Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Art Education at Eisenhower Elementary

My day on Wednesday, November 1st took me to Eisenhower Elementary in Davenport. Here I met a talented Art educator that just oozed enthusiasm at 8:00 a.m.!

Stacey Houk (on the left) is pictured here with Great River UniServ Director Linda Schneider. Linda and I had the chance to observe two of Stacey's morning classes.

Mrs. Houk's first class of students was of 5th graders. Her lesson with the class was on surrealism. Stacey discussed with the students how this particular form of art begins with the ordinary and realism, then moves to the surrealism. Mrs. Houk also shared with the students their 5th grade benchmark expectation as she moved through the lesson. Below the 5th grade look over their text for examples of surrealistic artists Rene Magritte and Salvador Dali.

We next observed a 2nd grade room in Mrs. Houk's Art classroom. Mrs. Houk explained to us that the 2nd graders theme for the year is "Neighborhoods". Second graders began their Art year drawing self-portraits to set in place their "historical record of their life". Throughout the school year they will continue to expand upon the idea of relationships and personal relevance. Here 2nd graders gather around UNI student teacher, Renee Rios. Rene's parents are both teachers in the Davenport Community Schools!

As student teacher Renee Rios lead the 2nd graders in Art instruction, Stacey Houk was able to take Great River UniServ Director Linda Schneider and I for a tour of student work in the hallways of Eisenhower Elementary. Here (at right) I'm pictured with Stacey in the entryway of Eisenhower Elementary near the Grant Wood Mural. Stacey explained, two years ago all of the 5th graders had an in-depth study of Grant Wood's work. When the unit was completed, students initially made drawings that would later become the foundation for this beautiful mural in the main hallway.

Stacey Houk is another terrific example of Iowa's dedicated educators! She shared with us that her two children are also teachers in the Davenport Community Schools; her daughter a 4th grade teacher at Monroe Elementary and her son an Art teacher at Jefferson-Edison Elementary. Thanks Stacey for all you do every day for Iowa's students!

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