The summer is winding down and the school year is beginning to show in ways that even the most reluctant of students can no longer ignore. Staff workshops and open houses have begun, students are practicing their locker combinations and running through their schedules, school supplies have been purchased and pencils have been sharpened. The 2012/2013 school year is here! I taught at Rosemount Middle School last school year, but am new to Dakota Hills Middle School this year and  am excited to begin this adventure. I attended ISD 196 schools as a student and am very excited to be welcomed back, now positioned on the other side of the classroom! I graduated from UW-Stout with a major in art education and a minor in technical communication. I plan on integrating my experience with writing and communication into my art teaching to provide your child with a more enriched creative experience.

I know that making art can be a daunting thought for some kids, with pressure from their peers and the confusion that sometimes comes with being a middle school student. However, my classroom is built on respect and responsibility and is a place where all students are safe to create and express themselves. First trimester I am teaching 7/8th grade painting and 6th grade art. Here are some of the projects I have in store for your child this trimester:

6th grade:                                                                                                    

  • Imaginative drawing
  • Perspective drawing
  • Color theory
  • Mythical creature painting
  • Pacific Northwest clay masks

7/8th grade:

  • Watercolor fish paintings
  • Oil pastel impressionism
  • Winslow Homer paintings
  • Painted pottery
  • Asian umbrella paintings

I invite you to look at my lesson plans and assessment forms, which are located under the tabs at the top of the page. The lesson plans give a breakdown of the project timeline so students will be able to know if they are on track or what they missed if they were gone. The assessments give students a clear idea of what they need to accomplish in order to achieve and be successful in art this trimester.

I have also started an Artsonia page to showcase your child’s art in an online, student art gallery. I will be sending a letter home with the kids to explain what Artsonia is all about and how it can be used. There is a link to the Dakota Hills Artsonia page in the right column, I encourage everyone to take a look-it is a great way to ensure you get to see your child’s artwork!

I will be using this blog as a way to share projects and communicate with parents and others in the art education community. I will also be posting tutorials and other information that will be helpful to interested students. I will update the blog weekly, so I hope you stop by this page and visit often!

~Erica Mathieson

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