Friday, June 19, 2020

The Last Blog Entry of 2019/20 School Year

Closing the year is always bittersweet.  We count down the days to summer, and then, when we finally get here, it's always sad to see our kids move on as they graduate up to their next school.. but this year, we didn't get to do that.  We didn't get to go through all of those "end of year" routines, like wrapping up projects, spring concerts, festivals, trips, portfolio collection and then sending them off with a big teacher hug.  The impact that this pandemic had on our lives will be something that we never forget- my hope is that we come out of it, healthy and happy, having learned something about how to combat such an enemy, and can begin to restart where we left off with our kids...

 As we wait for the state recommendations for reopening in the fall, I am thinking ahead.  Here are some things that are on my mind...

Content Specific Stuff:
  • Use of online platforms for content- Google Arts and Culture, Quaver, Soundation, FlipGrid etc..
  • Choice of "text" for instrumental programs that match our situation's needs
  • Ways to use Google Classroom, Sites, Meeting and Slides that are innovative
  • Supply use in the classroom
  • Norming behavior around cleaning between classes for students (during the closing)
  • Communication with parents around use of "shared" supplies/objects
General "School" Stuff:
  • Plan for use of tech/learning spaces for homes with more than one student (can be discussed in advisory at school as "What I Need" at home to learn)
  • Norms for online behavior- district/teachers will need to norm expectations for kids: when online in classrooms- be present (not with camera off), be on time (will tardiness to logging on be an issue), be active learners (contribute to conversation)
  • Expectation for families who opt out of face to face (if that's allowed) for all content areas
  • First few weeks of school- usually we have open houses.. is there a way to still keep this tradition, but do it virtually?
Here are some GOALS I have bouncing around in my head for the fall:
  • Norm virtual instructional practices and tech options for teaching art and music online.
  • Design tasks that promote engaging interactions for all grade levels online.
  • Develop a scope and sequence to our maps that "connects" online learning to face to face learning so that students can continuously stay accountable to the work planned.
Nuts and Bolts Stuff:
  • Don't forget to get your grades in- make sure you are following the K-5, 6-8 or 9-12 grading info.
  • If you have any pics of CHALK ART, get those into the Slide Show!  Here is the link: LINK
  • Instruments- We have made attempts to retrieve instruments from students (some have been returned) and will continue to do so until the end of the year, and then will continue to try to get these back in the fall.
  • Last day of school for teachers is June 22.  
  • First day of school for teachers is Tuesday, September 1.
I leave you with a video that I shared on Twitter last night that I absolutely love- Here is Ellen Wang, from Durfee, playing for Ms. Nicole Laprise Turgeon as she prepares to be adjudicated for VIRTUAL SOLO FEST.. LINK TO VIDEO

Thank you ALL!


Friday, June 12, 2020

Week Ending June 12th, 2020


Welcome to the Penultimate Installation of the Weekly Arts Wrap Up!

With only a week and a day left, we want to wrap this year up on a great, positive note.  This week, in PLCs, we covered a LOT of important information so that we could set aside some time for our last PLC for some fun.  So, let's recap the PLC agenda items and then get to the last PLC's "MISSION."
PLC Recap:

  • Band and Orchestra: 
    • Solo Fest Check In
    • This is Why I play Check In
    • Grading Policy Review
    • Instrument Return Policy and Protocol
    • Instrumental Book Choice- Teachers will meet in separate groups next week prior to PLC so they can confirm what book they will choose for 2020/21 programs
    • Set ups for band and orchestra rooms?
  • K-5 Art/Music:
    • Chalk Art Challenge Reminders and Shout Outs
    • Virtual Art Gallery- Phase II Video on YouTube, Phase III Open until 6/16
    • Grading Policy Review and Look at New Doc
    • Google Sites
  • 6-8 Art/Music:
    • Chalk Art Challenge Reminders
    • Virtual Art Gallery- Phase II on YouTube, Phase III Open until 6/16
    • Grading Policy Q/A
    • Verizon Innovative Learning Schools Grant Info (BSE work, hand out of CBs)
    • Google Sites
  • Durfee:
    • Chalk Art Challenge Reminders
    • Senior Awards- Student Discussion- Music will do break out meeting today, Art has chosen Trista Emma Gomes.
    • Grading Policy Re-Review
    • Google Sites Check In
In the News This Week:
  • Here is the YouTube link to the Phase II video of the Virtual Art Gallery!  FRPS VIRTUAL ART GALLERY VIDEO
  • Our own Nick Quigley has offered to do a PD Session on how to use Google Sites.  Please reply to his email if you are interested.  I will add it to TeachPoint as a PD today, so if you do intend to complete this PD, you will get PDP points for it.
  • Lara Beth Terry has been keeping her Choral students engaged throughout this time, and she had our own Zack Medina compile this video.. you HAVE to watch: CHORUS I WILL FIGHT FOR YOU VIDEO
  • The Chalk Art Challenge!  Get your kids out there to make art on the sidewalks of our city!  See the flyer above for details!
And finally, the plan for next week...
  • ALL TEAMS WILL BE MEETING AT 9:00AM (I will send you a new Google Meeting Link).
  • During PLC, we will have a few minutes for business nuts and bolts, and then we will be spending a little time modeling a fun way to use Google Meeting...
    • The Mission: For this "Mission" you will need:
      •  a pencil/pen, and a piece of paper.  If you have markers or paint and want to go crazy, go for it- differentiate deep!  Hahhaha
    • You will also need a cup of your morning Joe.
    • Finally, for the wrap up, you will need your singing voices.
  • This is all I can tell you.
  • This mission will self destruct in 6 days.
Thank you and see you next week!


Friday, June 5, 2020

Week Ending June 5, 2020

Push the Chalk Art Challenge with your Kids!

Happy Friday to you all!

A Re-cap of the Week's PLC Chat:

  • We discussed Recertification Guidelines for Teachers.  I will attach these guidelines to the email so you can access the PDF.  Please make sure you keep your ELAR account updated if you are heading towards recertification.
  • We also discussed dates for release of guidelines from the state for reopening.  This information will be out during the week of June 15th, and the district will take a look, and plan from there.
  • We also discussed the use of Google Sites as a potential platform for next year.  Check out this YouTube video for a quick tutorial on how to set one up- LINK TO VIDEO
  • I ask that you try to build one within the next week so that we can touch base for a bit at the next PLC to talk about them.  Please share yours with me when you are done setting it up!
  • We planned for the next two and remaining PLCs- we will be discussing any grading questions you may have during next week's time together, and also talking about Google Sites.  The final week will be a little time to come together and have some fun.  I will give you the details at next week's meeting.
  • June 16th- Last day for students to engage in online learning
  • June 17-22- Grading window for teachers
  • June 22- Last day for teachers
Thank you all! See you next week..

Friday, May 29, 2020

The Last Week of May- 2020

Borrowed this family picture from my friend and FRPS Special Educator Bethany Franco.. I wanted to share because this picture is worth a thousand words right now for us as our children have been challenged to interact with their world through a glowing rectangle.  Let's keep faith in the dream that we will be able to return this great world to them soon.

As many of you are beginning to wrap up thoughts on this year, you may have questions about how next year will look.  As we discussed in PLCs this week, the year will happen for our kids, but may not be what we are used to.  As soon as we as a district have information from the state and DESE, we will problem solve together how to best implement the requirements, and sort through the guidelines.  Yesterday, this article was released:

Massachusetts Education Officials Working to Have K-12 Schools Open in the Fall

By Katie Lannan | State House News Service

State education officials intend to provide school districts with guidance on summer programming early next week, followed by a mid-June distribution of draft fall guidance to help schools plan to reopen in the new academic year.

"I want to be clear, we are working to have schools up and running in the fall, with appropriate safety protocols," commissioner Jeff Riley said during a Board of Elementary and Secondary Education meeting Tuesday. "Moreover, we hope to have some summer programming as well, but as with all, we will await the guidance from the administration on the timeline and the phases and when things are available."

We will continue to plan for our fall opening, and communicate with teachers, students and families as to how we can all still be safe while returning to school.  

Thank you for working on the Supply Orders- they were due today at 3PM.  I have these, and have read through them, and will send them to Russ Lewis so he can obtain bids/supplies for us.  Thanks Russ!  As discussed in PLCs, we are planning to still have students working from a classroom set of supplies, and I will be drafting a letter for families so that they understand the routine, and how they can send students to school with their own personal supplies if they wish.

I really wish I had more answers for you this week, and want you to know I am doing all I can to support my department throughout this time of uncertainty and new territory.  As news is released, I will do my best to be innovative in problem solving around how to best plan for the 2020/21 school year for teachers and students in the Fine and Performing Arts classes.  Please be patient, don't let the unknown stress you out, and know that we will work together to get "Back to School."

In the News This Week:
  • PLC: Itinerants:
    • We discussed Supply Orders, what to plan for- the usual amounts
    • Checked in with Solo Fest and "This is Why I Play" videos 
    • Established timeline for Itinerants to email principals with spreadsheets for instrument returns
    • Planned for next week's discussion on what books to choose for band/orch for next year
  • PLC: K-5: 
    • We discussed student work
    • Reminder about viewing the blog for weekly updates
    • Reminder regarding blogs
    • Reminder about Supply Lists and what to plan for
    • Chalk Challenge Plans
    • Plan for discussion next week will be around PDPs and re-licensure
    • Reviewed Grading and end of year dates
  • PLC: 6-8:
    • Discussed Supply Lists and plan
    • Discussed Chalk Challenge
    • Brief discussion regarding reopening- questions
    • Plan for discussion next week will be around PDPs and re-licensure
    • Reviewed Grading 
  • PLC: 9-12:
    • Discussed Grading, for seniors and 9-11
    • Discussed course sections from the count of student requests
    • Discussed supplies for next year
Planning Ahead:
  • Solo Fest Adjudication: Video submittal ending soon- June 5
  • Students return instruments- Weeks of June 8th and 15th
  • End of Online Teaching and Learning: June 16
  • June 17-22- Students complete/submit missing work- teachers grade
  • FRPS Chalk Challenge- June 15-19
  • Last day of school- Monday June 22nd.
Shout Outs:
  • Morton Teachers for their Morton's Got Talent!  Check it out:LINK
  • Mr. Q for consistently updating his Google Site for kids!!  Check it out: LINK
  • To all of you who challenged yourselves to build an online Bitmoji Virtual Classroom and will be using it with your kids!  Awesome work!
  • Rochelle Pettenatti for her undying passion for her kids and getting art supplies to them.. Congrats on the Donor's Choose donation for Doran!
  • Gael Berberick for being selected to perform in the As Music Heals Concert- June 1st!  Check it out: LINK

Have a great weekend, and see you in June!


Friday, May 22, 2020

Virtual Week Ending 5/22/20

..and a happy Memorial Day Weekend to you ALL!!
Look at these beautiful faces!  Love this collab from the K-5 Art Team! Image
And check out Ms. Jontos' Silvia's Got Talent post on Twitter!

This is the Flyer for the FINAL PUSH for ART!!!!

This week in the Blog:

  • Reminders:
    • Keep on keepin'on with those work logs!
    • We have 3 weeks left of Phase III!
    • The last week for kids will be a "collection/make up" week
    • Grading- please reach out to your leadership if you have questions, as the district has created a grading policy for all students.
    • Supply Orders are due to me next Friday.
  • PLC:
    • K-5- We discussed the idea of making pre-recorded videos to support the Arts Bingo work, and how this may be the better way to go since kids have lots to do with classroom teachers, and parents are feeling swamped.  This would allow for more independence as kids can log on when they have time, and do the task.  Mr. Quigley shared his YouTube Channel and his Google Site.  Students are still sending teachers their art work, and kids are engaging in classrooms for art/music. Also, many are collaborating among specialist teams to make the work more accessible to more kids. Supply orders were discussed- and the idea of ordering as we usually do as we do not know what September will look like and how the CDC guidelines will affect the number of marker sets, crayons, etc..
    • 6-8- Music Missions are getting there.. some engagement with students online.  Art is getting some engagement as well, as well as submittals of work.  These are being put in school virtual galleries as well as the district gallery.  Supply orders were discussed.
    • 9-12- We discussed the grading addendum shared by Mr. Desmarais, as well as how to use the shared spreadsheet with the students listed- X for work completion for each Phase.  We also discussed how AP students are doing with the deadline looming!
    • Band/Orch- Teachers will be sharing the spreadsheets of their instrument rentals with all building principals/clerks so students can be checked off of the list as they return these to their school's main office.  This will happen during the packet return week.  On the final week of school  teachers will go to each school building and store these instruments safely for the fall.  We also discussed Solo Fest and what is working for teachers/students.  Kids are staying engaged through "virtual lessons" with band and orchestra teachers.  We also discussed doing a collab mash up video called "This is Why I Play" that will showcase the work we do with our kids.  This can be used in the future as a promo video for our program!
  • Planning Ahead:
    • Solo Fest- students are getting their videos in!
    • #FRPSChalkChallenge- week of June 15-19 (see flyer)
    • Last official day of school- June 22.
    • Instrument Return Week- June 8-12 at all schools (main office).
      • Itinerants will visit schools during last week of school to store instruments returned.
  • Kudos:
    • To all who learned how to build a Virtual Classroom Power Point on GDrive with Ms. McG!  They look amazing, and I hope the kids are interacting with them in fun ways..
    • To all who are uploading student art to the Virtual Gallery!  So awesome!
    • To Rene Kochman of FRED TV who is loading our Phase II and then Phase III Virtual Galleries to "tape" so they can be aired on TV!
    • To the Durfee AP Kids who are uploading their portfolios this week!  You've got this!
    • To the Band and Orchestra teachers who have pushed their kids to continue on with their learning while challenging themselves to participate in Solo Fest!
Thank you all for being so cool, so positive and remembering to laugh during all this craziness...


Friday, May 15, 2020

Back in the Blog! Week Ending May 15, 2020

Check out this example of a Virtual Art Classroom by Ms. P!  Thanks, Kerin for teaching us how to do this!

Happy Friday, Arts FAM!
Feels good to say that to you all!  Hoping everyone is having a great day, and getting ready for an even greater weekend with sunny weather in the forecast for Saturday!  Get out there and take in that vitamin D!

In The News This Week:

  • PLCs- in PLCs this week, teachers discussed Phase III roll out.  In the 6-8 meeting, there were a few lingering questions that I will try my best to answer here:
  • 6-8:
    • Resource Folders- We can move forward with this work.  The art squares will each need a folder and the music mission as well.  These can be accessible for kids- I will put them in the middle school public folder.
    • Grading- the district policy says students are to be given a 70/30 grade- 70% is their grade to the date of closure, and 30% is the remote learning. This, to my understanding is a blanket grade- for all content.  At the high school for example, students (regardless of doing the art portion of the packet) will get the remote learning credit as a 100% averaged (with weight of 30%) with their grade at the time of closure in their arts course.  A student cannot be negatively affected by the remote learning.  To repeat, Inc/No Credit on remote learning will have no negative impact on final grade.  
    • Share Outs- we had some great share outs from teachers as to the work they are doing with kids online.  
    • How to showcase the work?  Consider posting pics or links to the work on Twitter, or email to me and I will post!  ALSO, don't forget to add the work to the Phase III Virtual Gallery!
  • K-5:
    • Ms. McGillicuddy led the charge this week, running through a few agenda items, and also sharing her expertise on how to build an interactive VIRTUAL CLASSROOM using Bitmojis and other live links to some really cool stuff (including texts like "Mouse Paint!"
  • Band/Orch Itinerants:
    • Discussion of phase 3 packet- There is a K-5 and 6-8 Arts Task in the folder for phase 3- There is none listed in the high school packet as these teachers are collaborating with ELA and SS, infusing arts with other content (as the state did NOT list Arts Power Standards for Phase III). 
    • Money returns at middle schools. Talbot taken care of. Kuss has not heard back yet- I will ask Maria.
    • High school building, new materials etc. 
    • Spreadsheet for incoming 6th graders and all rising students. To be given to middle school guidance counselors.
    • Solo Festival discussion- What scales should be played

  • You should be seeing these completed within the next few weeks by your evaluators. Check TeachPoint, but you will get an email alerting you when they are there.  PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU SIGN THESE AND OTHER ITEMS YOU NEED TO..  Please reach out if you have any questions.  Thanks!
On The Calendar:
  • May 25th- Memorial Day
  • June 2nd- Senior Check Out
  • June 5th- Senior Graduation
  • June 16th- End of Phase III 
  • June 17th-22nd- Wrap Up/Make Up Week
  • June 22nd- Last Day of "School"
Quick Note:
  • Russ Lewis will be sending you an email with a request for you to submit supply lists for the next school year, so please be on the look out!  Thanks Russ!
See Ya!