Math and Art


Thanks to a generous grant from the Vermont Arts Council, the second grade team recently finished a visual arts residency with teaching artist Jean Cherouny. The essential question for this residency was “How can the arts reinforce understanding of addition strategies?”

Resident artist, Jean Cherouny introduced her artwork and the concept of transparent layers in painting and collage. She taught students how the complexity of a piece of art increases as you work with multiple layers. Students learned about how to use a variety of transparent layered media to enhance a composition; Tissue paper, metallic paints, mod podge, and other media were incorporated into this artwork. The goal was to create an interesting layered composition while still featuring the MATH.
Students began by creating tens frames and math equations of the addition strategies (Doubles, Neighbors,Zero Facts, Counting On, Make Ten, Fast Tens, Fast Nines, and Leftovers). These were then used as the base layer for their composition. Students then added tissue, dotted stickers, stenciled tens frames, and transparent paint to their work.

Common Core Math Standards
Operations and Algebraic Thinking 2.oa
Add within 20
2 . Fluently add within 20 using mental strategies

Visual Arts Standards
Skill Development

A1-2:12 Students show understanding of visual arts CONCEPTS and VOCABULARY by…
• Identifying and using basic elements and principles of design
(e.g., texture, pattern, primary and secondary colors).
• Naming and using different media, genre, and techniques (e.g., collage, printmaking)
• Comparing a variety of purposes for making art (e.g., to tell a story, to beautify and
communicate their understanding of math addition strategies).

About arts coach

I am the arts integration coach for the Integrated Arts Academy, Vermont's one and only magnet school dedicated to the arts. I work closely with classroom teachers, local artists, art organizations, and other community members to provide a network of opportunities in the arts for our students.

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