Saturday, August 19, 2017

Welcome Back!

                                                                                                     Painting by Winslow Homer

I hope everyone had a restful summer and will get a chance to enjoy the last week before we start another school year.  I spent the summer with my family and our new dog, doing a little traveling, some construction work around the house, unpacking and preparing the rooms in the new school and playing my guitar. I am looking forward and very excited to start another year in our brand new school.  I am almost finished setting up the new ART and STEAM (yes CTD will now be called Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math or STEAM) rooms to welcome students.  With the additional space and new equipment (such as a kiln) I will be able to create new lesson plans and project ideas.  I am also thrilled to be teaching a five grade 6 classes this year.  I have not taught grade 6 for several years and it allows me to use other areas of our curriculum. I hope you get a chance to attend the open house next week to visit your new school.  I am planning to be there, so drop in and say hello. 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

A Few Photographs From The Youth Art Month Exhibit at The Abington Public Library

Thank you to the staff at the Abington Public Library for hosting another successful Youth Art Month Exhibit.

Hundreds of students and their families attended

Students receiving certificates and ribbons

A few examples of the great student work on display

Thursday, March 2, 2017


March is Youth Art Month, a national celebration promoting the value of art, the creative process and quality art education.  For this occasion, the Abington Public Schools Art Department is currently exhibiting artwork from students in grades one through twelve throughout the Abington Public Library.  The show offers the viewer a broad range of art work in many different media and expressions.  The exhibition of over two hundred works will continue through March 31st.  The art teachers will host a “Viewing Afternoon” for the students, their families and the community on Thursday, March 16 from 4:00 – 5:30



Come view the creative efforts of students from the Abington Public Schools

March 1-31


Saturday, February 4, 2017

Trimester 1 and 2 Art and CTD Class Highlights

I wanted to share some photographs to highlight all of the great things happening in room 104 during the past two months.  I am consistently impressed by the variety of creativity displayed by the students.  Below are examples from: 

Grade 7 - Invention/Product of Technology Project 
Grade 8 - Egg Car Project 
Grade 8 - The Pringle Package Challenge
Grade 8 - Finished examples of The  Newspaper Silhouette Project
Grade 8 - Students working on the Cubist Collage Project

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Friolio students are awarded Gold Keys

I am fortunate to work with so many creative and talent students every year.   This year is no different and I would like to congratulate Lidia V. and Cecilia L. and celebrate their talents.  Both students were awarded Gold Keys at this year's Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.  The winning entries, both self portrait drawings, are displayed below.  Awesome work, I am proud of you.

Lidia V. - Chalk Pastel on Paper

Cecilia L. - Graphite on Paper

Friday, January 20, 2017

Egg Car Project Due - January 23 (Day 1-3) and January 26 (Days 4-6)

Below are the instructions for the Egg Carr Project in case you have lost the one I provided in class.

CTD Class – Transportation Technology: Engineering Safer Automobiles

“The Egg Car” Project is due on __________

Background: We can all agree that automobiles have forever changed our lives.  However, with all of the many benefits and conveniences there are some negative impacts.  First on the list would be safety for the occupants during crashes.  Since cars can travel at great speeds the need to design and build safe vehicles is a crucial task for engineers.  Today’s automobiles are safer than ever due to improvement to seat belts, air bags and state of the art chassis.

For this homework assignment you will explore automobile safety engineering by designing and building a vehicle capable of keeping your passenger (one raw egg) safe during a crash.  Put on your thinking caps and start designing.

Objective: Design and build a vehicle capable of transporting and protecting one raw egg during three impacts with a concrete barrier.

Specifications and Constraints for building the vehicle:

  • You may use any material to build your vehicle except foam, Styrofoam and/or bubble wrap.  Milk cartons, juice bottles and small boxes make great car chassis.  I will provide wheels and axles.
  • You will receive extra points for vehicles built out of materials that would get thrown away or can be recycled.
  • The vehicle must roll freely down the ramp.  No braking devices.
  • The vehicle should not exceed 22 inches in length and 12 inches in width.
  • You may add a bumper, but no foam bumpers please.  Creating a unique bumper can earn you points.
  • You may use tape, glue, nails, hot glue guns, screws or any other fastening device to assemble the vehicle.
  • I will supply the egg on test day.  Try and see if you can make part of the egg visible from the outside of the car.

Specifications and constraints for protecting the egg. 

These are the only materials you are allowed to use that can touch or protect the egg.  The challenge is to use only these materials to protect the egg.  Combining the materials is allowed.            

  • Straws
  • Rubber Bands (any size)
  • Paper (however, no tissue paper or paper towels) and/or cardboard

Evaluation/Grading – A rubric will be used to assess the five areas below:

  • Creative problem solving (Is your vehicle creative and unique?)                                
  • Up to 40 points
  • Construction (Is everything put together well?  Does it roll down the ramp)        
  • Up to 25 points
  • Egg Safety (Did your egg survive all three test runs?)                                                      
  •  Up to 15 points
  • Completed self-assessment sheet turned in on time                                                     
  •  Up to 10 points
  • Use of throw away or recyclable material throughout the vehicle.                        
  • Up to 10 points

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Trimester Update for CTD Class

Happy Fall everyone. Although we only started school a few weeks ago we got right to work in CTD class.  Since students are in class for only 30 classes a year, time is a precious commodity.  Grade 7 started the year learning about the development of technology and the positive and negative impacts of technology  on our daily lives.  We watched an interesting TED Talk from Hugh Herr.  He is a scientist at MIT working in Bionics.  I've included a link below if you are interested in watching the video.  It is a worthwhile investment of your time.

Next for Grade 7 was the Structure Unit.  After learning about loads, forces and the different types of structures we began our problem solving challenges.  First up  was "The Squeeze Is On".  Students had to build a structure capable of supporting a heavy load, however they could only use paper, straws and tape.  The next challenge was "Building Up".  Students had to design and create a tall structure using only one sheet of 12"X 12" paper and six inches of tape.  I've included some photographs below of the results.  Currently the students are finishing up The Balsa Wood Towers.  I will post later about the results.

Grade 8 started the year learning about Communication Technology Systems and how the different parts work to help humans send and receive messages.  Our first problem solving project was "The Pringle Challenge".  Using the steps of The Engineering Design Process students had to design and construct a package that would protect a single Pringle potato chip from harm during impact testing.
Currently the students are working on constructing Balsa Wood Bridges in class and should be working on their "Egg Cars" at home (Due Monday).  I've posted a few pictures of the "Pringle Challenge" and some bridges being constructed below.  I will post photographs of the Egg Cars soon.