Greetings from the First Grade Art Teacher

Hello, parents! For those of you who are new to our community, welcome! This is Carolina Barros, your child's first grade Art teacher. This school year will mark my seventh at TIS. This is my third year teaching first grade, and I have been developing the curriculum to both complement what students have learned and to hone in on new concepts such as symmetry, texture, pattern, symbolism, etc. 2D and 3D skills will continue to be perfected and students will start to develop their own artistic mark.
  First grade is a crucial time for young artists: 6-7 year olds usually have an increasing awareness of themselves socially, which can sometimes place mental barriers when they start to compare their artistic abilities with those of other students. They also love to be recognized for their skills as individuals, allowing for art to be an outlet:  students will see they are not alone on their journey. Hopefully students will also realize, throughout art this year,  that:
* An artist's idea for a project sometimes changes, and it's OK
*A previously planned artwork can sometimes turn out different from its plan, or not work at all, and that is also OK
*Everybody has their strengths and weaknesses- everyone can contribute their strengths and work on their weaknesses as artists
*Every artist is different and makes unique art- Everyone can have a different mark/ idea/ way of thinking, so long as all sides can be respected

  This year will be filled with new discoveries in the principles of art and will include many projects that willspark creativity and expression while also acquiring new techniques in painting and sculpting.
  We're currently turning our bodies into maps, and have defined many symbols for ourselves. Through many mixed media techniques, we will be able to explain a little bit about ourselves and the important happenings in our lives. Jill Berry is the artist we are exploring currently, as she also turns parts of her body into maps and explores symbols for herself.

  I've attached theFirst Grade curriculum to this email in case you have not had a chance to read it. Looking forward to this year! As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, or to share art thoughtsyour child has had outside of the classroom- I absolutely love to hear those!
See you around campus(es),

Early Childhood Music: Welcome to this school year!


My name is Kami Richards and I am so happy to be your child's music teacher.  It has been wonderful this week getting to see familiar faces and having the joy of meeting new ones. It is going to be an exciting year full of musical adventures and fun. I believe that each child is a natural musician full of talent that is just waiting for a chance to shine, whether through voice, instrument or rhythm support. All are equally important. My background is in Kodaly and Orff teaching pedagogy which means I will be using lots of dancing, singing, and games to teach musical elements. We will be exploring the world around us and the different ways we get to interact and support each other in our creative community.

In order to create a safe and engaging environment, I encourage parents to share with me a few details about your child's interests, strengths, struggles and medical information that might hinder their musical experience, this includes anything related to hearing, dancing and movement.

Greetings from the Art Room! 2nd-5th Grades

My name is Sarah Harpole and I am the Art Specialist for 2nd-5th grades at TIS. I am so happy to be your child's teacher for the next four years! I love being a part of the TIS community. I am really looking forward to helping your child get creative with a wide range of hands-on experiences in the art room. If you see me around campus, please help me out by introducing yourself!
Thanks in advance for reading!

Sarah Harpole
Art Specialist 2nd-5th Grades

P.S. Please share the attached Art Class Expectations with your child. We have been discussing the expectations during this first month of school. When students know and follow these expectations, we have more time to make art! :)
Important Information:
Since the nature of creating Art can sometimes be messy, please try to make sure that on the day when your child has Art, they are wearing clothes that are not too precious to them. We use a wide variety of materials in the art room, and many of them can leave stains on clothing. (To keep track of their schedule remember the following, If your child had Library today, tomorrow they will have Art, then Music, then P.E. Their schedule always follows the sequence of "LAMP" or "AMPL" or "MPLA" or "PLAM" - All are the same sequence.)
I also am trying to improve the supply of Art Shirts especially for the upper grades. They often don’t want to wear and/or do not fit into the smocks. If your child wants to pick out an old but clean T-shirt to donate the cause, that would be great! Feel free to just drop off T-shirts at the office or set them on our desk in the art room.

Art Curriculum:
The TIS art program uses a spiraling curriculum, where ideas, concepts, skills, media, and processes are introduced and revisited throughout a student’s educational journey at TIS. The PYP curriculum model helps students explore ideas and build upon skills to deepen their learning. All 2nd-5th graders start with a Collaborative Art Unit. This year, second graders are working within their LAMP group (A, B, C or D group) to design some amazing artwork that will be displayed most of the year in Stearns Hall. 3rd, 4th and 5th artists are in the process of working with a partner to create an abstract painting on a wooden board that will be displayed on the playground fence for many years to come. We are working in partnership with our Parent Network's, Campus Beautification Team to improve the aesthetics of our school's shared spaces.

Art Department Volunteer/Support Opportunities:
Run for the Arts: April 19th (EC Campus) and April 20th (Main Campus) - This fundraiser is the main way that our Visual Art and Music programs are funded at TIS. In addition, it’s a fun and healthy way to foster our sense of community and support for one another. Without this fundraiser, it would not be possible for us to deliver amazing art and music programs to our students. Please remember to help out by filling out your pledge sheets. Try to come and cheer on the kids if you can! It is all so appreciated!
The Art Show: In the spring, we will fill the halls with two pieces of each student’s best work from the year for a Giant Art Show. It is a massive undertaking and we thankfully have had great help the last two years. Between Carolina and I, we spend more than 70 hours over one weekend...yes one weekend, putting up the art show. That amount of time is even with the impressive volunteer efforts last year of approximately 85 hours of collective volunteer help! It's all worth it when we see the fabulous creative work our artists are so proud to display. Their work is displayed in Stearns Hall for a few weeks in the late spring.  What goes up, must also come down, remember your Volunteer hours...:)
Field Trips: Every year, 4th graders go the the Portland Art Museum and 5th graders take a field trip to the Independent Publishing Resource Center (IPRC). Please consider getting signed up in our system, so you can be ready to chaperone for any school field trip that may be in need of your help.
Ongoing Help for the Art Teachers: We can always use more help hanging student work and keeping supplies organized and well cared for. What a great way to volunteer your time for the school! If you ever have a bit of extra time to help display fabulous works of art by our TIS artists or help with a organizational project in the art room, please email me at or
General Class Requirements:
(Please see attached Art Classroom Expectations Poster for more details)
All students are expected to:
-Demonstrate respect for themselves and their classmates
-Be responsible for the art materials and resources
-Put forth their own best effort at all times
-Explore imagination and demonstrate critical thinking skills
-Dress in appropriate clothing for engaging in the studio process (we can get messy!)
-And last but not least, HAVE FUN!


PreK Art News!

Hello! This is Carolina Barros, your child's Art teacher. I am delighted to meet my new little students and am already amazed at what they are creating during art class!
This will be my seventh year teaching at TIS, and I consider myself very lucky to do what I love for a living- teaching as well as making art.

I am a fierce believer that art and music are just as important a part of the curriculum as spelling and math:
Children exposed early to the arts have increased fine motor skills, are better problem-solvers and have a better understanding of critical thinking skills than children who were not exposed to the arts early on (
 The benefits are endless, and it all starts with understanding lines and shapes, two recurring elements which we will talk about constantly throughout this year.
Please feel free to contact me at any time during the year via email- I love to hearabout how the students are implementing what they learn in art class to their daily lives!
I'm also including here an attachment to our PreK art curriculum- I'm looking forward to seeing the amazing creativity and problem-solving skills the PreK classes will bring to the art table this year!
See you around the campus(es),