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Art at Ponderosa

              I am so excited to be the new art teacher here at Ponderosa! I have truly enjoyed getting to know all the children in art this fall. I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself and tell you about what’s new in the art program this year.

            My name is Kate Chawula (pronounced Cha-voo-la) and this is my 8th year teaching. I have taught K-8 art at a charter school in Commerce City and I taught 3rd grade at an arts-integrated, Waldorf-inspired charter school in Ft. Collins. Art is my passion and it makes me so happy to watch your children create their art and become passionate about art making too! I hold a BFA from CSU in Painting and Art Education and have a Masters degree in Art Education from Boston University. I live in Ft. Collins with my two children, Cassidy who is 4 and Jack who is almost 10 months old.


What’s New?

                You may have noticed the artwork coming home looks different than in years past. That is because I teach in a style that is different from what your child may have experienced before. I teach art based on the principles of the nationally recognized and research-based “Teaching for Artistic Behavior” method of teaching, also known as TAB or choice-based art education. The idea is simple: students are artists, and the classroom is their art studio. Children are offered real choices for responding to their own ideas and interests through the making of art. This concept supports multiple modes of learning to meet the diverse needs of all students. The classroom is organized into “centers” where students find materials, tools and resources. Students are taught how to set up their workspace, clean up independently, as well as to generate and explore their own ideas based on their experiences, interests and passions. Students work independently or with peers. New concepts, content, media and techniques are delivered in short demonstrations or discussions at the start of each class. Art history and contemporary topics in the arts are woven into work sessions as appropriate and relevant to the ongoing work of the students. Small groups or individuals can work directly with the teacher when mastering new techniques or solving difficult problems. Students who are offered the chance to explore their own ideas find greater meaning and relevance in their work, which is why I find this style of teaching art to be truly amazing. I love watching each student’s love for art come alive when they begin working this way.


Kids Art is Great Art!

                Parents will notice the artwork your child is bringing home might look different than in previous years. You will no longer see hallways filed with slight variations of the same project. Since choice-based art education puts the student in charge of choosing media and subject matter, there will be an extremely wide variety of projects coming out of the same classroom. It is important to note that children’s inspiration should come from their personal experiences and perspectives of the world around them. To most children the process of creating something is in itself the work of art. They value the process over the end product. A child’s world is quite different from the adult world and their art should truly be “childlike”.





recycle The art room recycles! Please see the wish list below for items you can save for the art room.



The Art Room at Ponderosa Recycles!!


Your trash is our treasure! Support the art program by sending in the following treasures*:


•    egg cartons

•    cardboard tubes from toilet paper or paper towels

•    empty wipe boxes

•    plastic baby food or pet food containers with or without lids

•    small boxes (jewelry, checks)

•    shoeboxes and lids

•    empty food boxes (cereal, crackers)

•    calendars with neat pictures

•    children’s magazines

•    corks, caps or pull tops

•    interesting pieces of wood or plastic

•    crazy straws

•    stamps

•    CD and DVD disks

•    costume jewelry

•    fabric scraps

•    ribbons/trim

•    yarn

•    buttons/spools

•    wooden blocks

•    plants (fake but beautiful)

•    plastic toy animals for sketching

•    wrapping paper or scrapbook paper


*if there is a remote possibility we could use it, then send it in… we are VERY creative. If we can’t use it, we’ll either find someone who can or toss it lovingly.