Mr Weis’ Classroom Blog

November 16, 2009

Optimised Optical Opportunities with Op Art

Filed under: Announcements,Homework — mrweis @ 4:56 pm

In Vocabulary this week, we are continuing some studies of Greek and Latin roots that have to do with numbers.  The roots we are looking at this week are quadr/ quar, quint/pent, oct, dec, and cent.  Today the students sorted the words by roots and tomorrow we will delve into our 8 focus words of the week with some dictionary work.

In Reading today, we began our study of Connecting as the 5th main comprehension strategy we will work with this year.  We discussed 3 different types of connections including Text to Text connections, Text to Self connections, and Text to World connections.  In discussing the process of making connections, the students identified several purposes for this comprehension strategy.  I put the ideas together to create the following overarching purpose: By comparing what we read with other stories, our own lives, and the world, we are better able to understand and make predictions about the characters, motivations, actions, and events that we read about. We also spent some time using a graphic organizer to dissect a story to its parts in order to make the information more accessible for creating connections.  Tomorrow we will take the information we gathered and create a collaborative collection of connections.

In Writing, students worked on their final personification poems to complete our Autumn scene on the wall outside the room.  So far we have wind, leaves, pumpkins, rain, clouds, snow, trees, houses in the woods, stars, and the moon.  The scene is coming together nicely.

In Mathematics, we spent a little time going over common mistakes on the last quiz.  Students also read some selections about the origin of 360 degrees, and about the mathematician Euclid.  Students made predictions prior to the reading and took notes about Euclid’s life and mathematical contributions.

We did not get a chance to do Art last week, so it was postponed until today.  We began an art unit I am designing to integrate some geometry and math with Art through the study and creation of Op Art (short for Optical Art.)  When we use the term Op Art, we refer mainly to an art movement that began in the 1960s with a focus on adding kinetic qualities to stationary pieces of art.  Op Art was defined by the use of lines and colors to create a strong visual impact that often fooled the viewer into interpreting movement or depth in the work.  Today the students learned a little bit about the history of Op Art and saw a bunch of examples from well know Op Artists.  We also began to learn about how to use compasses, and the students practiced drawing different size circles.  If you have a compass at home, I encourage you to pass it along to your child for them to practice at home.  The motion of using a compass can be a little tricky to get the hang of, so any extra art at home with compasses would be great.

Here are a few of the pieces that we looked at in class:

Victor Vasarely

Bridget Riley

Yaacov Agam

Akiyoshi Kitaoka  (These works come from a professor who studies visual perception in the Department of Psychology at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan.  If you find them interesting or perplexing to look at, I highly suggest visiting his webpage for many more pieces.  He even has some step by step directions on how he creates some of the optical illusions that make the pictures look like they are moving.  Follow this link to get to his website.)



  1. Language Arts:  Vocabulary Sort
  2. Mathematics:  Prime Factorization Review Paper
  3. Reading: Read for 25 minutes and write predictions in the Reading Log.

Mr. Weis


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