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Arts and Self-Image

Posted by Kim Knauer on Nov 16, 2017 11:13:50 AM

One of the most wonderful things about art is the amount of freedom it provides.  We can make art out of almost any material and about any subject matter.  It is an excellent means of self-expression as well as self-exploration.  One of my favorite moments in the artroom is when a student has an a-ha moment and is surprised by how well their piece has turned out or thrilled at the mastery of a new technique.  They do not always know how talented they are and art teaches them what they are capable of.  

Personally, I started to identify myself as “an artist” very early in life.  I loved to make things and working with my hands.  In elementary school, I used to go into my backyard and dig clay out of the ground.  I sculpted it into small bird’s heads and used pebbles for the eyes.  I would bake them on the driveway until they hardened in the sun.  This was perfectly normal to me, because I was “an artist”.  I looked for any excuse to make things and loved sharing what I had made with others.  My parents were the recipients of countless creations over the years as I explored various artistic avenues.  

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Topics: Creative Thinking, art, teaching, self-esteem, identity, self-expression

Art:  Creative Thinking and Problem Solving

Posted by Kim Knauer on May 9, 2017 12:53:41 PM

We all know that art is a great way to express creativity. There is something very liberating about using colors, shapes and patterns to show how we are feeling or to depict our own personality. What people do not always realize is how important art can be in developing problem solving skills and abilities.  

The beauty of art is that its possibilities are limitless; art can be anything and everything, and that is what can make art feel overwhelming at times. When you have a wonderful idea for something you would like to make, the next logical step is to figure out how to make it. Within each art form there are several decisions that need to be made as the artist progresses through the piece. There are multiple materials and techniques that the artist can explore to see which produces the results that are truest to his creative vision. The growth and confidence that comes from creative thinking and problem solving is incredibly important and translates easily into other parts of learning and everyday life. Having the ability to step back from a problem, examine it, explore options and find the best resolution serves us well throughout life.  

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Topics: Creative Thinking, Problem Solving, art

Creating Synergy: Math & Art

Posted by Betsy Bennati on Jun 3, 2016 10:03:34 AM


In my fifth grade math class, students learned about fractions as they created works of art. When I first introduced the unit on fractions, I noticed my students were struggling with the concept. In an effort to combat the initial nerves of learning something new and complex, I asked students to use a ruler. I discovered that the students first had to learn to properly use the ruler itself, to understand about increments of an inch. Then, they began drawing straight lines on an x/y axis. The final result was a beautiful piece of art made one straight line at a time! Here’s how it worked:

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Topics: Education, learning, math, art