Thursday, April 12, 2018

Friday Pre-Spring Break Blog

Well, looks like we made it to Spring Break!  Let's KEEP MOVING ON!  Let this Sly Stallone quote fuel your Term 4 FIRE!

Wrapping up the week, I would like to share a few things I am so proud of. 

  • Becky Jontos and the 5th Graders from Letourneau will be ON STAGE AT THE VETS PERFORMING FOR THOUSANDS OF STUDENTS at the RI PHIL LINK UP CONCERT in MAY!  They were chosen to play for the sea of students- this is a great honor for Our Kids!  Congrats, Becky!  See you on stage!
  • Some great press we received for the All City Concerts...  Herald Article  Linda Murphy visited on Wednesday night, and was so excited to see Our Kids engaged and excited to play at the ACO performance.  The Band played on Tuesday, and was also SUPER AMAZING!  Here are a few pics from the event!

Here are a couple of pics from Mr. Carvalho's Art Class at Durfee, using intricate contour stencils and spray paint...  

ARTS EXPO: Planning Ahead!

  • We will be celebrating the visual arts at the annual K-12 ARTS EXPO!  This event is held on Thursday, April 26th from 5 to 7 PM in the Nagle Auditorium Wing at Durfee.  
  • Art teachers, please hand out copies of the flyer to your students so they can bring them home!
  • I will be asking for schools to have the flyer for the week we return on the school websites and on the district website.  I would love for principals to give a reminder/shout out in messages home!
  • Art teachers, please email me if you need assistance in bringing your artwork to Durfee.
  • I will have all arts expo cardboard bifolds up and ready to go for teachers by Monday at 10AM.  I will have them labeled by school.
  Eval Nuts and Bolts:
  • I have visited lots of great classrooms, and seen so many engaging lessons in the past month!  Thank you for working so hard for Our Kids.  When we get back from break, I will continue to do unannounced observations.
  • Before you know it, it will be May!  This means that we will be meeting for Summatives for teachers on one year plans.  Summative Eval meetings must be held before 5/25.  I need to have the evidence for these meetings submitted to me one week prior to the scheduled meeting.  Please use the Google Calendar to invite me to this meeting.
  • Teachers on two year plans- your Formative/Summative meetings need to happen prior to 6/15.  That means you should have your evidence submitted one week before the date of the meeting.  Please invite me on the Google Calendar to this meeting, thanks!
  • I will review strategies for submitting evidence at the CPT meeting after the ARTS EXPO- Week of April 30th.  
ARTS On the Calendar:
  • Thursday, April 26th- 5-7PM K-12 Arts EXPO
  • Tentative* May 1st- HLCS Autism Awareness Concert
  • May 14th- Solo Fest
  • Saturday, May 5th- Quequechan Rail History Walk
  • Thursday, May 10th- Durfee Festival of the Arts and Spring Concert
  • Thursday, May 31st- Department Meeting
Middle School Concerts:
  • Talbot- June 6th- Spring Concert/Arts Festival
  • Kuss- May 29th
  • Morton- June 11th
Have a great vacation!

Friday, April 6, 2018

A Blog Entry from Our Kids...

I am going to let Our Kids take the mic this week...  I am so proud of them, and of all of you who have made an impact in their lives through the arts.

From an Art Student:

  Ms. Pereira's Sculpture Student created this piece, called Boston Brownstone Shrine.  She wrote about it below.
Boston Brownstone Shrine

I was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts in a small town called Mission Hill which is right in the Fenway area. I moved to Chelsea at the age of 8. That was the turning point in my life. From that point on I believed everything was just downhill. My interest in education declined and I almost stopped going altogether, and I was only in the 3rd grade. I made my teacher cry and I didn’t care. I became depressed and very alone. My mom started to drink and I lost hope. My mother got into a very abusive relationship which resulted in her moving to Fall River to be in a shelter with other women who had experienced the same thing, only I stayed with my grandmother in Revere which is right next to Chelsea. I started doing better in school and I made many new friends, but I’ll never forget my true home. I remember trips down Storrow Drive with my grandmother on my way to appointments at Children’s Hospital. I remember all the brownstones in Back Bay, each with a different story. I always admired the green copper (or what I believe to be copper) that lines the windows and frames of the buildings.
I used burnt sienna and a little bit of black to make the reddish brown color of the brownstones. I lined the “roof” with glass to represent a skylight . I put “trees” on the inside to show how green the city can be and how people take care of their beautiful homes. It’s my dream to live in a Boston Brownstone when I graduate college, maybe even sooner. I used a Boston Terrier to be the centerpiece of my design because not only is the name Boston but it’s also a dog that I see a lot in the city and just made me think of Boston Cream Pie. The white bulbs on the side represent clouds because no matter what. The city will always be a perfect getaway for me, something I consider home. I know it’s crazy but to me the city is peaceful. I was raised where there were police sirens every night and very late night construction so noise is normal to me. I included a small “chimney” because it’s what you can see when you drive past them and it’s a small detail that means a lot to me. The viewer can interpret it how they want, this shrine in no way embodies entirely what I believe the city to be but it takes bits and pieces that I admire and takes me home.

And from a Music Student:
All City is not only a concert where all of the schools in Fall River come together to play in a concert, it is an opportunity for the more experienced string players to help and mentor the younger students who are just beginning to learn how to play an instrument. Students from Durfee High School typically rehearse with the elementary school and middle school players and help them with whatever they need. If it's counting beats in a measure, the high schoolers make sure that we are keeping track of the beats and measures and when a younger player gets lost or confused we point to the measure numbers and help them stay on beat. If it's certain notes or rhythms, the high school students typically sound out the rhythms or play the notes so that they have an idea of what the correct note or phrase would sound like. 

The All City concert typically goes something like this:
-Elementary School plays three songs
-Middle School plays three songs
-High School plays a collection of songs
-Everyone from all three levels of schooling plays one final song
This gives an "evolution of music" 

​type ​
effect where the intonation, rhythm, and sophistication of the pieces increase as the concert progresses. It also gives the younger players a notion of what playing strings will be like in high school; they get to see how the hard work they do now pays off in the upcoming years. 

All City is, overall, a bonding time between all different students from all different backgrounds, schools, and levels of education. It's really just a lot of fun for everyone involved!

Barbara Ferreira

Class of 2019
B.M.C Durfee High School 

One Last Tidbit:
Stephanie Su, from emailed me with this great message, and it ties into what we do with All City, so I will share!

Long-time fan of your site! I was poking around and stumbled across this article: Great stuff!
I noticed you linked to one of my all time favorite resources: Resources
I love that one, too! In fact, I created something similar on my site:
I was wondering… would you consider adding my link to your page as well?
Either way, thanks so much for your hard work!

ARTS On the Calendar:
  • Thursday, April 26- 5-7PM K-12 Arts EXPO
  • Solo Fest-
  • Saturday, May 5th- Quequechan Rail History Walk
  • Thursday, May 10- Durfee Festival of the Arts and Spring Concert
  • Thursday, May 31st- Department Meeting- Time/TBD
Middle School Concerts:
  • Talbot- June 6th- Spring Concert/Arts Festival
  • Kuss- May 29th
  • Morton- June 11th
Have a great weekend,

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Short Week, Short Blog!

A few pics to start off the weekend!

Ms. Valois' HLCS Students experiencing the wonder of Symmetry!

Ms. Laprise's Morton Students practicing for All City!

Mr. Beauregard's Watson Kindergarten Students working with Percussion Instruments!

In the News This Week:
  • Band, Orchestra and Chorus have been busy practicing for All City Concerts!  The Band and Orchestra are performing next week, Band on April 3, and Orchestra on April 4th.  If you have never seen our All City, this year will be a even BIGGER surprise for you!
  • Art teachers are preparing for the BIGGEST ART SHOW AROUND!!!  The FRPS K-12 ARTS EXPO is Thursday, April 26th from 5-7PM, occupying Durfee's Auditorium Wing.
  • Lots of visits to classrooms happened this week!  So great to see teachers implementing strategies they learned from each other, as they pushed students to apply, perform, experiment, design, revise....  Great work happening!
  • FlipGrid is being used in music classrooms!  Want a refresher from our PD?  Check this out: FlipGrid Tutorial
Some food for Thought...

Check out this excerpt from an article I found on Teaching Students To Critique...  It applies to either art, music or theater and is exactly ALIGNED with our PD on Close Read in the Arts

What is a critique?
A critique is an oral or written discussion strategy used to analyze, describe, and interpret works of art. Critiques help students hone their persuasive oral and writing, information-gathering, and justification skills.
Provide direction and guidance with the critique to ensure that students stay on task and address the purpose and objectives of the lesson.
Below is a sample set of focus questions for an art critique related to four major areas of art criticism: description, analysis, interpretation, judgment. (The number of questions and aspects of specificity will vary according to the art form and number of works in the critique).
Describe the work without using value words such as "beautiful" or "ugly":
  • What is the written description on the label or in the program about the work?
  • What is the title and who is (are) the artist(s)?
  • When and where was the work created?
  • Describe the elements of the work (i.e., line movement, light, space).
  • Describe the technical qualities of the work (i.e., tools, materials, instruments).
  • Describe the subject matter. What is it all about? Are there recognizable images?
Describe how the work is organized as a complete composition:
  • How is the work constructed or planned (i.e., acts, movements, lines)?
  • Identify some of the similarities throughout the work (i.e., repetition of lines, two songs in each act).
  • Identify some of the points of emphasis in the work (i.e., specific scene, figure, movement).
  • If the work has subjects or characters, what are the relationships between or among them?
Describe how the work makes you think or feel:
  • Describe the expressive qualities you find in the work. What expressive language would you use to describe the qualities (i.e., tragic, ugly, funny)?
  • Does the work remind you of other things you have experienced (i.e., analogy or metaphor)?
  • How does the work relate to other ideas or events in the world and/or in your other studies?
Judgment or Evaluation
Present your opinion of the work's success or failure:
  • What qualities of the work make you feel it is a success or failure?
  • Compare it with similar works that you think are good or bad.
  • What criteria can you list to help others judge this work?
  • How original is the work? Why do you feel this work is original or not original?
***Feel free to copy/paste any of these prompts into your lesson plans for next week and the weeks ahead!  

Calendar Items:

  • Tuesday, April 3- All City Band 6:30PM
  • Wednesday, April 4- All City Orchestra 6:30 PM
  • Thursday, April 5th- Release Time Day
  • Friday, April 6th- END OF TERM 3
  • Tuesday, April 10th- Durfee Faculty Meeting
  • April 16th-20th- Spring Break
  • Thursday, April 26th- K-12 ARTS EXPO, 5-7PM
Have a wonderful, three day weekend!


Thursday, March 22, 2018


Greetings Arts Fam,
  I have some really cool things to share this week...  First, some pics...

Ms. Zema with a student from HLCS- melts my heart.
Durfee's Ms. Terry teaching Acting
Durfee's Nolin Freitas and his GOLD KEY!

Ms. Moniz from Talbot pushing a Close Read of an Escher!

Ms. Souza's Band at Talbot, getting ready for All City!

 Ms. McGillicudy headed over to Tansey this week, and it's like she never left!  Digging into SYNTHESIS in Art with work replicating an artist's style..
Sharing from Ms. McG's Art Cart!


  • O.K., most of you know our beloved Michela Gardner, Morton Music Teacher, and lead teacher for All City Chorus, but take a minute to listen to her sing acapella on her band's new release...  available to listen to on Spotify!  I am listening to it as I write this, and I'm dancing in my yoga ball chair..  Here's the link:  8TRX
  • Our 3rd graders from Fonseca, HLCS, Spencer Borden and Tansey attended the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra's Orchestra as Ecosystem- Symphony as Symbiosis.  Our kids were so excited.  Check out their adorable expressions in the Fall River Herald's coverage of this event: Herald Article
  • All City Band and Orchestra Concerts are COMING UP!!!  Hope to see you all there!  These events will be held in Durfee's Nagle Auditorium on April 3rd and 4th.  Check out the Flyer for more info...
ART News:
  • Art teachers, there are three weeks of school until the K-12 Arts EXPO!  
  • The event will be held on the 26th of April, from 5 to 7 PM in Durfee's Nagle Auditorium Wing.  
  • I will share the Flyer in three languages in this week's email and will send you color copies to put up in your schools! 
  • Please continue use your monthly department meeting time to prepare for the show, and CPT if possible.  
  • I will be asking as I did last year for art teachers to be released for a half day on any day between Monday and Thursday of the Arts Expo Week, so they can come to Durfee to hang the work.  
Up'n Coming:
  • 3/30- Good Friday
  • 4/3- All City Band 6PM
  • 4/4- All City Orchestra 6PM
  • 4/5- Release Time Day- Teacher Led
  • 4/6- End of Term 3
  • 4/10- Durfee Faculty Meeting
  • 4/26- Arts EXPO 5-7PM
  • 5/2-5/6- Band/Orch/Chorus/Theater Trip to Disney!
  • 5/10 Durfee Festival of the Arts/Spring Concert
  • 5/14- Solo Fest
Have a wonderful weekend!


Friday, March 16, 2018

Weekly Arts Wrap Up- March McMadness


In this Monday-Thursday-Friday snow-week, we still rocked it!  Here are some pics from the third grade music field trip to the Zeiterion to see the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra perform the Orchestra as Ecosystem show.  What a great interdisciplinary event, mixing science with music, and showing our kids the parallels between balance in the ecosystem and in musical compositions...  So cool!

In the News This Week:

  • We have been awarded a grant of $3,400.00 from BayCoast Bank to support the collaborative project between Durfee's Fine and Performing Arts, Social Studies, UMD, Lafayette Durfee House and Mass in Motion.  We will be building sculptures and acting in an event on May 5th.  The event will take place on the Quequechan Rail Trail, and visitors will be able to "Walk a Mile" in the shoes of a Fall River resident from the late 1800's Mill History...  Sculpture classes will be constructing huge "shoes" that visitors can step into, thus walking a mile in the person depicted by the UMD and Durfee students acting out each rich narrative.  Love it!
  • Band and Orchestra teachers are busy preparing students for the upcoming All City Band and Orchestra Concerts!  These will be held on Tuesday and Wednesday, April 3rd and 4th respectively.  The concerts are at Durfee's Auditorium, and hope to see you there!  
  • Planning ahead!  Stay tuned- we only have 27 work days until the Annual FRPS ARTS EXPO!  Art teachers are busy getting student work labeled and ready for the huge event!  It will be held on Thursday, April 26th from 5 to 7 PM.  So excited!  
Calendar Items:
  • End of Trimester Two- TODAY!  Friday, March 16
  • Good Friday- Friday, March 30
  • Early Release- Thursday, April 5 (teacher led)
  • Spring Break- April 16-22
*Rescheduled from this week- the ARTS Learning Walk for grades 6-12 will be Wednesday, March 21!

Thank you, and have a great weekend!


Friday, March 9, 2018

Learning Walk Week- K-5 Arts

Pictures from the 
K-5 ARTS Learning Walk

Happy Friday, Team!

This week, I had the pleasure of walking through art and music classrooms in K-5 schools with Becky Jontos.  I would like to share with you the summaries of the tasks we saw, and what content specific vocabulary we heard/saw in action!  I'll share the full K-12 Learning Arts Report next week.

  • Letourneau: In Music, Second graders compared the lives of Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong.  Then they listened to and discussed the song "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong.  Finally they used flipgrid and paper to describe what they think makes the world "wonderful".  Vocabulary used by students include: jazz, scat, and trumpet.  In art, 3rd graders "Clipped Up" on their ART Behavior Chart to be able to earn an ART Model Magic Party.  They learned how to blend colors with markers and build a Model Magic Sundae.
  • Watson: In art, Kindergarten students looked at the Too Much Glue Book projected on screen, and discussed in a group how to use the glue bottles (media, materials), demonstrating on an apple with dots.  "Just a dot, Not a lot!"
  • Spencer Borden: Art in the 4/5th grade class were busy finalizing their Mardi Gras Masks, using air dry clay and a variety of media and textures.  In music, 4th graders were identifying E, G, and A pitches on individual copies of sheet music to play on the recorder.  The teacher used the word pitch.
  • Silvia: In art, Kindergarten students learned two different stitches to create fiber art, as they learned about fiber arts.  A great dexterity lesson!  In music, Kindergarten students learned all about the Brass instrument family, and then danced an Irish Jig.
  • Greene: In music, 4th graders moved around the room with the teacher leading the way, accompanied by a song that dictated the tempo and size of steps.  In art, Kindergarten leaned how to make a simple house image using cut shapes, vocabulary students used included triangle, square, rectangle and circle.  They also discussed background and placement (in front of, behind).
  • Fonseca: In music, 5th graders were busy practicing Ode to Joy on their recorders in preparation for the May field trip to the RI Philharmonic.  This will earn them their white belt in Recorder Karate!  In 5th grade art, students were designing "survival kits" from recycled materials that were inspired by the Hatchet text they are reading in ELA!
  • Tansey: Fourth graders were singing a partner song accompanied by the teacher on guitar.  Vocabulary was explained by students: harmony and posture.
Next week, I will visit Doran, HLCS, Stone and Viveiros, and add to this inspiring list.  There are some really great things happening, and it's so good to see the implementation of the PD shared by the Morton Art teachers at DORAN!  Thank you!  Great work, Rochelle!  The 6-12 Learning Walk will be Wednesday morning!

PLEASE wish our Durfee Drama Students, led by Lara Beth Terry and Gary Bigelow, LUCK!  They compete tomorrow in METG's!  Break a LEG!


Faculty Meeting- DHS
AP Science Mock Exam- DHS
Department Meeting- DHS
AP Math Mock Exam- DHS
No School - Good Friday
Early Release Day - Teacher Directed PD
Term 3 Ends
ELA AP Saturday Session DHS
Faculty Meeting, DHS
Last Day Before Spring Break!

What do you think...  I am thinking of having a food truck parked outside of this year's ARTS EXPO?  Let me know your thoughts!

Have a great weekend,