2nd Grade-People at Work Part 2

My second graders finished their community worker collages last week. A few of these are the completed version of the backgrounds In my last post, but I’ve included a few extras because I love them so much. 

Second graders are really starting to understand the concept of overlapping now that they have built their artwork in two separate layers. I was proud to see how many students used overlapping in the backgrounds of their collages before we even added the figure. 

Art Teacher


PE Teacher

Crossing Guard

Music Teacher


Soccer Coach

Postal Service Worker



Mrs. Brooks-art teacher!

Art of Ed Now Summer Conference 2016

Attended the Art of Ed Now Summer Conference online today from 11am-4pm. So much information available in such a short time. 15-20 minute presentations that spanned topics including getting messy, cultivating creativity, staying inspired, and mastering management. 

Highlights of the day included Tim Bogatz’s presentation on finding your passion and purpose as an art educator, Nic Hahn’s flipped classroom, Danny Gregory’s sketchbook scavenger hunt, Abby Schukei’s Emoji portrait lesson, and excellent classroom management advice from Michael Linsin. I can’t wait to dive into the After Pass for even more inspiring content. Who can resist a box of art supply swag and PD in your PJs? Thanks ArtofEd!

Where has WonderBrooks gone?

I know that most of the hits on this blog are currently coming from links to older posts via Pinterest. I want to make sure my art ed PLN knows, I am still here, churning out artwork with my kiddos and documenting the process, only I have transitioned over to tumblr. I love having the ability to quickly post without needing to sit down and write an entire article. If you are interested in following my more recent art making and goings-on in my classroom, check out my tumblr here: https://oesbrooksart.tumblr.com

You can also see what I am up to on instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/wonderbrooks/

I will be updating this site occasionally, but I post most frequently to my tumblr and instagram.

Blogging Hiatus

I apologize to everyone who follows this blog for the extremely long time since an update. I am not just neglecting posts- I have been suffering from a chronic illness for many months and am still trying to get healthy and recover. When I finally return in the fall to the wonderful world of teaching art, (which I miss terribly, by the way) I will get this blog back up and running with updates on new art lessons I’ve been writing, student artwork, our experience with creating digital portfolios, classroom organization tips, and more. Stay tuned!

Lessons: Digital Art-Surreal Story Illustrations

At our school we have an enrichment and intervention block that allows teachers to work with small groups of students to focus on areas for improvement as well as enhance student learning with enrichment activities. Last year I had a one hour planning block during this time once a week, and I chose to use that one hour block to do art enrichment activities with students that would make direct cross curricular connections between art and grade level subject areas. One of my fourth grade teachers agreed to do a creative writing and digital art collaboration. Students worked in pairs or small groups to create imaginative short stories. They wrote and edited their stories during their language arts block, then I worked with small groups of students to create digital illustrations of fantasy elements from their stories. I was inspired by the series When My Baby Dreams of Adele Enersen and these photos from Giggle Berry Creations.

Originally I started out by taking small groups outside to create large chalk drawings on the basketball court blacktop outside my classroom. Students drew and posed, and when they were ready I climbed to the top of a ladder and photographed their scene.The photo below is the best example I have, taken on a cloudy day.



We found that this worked great on semi cloudy days, but on our first sunny day the cast shadows from the sun in the afternoon took away from their work. I used fundraiser money to purchase five iPads for my art room last year, and we decided to try out taking photos on the iPad and editing them using the ProCreate app. First students posed for their photos by lying down on the floor. I took the photo, then the students changed the color setting of the photo to black and white.4Rfantasy photo 003 bw

To create the fantasy elements of their illustration, they added a second layer to the image in ProCreate and they used a stylus to draw in details like clothing and scenery to help tell their story.Photo 2013-04-05 01.54.44 PM

Students enjoyed getting the extra time to do an art project, and they loved working with the iPads. This was one of the first iPad projects we did in my art room and it was a great success. Here are a few more examples of the finished artwork.

Photo 2013-04-05 02.11.05 PM Photo 2013-04-05 11.55.23 AM