Mrs. McQueary's Newsletter

  • Earth, Wind, and Fire (and Water!)

    Posted by Heather McQueary on 10/8/2019

    OLV Walk-a-Thon


    What an amazing day!  Despite a few raindrops, we had a very successful Walk-a-Thon.  Thank you to all of the families, both near and far, that supported our school with such generous donations.  OLV is a great school where I am very proud to work.  I love being a teacher here!

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    Posted by Heather McQueary on 4/27/2019

    Wednesday, May, 8th is the date to set in your calendar!

    The students at OLV will be showing their artwork at the annual art show.  The show will begin at 5:30 PM however, the display will be ongoing.  This year's theme has allowed us to study art in unique way.  We have used some pretty unusual ideas as our inspiration point on many projects.  The National Days Calendar has taken us from studying artists such as Henry Raeburn when it was National Argyle Day, to using some unique "art materials" while making sushi during our unit on Asian art and artists.

    Please share in an evening full of creativity as the Annual OLV Art Show presents: "Passports and Party Hats".  The show is followed by the Spring Concert.  We look forward to seeing you there!

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  • December

    Posted by Heather McQueary on 12/21/2018

    This time of the year is busy with the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.  It hasn't been much different in the art room!  We have been working so hard on so many fun things.  I am so appreciative of the students determination to stay on track despite the interruptions of holiday schedules, snow days and lots of sore throats.

    I am really looking forward to some time off to spend with my family.  At the same time I will miss my OLV kids, too!  I hope everyone has a restful and happy holiday filled with joy!

    Thank you to eveyone for all of the amazing gifts, cards and Christmas well-wishes.  It sure is something special to be at a school where we can celebrate the the birth of our Savior together.  

    May you all have a blessed Christmas,  see you in the New Year!!

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  • October

    Posted by Heather McQueary on 10/12/2018

    Happy October!

    Yesterday my classroom was 81 degrees and today I had to wear a coat to work!  I just love the fall season.  Hopefully it is finally here to stay.

    The counter tops in our classroom are overflowing with projects.  Big, messy, super awesome projects.  Most of my classes have spent the last few weeks incorporating the Mexican festival of "Dia de los Muertos" (Day of the Dead) into their projects.  Seventh grade has been working on self-portraits after learning about Frida Kahlo and they will beginning painting plaster masks to resemble traditional sugar skulls.

    Sixth grade made Milagro hearts that were embossed into aluminum sheets.  Fourth graders are creating sculptures made form aluminum foil AND plaster.  They are creating fantastic animals called Alebrijes.  If you have ever seen the movie "Coco" or read the book, Dream Carver, you will see how these Mexican folk art sculptures are an important part of the culture in Oaxaca, Mexico.  If you haven't, I highly recommend doing so!

    Eighth graders are knee deep in fabric, wire and yarn...and stuffed animals.  We have been creating a different kind of sculpture where "line" is the main concept.  Usually line is something that we discuss during a 2D drawing activity but not this time!.  We a turning those lines into 3D animal sculptures.  It is so fun to watch them working through the process!

    As the month progresses, I am getting ready to begin a unit on Japanese art.  We are beginning by observihg the birthday of Katsushika Hokusai, a Japanese print maker, born on October 31, 1760.   First grade will take their recent experiments in incorporating movement in art to studying Hokusai's, "The Great Wave".  We will also use the fesitvals of Kodomo no Hi and the cherry blossom festivals as inspiration.  We will look into Notan, Gyotaku, shibori, and Ukiyo-e.

    Boy, we sure are busy learning stuff!

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  • August / September

    Posted by Heather McQueary on 8/27/2018

    Another year is upon us.  I hope you had a relaxing and rejuvenating summer break.  I am happy to return with a exciting year of projects in mind.  I am anxious to get things off to a great and productive start.  This year my theme is an extension from last year's "Road Trip".  This time around, we will use all kinds of celebrations as the focus and inspiration point for projects.  We will "travel" the globe to explore cultural festivals.  We will also take a look at the "National Days" calendar for some good ideas.  Who wouldn't want to do an art project on National Cheeseburger Day?!  I plan to introduce my younger students to some famous artists whose birthday celebrations fall during our school year.  Artists with September birthdays include Romare Bearden, Dale Chihuly, Louise Nevelson, and Michelangelo!

    It's going to be a real party in the art room this year!  I just can't wait to see where we go and how much we can learn.

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  • May

    Posted by Heather McQueary on 5/22/2018

    Well, it's finally here...


    Art Show Time!!

    Friday, May 25th beginning at 5 o'clock PM  the upstairs hallway at OLV will be showcasing the amazing artwork created by OLV students.  Each student  will have one piece displayed.

    The show is open to any and all that appreciate great talent.  I hope to see you there.


    On a side note, please be on the look out for all student art work coming home soon.  I have kept an individual portfolio of work for each student since the beginning of the year.  It would mean so much to me and the students for parents to take a moment to look at the hard work and dedication that has been put into creating a year worth of art.  This is a great bunch of kids that are bursting with creativity.  You will be impressed, I promise!


    Thank you all for a fantastic year.  I already have my thoughts and ideas in action for next year.  It will surely be something to celebrate!


    Happy Summer. 


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  • March

    Posted by Heather McQueary on 3/30/2018

    First I would like to take a moment to say "Happy Easter" to all of my students and their families!

    I would also like to send out a big, giant thank you to all that participated in the recent Charm School activity.  We had a great time. We made a few Ukrainian pysanky eggs, realizing that it is quite a process!  Now that the kids have their take home kits, and the knowledge and information needed to create the eggs, they just need some more time.  Like all good things, it takes patience and lots of PRACTICE.  (a good pair of rubber gloves helps too!)  

    It's hard to believe that the year is beginning to wind down.  We only have one more marking period to MAKE and LEARN!  I have some big ideas planned however.  Seventh grade is starting a print making lesson.  We watched a really amazing video in class that detailed the process of screen printing.  I think the kids really enjoyed it.  We are using ideas from the musical "Wizard of OZ" , which incententally is the middle school musical this year!  

    SPEAKING OF WHICH...  If there are any parents interested in helping with scenery please contact me.  You do not have to have a middle school student to help out.

    Sixth grade will be participating in a field trip to the Palmer Art Museum on the Penn State campus.  Currently, there is an exhibit of Pop Art that is quite awesome to see.  We covered so much Pop Art this year in class it almost seemed like I planned it to match up to the exhibit.  Pure coincidence.  But I am so happy about it.  I am eager for the kids to see it and discuss their thoughts.

    Elementary students still have a lot to cover in the coming weeks.  Artists such as Alexander Calder, Louise Nevelson, Dale Chihuly, and Mary Cassat are still on our "LEARN ABOUT LIST".

    If you see or have a fifth grader, ask them to tell you about armatures and what that means in terms of sculpture.  You could also ask them to teach you how to sculpt something out of a common kitchen item...I'm not telling.  But you should definitely come to the art show if you are curious.

    So, that's all for now.  If you are sitting inside on these cold rainy days waiting for spring to come, wondering what to do... go get creative, go MAKE something.  Or, go to the Palmer.  It's FREE and full of interesting, inspiring art.

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  • February

    Posted by Heather McQueary on 2/23/2018

    Spring Break is just around the corner but we are still in full swing in the art room!  Fourth grade has just finished a really cool project inspired by the work of Romare Bearden.  We have been working on this project for awhile and it just felt kind of flat.  So, today we broke out the neon colored paint and highlighters to add just the right splash of color.  It was super fun because there was no real direction, no right or wrong way to add the color.  The results were perfect!


    Eighth grade has embarked on a few new projects this week.  They are trying their hand at a new method called crayon batik.  It is a messy and somewhat stinky project because it involves melting down a lot of broken crayons.  If anyone out there happens to have old newspaper we sure could use some.  All of the wax will be melted off the fabric and the newspaper helps to soak it up!


    Sixth grade has absolutely blown me away this week with an incredible discussion on Helen Frankenthaler.  I am so impressed with the maturity they have shown throughout the last two classes!  It's always fun to "make" art but I think it is equally fun and super important to LEARN about art and where it comes form and how it is made.  I am so proud of their efforts and how willing they are to let discussion take the forefront instead of "making stuff".


    Laurel Burch, Grant Wood, and James Rizzi are among the artists we are studying in some of the younger grades.  I can't wait to see where the projects lead us.  This is turning out to be some "ROAD TRIP"!!



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  • January

    Posted by Heather McQueary on 2/1/2018

    The hundreth day of school is just around the corner.  This point always serves as a reminder that Art Show is just around the corner.  Althought is seems hard to believe, I have been planning this year's show since last year.  That is just the way it works.  I begin the year with a vision in mind and my lessons and activities support that vision.  I have being telling a lot of my students to close their eyes and try to envision what they want their projects to look like BEFORE they get started.  When we have a clear idea of where we want to go, it's a lot easier to get there.

    We are making great progress on our "Road Trip".  We have been studying so many great artists.  Many of whom, my students were not familiar with.  It's always fun to take on new information and see how it inspires and shapes our projects.  Middle school has been practicing the technical skill of cutting with a x-acto knife.  They have looked at silhouettes cut from paper and have created some amazing and intricate projects.

    Fourth grade has recently completed a sewing project.  A first for many.  It was so successful and well done that I will continue keeping this as part of the fourth grade curriculum.  I am so impressed with their patience and effort.

    My younger grades have moved onto projects inspired by the insightful and inspiring works of African-American artists.  Faith Ringgold, Jacob Lawerence, Romare Bearden, Clementine Hunter, and Alma Thomas are among some of the artists we will cover.

    Despite the cold, snowy, gray days, my classroom is always full of color.  Colorful art and colorful, spirited students, thoughtfully and creatively making their way through the learning process.  It's such a joy to be a part of it all.

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  • December

    Posted by Heather McQueary on 12/22/2017

    Dear Families,

    It is with joy and sincere gratitude that I write this post.  I am sitting at my desk listening to morning recess below.  All can can hear is laughter and the commotion of children with the anticipation of Christmas on their minds and in their hearts.  I look out my classroom door and I am greeted by two smiling, glittery angels made weeks ago at a Faith Family activity.  I love this school.  I love the opportunity it provides to bring faith to the forefront of our students days.

    I am overwhelmed by the generosity and love that my students show me each day.  High fives in the hallways, shouts of hello across the cafeteria, sprinkles of gifts on my desk each day.  I can't possibly say how much it means to me to be part of such an awesome school.

    I wish each and every one of my students and their families the happiest of holidays.


    Mrs. McQueary



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