Friday, September 13, 2019

Week Ending 9/13/19

I am a huuuuge Jocko Willink fan.  

He focuses on teaching the leadership principles that he learned as the Commander of the SEAL Task Unit Bruiser, where he was stationed in Iraq fighting in the Battle of Ramadi. He is the co-owner of the leadership consulting company, Echelon Front where he, along with Extreme Ownership Co-Author Leif Babin, provide practical solutions to create high performance success in professional teams.  

You may be thinking, why is my Fine and Performing Arts Director starting off the third week of school with Jocko?  Because, his message applies directly to the work that we do EVERY DAY from here forward.  Last week, in the blog, I mentioned HABITS...  

HABITS + Consistency = DISCIPLINE

  • The habits your students adopted should now be set- they will be looking to YOU to hold them to it, every day! 
  • The habits that we model as educators and mentors to our kids are crucial- how to persevere, stick to something even when it's hard, and learning new ways to "do you!"  

In the Arts This Week...

  • Our Band, Orchestra and Percussion Teachers thank YOU!!!!  They have been busy demonstrating at schools so that interested students can sign up to be a part of the FRPS Performing Arts..  They thank you for being supportive as they get their students underway..  Please continue to collect permission slips and remind kids about the annual string rental night at Durfee- 9/24!  
  • As students in grades 4-12 become a part of these growing programs, they may have questions for their teacher about what days and times they have lessons...  please assist students by being that connection to their teacher- Our team of Itinerants are:
  • ORCHESTRA:
    • Mrs. Nicole (Laprise) Turgeon 
    • Ms. Jodie Laprise
    • Ms. Caroline Herrero
    • Mr. Tom Pritchard
  • BAND:
    • Mr. Jay Treloar
    • Mrs. Donna Landers Murray
    • Mr. Matt MacMullen
  • PERCUSSION:
    • Mr. Alex Ollivierre
  • OPEN HOUSES!  Yes, it's that time of year!  Make sure you have your classrooms ready for Open House Night at your schools!  Student work may even be up or around the room so parents can see what is happening in your class.  Have expectations for learning posted and available for parents and families.
  • The Durfee Marching Band received an OK at Monday night's School Committee meeting- we WILL BE GETTING NEW BEAUTIFUL MARCHING BAND UNIFORMS!!!!!!!!  Thank you so much for your support, Dr. Malone and SC Team!!!  We will make you proud!
  • The YEAH Corps had a great night at the Narrows to fund raise for their after school art program for Durfee and Diman students to be paid artists working under mentors (at the Narrows Galleries)..  They made $10,000 at the event!
Some Pics from the week...
Isaiah (Durfee Art Student) talking to artist James Reitzas at the Narrows Center for the Arts

Writing from Ms. Pereira's Art Student (Durfee)

 Bob Ross, still leading the way at Viveiros Elementary!
Drawing Class

Make Those WORD WALLS!

Lesson Planning- Right there for the kids (and of course the grown ups) to see!

Loving the planning and risks these kids are taking on in Sculpture!

And Mr. Pritchard, with a brand new Uke, heading to a FRPS school near YOU!

IN PLC:
  • This week, in PLC, we worked within teams to discuss the goals for the year.  At some schools, there is an Improvement Plan, and we will support that with our goals through our planning work with the National Core Arts Standards, Workshop Model and Strategies.  In other (non-improvement plan) schools, we will also be working with these, implementing tasks that are derived from the standards.  
  • Next week's PLC will be used to plan lessons for the week of 23rd to 27th, with specific grade level standards (for middle schools), and Durfee team will be looking at a couple of lessons to calibrate.
Coming In HOT..
  • Durfee Home Game (Marching Band Performing)- 9/20
  • District String Rental Night- 9/24
  • Band Competition @Dartmouth- 9/28
  • Open House- Durfee 9/19
  • Open House- Morton- 9/16
  • Release Time Day- 10/7
Department Meetings:


  • K-5 Art and Music- Thursday, September 26th- 3:45 at Silvia (Music-Planning for Recorder/Quaver/Goals.  Art- Planning for tasks and goals)
  • The elementary music team will be sharing Quaver accounts for our curriculum resources. To access the materials go to Quavermusic.com  and click the green login button in the top right corner
  • Username: bquental      Password: taco1215
    Username: mrsjontos     Password: music1

    There are tons are resources and activities. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to the team that piloted the curriculum last year: Branden Quental, Stephanie Tierno, and Becky Csizmesia Jontos. We'll talk about this more at our department meetings.
  • 6-8 Art and Music- Wednesday, September 25th- 3:45 at Morton (Planning for goals using NCAS Grade Level Standards)
  • Department Meeting- Sept 18- 2:45 
NUTS AND BOLTS REMINDERS:
  • Lesson Plans are due on Monday morning
  • Sub Plans need to be prepared and left on your desks (Durfee has a specific folder) in case you are absent
  • Workshop Model aspects should be present (in your room and in your planning):
    • Posted Agenda
    • Warm Up (up to 5 min)
    • Opening (10-15 min)
    • Work Period (30-40 min)
    • Closing (5-10 min)
Thank you, and have a great weekend!

Jackie

Friday, September 6, 2019

Week ending 9/6/19

Those first week FEELS... 











In the ARTS THIS WEEK:

  • Middle and High School Arts Teams met this week for PLC.  Our goal this year is to support the schools' overarching goals- whether in a Turnaround Plan or SIP, the Fine and Performing Arts teams will work via our content to support the learning of our kids so that they develop critical arts thinking skills, and the ability to communicate through a variety of the arts.  Task planning using the NCAS will be a goal for us all as we dig deeper into our specific grade level standards for art and music.
  • I visited some of the new teachers on the team!  They are getting settled and rooms look awesome!  Shout out to Gael Berberick, Abby Casey, Gennaro Gonzalez, Tom Pritchard, Chelsea Swan, and Nick Quigley- their learning environments are so inviting and conducive to great opportunities!  INSERT round of APPLAUSE HERE!!!!!!
  • We are advocating at the School Committee Meeting to acquire new Band Uniforms for the Durfee Marching Band!  Wish us luck on Monday night!
  • Teachers were busy this week setting the stage for learning- lots of conversations were heard about expectations for learning and positive behavior.  This is SUCH AN IMPORTANT TIME...  For new teachers, I want to share here a few exerts about the first weeks of school and why it is so important to set that stage and DEVELOP HABITS for learning: 
  • It takes 27 days to form a habit. Remember when your mother used to ask you to make your bed every day? Then, after a while, you simply started making it on your own --without having to be reminded to do it. Making your bed every day had become a habit.
  • When thinking about the kinds of good habits you want students to develop, go back to that list of expectations and procedures you created. For me, for example, it's important that students enter my classroom, check their mailboxes, and start working on their focus assignment before the first bell rings. It's important that when I use the quiet signal, my students get quiet and focus on me. I expect my students to stay in a quiet straight line when I walk with them down the hall. It's also important to me for students to be silent, with a clean area, before I dismiss them. Those types of habits, as well as others, also might be important to you. If you're not really sure what you expect of your students, then take some time right now to brainstorm those actions and behaviors that you want to become habits for your students.
  • But how can you build in students the good habits you expect? First, clearly explain your expectations to students. Next, make sure students practice the correct actions and behaviors daily. (It's especially important to practice behaviors over and over again during the first couple of weeks of school.) Third, be consistent about requiring specific behaviors. If you see students not meeting your expectations, don't be afraid to stop and take the time to practice the correct action or behavior right then and there. 
The National Core Arts Standards and YOU:
  • This year, we are using the National Core Arts Standards to plan our lessons.  Please use the website to access these standards- NCAS LINK
  • K-5 and 6-8 Teachers: As you plan your lessons for each grade level, select the grade level standard from the strands, and include these in your lesson plans.
  • Please share lesson plans with me so that I can be in tune with what you are planning!
  • Yes, this change will impact our old maps.  We will tackle that at a later time.  This year, the goal will be to use these standards to drive what we plan, and YES, this may be a shift in the way you plan.  Many of you may want to consider a team professional practice goal around implementing these National Standards into your planning.
What's Ya Goal This Year?
  • The district's goal is to boost student achievement and provide supports for learning- that boost can only come from a combo of support, love and hard work.  ELA, Math, Sci and SS teachers will be deepening the "what" of their work as they develop tasks that have our students think, produce, discuss, revise, plan, and present.
  • Our goal will be to develop art and music tasks that ask students to:
  • Create- Generate and conceptualize
  • Perform or Present- Convey meaning
  • Respond- Perceive and analyze
  • Connect- Interpret and synthesize
PLANNING using the NCAS, Made EASY:
  • What does this mean for you as the master planner for your kids?  Here's an example I have used in PLCs this week...
  • You love making gargoyles with kids...
  • You used to make the gargoyles based on Elements and Principles and Connections Strands from the Mass Curric Frameworks.
  • Using the NCAS, you can still make gargoyles!
  • Dig into the connect/respond strands- where historically are gargoyles from?  What is their meaning in society?  Discuss, read, present!
  • Now, before the CREATE stage, brainstorm...  if gargoyles aesthetic meaning was a symbol of protection, what might students need protection from?  Have them brainstorm, and develop characteristics as they plan their creature on paper!  This is a standard!
  • Finally, have students create the gargoyle either in 2 or 3D, and YES, use the elements and principles to do so!
Coming Up On the CALENDAR:
  • I will share next week a document that you can use for Goal Setting (PPG and SLG) with some sentence frames that tie directly to the district and department goals.  Be on the look out, as this can help you immensely- I will be basing much of our PD time on these goals!
September:
  • K-5 Art and Music- Thursday, September 26th- 3:45 at Silvia (Music-Planning for Recorder/Quaver/Goals.  Art- Planning for tasks and goals)
  • The elementary music team will be sharing Quaver accounts for our curriculum resources. To access the materials go to Quavermusic.com  and click the green login button in the top right corner
  • Username: bquental      Password: taco1215
    Username: mrsjontos     Password: music1

    There are tons are resources and activities. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to the team that piloted the curriculum last year: Branden Quental, Stephanie Tierno, and Becky Csizmesia Jontos. We'll talk about this more at our department meetings.
  • 6-8 Art and Music- Wednesday, September 25th- 3:45 at Morton (Planning for goals using NCAS Grade Level Standards)
  • DHS Faculty Meeting- Sept 10, 2:45.
  • Department Meeting- Sept 18- 2:45 (Goal planning)
Instrument Demos for Band and Orchestra:
  • Principals, your band and orchestra teachers will be in touch regarding scheduling engaging demos to recruit band and orchestra students in grades 4, 5 and 6! Stay tuned for details!
Professional Development:
  • October 1st is the first Release Time day for the District- I will share the agenda in the next week.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Jackie

Thursday, August 29, 2019

The Welcome Back Blog

THE WELCOME BACK BLOG!
Image result for back to school memes for teachers

We left off in June with the following message, and I would like to paste it here to start the year on the same track...

...We are all going to be engaged in, and touched by the concept of Turn Around Plans and School Improvement as we begin our work this school year.  The district office and schools have been very busy looking at student growth, curriculum, benchmarks, assessment, discipline, attendance and other data as they plan for next year.  This is important stuff, because it's this "stuff" that will be what we are constantly thinking about, planning with, and using to drive the work.  So, what is the "work?"  

From my perspective, our work that lies ahead is to make sure that we take a solid look in the mirror every day.  How do we plan, what do we plan and why do we plan it?  Our kids come to us, many with deficits in their learning, gaps and other components that make our work EVEN more of a struggle, but all the more necessary.  As schools wrap up this year, many meetings are focused already on how we will achieve better results for kids, with higher standards, and more supports.  And again, you may be asking yourself, what might this mean for me?

"Struggle" is that space- past discomfort, where and only where growth happens.  That no pain, no gain philosophy is what makes competitors faster and stronger, because we all know, without struggle, there is no improvement.  

So, in faculty meetings, department meetings, common planning meetings- you will hear words like "assess performance, specific feedback, monitoring, systems, vision, targets.."  Know that these will and do relate to all of us.  As we begin the last week of the 2018/19 school year, know, too, that we are all in this together, and that for me, the work of a Turnaround District may be misrepresented in it's namesake.  We should see ourselves as not turning around, but turning it UP!  


So, what's NEW?
  • You may have seen an email with a link to a Google Form for Lesson Planning. This is a platform we will use in Middle School CPTs and some Department Meetings to calibrate lesson planning and plan tasks based on the National Core Arts Standards.  I took the workshop model* (*district is using workshop model across the board) and typed in all of your standards into a drop down menu so all you have to do is type in the task details and simply choose from the menu of standards.
  • We will be using Quaver for K-5 Music!
  • Grades 6-8 Music Classes will have a special surprise in September!  Amazon has "adopted" your classrooms, and will be donating a set of 5 Chromebooks, USB Mics, and Makey Makeys for you to incorporate into your task planning.  This music tech station is for you to use to plan tasks using a music making app- but you can also use it to design new musical instruments (Makey Makey does that!) and other tech related stuff...  Congrats! We will have some time during the first half day to learn how to use this tech.
  • We will not be using RI Phil's Link Up this year- I have ordered recorders for you- I will be sending these over as soon as they arrive.  We will use the Quaver Curriculum and Recorder Karate to drive recorder learning.  In lieu of performing at the RI Phil in May, we will discuss the potential to perform at the FRPS Annual 5th Grade Spelling Bee!
Planning Ahead:

Monthly Department Meetings:
September:
  • K-5 Art and Music- Thursday, September 26th- 3:45 at Silvia
  • 6-8 Art and Music- Wednesday, September 25th- 3:45 at Morton
  • Durfee Faculty Meeting- Sept 10, Department Meeting- Sept 18- 2:45.
Instrument Demos for Band and Orchestra:
  • Principals, your band and orchestra teachers will be in touch regarding scheduling engaging demos to recruit band and orchestra students in grades 4, 5 and 6! Stay tuned for details!
Professional Development:
  • October 1st is the first Release Time day for the District- I will share the agenda in the next couple of weeks.
Supplies...
If you submitted supply orders in May, they should be almost all delivered- Russ Lewis is waiting on a few things that are back ordered.  

Have a wonderful long weekend!

Jackie

Friday, June 7, 2019

Week Ending June 7th, 2019

Image result for joe rogan quotes

I wanted to start today's Blog with this quote, because we are all going to be engaged in, and touched by the concept of Turn Around Plans and School Improvement as we begin our work next school year.  I know that the district office and schools have been very busy looking at student growth, curriculum, benchmarks, assessment, discipline, attendance and other data as they plan for next year.  This is important stuff, because it's this "stuff" that will be what we are constantly thinking about, planning with, and using to drive the work.  So, what is the work?  

From my perspective, our work that lies ahead is to make sure that we take a solid look in the mirror every day.  How do we plan, what do we plan and why do we plan it?  Our kids come to us, many with deficits in their learning, gaps and other components that make our work EVEN more of a struggle, but all the more necessary.  As schools wrap up this year, many meetings are focused already on how we will achieve better results for kids, with higher standards, and more supports.  And again, you may be asking yourself, what might this mean for me?

The struggle an athlete (like Joe Rogan, above) talks about is that space- past discomfort, where and only where growth happens.  That no pain, no gain philosophy is what makes competitors faster and stronger, because we all know, without struggle, there is no improvement.  

So, in faculty meetings, department meetings, common planning meetings- you will hear words like "assess performance, specific feedback, monitoring, systems, vision, targets.."  Know that these will and do relate to all of us.  As we begin the last week of the 2018/19 school year, know, too, that we are all in this together, and that for me, the work of a Turnaround District is misrepresented in it's namesake.  We should see ourselves as not turning around, but turning it UP.  

You think your lessons you plan for our kids are already great?  Make'em GREATER.  

You think the work students produce in your care is valid?  Make it ESSENTIAL.  

You think you're at the top of your game?  Make 2019/20 the year you OUT PLAN, OUT TEACH and OUT DO the current YOU.

Sounds great, right?  Well, it will be- because we will commit to our kids, our community and each other as we all struggle and grow and 
TURN AROUND IT UP.

Thanks,

Jackie


“Once you understand what excellence is all about…you see how excellence manifests itself in any discipline.” – 
Joe Rogan

Friday, May 31, 2019

Week ending May 31!

Thank you!
-To the group of dynamo teachers who came to the last K-8 Fine and Performing Arts meeting yesterday...  It was so good to just sit and talk about our year, our work, our families and our lives!  You guys and girls really rock.  

In the Blog This Week...

As we enter the last TWO WEEKS of school for the 2018/19 School Year, I wanted to thank everyone for staying the course- teaching in an urban district can be difficult (like you didn't know that) but the rewards of seeing students succeed despite all of the obstacles are so great.  Know that YOU are a part of the reasons why Our Kids have hope and happiness in their hearts as they leave for the summer.


Check out this Lady Liberty illustrated by a first grader at Tansey (Thanks, Ms. McG)...  This is the only picture I will share from this week because I think it summarizes, and speaks volumes about the "What" that we do.  Here's WHAT I mean...

Looking at this piece, I think:
  • YES, our kids CAN draw!
  • YES, our kids can learn how to improve their drawing skills, even if they don't think they can draw!
  • YES, our teachers plan lessons that dig deep into art content standards- at ALL GRADES!
  • YES, we can support the other core curriculum (here, SS) as we create, because the arts are EVERYWHERE...
Evaluation Time:
  • You should be wrapping up your formative or summative evaluation with your building leader soon, and I will be looking at these on TeachPoint so that I can see where our commendations and gaps are.  I will use this to support our PD plans for next year.
  • Lots of work was done this year with the use of technology as an engagement strategy- great evidence of this in music and art rooms across the city!  Thank you!
  • Lots of work driving use of specific content language in art and music this year!
  • Lots of work getting Our Kids to perform at a higher level!
And Down the Road...

  • Tuesday, June 4th- Morton Concert, DHS Chorus to Perform at State House!
  • Wednesday, June 5th- Talbot Concert
  • Friday, June 7th- All Evals Due on TeachPoint
  • Monday, June 10th- Underclassmen Finals- 1 and 2
  • Tuesday, June 11th- Underclassmen Finals- 3 and 4
  • Wednesday, June 12th- Underclassmen Finals- 5 and 6, also last Fac Meet for Durfee Staff
  • Thursday, June 13th- Make Ups for Finals, and Last Dept Meeting
  • Friday, June 14th- LAST DAY OF THE 2018/19 School YEAR!

Thank you,
Jackie



Thursday, May 23, 2019

ANOTHER Great Week in The ARTS for FRPS!

Wow!

Even though we are all very busy with evaluations, whether preparing for them, or writing them, I want to make time to share the great successes we are celebrating this week.

The Durfee Arts Festival!  What a great night.  We didn't have the turnout we had hoped for (we are already thinking of ways to improve this), the work was regarded as some of the most successful and the quantity far exceeded our past years!

Here are some photos from the event!


















And then, there was College Signing Day at Durfee, where our AWESOME DURFEE BAND led students in and out of the presentation!


And let's not forget about the HUGE GRADE 5 FIELD TRIP TO THE RI PHILHARMONIC!!

Over 800 students traveled to Providence this week to perform with the Rhode Island Philharmonic!  Check out a few pics from the event!









Finally, we heard last night that the Durfee Theatre Company was nominated for several METG STATE Awards!  46 schools participated statewide .Only 5 schools were selected for each category. 

Here is a link to the announcement of the finalists across the STATE, and DURFEE IS ONE OF THEM for several categories!  METG LINK


On the Calendar:
  • Thursday, May 23rd- Senior Awards Night at Durfee
  • Friday, May 24th- BIG Adjudication Trips for Morton, Kuss and Talbot!  Break a Leg!  Score HIGH!
  • Friday, May 24th- Band and Chorus will travel to Oak Grove Cemetery for their Memorial Day Performances
  • Tuesday, May 28th- Small FRY (Fall River Youth) Band Concert!  Also, Senior Finals- 1 and 2
  • Wednesday, May 29th, Small FRY (Fall River Youth) Orchestra Concert!  Also, Senior Finals- 3 and 4
  • Thursday, May 30th- Senior Finals- 5 and 6
  • Friday, May 31- Senior Prom!
  • Tuesday, June 4th- Morton Concert, DHS Chorus to Perform at State House!
  • Wednesday, June 5th- Talbot Concert
  • Friday, June 7th- All Evals Due on TeachPoint
  • Monday, June 10th- Underclassmen Finals- 1 and 2
  • Tuesday, June 11th- Underclassmen Finals- 3 and 4
  • Wednesday, June 12th- Underclassmen Finals- 5 and 6, also last Fac Meet for Durfee Staff
  • Thursday, June 13th- Make Ups for Finals, and Last Dept Meeting
  • Friday, June 14th- LAST DAY OF THE 2018/19 School YEAR!
Thank you!

Jackie


Friday, May 10, 2019

May 10th, 2019- The ARTS are ALIVE in FALL RIVER!

THE ARTS ARE ALIVE IN FALL RIVER!
Our Durfee Band and Color Guard visited the three Middle Schools today to excited and engage our kids!  Hoping to see more 9th graders joining the marching band, drum core and flags! 

I have heard this phrase from several people in the past few weeks, and that is a tribute to the work that the TEACHERS OF OF THE FALL RIVER PUBLIC SCHOOLS do EVERY DAY with OUR KIDS.  I appreciate my teachers EVERY WEEK, not just this one!  We have a great, strong team.  Let's keep this momentum going- we have five more weeks of school!  

Keep those tasks engaging, relevant and COOOOOOL...

Here are a few examples of some tasks I wanted to share!

Gary Bigelow's Music and Audio Students are working through synthesis and creating original timbres, as they write out algorithms- Gary called it "Music Meets Math!"



Ms. Pereira's Art 1 students used watercolors to experiment with color, and then used black ink to "find" forms in their experimentation- then identifying foreground and background by using black to create this depth.


And take a look at our students at SOLO FEST!  This great event was held here at Durfee on Tuesday- soooo many kids, so many trophies!




Some ARTS Updates, Nuts and Bolts!
  • DHS is traveling to the Great East Adjudication Festival on Saturday!  Wish them luck as they are judged on their performances in band, chorus and orchestra!
  • DHS Faculty Meeting is Tuesday- May 14th.
  • The Durfee Festival of the Arts is Friday, May 17th, from 5-7PM!  We will be giving away 100 DICK BLICK pencil cases, donated by Dick Blick for the event!  Let's talk it up with our kids!  First 100 through the door get the art supplies!
  • Calculus, The Musical will be here at Durfee on Friday the 17th!  
  • Durfee Alumni Concert is Wednesday the 22nd!
  • DHS Dept meeting is May 22nd.
  • DHS Senior Awards Night- May 23rd.
  • Talbot, Morton  and Kuss band, orchestra and chorus and will be heading to their adjudication festival on Friday May 24th!  Good Luck! 
  • Band Parent Night (Our Newbies)- May 28th- 7:15 PM
  • Orchestra Parent Night (Our Newbies)- May 30th- 7:15 PM
  • 5th Grade RI Phil Concert- May 22!
Have a wonderful weekend!

Jackie