Friday, December 8, 2017

Snow in the Forecast!

Happy Friday, Bloggers!

   This week, we have been busy preparing for lots of performances, and preparing work for Scholastic Art submissions...  The work is coming to an end for the calendar year, but you wouldn't know that walking through our classrooms.  Here are some pictures from this week:

Durfee AP 2D Work..

Durfee Ceramics Work

Henry Lord 2nd Graders Preparing For Winter Concert!

The Revamping of the Art Studio Space at RPA

The Maker Bot 3D Printer in RPA's Arts Studio

In the News This Week...
  • Hope to see you at the Durfee Musical!  The event starts tonight and runs through Sunday..  Check out the flyer below for more info!

  • Next week, we have the Durfee Winter Concert- I know I say this all the time, but THIS YEAR IS GOING TO BE AMAZING...  What an evening we have in store for you!  Here is the flyer for the concert- hope to see you all there!

  • Middle School Concerts:

      • Kuss- 12/19
      • Talbot- 12/5- This was a success!
      • Morton- 12/12
      • HLCS- 12/13
      • Doran- 12/6
    • All City:
      • Band- 3/26
      • Orchestra- 4/5
      • Chorus- 5/16
      • All City Rehearsals will be starting (chorus has already started) after break!  If you know of any middle schoolers who would be interested in All City Chorus, please give them this information from Michela Gardner at Morton:  Do you LOVE to sing? 
          • Are you looking for more  opportunities to share your voice?  
            Join the Fall River All City Chorus!
            Who: Fall River students grades 6-8
            Where: Rehearsals are held at Morton Middle School
            When: Every other Wednesday, 4:15-5:30 PM
            Directed by: Michela Gardner, Morton Chorus Director
            Performance: Wednesday, May 16th at 6:00 PM

            First rehearsal on November 29th!

            Contact your music teacher or
            if you have any questions!
    Additional Nuts and Bolts:
    • Durfee Department Meetings are Wednesday, December 20th after school.  We will be having a little fun with this one..  Durfee staff, stay tuned...
    • Friday, December 23rd is a release time day for staff and students, so have yourself a wonderful holiday break!
    • The next set of learning walks in buildings will be focused on Close Reading strategies and Collaboration during group work.  Here is an interesting look at what a Close Read looks like in the art classroom when analyzing a painting...
      • How to Interpret Art (or music if you replace arts elements with elements of musicianship..) through the “Close Read” 
        •  FORMAL ANALYSIS: Describe aesthetics (color, space, composition, and other elements) and subject matter.
        • Sample Questions: Encourage students to give looking time. Spend some time looking closely at this work of art then talk about what you see. Take a minute to study this image then list in writing the details you notice. Invite students to share their observations. 
          • So what did you see? 
          • What’s going on in the painting?
          • Help student direct their attention to things you want them to notice. What objects are included in this painting? 
          • What is something you notice about ____? 
          • Help students analyze the artist’s visual strategies. What did you notice first and why? 
          • How does the artist show us what’s important? 
          • How does your eye travel through the picture? 
          • Notice the artist’s use of line (or color, shapes, etc.). 
          • What adjectives describe the lines (colors, shapes, etc.)?
          •  What’s the overall mood of the painting? 
          • How do the lines (colors, shapes, etc.) help to create that mood? Invite students to interpret or speculate about the meaning of the artwork. 
          • What do you think the artist wanted to communicate? 
          • What’s the main idea? 
          • What would be a good title for this work and why? 
          • Guide students to support their responses with evidence. 
          • What do you see that makes you say that? 
          • Encourage students to ask questions of their own. 
          • What would you like to know about the artwork? What would you like to ask the artist?
    • In terms of collaboration, reflect on the specific roles you assign when planning for group work...  does each student have a particular task?  Is their collaborative part essential for the successful outcome of the project or the work?  Think about the accountability to the learning community, the knowledge and to rigorous thinking...  Consider this Accountable Talk Framework when planning these collaborative tasks:
    Students should be able to be accountable to the group (top tier), then to the knowledge, and finally to rigorous thinking as we plan these challenging collaborative tasks.

    And a Little Shout Out..

    To Mary Zema, who shared with me the most precious video (I am sharing a picture here) of her students at HLCS performing the notes projected on the board with the appropriate Boomwhacker.  Yes, these students are reading music, and playing a percussion instrument!  Kudos to you, Mary, for holding the bar high for all students, and planning musical lessons that engage and push our kids to do more than they ever thought they could... Mucho love heading your way from your team!

    And to Jayson Newell, who shared with me the video of his students working with technology and the Compose Yourself tech/music game..  These kids were playing their compositions they created with such excitement!  It's that kind of magic love for music we all love to see in our classrooms...  Thanks Jayson, for teaching Doran Scholars to LOVE MUSIC.

    Planning Ahead:
    • You have a release time day on the last day of school before break!  See your school's dismissal time on the website!
    • You have a full day PD day on Friday, February 2nd.  I will be planning a 90 min PD for art and music from 10:30 to Noon.  The memo with the agenda will be sent to all teachers and principals on Monday.
      • Groups will be Art K-12, and Music K-8, 9-12 and Itinerant Music.  Art will have a demo on the use of a few new media with the help of Carolyn Jane from Dick Blick, and Music will have specific grade leveled groupings with specific tasks...  K-8- Lesson structures for engagement in the older grades (4-8), 9-12 and Itinerants- Sight reading, close reading in music and program work for All City.
    Have a wonderful weekend, Arts Fam!

      Friday, December 1, 2017

      Welcome to December, Arts Fam!

      As we enter the holiday month, I would like to thank you all for the thoughtful work you do.  Planning lessons for hundreds of students is no easy task, and you ROCK that job.  As we roll into December, here are some events to remember...

      • Durfee's Musical, Legally Blonde will be held on Friday, December 8th, Saturday the 9th and a matinee on Sunday the 10th.  Please support our kids by coming to see the show.  They have worked so hard!  Both Gary Bigelow and Lara Beth Terry's students are ready to "totally" wow you!
      • Durfee Faculty Meeting is Tuesday, December 12th after school.
      • The Durfee Winter Concert is Thursday, December 14th at 6:30 PM.  We have an amazing selection in store for you with some super surprises!  Get into the holiday spirit with us!
      • Durfee Department Meetings are Wednesday, December 20th after school.  We will be having a little fun with this one..  Durfee staff, stay tuned...
      • Friday, December 23rd is a release time day for staff and students, so have yourself a wonderful holiday break!
      • Middle School Concerts:
        • Kuss- 12/19
        • Talbot- 12/5
        • Morton- 12/12
        • HLCS- 12/13
        • Doran- 12/6
      • All City:
        • Band- 3/26
        • Orchestra- 4/5
        • Chorus- 5/16
        • All City Rehearsals will be starting (chorus has already started) after break!  If you know of any middle schoolers who would be interested in All City Chorus, please give them this information from Michela Gardner at Morton:

      Do you LOVE to sing?
        • Are you looking for more  
          opportunities to share your voice?  
          Join the Fall River All City Chorus!
          Who: Fall River students grades 6-8
          Where: Rehearsals are held at Morton Middle School
          When: Every other Wednesday, 4:15-5:30 PM
          Directed by: Michela Gardner, Morton Chorus Director
          Performance: Wednesday, May 16th at 6:00 PM

          First rehearsal on November 29th!

          Contact your music teacher or
          if you have any questions!
      • We have received a grant from Fender Guitars- over $3,700.00 in guitars, strings, tuners and other accessories will be donated in the next week. These will go to Durfee for the guitar and songwriting program!
      • We are waiting to hear from the FRCC for the remaining grant submissions, but I hear that RPA received a grant for their arts programming!
      6-12 Arts Learning Walk Information:
      • Planning ahead, I will be heading out for a grades 6-12 learning walk next week, on Wednesday morning... my goal is to look and listen to students and observe their use of content specific vocabulary in art and music classrooms. Here is a summary of the notes from the last 6-12 learning walk:
      • In  16 out of 16 classrooms, there was evidence of an engaging task.
      • In 16 out of 16 classrooms, teacher modeled use of specific content vocabulary.
      • In 5 out of 16 classrooms, there was evidence of student use of specific content language (vocabulary/sentence/discourse levels).

      • In classrooms, consistent routines are in place and the environment is a safe place in which students can challenge themselves to learn new things. Reinforcement of these practices was evident.
      • All teachers are using content vocabulary in the delivery of the lesson, and postion this vocabulary on the board or in a Google Classroom so students can access it when needed. 
      • Some teachers are preparing tasks that ask the student to use the vocabulary when asked, either in written or oral form.
      • Many teachers have infused technology into their teaching practices, with the use of Google Classroom, Blendspace or other engaging examples.
      • Establish the consistent practice of allowing students to use that same specific content vocabulary that you use in the lesson delivery!  This can be done during a quick turn and talk, an exit ticket, quick write, critique sandwich, gallery walk..  You pick!
      As we started with this baseline learning walk, we established that our work now lies in not only having students perform and create, but also defend their choice making, their work and the work of others using this specific language, allowing for time during tasks that require students to think, and express themselves using the Elements and Principles of Design and/or Components of Musicianship.. This way, they can defend their reasoning and choice making in these processes, using specific content vocabulary will make our kids more literate in the arts!

      See you next week!

      Friday, November 17, 2017

      We ARE FRPS Fine and Performing Arts, and WE ARE AMAAAZING

      This week, I walked through art and music classrooms, mostly in grades K-5 and would like to share some images that truly capture the work you do.  Please take a look, and know that the work we do is so important TO and FOR our kids. 
      Ceramic piece from Ms. Gaudette's class!

      Ms. P at Doran leading students in a concentric circle challenge!

      Mr. Newell at Doran associating words with rhythms, and incorporating writing!

      Mr. MacMullen holding a $4,000 check from the Michael Troy Foundation!

      Ms. Arsenio's Design student's graphic novel work!

      More Design planning...

      Ms. DaCosta's artists from Viveiros casting fall shadows!

      More Viveiros Art!

      Viveiros Art Board with grade level expectations and vocabulary!

      Viveiros artists at work!

      Viveiros' Mr. Hettinger getting students ready to sing!

      Look at Ms. Laginess's artists at HLCS getting their shapes ready!

      Working on our cutting and dexterity skills at HLCS!

      Love this bird's eye view of Ms. Arons teaching her Letourneau students how to use compliments!

      Station work at Letourneau in the music room is often caught in action as Ms. Jontos is a tech/station guru!

      Letourneau musicians learning more about the recorder's history through a reading and annotation task!

      And this was super cool!  Kids sign in and out of Ms. Jontos' room simply by scanning, typing in name, and then scanning back in!

      Ms. Grinnell at Fonseca worked on city scapes using shapes with her students, and is using a resist technique!

      Wait, is that Marie Cassatt with Jean Michel Basquiat? Nope, it's Heather Pereira and Barbara Mullen showing a little school spirit!

      Marie also visited Janis Joplin, AKA Brenda Gaudette!

       Let's DO THAT!

      And these guys- what a great job they did singing, moving and following the direction of Ms. Martin at Spencer Borden while singing Bow Wow Wow song, using Solfege notation!

      Ms. Murray's Band students working hard at Spencer Borden!

      Ms. Pereira's artists at Silvia working on value drawings using oil pastel and some Thiebaud inspiration!

      And for this one, I'm going to let you think up your own caption...  Thanks Matt MacMullen and Don Smith for being such good sports!

      What a wonderful week.  I will be writing the learning walk report this weekend, and will share it with you all on Monday.  Our work lies in continuing to develop these great engaging and challenging tasks for our kids, making sure we are scaffolding so that students can achieve that high level of work.  Super good stuff- super proud of my Fine and Performing Arts Fam.


      ½ Day Thanksgiving
      Faculty Meeting- Durfee
      Department Meetings K-8 (Silvia and Kuss at 3:45)
      End of Trimester 1
      Release Day - PD (Teacher)
      Faculty Meeting- Durfee
      Term II Progress Reports Due- Durfee
      Department Meeting- Durfee
      ½ Day - Vacation!

      Take care and have a great weekend.

      Thursday, November 9, 2017

      Collaboration- Mapping Challenges for Our Kids

      Happy Long Weekend, Arts Fam!

      On Tuesday, I had the pleasure of having most of you with me in the morning as we began our professional development day.  I love getting you all together, hearing the conversations bustling at your tables- about music, art, family, friends and of course, Our Kids.  As we embrace November, we shared new ideas and strategies relating to our goals, with common foci on engagement through technology/station work and use of academic language.  Teachers broke into content and grade leveled groups and continued to flesh out the curriculum maps for K-8 Art and Music, and Durfee teachers collaborated on common course expectations within level one classes.  By the end of the morning sessions, teachers in K-5 completed the maps, and continued to work together on shared goal work.  These maps include student learning objectives, specific vocabulary for each unit/lesson, sample work, assessments and Blendspace Links.  Middle School also worked on their maps, tackling the 8th grade specifically, and shared a folder with lessons, power points and other resources for all teachers to share.  This work is crucial to ensure alignment within our district arts classes, and you were a huge part of making it happen.  The maps are standards based, specific, concise and easy to use.  Teachers using the K-5 Art Map can simply click on the links referent to lessons, and use the presentations created by our own staff to deliver engaging content.  In the words of art teacher Steph Pereira, that is "Wow" work!  Let's continue to work together and grow, using each other's strengths to build our own.  

      Here are some pictures from an afternoon session:

      This two-pager written by Steph Pereira at Silvia breaks down what she does with her "video tutorials" of art lessons for K-5 students.  She demonstrated for teachers how she plans a mini lesson, films it, edits the film, adding text and simple effects and uses this in conjunction with her Blendspace presentations.  Seamless instruction, and if you ever wondered if you could just "clone" yourself, this is pretty close!  While the video runs for students, Ms. Pereira is able to rotate throughout the room, or simply watch over her group as they are engaged in the lesson.  She can pause it between steps, or let it continue to run.  She can also "loop" the video to play repeatedly so students can have that scaffold there in case they need reinforcement of the procedure.  
      Super NEXT LEVEL!

      A pic from Ms. Pereira's Kandinski Concentric Circle Lesson

      In the afternoon, Band, Orchestra and Chorus teachers spent time collaborating to plan upcoming performance events for our students.  The team planned for All City Chorus, Band and Orchestra.  This year, students from all schools will be invited to participate in additional bi-weekly practice sessions with our lead teachers to improve their skill in playing or singing.  This new plan will hopefully strengthen our students' ability to perform, and I am sure it will show at the All City Concerts in the spring!  This program is so essential for Our Kids, as Fall River's families sometimes cannot afford to pay for private lessons, and these bi-weekly practices will support growth beyond the classroom weekly lessons. 

      Looking Ahead:
      • Durfee- End of Term 1- Thursday, November 9th, Grades due by 11/14
      • Durfee Parent Teacher Conference- November 16th 5-7PM
      • K-12 Arts Learning Walk- Wednesday, November 15th
      • Veteran's Day Parade- Durfee Marching Band Participating- November 11th, 11AM
      • Monthly K-8 Department Meeting- Thursday, November 30th 3:45 at Silvia and Kuss
      • Durfee: November 14th Faculty Meeting is switched to Department Meeting- we will be talking about the Program of Studies for 2017 - 2018. November 29 will be used as a Faculty Meeting.
      • December 7th- Release Time Day 
      As promised, here is the Blendspace link with a few Accountable Talk strategies, the video tutorial to the FlipGrid App and more.

      Have a wonderful weekend,


      Friday, November 3, 2017

      Homecoming, Daylight Savings, and Professional Development, OH MY

      Happy Friday, Arts Fam...

      Here are some pics from classrooms this week.

      In every one of these images, I hear content languageLine, shape, texture, overlapping, color, composition, value..  Words like these are the ones that students need to practice and master the use of so that as they grow into adults, they can express themselves using this vocabulary, whether they work in an art related field or not.  The same rings true in music and performing arts classes, as students practice playing, singing, composing, working together to build "symphonic experiences."  It is in this practice and perseverance in mastering the skill of musicianship that students will develop that "muscle" that will follow them in their work ethic and thought processes.  Thank you for fostering this type of thinking and growth in all that you plan for our students.

      In the News this Week:

      • The Narrows will host the annual concert fundraiser for the Durfee Music Program- The Music of Michael Troy.  Performances by several folk artists, this concert will be happening on Sunday November 5th from 1-4 PM at the Narrows Center for the Arts.  Tickets are available online at:
      • The Durfee Marching Band is playing tonight!  Check them out at the Homecoming Game!  7PM at the Durfee Field!
      • We are planning to meet here at Durfee on Tuesday morning for 8AM as a whole team.  Love getting my teachers together!  We will be in the art rooms to start the day- Room 82, beginning with Ana Arsenio sharing out some great SEL strategies for the arts.
      • On Friday, we have no school due to Veteran's Day.
      Get Out There:
      • Los Lonely Boys, Mariza, Quinn Sullivan and more- all playing at the Narrows Center for the Arts...  Check it out:
      • At the PPAC: Finding Neverland and HAMILTON!
      • At the Z: On November 26th, check this out!  Yaniv Dinur conducts The Sibelius Connection, Featuring Lauri Porra, electric bass guitar Not to be missed! Masterful bass guitarist Lauri Porra is the great-grandson of the great Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. In this concert, Porra will dazzle in the U.S. premiere of his own Concerto for Electric Bass and Orchestra, combining rock and classical music. The New Bedford Symphony will follow with the First Symphony of Jean Sibelius, written when he was just 33 years old, exploring the endless possibilities of the orchestra with fresh and youthful excitement. 

      Have a wonderful weekend,