it pertains to Music Teachers. Now you are going to hear it twice as much because MR. TAMBURRINO will be teaching Art, two days a week. We are very excited to have him and can't wait to see him rolling through the halls on his way to our students' classrooms. Welcome, Mr. Tamburrino, we are all glad you are here!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


You may have seen this on other art blogs, but it is important enough to repeat here, as well. If you ever wondered WHY it is important to teach art to ALL of our students on a regular basis, you might want to read "10 LESSONS THE ARTS TEACH." This is by Elliot Eisner and was sent from the National Art Education Association.

1. The arts teach children to make good judgments about qualitative relationships. Unlike much of the curriculum in which correct answers and rules prevail, in the arts, it is judgment rather than rules that prevail.

2. The arts teach children that problems can have more than one solution and that questions can have more than one answer.

3. The arts celebrate multiple perspectives. One of their large lessons is that there are many ways to see and interpret the world.

4. The arts teach children that in complex forms of problem solving purposes are seldom fixed, but change with circumstances and opportunity. Learning in the arts requires the ability and a willingness to surrender to the unanticipated possibilities of the work as it unfolds.

5. The arts make vivid the fact that neither words in their literal form nor numbers exhaust what we can know. The limits of our language do not define the limits of our cognition.

6. the arts teach students that small differences can have large effects. The arts traffic in subtleties.

7. The arts teach students to think through and within a material. All art forms employ some means through which images become real.

8. The arts help children learn to say what cannot be said. When children are invited to disclose what a work of art helps them feel, they must reach into their poetic capacities to find the words that will do the job.

9. the arts enable us to have experience we can have from from no other source and through such experience to discover the range and variety of what we are capable of feeling.

10. The arts' position in the school curriculum symbolizes to the young what adults believe is important.

SOURCE: Eisner, E, (2002). The Arts and the Creation of Mind, In Chapter 4, What the Arts Teach and How It Shows. (pp. 70-92). Yale University Press.

Pretty cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There is a lot more going on in the Art Lab than meets the eye!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


As the 2009-2010 school year begins to unfold with our new theme, "Orchestrating a Symphony of Student Success". the Art Department is prepareing to scaffold the academics with "right brained" expression and understanding. All of us are excited about the lessons we have planned and the work that will come from our student body. The following are a few things we could use in the Art Lab and on the Art Carts. Any and all items are greatly appreciated!!!!!!!

"Trash" Treasures:
Styo egg cartons
clean soup/veg. cans
old cd's or DVD's
old broken jewelry
small wood scraps
small game pieces
unwanted craft items
"cool whip" like containers
unwanted fake flowers/foliage
old working hairdryer
flat Styrofoam pieces
old calendars
"family friendly" magazines
Any thing that might be fun
to glue or add to an art project.

Art Wish List:

Baby wipes

Lg bars of Ivory soap

Heavy duty alluminum foil

hydrogen peroxide

med. wooden skewers

jewelry wire (or similar weight)

glossy photo paper

HP 02 photoprinter ink (5 seperate colors)

chicken wire

Thank you so very much for any and all donations.

Art ABOUNDS at Chets Creek

We really have a blessed situation this year in that we have 5, that's right, 5 art positions this year. Besides Mrs. Kristy Sappington and me (Jennifer Snead), we have three other "1 day a week" art teachers that will be teaching and motivating our students. Mrs. Cecilia Dushey-Ward is a veteran instructor that will be here on Tuesdays. I am excited that she will bring much wisedom and experience with her to enhance our program. Mrs. Elizabeth Miron is a new teacher this year, but don't be fooled. She is very smart and quite sharp so she will hit the ground running with some fresh ideas and enthusiasm. She will also be here on Tuesdays. Both of these teachers teach four days at another school so we really appreciate the fact that they are giving us their best on their one day at Chets Creek. Now you may be wondering at this part of the article about our fifth person. Well, at this time they have not been hired. But when that person gets here, I will introduce you to her (or him). That position will be with us on Thursdays.

On a sad note, Ms Hallie Spooner has left us to take a job at home in Ohio. She was, and of course still is, a fabulous art teacher and will be a tremendous asset to the school she serves. We will miss her greatly!!!! Best to you, Ms. Spooner!

So heres to a year full of art and creativity! Be looking for the masterpieces to soon be hitting our walls.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Summer Fun

Make sure to look back at last year's entry about different art activities that can be done at home this summer. It would be under June 2008. When all the rain comes, kids find themselves inside with very little to do, unless they are glued to video games, the following are some fun art activities they might be able to do with simple supplies that are found around the house. HAVE FUN! GET CREATIVE!

1. Find scrap cardboard. Use one piece as the back piece and use scraps to glue onto it into different shapes. When finished, rub a litte glue over the surface and cover with a layer of heavy duty foil. Rub carefully to make the shapes come through the foil clearly. use a dull pencil to draw into the foil to make thin line designs. If you have black temperal paint (with a small amount of liquid soap added), black ink, or even black shoe polish, then rub it over the surface of the foil and then rub off with a paper towel. The effect is the look of tarnished silver.

2. Get a bar of soap and use a plastic knife to carve it into a new shape. Be very careful to carve slowly and to take off only a litte bit of soap at a time to keep from braking the soap. This is a very relaxing activity. You wont want to stop.

3. Scrap paper, such as wrapping paper, construction paper, notebook paper, newspaper, and any other kind of paper you can find, can be torn into interesting shapes and glued onto a background sheet to create a fascinating collage. Draw on top with crayons to add interesting details. Subject matter could be landscapes, animals, food, flowers, still lifes, ....just about anything.

4. When on vacation, keep a visual diary of where you went and what you did. Draw a picture with a lot of detail that tells the story of your trip. Have fun getting other people to "read" the drawings to find out what you did.

5. Using photographs, create interesting collages that tell the story of an event; a beginning, middle, and end. Photographs could come from magazines or from personal pictures. Use and many as you can to create a sequence that creates a short story.

6. If you have access to a digital camera, see if you can take some interesting shots that show different perspectives of ordinary things. How interesting and creative can you be with what you see?

7. Using wood scraps and/or parts and pieces of old broken jewelry or toys, use a strong glue (with parental help) to build a new sculpture. See how you can make it balance. You could build an imaginary animal or a fun looking robot.

These are just a few ideas. I bet you could come up with some of your own. Leave me an comment to let me know what you came up with. How did you use what you have around your house to create a wonderful piece of art??????

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Final Projects, Just as good as the beginning!

As the year winds down, we are busy finishing up art projects. Some of the projects are really turning out beautifully. Why does that seem so surprising? Because, ususally, during this time of year, the kids have stopped really getting into the projects and changed their focus to getting out I don't usually get the best results. But here are some really nice pieces that will miss being put up on the wall, so I am glad you will be seeing them here.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Farewell to Miss Fravel!

So the past couple weeks have been busy and exciting. I finished the internship on the 17th, it was so hard to say goodbye to the kids and Mrs. Snead. The kids touched my heart and on the last day there was a big basket of thank you cards from the kids and a few gifts from Mrs. Snead, it made all my hard work worth it.

The following week I returned a few nights to help Mrs. Snead with the Kids Art Fairs Fundraiser, which was a great experience for me to see what sort of preparations and interactions would happen on the actual fundraiser nights.

That week I also graduated! Graduation was the same day as the Arts Extravaganza night, so I brought my family straight from graduation to show them the school, see the students art work, and meet Mrs. Snead. My parents said this was their favorite part of graduation weekend because they could see the excitement in me as I showed them around the school and talked about the projects I did with the students.

Since then I had been busy entertaining my folks who stayed in town much longer then I thought, I resumed my regular hours at my part time job, and I have been job searching like crazy. I am hoping to still come and visit and volunteer at Chets creek until the end of the school year, however I have also got a couple trips out of town and the end of the school year is fast approaching! This year has gone by fast! But I can say Chets creek was a big part of my year so far, and I feel like the luckiest intern to have worked at such a great school and an amazing directing teacher.

Clay Crabs and Slabhouse

I just found some pictures I had taken of the last two clay projects I did with the 4th graders that were really fun. One project was the slab clay house project which was a two day project. Students were to focus on scoring and slipping parts of the house on such as chimneys, shutters, doors. The students could also carve in brick work or work on the rough shingles. The students houses turned out great, a lot of them came up with some different and creative ideas like adding porches or snowman. I also liked all of the students projects looked very different and the students really enjoyed making the house.

And, finally, true to form as a Marylander who adores crabs, I had another fourth grade class make crabs. We used the hollow egg technique and scored and slipped on the shell, eight legs, and two claws. This was a three day clay project and several of the crabs turned out great, it was a difficult project and I think with another day the whole class would of had more successful crabs.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Don't Miss ARTS EXTRAVAGANZA 2009!!!!!!!!

If you have never come to one of Chets Creeks ARTS EXTRAVAGANZA'S then you have a huge, family fun, evening waiting for you. Don't miss it this year, because we have lots of wonderful guest artists attending, and plenty of hands on art activities in which to participate for all age levels. NOT TO MENTION THE SCHOOL WIDE STUDENT ART EXHIBITION TO EXPERIENCE. Everyone is sure to have a fantastic time and see some awesome artwork. When is it, you ask????
Friday, April 24th from 6:00-8:00
We look forward to seeing you there!

On Her Way......

It is sad to see Miss Fravel leave us, but she is on her way to graduate from UNF and go on to become a Fabulous Art Teacher for some lucky school. So a huge CONGRATULATIONS goes out to you, Miss Fravel!!!!! She says she will keep up with us and blog so we can know what she is doing. She will always be a part of Chets Creek! Don't stay too far away.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Paper House Lesson

Mrs. Snead has an example of a paper house she made at a workshop displayed in the classroom, I noticed right away that students always thought it was neat and wanted to know how to make it. Because of the high student interest I knew I wanted to try this lesson with a class so Mrs. Snead showed me the general procedures for cutting and folding the paper.

I chose to work with a smaller 5th grade class (one of my favorite classes!), it was sort of an experiment since the lesson had never been done before, it involved geometry and math and it took us about 3 classes to put together the house.

This class really impressed me, once they had the understanding for basic construction of the house and additions, they really took it to the next step adding pools, trees, patios, driveways, etc. What I liked even more was that they were helping each other out, it was like we were all teachers that day. It was a very hands on, cooperative learning experience for everyone. For the lawn, students used tissue paper to create grass and shrubbery.

During this project was also when I had 'the teacher moment', something they told us about at the beginning of internship that makes it all feel worth it, outweighs the bad days, and builds your confidence and desire to teach. One of the students said it was the most fun and best project he ever did, coming from a 5th grader who has been making art with Mrs. Snead really meant something to me. In general the whole class had fun while thinking critically and creatively and I could tell they were proud of the final product. That is one of my favorite parts about teaching, when students are proud of what they learned.

5th grade photography

I had the wonderful opportunity to work with three 5th grade classes doing a photography lesson. The kids were all very excited about the project.

For the lesson we focused on framing and using the camera as an artist. Students were to think about what they wanted to say about their subject. We also discussed the how the effects of lighting, shadows, and perspective can influence the visual message. We also discussed some of the features on the camera that can effect the visual message, such as shooting or printing the photos in black and white, antique, or sepia.

With one class I introduced the students to the artist Andy Goldsworthy, this class was to take photos inspired by his work by altering some sort of environment.

The other two classes we worked on doing portraits.

I pulled some images from the cameras done by the students focusing on Goldsworthy, as much as I would like to share the portraits, I think its best not to post photos of students onto the blog. I did however stumble upon many other interesting pictures on the memory cards the students took that may not have anything to do with the required assignment, however I think they qualify as interesting photography. I loved looking through all the pictures to see what students were interested in taking pictures of and to see what sort of artistic decisions they were making.

Doing the photography lesson was one of my goals for the internship, I think its really great that Mrs. Snead has brought these wonderful resources into the art classroom through the use of grants, not all schools are so lucky to have a class set of cameras and printers. Im glad I got to take advantage of this and that Mrs. Snead was willing to let me work with them.

Monday, April 13, 2009

More Soap!

Here are some soap sculptures that I think turned out great!

Silhouette Project

So, I am a little behind on updating the blog with some of the exciting projects going on in the art room. I have been putting together my portfolio and tying up all my loose ends at the internship, which has been much more time consuming then I expected.

However with all this going on, we have been having some great projects coming out of the art room!

With the 3rd graders I had been working on a silhouette project. The project required students to think about contour lines on the edges of objects to show detail. Since we were doing silhouettes, we were using black paper, so students couldn't use line or value for interior detail, instead they had to focus on cutting shapes out of the black paper with detail.

They were to first paint the background in watercolor, I decided to use warm colors for a sunset kind of feeling because dusk is when the lightening is best for silhouettes. I showed one class my example of a cityscape with a bridge and gave them free range to do some sort of landscape silhouette, with the other classes I narrowed the subject matter to palm trees.

The project was really fun and most students were successful, they really had to think about craftsmanship when cutting and gluing the black shapes onto the watercolored paper to create the scene.

Hopefully tomorrow I can make some more posts on some other projects we have been doing like the 5th grade photography, the clay slab house project, and some of the kindergarten black line paintings.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Library Show is One Of The BEST!!!

Tina and I have just returned from helping to set up the Annual Elementary Library Art Show at the Pablo Branch Library. As I stated in the post, below, it is always a difficult decision to choose the five 2-D pieces from so many excellent works of art by our students. We are lucky, however, with the 3-D work, as the Pablo Branch Library always makes a case available for our pieces. Chets Creek was able to get about 30 pieces of 3-D work into the show this year. What a wonderful representation of our young artists.

The whole show is quite impressive, at least at our branch. There are about seven schools in our area, represented at this Library. I am quite sure the at the 14 other Library Branches, the show is just as strong. If you live near the Pablo Branch, or any other participating Library, make sure to swing in and take a look at our Duval County Elementary Artwork. Then let me know what you think!!!!!! We have a very strong program as evidenced by the masterpieces on display.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Cultural Arts Week Celebration Almost Here

The dates are April 20th through the 24th for this year's Cultural Arts Celebration. We have a week of presentations and activities that will keep us saturated in the Arts and the excitement that they stir up. Each morning we will have a different event; A Violenist, A magician, The Battersby Duo, Fletcher Middle School Band, and Carribbean Sound Steel Band. During the evenings of the 20th, 21st, and 23rd, we will have student art shows on display where parents can purchase the work already matted and framed, ready for hanging. Of Course, on Friday Night, we will have our huge ARTS EXTRAVAGANZA, with many visiting artists, hands on activites, student art exhibits, PTA basket auction, and food and fun! This will run from 6:00 to 9:00 and all our families and friends are invited. Make sure to put these wonderful events on your calendar. We look forward to seeing you ALL there!

Friday, March 20, 2009

This Pics have been Picked!

It is the best of times. It is the worst of times.......Exciting as it is to get student artwork out in the community, it is one of the hardest things I have to do as an art teacher. The Annual Elementary Library Show is a wonderful venue to expose our students talents. Several Public Libraries display elementary artwork for about two weeks in the spring, showcasing some of the best works from each school. Why is it the worst of times? Because we are only allowed to submit 5 pieces of 2-D work. FIVE! How can I only choose 5 from 50 to 60 exceptional works of art by our students???? It is truly a vexing time for me, because the choices are impossible! But, after many excrutiating decisions, I have finally narrowed down to THE FIVE (one I am having trouble uploading....will try again so come back and visit).

Congratulations to all these artists!

In addition to these fabulous works, about 30 pieces of 3-D work was submitted to this show. Hopefully, they will all get in, but if not, they will be submitted to The Best In Elementary Exhibit.

Try to go by the Pablo Branch Library and see these pieces on display. The show will be installed on March 27th and should remain up for about 2 weeks.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Good Clean Fun

I had the opportunity to work with a few 4th grade classes making soap sculptures. This is probably one of my all time favorite lessons so far because they students get really into the project, and although the soap shavings get everywhere, the whole art room smells so clean and soapy!

I am waiting on the other two classes to finish their soap sculptures, but here are some images from the class that did complete the project.

We talked about abstract art, what makes something abstract and I showed them some examples of abstract sculpture. I also had the students identify positive and negative space. The students then drew out a plan that was to include at least one area of negative space, and they were to alter the soap to release an abstract form.

The project took patience, and often times the soap can break if students rush, so in those instances we had to really think creatively about either changing our plan or using some toothpicks to hold it together in a unique way.

The Sea Creatures

The 5th graders have been painting a lot of their clay projects which were sea creatures. Some classes are still waiting to paint theirs or need to finish up, but heres a sneak peak at some of the sea turtles and orcas. I am sure once the projects are complete Mrs. Snead will take a bunch more photos and post them because they are all turning out so well!