• Wallingford Elementary School


    Name: Sarah Ryan
    Email Address: sryan@wssd.org
    Phone: ext. 4901

    Welcome WES artists!

    I am excited for another year filled with fun, creativity, and lots of art production!

    About Mrs. Ryan:
    I graduated from James Madison University with a B.A. in Art Education, and from Villanova University with a M.A. in Education.  I live right here in Wallingford with my husband and two daughters.  I love running, hiking, photography, painting, the beach, and spending time with family and friends!
    We will be beginning our school year with a review of the art elements of line, shape, color, form, texture, value, and space. Throughout the year, many projects will be focused on giving children experiences with each of the above art elements. Upper grade levels also focus on art principles such as pattern, movement, balance, emphasis, unity, and movement. 

    Art history
    is also a large component of my curriculum. Each grade level focuses on learning about the lives and work of historical as well as some contemporary artists. Many times we also focus on the art of a particular civilization, culture, or country. 
    Kindergarten: Vincent Van Gogh, Piet Mondrian, Pablo Picasso as well as art from Ireland and Native American art.
    1st Grade: Henri Matisse, Claude Monet, Keith Haring, Wassily Kandinsky as well as art from China and Modern Art.
    2nd Grade: Paul Cezanne, Wayne Thiebaud, Andy Warhol, Henri Matisse as well as art from India, Egypt and Italy.
    3rd Grade: Leonardo DaVinci, Jackson Pollock, Jamie Wyeth, Andy Warhol as well as cart from Japan and the Middle Ages.
    4th Grade: Edward Hopper, Edvard Munch, Henri Rousseau as well as art from Egypt, Greece and Modern American Art.
    5th Grade: Alberto Giacometti, Salvador Dali, Roy Lichtenstein, Georga O’Keeffe as well as Pop Art, and art from Mexico and Africa.

    I also try to have each grade level experience a variety of
    materials and genres. Some genre choices include: portraits, landscapes, cityscapes, architecture, cartoons, realism, abstraction, and figure drawing. 

    Classroom Expectations:
    In the art room, I have five main rules for all students:
    1. Come in quietly and ready to work.
    2. Listen to the directions.
    3. Treat the supplies and your classmates respectfully.
    4. Stay at your seat (especially when we are doing something messy & fun!)
    5. Clean up after yourself and take care of our art classroom.
    Ever want to talk to your kids about their art work??? 
    To help develop your child’s critical thinking skills, ask your child open ended questions about their artwork. Open ended questions will help support your child’s efforts rather than if you said “good job” or “that is beautiful”. Here are a few questions to get started with!
    1. What can you tell me about your picture?
    2. What materials did you use?
    3. Where did you get your idea?
    4. What is your favorite part of the picture?
    5. How did you.....
    art classes teach kids
    10 Lessons the Arts Teach
    Source: Eisner, Elliot. "What the Arts Teach and How It Shows", The Arts and the Creation of Mind, 2002.

    1) The arts teach children to make good judgments about qualitative relationships. Unlike much of the curriculum in which correct answers and rules prevail, in the arts it is judgment rather than rules that prevail.

    2) The arts teach children that problems can have more than one solution and that questions can have more than one answer.

    3) The arts celebrate multiple perspectives. One of their large lessons is that there are many ways to see and interpret the world.

    4) The arts teach children that in complex forms of problem solving purposes are seldom fixed, but change with circumstance and opportunity. Learning in the arts requires the ability and a willingness to surrender to the unanticipated possibilities of the work as it unfolds.

    5) The arts make vivid the fact that neither words in their literal form nor numbers exhaust what we can know. The limits of our language do not define the limits of our cognition.

    6) The arts teach students that small differences can have large effects. The arts traffic in subtleties.

    7) The arts teach students to think through and within a material. All art forms employ some means through which images become real.

    8) The arts help children learn to say what cannot be said. When children are invited to disclose what a work of art helps them feel, they must reach into their poetic capacities to find the words that will do the job.

    9) The arts enable us to have experience we can have from no other source and through such experience to discover the range and variety of what we are capable of feeling.

    10) The arts' position in the school curriculum symbolizes to the young what adults believe is important.

    Looking for some art books?
    Here are a few great children's art books I recommend:
    "13 Art Mysteries Children Should Know" (the whole series is wonderful!)
    Looking for a local arts experience?
    We are lucky to live in an area SURROUNDED by art!!!

    Check out some of my favorite links:

    The 1st Annual PTO "WES Caring Project" is complete! (Dec. 2012)
    This year, instead of Secret Workshop, the PTO decided to focus on giving and working as a school to give back to another community in need. The painting we used as inspiration is by Jasper Johns, and is called "Three Flags". I re-drew the painting on big white paper, cut it up into squares, and each WES student colored in a square according to the part of the flag they were working on. Some kids had pieces of stars, and some had pieces of stripes, but when they were all glued back together at the end it fit together perfectly. We let the kids choose between crayons, markers, pastels, and glitter crayons when coloring their square to give the project some color variation and depth. Several parents helped glue it back together, namely Monica Lenart who was the PTO representative for the WES Giving Project this year.
    We chose this painting because the flag is a symbol of our country, and as members of this country we try to help our fellow Americans in times of need. The flag represents coming together as a whole to make things happen, and as a WES community we are choosing to come together to show our support for a school just like ours that is in need of help. We want the school that we partner with to know we care, even though we have never met. Each student will made a small piece of a much larger version of this painting, so the students at our partner school know each and every student here at WES cares about them, their school, and their community.
    Here at WES we are lucky to have a brand new school filled with brand new things, and if we lived in an area closer to the coast who knows what situation we would be in right now. We all remember what it was like to go to school in a building that was falling apart and in need of repairs, and while we can't build a new school for our friends who live in the shore communities, we can create a piece of artwork to beautify and brighten their building and remind them that we care!

    Check out a picture of the finished project below!

    WES interpretation of Jasper Johns "Three Flags"