Friday, November 2, 2012


This fall has been a whirlwind and today was no exception. Today was my last day at Randleman Elementary School. The students and staff showed me such kindness and such an outpouring of love! The second graders surprised me by bringing me a magnificent umbrella with all their hand prints painted on it.  They were all waiting outside my door to say a big goodbye.  The first graders also surprised me with a big goodbye and the sweetest signs that said "Mrs. Podracky, we will miss you."  Each student created a mini self-portrait on the signs, so I will always be able to remember them. I will miss my sweet little tigers and my wonderful co-workers so much.

 I am moving to a school that is closer to home and getting to work with another great colleague from graduate school. Next week I start work at North West Guilford Middle School. I am sure that I will come to love the students and staff in no time, but today I celebrate my sweet elementary students and experiences at RES. The picture above was drawn to show me getting swept up to my new school by a big tornado! Here are more samples of my elementary student's brilliant work from this fall.

Jacob Lawrence Inspired Action Art- 5th

Jacob Lawrence Inspired Action Art- 5th

Jacob Lawrence Inspired Action Art- 5th

Architecture castle with Rapunzel- 1st grade

An amazing "Henri Rousseau" tiger drawn by an artist in 2nd grade

A portrait of Mrs. Podracky- 1st grade

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Why we need art in schools

Please take 4 and a half minutes to see this video.  This is my teaching philosophy in a nutshell.  It's not "just" art at all, but everything.

Source: via Ms on Pinterest

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Kindergarten Self portraits

I love these.  Look at these smiling little faces. This may be my favorite lesson plan of the year. Six year olds rock!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Suminigashi Prints

I discovered Japanese paper marbling this year and I have been pining to do this project with my classes.  Finally, I got my hands on a kit and we've been going to town in the art trailer.  Here are a few of my favorite Suminigashi prints from 5th grade.  Suminigashi literally means "spilled ink" in Japanese.  Take a look!  The kits cost about 17 bucks online, and here is a link to the lesson plan in case you want to do this too. In my class, we create the Suminigashi monoprints on day one and then over the next several class visits, the students create a drawing that goes with their monoprint.  Lots of students chose to draw Koi fish, the Japanese symbol of love and friendship.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Snow day

Will it snow this afternoon?  I sure hope so!  Here are some snowy landscapes by my second grade artists. We read Robert Frost's poem, Stopping by woods on a snowy evening and then we talked about how atmospheric perspective can make faraway objects look soft and grey.  We also talked about space in terms of foreground, middle ground and background. I didn't tell the kids how to draw the animals, but many of them put in really cute little fawns and bunnies based on the illustrations in my book.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Who do you admire?

In kindergarten class, we created stamps of people we admire.  Here are a few of them.  The funniest thing is that one kid drew a green alien.  He never would tell me why he admired an alien. I tried to get him to talk. (Alien not pictured)

My little tigers.

I have been swamped since August. This is not an exaggeration or a lie-- it just is... when it comes to the life of a first-year teacher who is also trying to take graduate courses. My paintings have been selling faster than I can make them, but instead of painting more I have been helping petite Picasso's make some brilliant work. Check out my favorite second grade tiger collages.  These were made after we looked at Henri Rousseau's jungle art. Since my school doesn't have a big budget, we made glitter paper ourselves.  Check out the personality in these little tigers! Their little faces and expressions make me laugh.

Here are some 5th-grade versions created for a yearbook competition.  The kids are dying to know who won, but I can't tell until June!

The last one is a "Terminator Tiger." Gotta love the creativity.  One of the tigers with tattoos may be gang related, but to an innocent eye like mine, I loved the design and put it smack dab in the middle of the bulletin board... I have a lot to learn!