Leave a comment

Results For “Which Painting?” Poll

I know you’ve been dying to see this, that you’re anxiously awaiting the results of the “Which Painting?” poll. Well, at least the 39 of you who participated in the away message poll I left on my automatic email reply each time I was out of school this year. The automatic reply would indicate the reason for my absence and advise the email sender when I would return. I also set up a Google Forms poll to find out which of four paintings to include in my curriculum based on the interest of those who emailed me in my absence and took the survey. This is what the form looked like:

Google Form

Google Form

Here it is, the end of the school year (almost) and the results are in! Ding! Ding! Ding! Winner winner – chicken dinner!!!

Starry Night is the winner!!

Starry Night is the winner!!

Clearly, Starry Night is the winner! Congratulations to Vincent Van Gogh and sincere condolences to the runners up. Very sorry Mona:

Mona Lisa is not impressed...

Mona Lisa is not impressed…

Leave a comment

Making Thinking Visible with Sketchbooks in the 5/6 Art Room

Handmade Sketchbooks

Last summer I was thrilled to spend a week in the Project Zero Classroom program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education studying big ideas by prominent figures in education that I admire. Naturally, I brought this experience into the classroom with a renewed commitment to project based learning and a generous amount of technology integration. Our focus this year has been on the process of art making, which we began with handmade sketchbooks. I wrote about this in detail on my blog in October 2015. You can read it at this link: https://monalisaliveshere.me/2015/10/14/60-to-zero-in-five-seconds-flat/

Screen Shot 2016-06-04 at 8.19.49 AM

60 to Zero in Five Seconds Flat

As the year progressed, more than 400 sketchbooks were created and filled with notes, sketches, plans, and observations. The sketchbooks have become a regular part of each class, whether as a “bell ringer” or integral element to projects.

Two different approaches were taken in making the sketchbook covers memorable and interesting. The first term covers were made with collage and the third term covers were made with ZoneDoodles. Students were engaged by both mediums with excellent and creative results.

Screen Shot 2016-06-04 at 8.48.36 AM

Collage with Mod Podge sealer

Screen Shot 2016-06-04 at 9.05.26 AM

ZoneDoodles with metallic Sharpies

Close Looking

Throughout the year, students had many opportunities for Making Thinking Visible by documenting Close Looking experiences. We planted Romanesco Broccoli in windowsill pots in the fall, hoping to grow broccoli heads that naturally grow in the form of the Fibonacci sequence.

Screen Shot 2016-06-04 at 9.38.22 AM

Close Looking at broccoli leaves

We were expecting produce by January and even by late May, there were no heads, just lush leaves. At the first of June we brought the plants outside to our courtyard to see if some direct sun and possible pollination would help the plant to form heads. It is too early to tell whether the new location will impact the plants.

Broccoli plants outside

Broccoli plants outside

Dental Molds

Sometimes it takes something just a little bit different to pique our curiosity and engage us in Close Looking. This is the case with dentals molds. With two friends who are dental hygienists, it was easy to collect enough dental molds so each student had one to examine closely and sketch in her/his sketchbook. The students were fascinated by the molds because most had never considered what teeth actually look like and had been content to draw a smile by drawing an upturned crescent with a horizontal line corner to corner and several short vertical lines to indicate teeth. The dental molds gave them a lot to consider.

Angie drawing eight views of a dental mold

Angie drawing eight views of a dental mold

Sketchbook Tours

Throughout the past week, students have been filming Sketchbook Tours with the help of a classmate. Sketchbook Tours are nothing more than one student holding an iPad over a classmate’s sketchbook while the author flips the pages and points out various favorites or challenges within the book. This gives the students a feel for publishing their work and a chance to reflect on a collection or body of work. Because sketchbooks are not comprised of finished masterpieces and instead contain rough drawings and simple sketches, students have an authentic opportunity to critique their own work and to consider revisions and edits. Conversely, the sketchbook tour can catch us by surprise as we suddenly notice a great detail for the first time or a simple addition or subtraction that turns a sketch from okay to awesome.


May #K12ArtChallenge: The BEST of the Every Day Drawing Challenge

I am honored to have been asked by the good folks at #K12ArtChallenge to facilitate the creativity challenge for May! I have enjoyed participating in the monthly challenges over the past year, albeit sporadically to match the ebb and flow of the school year. Two of the experiences stand out – the #TERPart challenge last July, when it was easier to find time to participate, and the #3dArtsed challenge in December. You can see both of those by searching the hashtags on Twitter and Instagram.

Because this is May, I’m hoping things are starting to wind down for you in the classroom and you’ll have time to participate. Please remember these daily sketches, in the medium of your choice (even though it says “Draw”), are meant to be quick and fun and certainly not your magnum opus. What I enjoy most about challenges like this is walking around with the prompt in my head all day before putting something together later in the day. I like the focus, I like the distraction, I like the process. 

We invite you to join us with responses to the prompts. Please offer the challenge to your students – these are terrific activities for your early finishers and/or great warm-ups at the start of class. Please post your responses to the prompts to Twitter and Instagram with the hashtags: #k12artchallenge, #eddc, #everydaydrawingchallenge.

Screen Shot 2016-05-01 at 8.38.31 AM

– The Every Day Drawing Challenge is a full year of daily drawing prompts. The list begins with prompts from the inspirational Every Day Matters blog of Danny Gregory: (https://dannygregorysblog.com/community/edm-challenges ) to which I added my own prompts to round it out to a full year.

– In order to better learn how to paint and draw on my iPad, I followed the prompts to sketch and publish all 365 days in 2013. You can see the full year of iPad drawings at https://monalisaliveshere.me/2014/01/03/365-ipad-drawingsmy-year-creating-digitally-all-in-one-gallery/.

– The list that follows is just a sampling of just 31 prompts selected from the 365 to create a list for the month of May 2016. Follow along to create a sketch, photograph, digital drawing or work in any medium each day for one month. When you post your work please use the hashtags: #eddc #everydaydrawingchallenge and #k12artchallenge. Let’s do this! Happy drawing!

May 1      #23         Draw your foot

May 2     #28         Draw an appliance

May 3     #49         Draw your refrigerator interior or exterior

May 4     #53         Draw a mouth

May 5     #60         Draw an automobile or a part of one

May 6     #64         Draw your sink – at home, work or wherever

May 7     #65          Draw your nose, a friend’s or a stranger’s. Or a pet’s.

May 8     #67          Draw something Mom

May 9     #75          Draw the ingredients and/or process of a favorite recipe

May 10   #80          Draw something that makes you happy

May 11    #83          Draw a nearby body of water – ocean, lake, pond, river

May 12   #129         Draw people doing something

May 13   #137         Draw something you turn on and off

May 14   #146         Draw a favorite food

May 15   #164         Draw a camera

May 16   #176         Draw something summer

May 17   #179         Draw an onion

May 18   #184        Draw a park bench or other outside bench

May 19   #199        Draw a toe

May 20  #207        Draw a shell

May 21   #215         Draw your thumb

May 22   #226        Draw a screw

May 23   #246        Draw some gloves

May 24   #253        Draw your socks

May 25   #283        Draw something shiny

May 26   #295        Draw some toast

May 27   #314         Draw something with a knob

May 28   #343        Draw a bridge

May 29   #348        Draw some things that remind you of your favorite song

May 30  #349         Draw an illustration of your favorite poem

May 31   #355         Draw something in a jar

Here is a link to the May prompts to share as a PDF with students or friends: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1xw_6UC31nyRWdicFZ3a2tNbzg/view?usp=sharing

For the full list of Every Day Drawing Challenge prompts, click on the image:


Click on the image for the full list of 365 drawing prompts

Mona Lisa Lives Here/Alice Gentili/@MonaLisaLvsHere 5/1/16

Leave a comment

You Missed The Art Show? No Worries!

The Art Show is a one night deal. This is a busy time of year, so you missed it. No worries about that – there’s a video! This video was playing as people looked around the room and enjoyed the exhibit. The video shares many of the activities and projects we have been working on this year as well as some that are ongoing. I’ll post a more detailed and reflective post about the show at a later date, but for right now, please enjoy the video:


Leave a comment

Our Art Show – This Tuesday 4/12

Our Art Show is THIS Tuesday night from 6 – 8 in the Art Rooms. This show is always very exciting for us as we showcase the fine artwork of our students in all mediums including ceramics, painting, drawing, sculpture, 3D design, 3D printing, and more. This year, the art show will be held in conjunction with the Miscoe Electives Student Showcase (MESS) and will take place in the art rooms and in the art hallway. Along with the usual splendid array of artwork, this year there will be an interactive collaborative art project for all ages as well as personalized, docent-led tours of our online gallery. Art from all terms will be on display and the young artists are excited to show you around!

Speaking of young artists, I am actively recruiting student helpers, so don’t be alarmed if your child emails you to see if they can help. I would like all students to be in the art room at 5:30 so we can go over their responsibilities. Student volunteers need not bring a thing except their cheerful personalities and willingness to help others.

It promises to be a fun and social evening. Please come and enjoy the artwork and our community of art lovers!  See you on Tuesday!


Poster by Jon Hansen

Leave a comment

TONIGHT! Community iFair: Beyond Engagement

I’ll have the 3D printer and some 3D design savvy students over at Nipmuc High School tonight for the Community iFair. It is hard to believe we’ve had iPads in the art room for four years now. At first it was all about student engagement, four years later it is about so much more than that. iPads have become a regular tool in the art room. We use them to create art, photographs, animate, and design for 3D printing. We are also using iPads to collaborate and communicate through a learning management system and online sharing sites. At this point I can’t imagine the art curriculum without them. Stop by Nipmuc tonight and find us in room #237. No longer babes in the woods, we’ve come a long way!

For the schedule, sessions, and more, visit the website at: http://www.mursd1to1.com/community-ifair/sessions-showcases/

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 9.19.39 AM

Leave a comment

Congratulations Art In The Valley Artists!

Fifteen Miscoe Hill students in grades five and six will join with forty-five other students from the Mendon-Upton Regional School District as their artwork is included in the annual Blackstone Valley Art In The Valley art show. The exhibit will be on display in Millbury on Friday night 4/8 and Saturday 4/9. Details about the exhibit follow the gallery of art and artists below.


Back row L to R: Colin Fitzgerald, Katelyn Steele, Lucie Nicholson, Chloe Terrell, Allison Clemons – Middle row L to R: Tanner Russ, Kayla Antonelli, Anna Wyndham, Meghan Lawrence, Grace Balzanelli – Front row L to R: Aaron Labastie, Anna Claro, Lily Turenne, Ralph Langdon – Absent: Ryan Michaud

Here is an up-close look at the artists and their art:

I you have a chance, stop by and see this show! It is sponsored by the Blackstone Valley Education Foundation and is a wonderful family outing! Here are the details:Art in the Valley poster




Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,004 other followers

%d bloggers like this: