Art NewsWe have been celebrating Winter in Art classes. Second graders made a wintertime landscape with penguins, polar bears and walruses. They also created a heart picture using crayon resist and watercolor. We are working our way into an Abe Lincoln portrait. Third graders created a wintertime self portrait. Some are almost as big as our third grade students. We will also be working on Abe Lincoln portraits using different techniques than the second graders.Fourth graders carefully and skillfully created a snowman using "rows of snow." They had fun adding details! We are now working on a wintertime landscape and will color with crayon and add painted snow. They must meet four requirements in their landscape, a tree, a building, animals and more trees!Fifth graders created a landscape out of mixed media. They painted snow, using tints of blue, then made snowmen of three different sizes and finally cut beautiful and original snowflakes to top off their creations. We are now sketching birds with different values. I am seeing some very realistic birds!We will be showing off our artwork in April. More info to come in later newsletters.Braille celebrationWe celebrated the bicentennial of Louis Braille's birthday during the first week of January. Louis became blind at age three after an accident and when he was 15 he invented the Braille code, a way of writing the alphabet using a system of six raised dots. Students were busy decoding Braille dots using Braille alphabet cards. Students could enter two contests. All participating students won a Braille bicentennial bookmark. Three Spot the Dots messages in Braille were posted around the school: West School is cool, happy birthday louis braille and learning braille is fun. Winners were: Montana Glazer, Teagan Young and Joslin Glazer. For the I Spy Braille contest, students searched for Braille within the community. Winners were: Jamie Fenwick, Sarah Montgomery, Kylee Fyock, Krista Stevens and Mykenzi Sabin. Braille was found at the public library, on cup lids and menus at McDonalds, ATM machines, among many other places including room signs around our school. Students played Braille Bingo, watched a movie, "Jake and the Secret Code" and explored the Web site www.afb.org/braillebug during their specials. Braille books from the school library are now available to check out to explore. Five students who are trained as sighted guides gave morning announcements with facts about Braille. The Braille code has given many visually impaired people the opportunity to read. Thank you Louis!