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Reuse+Recycled+Repurpose=The PVS Recycled Sculpture Garden

In the fall of 2015, students in the Red Neighborhood visited Cox Arboretum to learn more about Monarch butterflies. While they were having their lunch, Cox volunteers asked them to participate in a waste-free lunch. This led students to learn more about composting, and how they could help the planet, even though they are just kids.

Some questions that came from this study were:•What can I do to make PVS more beautiful?•How can we help attract more pollinators to PVS?•What can we do as kids to make the world a better place?

Students researched composting, visited the Montgomery County Waste Plant and began collecting leftover food scraps during lunch. They added a compost container to the courtyard, and reduced the amount of trash that PVS produced. Over the fall and winter months, students observed decomposition by watching pumpkins through the decomposition process. In the spring, the children were surprised to find that their food scraps had turned into compost, which would make excellent dirt for new plants.

Students also noticed that the area in the courtyard by the Red Neighborhood could use more plants to help feed butterflies. The students decided to collect things that they could use to create a recycle garden. Some things they collected were: Tires; An old bench; Buttons; Pots and pans; Plates; Broken glass; Keys; CDs; and, Plastic caps and lids.They saved these items from ending up in a landfill, and turned them into artwork to be used in the Recycle Garden. They researched recycled gardens and worked together to create a design for the garden. They also used recycled plants, which were plants that were split from other peoples’ gardens. In the end, students helped make PVS a better place by working as a team to reduce the amount of trash, reuse many items that would have ended up in a landfill, recycle plants that would have been thrown away, and repurpose items that are now being used in new ways to make the garden inviting to families and pollinators.

Cinco de Mayo 2016

Celebrating Cinco de Mayo (May 5th) has become an annual first grade experience at PVS.  Student learn about the Mexican/Hispanic culture through art, music, PE, and literacy experiences.  Their learning culminates in a wonderful event in our courtyard.

KidsView 2016 Exhibit

The annual KidsView art exhibit was on view in the lobby of the CHS Performing Arts Center February 29-March10 to celebrate Youth Art Month.  The opening reception was a huge success with proud young artists sharing their work with their families.  This years' theme was "Hands-on Learning".  As always, there was a wonderful variety of artwork on display from our K-8 students and a selected group from the School of Possibilities.  We also added documentation of the seven art forms we generally teach in our art programs - Painting, Drawing, Printmaking, Photography, Crafts, and Sculpture.  PVS student were featured in the Architecture display.

Winter at PVS

Winter is a fabulous time to enjoy the beauty of the natural world around PVS. Students working with our naturalist, Mrs. Peterson have a lot to investigate using all of their senses. Hearing the fresh snow crunch beneath your feet; discovering animal tracks and nests; and, finding the remnants of food from an animal’s lunch. Usually when we explore we don’t get a chance to exercise our sense of taste, but who can resist a snowflake on your tongue. And here’s a secret…1st graders love to shovel snow. Happy Winter!

PVS Peace Project - First Phase

The Primary Village South Peace Project helps students understand what it means to be a Peacemaker. The staff at PVS works hard to empower our students from a very young age to live in a peaceful way and to spread peace wherever they go. Students begin the school year by looking at what it means to find peace within. From there, classrooms focus on peace in the family and peace in the classroom community. We held a family Peace Rally in the fall where families brought ornaments with peace messages to attach to a plastic grid, which is now hanging in our “Peace Hallway”.

Children learn how to peacefully communicate by telling “I Messages” to their peers to let them know the way they are feeling and to solve conflict. Our students work as Peace Detectives to look for peaceful ways throughout each school day to do the right thing. Not only do our children work hard to keep our school community a peaceful place, but this year they are also reaching out to other children in need by researching, planning, and supporting the Ronald McDonald House and Caps of Love charities.

Young Architects

Students in the art classroom are given the opportunity to explore a variety of centers. One of their favorites is the block center. This year we added a little more structure to the area so students learned about architecture and what architects do. They have to work as a team to plan their constructions and then share their experience with the class. The students learned that architects were artists that not only have to think about the way a building looks but also how to build one. Architects are masters of the “21st Century 4-Cs”.




Butterfly Investigation

The theme for the year at PVS is “Investigate”. There are so many great things for our students to explore and investigate in these early years – everything is new. We began the year with an investigation of the butterfly. It began when our naturalist, Mrs. Peterson brought in lots of Monarch caterpillars to share along with their food source – milkweed. Then we discovered more caterpillars and eggs in the gardens around our building and Mrs. Mitolo brought in Black Swallowtail eggs and caterpillars from her garden. Some classrooms also had Painted Ladies and Spicebush Swallowtails. In the end we investigated over 100 butterflies in their various stages.

Learning about the life cycle of the butterfly is fascinating and a new experience for most of our students. Many classes visited Cox Arboretum and their Butterfly House to learn more. In the classrooms students practiced their observational skills as they watched their caterpillars change – Mrs. Crump’s class even got to witness their caterpillar forming its chrysalis. Students practiced their writing skills in their journals and during Writers’ Workshop and most of the butterfly books were off the shelves in the library as the students and teachers researched the butterfly life cycle. Technology came in handy as a research tool and to take a closer look at the caterpillars. In art students were able to practice their observation, drawing and painting skills to create butterflies. The investigation of the butterfly was everywhere!

Cinco de Mayo 2015

Celebrating Cinco de Mayo has become an annual tradition for PVS first graders. This year we had another beautiful day for the celebration! The Integrated Arts team came together to organize the event. Students made clay beads in art to prepare for the day and during the celebration were able to create a clay bead necklace. In music students learned songs and dances and got a chance to practice their new skills. Other activities included making bookmarks with Spanish animal words, played a game and ate chip ‘n salsa. It was a great time for all.

KidsView 2015

Once again K-8 students’ artwork was showcased at the KidsView art exhibit held in honor of Youth Art Month. The theme of the exhibit was “Eco Art” so there were lots of recycled materials used. In addition the team received a grant from the Centerville Education Foundation to create a series of installations. Installation art is an artistic genre of three-dimensional works that are often site-specific and designed to transform the perception of a space. Students from the PVS Blue Neighborhood collaborated with 5th graders from John Hole to transform a little used space under the stairs at the PAC.

Totem Pole Project

The first graders began their study of Native Americans with a clay project then they learned about Totem Poles in art. They learned that Totem Poles were (and are) created by Native Americans from the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. They use bold colors and animals as symbols. For instance they believe an Eagle shows strength and leadership and the owl shows wisdom. Totem poles are designed to tell a story of an event, a person, family or tribe.

The first graders presented their totem poles to the school at our winter Peace Assembly. The students were encouraged to think about the Native American culture in relationship to our school. Then their classrooms would represent the family and our school becomes the tribe or village. We truly are “one big family”!

To display the totem poles Mrs. Engert’s class created a mural inspired by the book, “Frog Girl”. This scene from the Pacific Northwest makes a perfect backdrop for the totem poles.

Native American Study

This fall the First graders studied Native American culture and traditions in art. They learned a little about Native Americans from ancient times and we had a good discussion about what it would be like to live without cars and electricity. We talked about ancient people needing to make or find everything they needed to live. When they made their pottery they had to dig the clay from stream beds, fire the clay with a wood fire and decorate the finished pots with minerals they found in the ground. Not only were these pots practical, but they also cared about the way things looked and the craftsmanship. This gave us inspiration to create our own small pinch pots. First the students formed a small bowl then added texture using natural materials. Once fired, the students added a decorative pattern using black and white paint (similar to the minerals used long ago).

Green Neighborhood Flight School

First Graders from the Green Neighborhood used the book “Flight School” as inspiration for their project. “Little Penguin has the soul of an eagle, but he wasn’t built to soar.” It’s only with the help of his friends that Penguin’s dream finally becomes a reality. This book provides a wonderful example for our students as they learn the value of teamwork. Students worked in small groups to create our paper maché version of the little Penguin, complete with feathers.

Peace Takes Flight in the Pink Neighborhood

The First Graders from the Pink Neighborhood were given a challenge. Teachers wondered, “How can we illustrate the school theme in our neighborhood?” It began with a simple idea – create a series of sculptural flying animals that could hang in the neighborhood space – the process was a little more complicated. We decided to focus on “real” animals, not imaginary so each class brainstormed ideas for animals and voted on about five favorites. The next step was to bring their ideas to the art studio and what started from a simple concept became a huge collaborative project that took four weeks, extra help from volunteers and even after-school assistance from Voyager students. Working as a team we created 22 paper maché creatures now on display in the Pink Neighborhood space. Peace really does take flight at PVS!

Red Neighborhood Butterfly Garden Project

This fall First Graders from the Red Neighborhood became butterfly experts this fall. The lifecycle of the Monarch butterfly – from egg to adult came alive in their classrooms. Since the Red Neighborhood is so near our Butterfly Garden the teachers wondered if we could create a new mural for the neighborhood space. We started with Mrs. Stasienko’s students who visited the Butterfly Garden to look closely at the space. Many of the flowers were gone, but not the most important to Monarch butterflies – the Milkweed.

Next we sketched the basic shapes for the mural and talked about colors we had seen. Our team project began with lots of paint! The final piece of our project was to create a simple butterfly environment for the hallway into the neighborhood. Working as a collaborative team the First Graders created a woven sky with handmade paper butterflies; quilted clouds and a dimensional representation of the butterfly lifecycle. Thanks to our creative First Graders!

Turkey Project

This fall our students were able to observe a taxidermy turkey borrowed from the Park District.   The bird proved to be great inspiration and helped our students further develop their observational skills.  The kindergarten students created clay turkeys which gave many students their first experience using real clay that had to be fired in the kiln.  Many of our first graders were able to create Thanksgiving cards with this beautiful creature serving as the model.  For this component we used a new media - watercolor pencils.

PVS Monsters

Halloween is an exciting time for our young artists at PVS.  Inspired by the "Big Green Monster" and "Ten Little Monsters" our kindergarten and first grade students created their own monsters using oil pastels and watercolor paint.  This project helped students develop both drawing and painting skills while giving them the opportunity to express and emotion or mood.  As an extension of this project a number of first graders also experiemented with shadow puppets.

2014 KidsView

This year's KidsView district art exhibit was a great success.  The exhibit featured work from students in K-8th grades with the theme "Create and Collaborate".  The theme not only called attention to the importance of collaboration among students in the art classroom, but also demonstrated the collaborative work among the art teachers.  This collaboration was most clearly illustrated by the group project that became the centerpiece of the exhibit.

The Owl Project

This fall the first graders used owls as an inspiration for their art.  We were able to have two wonderful owl models - a Great Horned Owl and a Screech Owl.  They created owls using the clay slap technique and practiced making textures in their clay.  To finish the project the students added acrylic paint and a piece of juke for hanging.  The students also drew and painted owls and ended the study with a group collage mural. 

The Kindergarten students created pinch pot owls.

PVS Meadow Project

This fall the PVS first graders began a study of our meadow.  It was a great opportunity for our students to practice their observational skills.  The study included several drawing projects (both individual and group work) and watercolor painting.  Along the way the students were inspired by Impressionists artists.  The culminating project was a group effort - a painted mural created using twelve, three foot squares. The mural is on display outside the artroom.

I Spy the World Around Me

Last year PVS received a grant from the Ohio Art Education Foundation to support a collaborative art project between students in Mrs. Cobb and Mrs. Thornton's classes.  The students worked together under the direction of art teacher Suzanne Mitolo to create 11 large canvas collages.  Each collage gives students a chance to "I Spy" various objects attached to the surface.  The team held a reception for family members to celebrate the completion of the project.  The work is now on display for visitors and students to enjoy.

KidsView 2013

The KidsView art exhibit which showcased art from students throughout the district in K-8th grade was a huge success!  In case you missed the show here are a few pictures to highlight the show.

PVS - A Place of Peace

Creating a peaceful place is central theme for the 2012-13 year at PVS. Our students and the entire staff are united in the importance of this mission. A series of events and activities is underway to help students learn to be peaceful. The photos below document the peace banner project.  Each class created a peace banner inspired by the Dr. Suess book, "My Many Colored Days" which connects color and emotion. The banners were used to celebrate peace at our latest Peace Rally in December. They are now on display in the IMC hallway.

Gelatin Monotype Printmaking

PVS students were introduced to a new form of printmaking this fall using gelatin as the "printing plate" in the fall of 2012.  Student teacher, Catherine Glubisz from the University of Dayton shared this technique with the students who thought it was pretty neat to print with Jello.  The technique allows students to learn about shape, contrast and negative and positive space.  Plus it gave them another opportunity to interact with the natural world.

American Heritage Day at PVS

On September 12, 2012 the first graders at Primary Village South celebrated American Heritage Day.  Students have been learning about what life in our country was like in the 1800s during our noon-block integrated arts program. They practiced singing songs, playing games, doing dances, reading stories, and making paper quilts like boys and girls would do during those times. 

Special thanks to the Centerville Historical Society for sharing their quilts with the children and McDonald's of Centerville, locally owned and operated by Debbie Wright for their donation of apple snacks.