Advocacy happens everyday...

I was asked if I would be interested in sharing student work at our local post-office for the month of January and February. I jumped on the opportunity! We will showcase these wonderful self-portraits by 4th graders then will change out the exhibit for February. What a wonderful way to display the students' experiences with art media and techniques, while presenting their unique interpretations of the objective. That's ART! 
I posted this wonderful quote with the work: 
One's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

Published in School Arts Magazine in December, 2010!

I am thrilled to share one of my favorite lessons which pulls every student, regardless of confidence or ability level, to create wonderful works out of clay. Our focus on Greek pottery, mythology and art history was complete with our tour of the Blanton Museum of Art's Greek collection.
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Inspired by Athletes, Myths, and Poets

Engaging, Thinking and Advocating

Using Animoto ( to share our work with our school board and district administrators early in January was a great way to integrate Technology with Art and Language Arts. It is a means to share the learning that all appreciated--the students included! Our focus for this project was a unit on Haikus from Language Arts. We brought those poems to the Fine Arts Studio and created Artist Trading Cards inspired by each poet's words. Then we created a digital art piece using the Paint program on our school's new mini-laptops. It was the first experience using the laptops for some of the students, and the first for most using the Paint software. With the choice of music from Animoto's collection, I was able to find a perfect fit for our work... as we are constantly reaching up (it's all that higher level thinking at work!)

VoiceThread in the Studio: Our Fall Haikus

Here is our example of integrating VoiceThread as a means to connect art, language arts and technology creating a product that can be shared with many. This piece was part of the presentation to the school board and school community--a great way to advocate for Art as well as integrated learning... something we in the Art field have known for a long time.

Our Lessons from the Cave--an interdisciplinary project!

This incredible collaborative project engaged 4th grade students in art history, art making and technology, as we studied the Caves of Lascaux and explored videos from Discovery Education. We then got the oil pastels out and created 9 panels of cave art, which were then mounted in our newly appointed "Discovery Lab." Here is a glog ( that shares what we learned!

Think Globally. Act Locally.

We did! Did you? Students from our school, the high school and members of the community donated their time and energy to create a trail in our front yard, bordering the creek. What an incredible experience! We logged over 181 hours of community service, installing a crushed granite trail leading to an outdoor classroom. The 8 slabs of limestone were donated by a student's family, and create the seating for outdoor learning! We hope to expand next year, creating a full 400m walking track for use throughout the year by the students and the community.  See the Change for Earth photos by clicking here: Global Youth Service Day 2009 

Global Youth Service Day 2009 is April 24-26

The 3 R's: Respect, Responsibility and Recycling in ART!

This project was a focus for both 4th and 5th grade. Students created individual printing plates of their initial using recycled cardboard of different thickness--here, the students helped form the letters of our message, which will be used to launch our school-wide recycling effort. The next step for the artists was to print their initials--watch for the sequel! It will come soon to a website near you!

Oh, The Places You'll Go!

I welcome you to this site-- launched in celebration of the Fine Arts Studio for the 2008-09 school year! We had a great year! We still have an incredible opportunity to take advantage of the local, regional, state, and national exhibits and events that take place throughout the year~especially in the summer. There is much to see and do in our area related to art, music and theatre, hosted by local artists and performers. In addition, (and if you are one of my students, with your parents' permission) checking out websites hosted by museums and other Arts organizations will show how much there is to see and learn about the Arts from all over the world while sitting at your computer!

Our theme for the Fine Arts Studio is "Oh, The Places You'll Go!" It is inspired by the Dr. Seuss book of the same name, and demonstrates how far our imagination and creativity can take each of us, every day! In fact, the limits we face are the ones we place on ourselves. I invite you to stop by this website regularly, to check in on the "ARTS" scene at our school and our region.

Samantha Melvin

Arts Education is the education of the whole child.


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    The Environment Matters!

    A big focus in our fine arts studio will be the environment--each one of us has a responsibility to help preserve what we have and make it better! Check out our Garden--new for 2008-09, which we will use as subject matter for our art, music and theatre, that ties in to Science & Environmental studies. We will watch the plants grow, and learn about efficient water usage with our Rainwater Harvesting system. Click here to go to that page! 

    The Arts across Texas and elsewhere:

    The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston:
    The University of Texas at Austin, Blanton Museum of Art:
    Austin Museum of Art:
    Museum of Modern Art, New York:
    San Francisco Symphony (Fun with Music):
    The Poetry Foundation:
    Exploration of the Arts:
    What every student should learn in and through the ARTS:
    National Arts Standards:

    see more in the "Links" section!

    The Fridge List

     What is a Fridge List? It is that list of items that the Fine Arts Studio can use that you don't need anymore! Please recycle, we'll re-use, and we'll re-create! The environment is important--this is one way we do our part!       CLICK HERE FOR THE LIST!

    RECYCLE--It's good for the planet!

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