Friday, September 21, 2018

Week Ending September 21, 2018

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Mark Carvalho's Durfee Art Students drawing from observation..

And in the News This Week...
Planning Ahead:
  • Thursday, September 27- 
    • K-5 Art- 3:45 at Silvia- I have a surprise for you from the Art Fairy
    • 6-8 Art and Music- Meeting will be held at 3:45-4:45 and be done on the Google Drive- Working on Maps- I will be logged on to facilitate 
  • Thursday, October 4th- 
    • K-5 Music- Meeting at Letourneau with Amelia Nixon from Link Up Program
  • Here is a sneak peak of the agenda for the October 1st PD Day...

Date: Thursday, October 1, 2018
Facilitator: Jackie Francisco
Guiding Questions:
  1. What rigorous tasks will we plan for our students that engage them in application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation?
  2. What key vocabulary terms will our students  be asked to know and use as they do this work?
  3. How could technology support this work?
    • 11:00 a.m.: Durfee
    • 11:30 a.m.: Doran, Letourneau, Silvia, Stone, Watson, Kuss, Viveiros, Morton, Talbot, RPA
    • 12:30 p.m.: Fonseca, Greene, Henry Lord, Spencer Borden, Tansey, RMS
Here is the breakdown of the groups:
School Groups:
Durfee Fine and Performing Arts
11:45-1- Full Staff

1:15-2:40-Department Time
MAPLE/Personalized Learning and a Profile of the Graduate Activity

Planning for challenging tasks in the arts

K-8 Art and Music
Presentation on Planning challenging tasks in the arts

Work period mapping out examples of challenges at each grade level

Wrap Up- Planning SLG and PPG- Team or Individual
Itinerant Orch, Perc and Band
Planning for challenging tasks in the arts

Discussion of 2017 goal outcomes and planning of 2018 SLG and PPGs

Thank you all for responding to the survey this week and last- I truly value your input and will use it to plan this year’s professional development.  

Here is a summary of the team’s input in terms of goal setting for the 2018/19 School Year:

Forms response chart. Question title: For your student learning goal, what will the focus be?. Number of responses: 45 responses.

Forms response chart. Question title: For your professional practice goal, what will the focus be?. Number of responses: 45 responses.

I will also be planning 4 learning walks as I have done in the past- these dates will be announced in the weekly blog! Can't wait to see your kids getting their Art and Music ON!


Friday, September 14, 2018

Week Ending September 14th, 2018

The Week In PICTURES..
Ana Arsenio's Art Foundation Class

Nicole Laprises' Orchestra Ensemble- "We're gonna need a bigger BOAT"

 Durfee Arts Team watching the Letourneau ELL teacher through the use of Google Hangouts

Ana Arsenio's awesome artists

Steph Pereira's Arts Triptych- Part 1

Part 2

 And Part 3!
Check out this visual greeting!

Steph Pereira's Silvia art students using the Quiver App to bring art work to life!

Steph Garcia's Silvia singers!

Heather Pereira's integrated Sculpture class at Durfee 

Durfee Sculpture class!

Happy Friday, Blog Friends!

This first full week of school was busy for all of us, I am sure!  Lots of great shares on Twitter- I have seen some great lessons and celebrations tweeted out!  And we are really getting a hang of this Donors Choose stuff!  Thank you to those who have helped arts colleagues to build their own Donors Choose requests- this is truly a great way to get additional supplies for your learning spaces.  Don't forget to let your principals know what you have been granted so that they can request that the School Committee officially accept it on behalf of the district!  Super Cool!

This week In The Arts...

We Dug Deep Into Tasks:

  • I saw students drawing from observation, thinking about their tools and shading techniques as they truly "look" at how light plays with shape
  • I saw (and heard) band and orchestra ensembles work hard at performing pieces that involve specific accuracy
  • I watched students begin to build a Midi File in Music and Audio Technology
  • I watched an art student use a virtual reality app to bring their 2D drawing to life- a "Dot" project bounced right off the page!
  • I listened to students sing using the appropriate pitch
  • I saw and heard an Orchestra student lead the sea of musicians as they tuned their string instruments
  • I saw piano students performing individually with headphones, following a musical score
  • I watched sculpture students build form from brainstormed ideas and plan color schemes
So good!

As things begin to settle after this first full week, it will soon be time to set SMART Goals with our kids...  I want to support teachers as much as possible throughout this process, so I will include in an email a document filled with sentence frames for goals- these are based on our content and what we have been working on.  
I would love to focus on...
These four words really encompass what we do every day...  Whether it's in art or music, our goals are usually around getting students to create, design, craft, brainstorm, compose, synthesize, perform...  They are expressing themselves either visually or in song, but also with their words as they identify, describe, critique, give feedback, etc.. 

On the Calendar:

K-5 Music Teachers!  Amelia Nixon will be visiting us through her grant funded Link Up program from the RI Phil- this 1.5 hour PD will take the place of your monthly dept meeting for September and October- She will be at Letourneau for you on Thursday, October 4th at 3:45. I will have the recorders and student workbooks delivered to your schools.

FRPS Fine and Performing Arts Staff!  I will be organizing a PD session at Durfee on Monday, October 1st.  Details will be forthcoming- I am building PD plan for the year based on your needs.  You will see a form coming to you via email...  Please respond to it as this will impact what I plan for you!

Durfee Open House!  This event will take place on Thursday, September 2oth from 5-7 PM but our own Heather Pereira will be having a Paint Your Pet Party in the Auditorium Foyer from 5 to 8!  Hope to see you at this art fundraiser! A 5$ donation gets you all you need to walk away with an awesome painting of your furry friend!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, September 7, 2018

Week Ending Friday, September 7th, 2018!

As I made my way across the district this week...
I CAUGHT Ms. Arons at Letourneau 
Here's what she did...

She set up each table with a color specific set of art tools, and even taped the markers with the respective color... 

She set up an agenda on the board so students were clear of the day's expectations...

And the best part?  She included a pair of "glasses" for each Materials Master that matched the Materials Boxes.  Material Masters have the choice of wearing these on their faces, on their heads, or hanging proudly from their t-shirts.  PRETTY Schnazzy!

Do you have any new and/or tried and true art or music systems that work that you would like to share?   Shoot me an email and I will share in next week's blog!

In the News this Week:
Letourneau Scholars getting their music on!
  • Ms. Jontos has been busy- just follow her on Twitter and you  will know how dedicated she is to her craft!  She is currently working on a STEAM Donor's Choose for iPads for her classroom.  Check it out HERE!
  • Not on Twitter?  Did you know you can use your FRPS Email to create an account?  Share the greatness that you plan for each day on Twitter!  Tweet away!  Many teachers in the district share their work on the page, and get hundreds of followers...  gone are the days of the paper newsletter.  Parents like to look at what their kids are involved in online!  Here's a feed from the new FRPS Site with some of our Twitter Feeds: Our FRPS Site 
  • At CPTs this week, we touched base on the start of the year, and there are some exciting things planned- one event that is always a hit..  Morton's Freaky Family Fun Night!  This event invites the Morton Community to have a little FREAKY FUN as teachers and students work together to transform an area of the school into a Haunted House...  This year's theme is Classic Horror Movies!  So excited to support teachers as they plan this- set for Thursday, October 25th.  Stay tuned for more details!
  • Band and Orchestra Itinerant Teachers are busy speaking to groups of students and demonstrating instruments for them (grades 4, 5, 6)- please reinforce taking up an instrument to your kids!  It's soooo good for the soul (and the brain)!
  • Band and Orchestra Lessons will start (some have started already!) for newbies soon.  The BIG String Rental Night is set for September 25th from 5 to 7pm at Durfee.
  • Coming Up- This year, we will continue learning to love music through The Orchestra MOVES program with the Rhode Island Philharmonic.  As you may remember, this program (partially funded through a Carnegie Grant) engages every 5th grader in FRPS in becoming "part of the orchestra" as they learn to play Strauss' Blue Danube, Bizet's Carmen, and Mozart's Le Nozze Di Figaro.  Amelia Nixon from RI Phil's Link Up program will be visiting us soon to deliver PD on the program, and this will include the curriculum guide, workbooks for all students and a recorder FOR 963 5th graders!  I can hear them playing already!  :)  The PD date is tentatively set for Thursday October 4th- I will confirm.  If it is set for this day, that would count as your monthly department meeting for September (we would not have one the week prior)
  • In addition, planning is in the works for the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra to visit 5 of our Elementary Schools as they engage our 3rd graders in a program named Resourceful Composer, Resourceful Planet!  This is always one too see- Terry Walkowicz does an amazing job with her team.   Stay tuned for school performance dates and the big culminating show at the Zeiterion!
  • Art teachers received a little gift to start the year off- a double sided tape gun!  This tool will help prep for the 2019 BIG BIG K-12 FRPS Arts EXPO!  The event will be held from 5-7PM on Thursday, April 25th.
  • As always, we will be submitting student art work to the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards..  here is a message from the president: September marks the beginning of a new program year at the Scholastic Awards--a year that is sure to be filled with the powerful voices and visions of our nation's teens. Submissions for the 2019 Awards open on September 12! 
The Week in Pictures!

Our own Fitz Lamarre, Art Studio teacher at RPA has this portrait hanging at the Fall River YMCA!

Check out this work in progress- a Sculpture challenge from Barbara Mullen's class!

Durfee Orchestra, led by Nicole Laprise- Every teacher's ultimate goal- to see their students leading one another!

In Gary Bigelow's Music and Audio Tech class, students compose their own short pieces using technology!

Chelsea Valois at Stone school has students working on a crazy hair day drawing, and they are "working their way" over to the cozy chairs behind them!

Last year's sculptures developed by Ms. Mullen's sculpture kids are currently displayed in Durfee's Main Entrance!

Mark Carvalho's Honors Artists working on pushing and pulling values as they draw from observation!

Mr. Carvalho getting his hands dirty modeling shading and highlighting!
Students in Ana Arsenio's Design class researching and planning!

Beth Laginess at HLCS gets her kids right into using art tools as they dig into what different lines look like!

In 6-12 CPT Next Week:
  • We will review the new online site for evaluations.  I will also do a refresher training on Tes Teach (Blendspace) as teachers have requested this.  
  • The lessons you create on Blendspace can be added to the K-8 Maps via a live link!
  • Check In with schedules.
Planning Ahead:
  • Durfee Dept Meet- 9/11
  • Principals Meet- 9/11
  • Durfee Faculty Meet- 9/19
  • Durfee Open House- 9/20
  • Band/Orchestra Instrument Rental Night- 9/25 @ Durfee 5-7 PM
  • K-8 Department Meetings (K-5 Music may move to 10/4)- 9/27 @3:45 Online (I will share docs to work on)
  • Release Time Day- 10/1
Have a wonderful weekend!


Thursday, August 30, 2018

Week Ending Aug 30, 2018

Look what I found at Watson!  

We have made it to the long weekend!  So good to see you all back, happy and energized!

I would like to share some important dates for the month of September in the Fine and Performing Arts world...  

Save these DATES!

  • Durfee's Freshman Club Faire- 9/7
  • Durfee Faculty Meeting- 9/11
  • Durfee Department Meetings- 9/19
  • Durfee Open House- 9/20 (5 to 7 PM)
  • FRPS String Rental Night- 9/25 (5 to 7 PM)
  • K-8 Department Meeting- 9/27 (3:45 PM- Virtual Meeting)
  • Durfee Welcome Back Football Game- 9/28
I have visited Spencer Borden, Talbot, Watson, Silvia, Tansey, Viveiros and Kuss.  Next week, I will be at the remaining schools just to check in and give you a little "Welcome Back" gift..  In addition, I shared the music map with all new teachers.  Please reach out to colleagues or me if you need ANYTHING!  We are here to help!  

Middle and High School CPT Schedule:
This is the list of CPTs I currently have in my schedule... we will use this time to plan, brainstorm lesson ideas, and prepare for arts expos/shows and/or concerts!  
  • Durfee and Itinerants: Fridays at 9 AM
  • Morton: Tuesdays 12:20 PM
  • Talbot: Mondays 9:45 AM
  • Kuss: Thursdays per 3 TENTATIVE
  • HLCS: Tuesdays at 8:30 AM
  • Doran: Thursdays at 2 PM
Our Monthly K-8 Department Meetings will be held on the last Thursday of the month, and I would like to have the first on on Thursday, September 27th.  
  • The K-5 art and music teachers have developed maps, so the work during monthly department meetings should be around adding to these (any resources or Blendspaces or other things to add), adding lessons to a folder per grade level, and planning for the Arts Expo and the big Link Up 5th grade trip.  We can have the first meeting be a face to face meeting, and then possibly have a few "virtual meetings" where we log into the drive and add lessons and info to the folders (I will share), and/or additional info to the shared maps.  I will share an agenda in an email later on this month!
  • The middle school art and music teachers are going to dedicate this time to completing the maps.  This work will be done on the drive (use the shared documents that we began last school year!) virtually- meaning we will not be travelling to a school to meet.  We will sign onto the drive/document at 3:45 and conclude our work an hour later.  This gives you the ability to see each other's work in real time, but not waste time travelling to a central location.  I can see what each of you are typing simply by looking at the type being entered and the revision history.  The goal will be to complete all maps for grades 6-8 by June.  
We have some great ideas for this year- Fine and Performing Arts will be KNOCKING IT OUT OF THE PARK!

..did I mention that this year's Durfee Musical is THE LITTLE MERMAID?

Have a wonderful weekend,


Monday, August 27, 2018


Welcome Back, Fall River Fam!

So happy to start another year with you all!  We have exciting things planned for this fall...  I will see all teachers Tuesday, August 28th as we begin Teacher Orientation Day at 8AM in the Durfee Auditorium!  The FRPS Convocation begins at 8:30, and teachers should be dismissed to their buildings at or around 9:30.  Dr. Malone has a great message in this year's intro.  It's all about never giving up.  Let's be the teacher in our students' lives who models this mantra.  NEVER GIVE UP on YOUR dreams, your music, your art, your craft.  This strength will be adopted by your students!  It is CONTAGIOUS!

I will be visiting all schools during the first few weeks of school to make sure teachers have all that they need- I may also have a few back to school surprises!  See you soon!


Friday, June 15, 2018

June 15, 2018 Wrappin' Up the Wrap Up

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What did WE do?

I wanted to share out one last Blog for the end of the 2017/18 school year, before you all get to cleaning up, wrapping up the year and saying farewell to your students...  This year, we...

  • Received almost $10,000 in grants to support art and music projects and programs
  • Engaged in Learning Walks to identify where we are in lesson planning and use of content vocabulary
  • Engaged in Professional Development in content specific groups including:
    • Blended Learning- Using Blendspace and Video Tutorials
    • Accountable Talk in Art and Music
    • Close Reading in Art and Music
    • NAfMe Music Webinars
    • Engaging Students in Music Through Movement
    • Using the Google Classroom
    • Station Rotation
    • All City Performance Planning
    • Curriculum Mapping with Live Links
    • UMD Assessment in Music
    • And More!
  • Taught over 1,000 students to play an instrument
  • Performed at Parades and Performances, both in our schools and in the community
  • Held Amazing Musicals!
  • Had students win Scholastic Art Awards!
  • Had an Art Ap 2D Student granted full tuition for 4 years at Mass College of Art!
  • Organized several weekly practice nights for Band and Orchsetra students to practice for Cll City, as well as Chorus!
  • Competed in METG Theatre Competition
  • Sent students to perform in SEMSBA Festivals
  • Sent Band, Orchestra, Chorus and Theatre students to Disney 
  • Had hundreds of parents and community members at the Annual K-12 Arts Expo- Thousands of pieces of art were presented for the community to see
  • Had the first Festival of the Arts night in conjunction with the Durfee Spring Concert- what a success!
  • Art teachers participated in school based events by sharing art work in Multi-cultural Nights, Parent Nights or Shows
  • Art teachers participated in fund raisers for schools
  • Music teachers helped in making graduations a success by prepping students for songs/performances
  • AP 2D Art and Music Theory Students worked soooo hard- fingers crossed for high scores!
  • I've probably forgotten tons!
And most recently, the Durfee Alumni Concert was held in the Nagle Auditorium, and the Jazz Band did an AWESOME JOB playing and premiering a MARY ZEMA ORIGINAL called "Fuego."   Mary said that the students were amazing to work with and Matt MacMullen was gracious enough to take on this challenging piece with his students!  Ms. Zema even got to play along with the band!  Such a great tradition and event... Thank you to all who worked so hard to make it a success...  Lara Beth Terry, Gary Bigelow, Nicole Laprise, Jay Treloar, and the whole team!  What a great night!

All of this work would not have happened without you, directly or indirectly- whether you are an elementary, middle or high school teacher, you had an impact on Our Kids and Our Programs.  Thank you, thank you!  

Planning for Next Year:
  • I am looking at all recommendations in evaluations to build next year's PD menu.  This way, teachers can draft their professional practice goals to identify areas of need, and I can support those needs through PD time.
  • In addition, I am noticing a few teachers would like to refresh their memories on the use of Blendspace and FlipGrid, so we will revisit those on a needs only basis.
  • I will continue to provide time for mapping the curriculum as needed, so that teachers can update the living shared documents with live links to all lessons in Blendspace.
  • I have submitted all supply orders- you should see those soon.  Please clean out storage areas and make room for new supplies for the first half of the school year
  • Buildings are sharing their Master Schedules with us, so as soon as I have all of the elementary schedules, I will hand them over to Band and Orchestra teachers so they can build their schedules.  As soon as they have these, they will reach out to building principals to let them know when they will serve the 4th and 5th grades.
  • Next year's calendar of events will be shared with all staff in an email by the last week of the year, so teachers can plan.  The K-12 Arts Expo is set for Thursday, April 25th, with Durfee Concert (part I), and the Durfee Festival of the Arts is the Thursday May 2nd with DHS Concert (part II).  We will be dividing up the Durfee Concert next year into two evenings, so that Chorus, Band, Jazz Band, Orchestra don't have to condense repertoire.   They will perform on the consecutive Thursday evenings right after the Art Shows.
I decided to have some fun with this end of the year Blog thing...  here goes.  

End of the Year Fine and Performing Arts Teacher Superlatives

  • Most likely to have one million friends- Nicole Laprise, Linda Cabral
  • Most likely to be found enjoying nature- Katie Grinnell, Mark Carvalho
  • Most likely to bring a pet to school- Heather Pereira, Karen Souza
  • Most likely to be seen on the big screen- Gary Bigelow, Lara Beth Terry
  • Most likely to win Jeopardy- Don Smith, Jayson Newell
  • Most likely to travel the world- Valerie Martin, Stephan Hettinger
  • Most likely to throw it down in a rap battle- Kelsey Raposa, Bill Brown
  • Best advice and artsy wisdom- Ana Arsenio, Brenda Gaudette
  • Most friendly- Caroline Herrero, Emily Plunkett
  • Most enthusiastic- Alex Ollivierre, Jenn Mattei
  • Most likely to create world peace- Rochelle Petttenatti, Bob Beauregard
  • Best musical wizards- Zack Roberts, Jodie Laprise
  • Most likely to pull a Thelma and Louise- Barbara Mullen, Christine Mandeville
  • Most distinguishable voice- Sondra Arnold, Gary Bigelow 
  • Most school spirit- Matt MacMullen, Becky Jontos
  • Most Likely to break out in song in an elevator- Michela Gardner, Mary Zema (wouldn't THAT be a duet?)
  • Most likely to be found in an art store throwing down $$- Steph Pereira, Sharon Arruda
  • Best Mona Lisa Smile- Karen Graca, Steph Tierno
  • Most able to shift teaching gears from K to 5 in .6 seconds- Deb DaCosta, Beth Laginess
  • Best teacher poker face, regardless of how silly the students get- Deb Cabral, Teresa Moniz
  • Best wardrobe (including necklace made by a student)- Kerin McGillicudy
  • Scariest teacher/death glare- Victoria Arons, Jay Treloar 
  • Most likely to be mistaken for a student- Victoria Arons and Chelsea Valois hahahhah
  • Most likely to scold you for eating food near the computers (and not sharing)- James Barron
Most likely to be eating food near the computers- Fitz Lamarre  ;)

  • Most Likely to Be Accidentally Called Mom/Dad- Donna Murray, David Arruda
  • Most likely to catch a student texting in class- Linda Cabral, Sandra Tavares
So, I am excited to end another year with you all, and even more excited to start it all up again in August!  Have a wonderful vacation- get some rest, have some fun, try new things and see you on Tuesday, August 28th at the FRPS Orientation Day!


      Friday, June 1, 2018

      And it's JUNE!

      Love these ladies!
      Congratulations to Audrey and Mallory Figueiredo and Samantha McCauley who were awarded the 2018 Durfee Junior Book Awards for Art and Music
      Kuss Orchestra at the Lake Compounce Adjudication Festival!

      I absolutely CANNOT believe it is June.  Where did this year go?  

      As the last month of our school year begins, I want to share a little poem written by a 5th Grader at Spencer Borden as she reflected on our BIG 5th Grade Trip to the Rhode Island Philharmonic last week..  Valerie Martin shared it:

      As a follow up to our visit to the Providence Philharmonic I asked fifth grade to write acrostic poems to reflect upon their their experience.  Although there were many lovely and funny results, I especially wanted to share this one by Sonija Wang...

      Music we can not see
      Unique sound fills the hall
      Songs we play with our souls 
      see and I feel along 
      Conductor giving instructions 

      How cool is that?  It's this type of learning experience that I feel builds culture and aesthetic appreciation in Our Kids.  Let's keep planning great experiences like these so our students build a love for the arts, and can express that love and appreciation with words like Sonija's.

      In the News This Week:

      • K-8 Monthly Department Meeting was Thursday.  Here are some outcomes of the meetings:
        • K-5 Art- Reflecting on tasks in K-5 Curriculum Map, teachers listed the new art tools they would like to use next year across the district to ensure they are all differentiating for learners with similar art tools..  Here are the items I will be looking to purchase for next school year:
        • (They came up with a list of materials that if the department would add to our supply list for next year. Many are great for adaptations for children’s with disabilities and to differentiate lessons) We also talked about using these things at station rotations!  Thank you to all who attended!

          Bingo Daubers
          Finger sponge daubers
          Mask modes (to make masks) 
          Plaster wrap
          Papier-mâché mix
          Texture plates
          Foam rollers
          Paint scrapers
          Chalk pastels 
        • K-5 Music: Teachers reflected on the RI Phil Event, discussed need to add Blendspace Links to K-5 Music Map, and listed some feedback to work on for next year:
        • We cherish the workbooks.  We hope they don’t go away!
        • Students overall enjoyed it and wished the trip was longer.
        • We would have liked another listening piece.
        • The Friday before Memorial Day is tough.  A different day would be better.
      • In addition, teachers discussed the option to attend the Zeiterion's 2019 Concert:
        • 3rd Grade: Learning in Concert- All schools present at the meeting would love to be involved.  Letourneau, Fonseca, Henry Lord, Doran, Greene, & Viveiros
      • 6-8 Music and Art Team:
        • We discussed the professional practice team goal for the 2018/19 School Year, and how that can support us in building a simple, user friendly 6-8 Map (similar to the K-5 Art Map) with links to Blendspaces and Power Points on the Drive.  Part of our PD time each month will be allotted to this goal, and we will be implementing a monthly department "virtual meeting" time where teachers will log into the drive on the last Thursday of the month for an hour to add curriculum to the map.  I will monitor input using the revision history.  Moving into the tech world!
        • Here is a link to the curriculum map for Art K-5: LINK
        • The professional practice team goal will be shared with the team in September, but will sound something like: The Middle School Art and Music teams will collaborate (via the drive during professional development time) to build a Curriculum Map that includes Objectives, Lesson Plans, Links to Blendspaces/Presentations and other resources.  All teachers will contribute components of the map to ensure collaboration and consistency across the district's middle schools.  
      Calendar Items:
      • Durfee Sculpture Exhibit at the Narrows!  See LINK
      • Durfee Graduation- Friday June 8th- 7PM
      • Band Parent Night- Monday June 4
      • String Parent Night- Tuesday June 5
      • Durfee Faculty Meeting- Tuesday June 12
      • Durfee Alumni Concert- Wednesday June 13
      Have a wonderful weekend!