Led by ‘Visiting’ Art Teacher, Pint-size Picassos Brush up Their Skills 

Todd Elementary student shows off the newest addition to his art portfolio.

The Covid pandemic has not only changed the way students learn; it has changed where they learn, as safety protocols require them to stay in one classroom throughout the day. 

Teachers also are learning to adapt. In Briarcliff, Todd Elementary art teacher Paul Villanueva no longer teaches art in the art classroom, which has been converted to a math class/teachers’ lounge.  


Instead, he visits the students in their classrooms and does his curriculum planning and other work from a room at the back of the gym stage. 

When Villanueva visited Jennifer Horowitz’s first grade class, he used Microsoft Teams to conduct the class both live and online, with a second group of students watching on a screen in the library.  

Villanueva said there are certain projects he may not be able to do this year, such as sculpture, but there will be ample opportunities for his young artists to showcase their talents with drawing, painting, collage, and even digital arts. 


Another Picasso in the making

We want to focus on what we can create under current circumstances that will still be enjoyable and beautiful for the students,” he said. 

In class, the students did some stretching, spoke about what they like about art, played a short game, and designed an art folder to serve as a portfolio for this semester.  

Villanueva interacted with both the students in the live class in the room, as well as with those who were at the library, watching on the screen.  

Students in both classes participated equally, with the art teacher demonstrating how to complete the project to both groups of students as they worked.  

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