Bush Elementary School third-graders recently combined math with art by working on tessellations in Becky Whitman's art class. Students used the mathematic concepts of tessellation, or tiling to create an art piece that fills the plane (or in this case the paper) with no overlaps and no gaps like a puzzle.
Tessellations are seen throughout art history and are often depicted as mosaics. As part of the project, students studied artist, M.C. Escher, a graphic artists who created mathematical prints. Students viewed his amazing work before attempting their own tessellation.
''I love art because it make me feel free. I can draw whatever I see in my head and I'm in my own world,'' said Bush School fourth-grader Jeymirianis Vellon-Gonzales.
Bush Elementary School third-grade students Jasmine Buffone colors her tressallation project in art class.
This project is just one of many that art teacher Rebecca Whitman covers in her elementary school art classes at Bush School. Mrs. Whitman covers the principles and elements of design but in age-appropriate ways.
''With all of the pressures on students to achieve, art class is a great place to help support those academic goals but also use their right side of the brain,'' said Mrs. Whitman. ''It is a great place for students to decompress, be creative and have fun. Plus, art and being creative is integral to any job a student might have in the future. Students need to use their left and right sides of their brains.''
Some of the projects Mrs. Whitman has done with her classes include beautiful koi pond scenes to go along with that grades study of tadpoles in science. Students studied collage techniques and used chalks to mix colors and create rippling water effects. They talked about perspective and how the fish would look viewed from the top of the pond. They also used tissue paper to create lily pads and determined what colors would give a ''peaceful'' look to their koi ponds.
Another class learned how to do paper coiling using fine motor skills. Students use thin strips of paper, curl them and then create shapes with their fingers.
''A process like paper coiling shows students they can create this really cool thing and it builds their self-esteem,'' said Mrs. Whitman. ''When I first show them the finished paper coils, they don't think they can do it. We always tell our students they can do anything they put their mind to but they can see it in action with this simple art project.''
''I love art,'' said Bush School fourth-grader Alexa Bloomquist. ''We get to do all sorts of fun things and experiment. We can even enter our work in an art show. It's a way for us to think with our imagination.''