5th Grade

Together for TG, Art Auction

This past Friday was our annual “Together for TG” Art Auction!  Above are images of each grade levels creations from Kindergarten to 5th Grade. Each Toll Gate class worked collaboratively, with the knowledge that they were creating something special to contribute to our school fundraiser. These projects were created during art with the help of the following parent volunteers. A special thank you to Jennifer Mahan, Besty Gicquel, Cecile Boukhelifa, Wendy Deschapelles, Brogan Sanderson Bowden, and Ashley Ryan, and Kit Greener (a past TG parent)  who helped guide our TG artists on this special creative journey. In addition to working collaboratively, students also worked independently to create works of art that celebrated and further explored that specific artist, art movement, and or medium. I just love that each student will be taking home a small piece of these special projects.

A huge thank you to Ashley Ryan and Betsy Gicquel, whose support, enthusiasm,  and love for art helped make these past few months so special. Their planning and preparation, which started back in September, helped turn a vision for a “Together for TG” night into reality.

I’d also like to thank Mrs. O’Leary for photographing our creations! We wouldn’t have the beautifully documented images seen above if not for her expertise!

On a personal note, I’d like to thank my father, Lou Beck, whose expertise in masoniary helped guide all our mosaic creations.

hope the families that have adopted these special works of art love them as much as the students that created them! Enjoy a look back at these wonderful works of art. 


Clay Loom Weavings, 5th grade

Check out these stunning clay loom weavings! I was out on Friday but left one of my 5th grade classes to finish their weavings. I just loved coming back to these colorful creations.     It’s been fun watching each stage of this lesson from start to finish. The inspiration for this lesson came from my colleague, Kathleen Belton, Art Teacher at SB. I saw these beautiful clay looms in her art room and knew I needed to share this lesson with my 5th graders. I’m so glad that I did! Thanks again, Kathleen!

I love this lesson because it intertwines clay and weaving. Two mediums I love teaching for their tactile qualities. We began this lesson by creating our clay looms. Students rolled a slab, no larger than 7″ x 9″. Next, students created imprints in the clay, with texture tools. Using our needle tool, students cut their clay looms shape. It was neat seeing such a variety of loom shapes both organic and geometric. Lastly, we used a 4″ x 5″ template to trace and cut a center hole. With our center slab removed, we used our stylus to create a few holes in the clay near the top (for our hanger) and near the edge of our clay. With two visits to the kiln, once to fire our greenware clay, two for glazing, our decorative looms were ready to string (warp) and weave on . We were introduced to the weaving process, through the use of an AWESOME youtube video. Here it is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbtKnvc_9No. Students always want to know, “where  the hands are!” It’s true our hands are our best tool when creating a weaving and interlacing our materials. I was really impressed with how quickly our 5th graders prepared their looms for weaving. Our 5th graders had a lot of fun with this lesson. It was neat seeing students interlace weaving techniques, create patterns, play with yarn textures and color, and even try to create landscapes out of their weaving.

Take a look at 5D and 5L wonderful weavings! I could seriously look at these all day! Hangers are the only thing left to add!

We used three weaving techniques, Over Under, Rya, and the Closed Slot Weave.  Ask your 5th grader what they learned and enjoyed about this lesson! They know many new weaving terms!

Character Counts!

Our final three collaborative murals are now complete!  Take a look at the work of our Kindergarten, First, and Fourth Grade Artists. They used the elements of art to illustrate their grade levels character values.

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Grade Four, Citizenship                                            Kindergarten, Caring 


Grade One, Fairness

It was so nice meeting my Monday classes yesterday, and finally getting to piece together our mystery murals. Students enjoyed working together to create one unified piece of art! I love the rainbow of color now filling the hallway outside the art room. Check out all six pillars of character! 


Moving forward, looking back

Goodbye Summer. Hello Autumn. 

 The most colorful time of the year is upon us! To celebrate, here is a look back at last year’s mosaic mural project.

        Our mosaic murals were inspired by what we see when looking out our window. Images of trees, native birds, and mammals are just a few of the images found throughout the mosaic. Each handmade tile was pieced together to create images of Fall and Spring.The quotes where chosen by last years 5th graders to fill in our blue skies. These words of wisdom and images of nature, act as symbols of growth, motivation, change, friendship, love, and success. Memory tiles frame our image and illustrate the passage of time from season to season and year to year.


IMG_7453“Autumn is a second Spring when every leaf is a flower.” -Albert Camus

5th Grade, Elephant Festival of Jaipur

In celebration of India’s Holi “The Festival of Color” back in March, our 5th grade students created these colorful elephants. They are currently up on display outside the art room to signalize the arrival of spring. Our 5th graders enjoyed looking at photos and learning about how this colorful festival is traditionally celebrated. One of which is the carnival of colors, where participants play, chase and color each other with dry powder and colored water. We focused our attention on the decorated elephants of the Festival of Jaipur. We looked at how the elephants were groomed, decorated with traditional Indian motifs, embellished with head-plates, and wore embroidered velvet rugs. After choosing a photograph of an elephant, students got to work drawing their contour lines and creating value.
We created value “lights and darks” on gray paper by blending white and black color pencils. Once we had captured the elephants shape and visual texture, we focused on decorating the elephants with Indian motifs. Sometimes the images told stories while other times simple geometric and organic shapes blanketed our elephants. We used construction paper pencils to create vivid bold colors! The motifs happened organically as students began adding color to their designs.

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Art Contest, Grades 3-5

Calling all artists grades 3-5th! To celebrate NJ Walk & Bike to School Month, April 2015, Greater Mercer TMA is sponsoring a children’s bookmark design contest. Students can use their creativity and imagination to respond to the prompt, “My favorite place to walk/bike is..” 

Please submit all entry forms to Mrs. Beck by March 15th. The winning design from each county will be printed and distributed to schools and local libraries in Mercer and Ocean Counties. A $50 gift certificate will also be rewarded to the winning student. For contest rules, as well as an entry form, click on the link below.

bookmark entry form

Entry forms can be downloaded here, or picked up in the art room!

Winter’s Wonderful Work

Take a look at winter’s wonderful work, captured by our 5th grade artists.

We got started, by examining photographs of snowflakes, taken by scientist, Wilson Bentley, also known as, “The Snowflake Man.” When we studied snowflakes up close, we noticed how intricate and unique they are. We were amazed to find, how many different types of snowflakes there are, and how these tiny particles come to be. We learned that while their hexagonal shape and six sides stay the same, the details of their overall structure varied. Here is an incredible time-lapse video of how a snowflake is formed. What an art form! We created our 3 dimensional snowflakes by using Popsicle sticks for the arms and aluminum foil to create the wintery feel and sparkle. Our 6-sided snowflakes, demonstrate our understanding of radial or rotational symmetry.

Andrew M. Barron Billy Charlotte Chloe Faith Julia Sam D.

“Splendid snowflakes” 

Our 5th graders used color to create feelings of excitement and warmth or calm, and coolness. Using warm or cool colors, students got to work, creating snowflake designs as unique and special as the artists that created them. It was neat seeing our snowflakes transform through color, pattern, and unique shapes.

“Nature has been mastering itself for some time now, and it is an honor to be able to capture its beauty.” – Justin Beckett 

Bento Boxes, 5th Grade

Bento Display

Food Art 

Our 5th graders have been busy turning lunch into an art form, with these deliciously crafted Bento Boxes. We spent time admiring the art of Japanese cuisine through the preparation and arrangement of these lovable, yummy bento boxes.  An equal amount of time and care went into planning and  preparing our food items using materials like; construction paper, tissue paper, foam, felt, and yarn. Beauty is an essential ingredient in any traditional Japanese meal. Our 5th graders kept this in mind as they captured the color and textures of each individual food item.

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Students used their favorite foods and imagery to create a bento boxes that explored their individuality.

The Japanese believe that you eat with your eyes first!  Enjoy these works of art created by our 5th grade artists.

 Who wouldn’t enjoy receiving a lunch filled with so much color, texture, and of course love!

Hungry for more? Come back next week for additional photos.

Bento display 2

It was fun seeing what “award” each student got for their Bento Box creations! We used this token response, art critique game, to look at, and talk about each others work. Students won awards for such things as;

Art Symbol Game