Victory! We did it! Parents, students, teachers, all of us! That’s one week under our belts. One real good week, I should say. There’s an undeniable electricity in the air at Maury. We’re riding the high from our exhilarating DC CAS results and channeling that focus, academic rigor, and productivity into a new school year full of potential!
As a kid, my parents always taught me that change was a good thing (Hi mom and dad! If you look closely at the picture above you’ll notice my dad representing the Maury Cougar Running Club on our hike in Sedona, Arizona!). Change is everywhere as you walk through the doors of Maury Elementary school. There are amazing new teachers with proven records of academic success. New trailers to house our growing population and diverse course offerings (Puede decir, Espanol?). New smartboards in art and thinktank, computers to elevate our technology curriculum, and ipads to inspire a tech savvy generation of learners. A new, permanent art installation created by Maury students brings the stairwells to life in the East building and new students fill the halls with bright eyes and curiosity.
Perhaps the biggest change of all is the exciting challenge of educating the next generation of changemakers. As one of the newest Ashoka Changemaker Schools, many of our students will learn to navigate the rest of their elementary education as people who understand what it means to live with empathy. New technology or new attitudes. They’re all a part of what makes this school year exciting.
After setting up basic procedures in the studio, such as expectations and safety (ask your child about Stool Ninjas), I plan to dive into some serious art making right away. Learners will be held to the high expectations outlined in Studiomaury’s Positive Paws Year 3.
If behavioral expectations are met and students demonstrate that they are responsible enough to handle more advanced and involved processes, there is no limit to what we can accomplish. Here’s a sneak peek into what lies ahead:
In collaboration with our very own Aunt Lizzy, 4th and 5th grade will cast on to a contemporary knitting unit inspired by artist Mark Newport. If time and resources allow it, ALL grade levels will participate in one of the following clay units revolving around either African Face Jugs, relief and surface techniques, traditional vessels, or fictional creature creation. Plaster sculpture, wire portraits, 3D abstractions and more elevated painting techniques via acrylics and watercolor are all in our future. Don’t forget printmaking, site-specific artwork, and Visual Thinking Routines! Although I will never complain about how well taken care of I am as an art teacher in DCPS, there are a few specialty items that we still need to help us create the extra unique projects I have in mind. I have created a donorschoose.org project to help fund those lessons here. Recycled items and everyday household items are always in high demand so if you’re in the habit of collecting soft, plastic bottles, egg cartons, interestingly shaped cardboard, fabric scraps, tall socks, canned goods, etc., please place them in the clear tub in the lobby. Thanks in advance for your support and enthusiasm for art at Maury!