Friday, September 30, 2016

Weekly Arts Wrap Up 9/30/16

Welcome October!

This week, I am inspired by energy.  The energy I see and feel in the work you are leading is contagious and positive.  Look at OUR KIDS as they problem solve, create and design, sing, play and perform!  These pictures capture the essence of creativity.  Today, I also had the opportunity to witness the DHS Band Flash Mob in the cafeteria to get kids pumped for tonight's GAME!!!!  Awesome stuff!

Collaboration and Growth:
This week, we...
  • Collaborated in middle and high school CPT's to draft goals that are meaningful to our craft and to our students' growth.
  • Discussed and shared possible ways to measure and assess growth, through rubric making and cross content collaboration.
  • (K-5 Music) met with Amelia Nixon from the RI Phil on Thursday to begin their new work with the 5th grade through the Orchestra ROCKS program!
  • (K-5 Art and 6-8 Art/Music) met to begin the important work of goal setting as a team toward a collaborative grade level focus.
Planning Ahead: The Release Time Day! Durfee students will have short periods and be dismissed with no lunch served at 11AM.  We will begin PD at Noon as a whole school in the auditorium.  We will also have time to continue to work on SL and PP goals.  Elementary and Middle schools will be dismissed after lunch- please see your building schedules for details!  I would like to advocate to have K-8 art and music teachers here at Durfee after dismissal to also continue working on SL and PP goals as well as mapping the curriculum.  Please discuss with your building principals before Thursday!
  • Thursday, October 6th is the first of 4 release time days this year.  I would like to have K-8 teachers across the district meet in common grade level/content groups to continue and complete this work.  Teachers, please touch base with your building leaders to ask if you are able to collaborate on that day.  We will meet here at Durfee (in art and music rooms) after your dismissal (allow travel time) and work on both the goal setting and begin the mapping work if time allows.  I know that schools are released at different times, so as you arrive, filter into the working groups!  Art can meet in rooms 82 and 84, and music in Mr. Bigelow's lab.
Evaluation Stuff:
Continued from last week- In terms of what you would like to focus and reflect on while self assessing and goal setting, consider reviewing your last formative/summative evaluation, and looking at the commendations and recommendations...  What are those things that you consider an area to focus on?  As I looked through the feedback and needs from last year, I am noticing a trend for a potential focus on the following areas in professional development:
  • II A. Instruction Indicator 1. Quality of Effort and Work 2. Student Engagement 3. Meeting Diverse Needs
  • III C. Communication Indicator 1. Two-Way Communication 2. Culturally Proficient Communication
Also, here is a document to help with drafting the wording of the goals:

On the Calendar:
  • Monday: CPT Kuss 7:30
  • Tuesday: CPT Morton 7:50, Band Aids Meeting- 6PM
  • Wednesday: CPT Durfee 10:30
  • Thursday: Release Time Day- K-8 Meeting at Durfee (with OK from Principals), Durfee will have building based PD and then time to work on goals
  • FridayCPT Doran 8:00, CPT Band/Orch 12:30
  • Planning Ahead: Columbus Day- No School Monday, October 10th.
Arts Around Us:
Have a wonderful weekend, and Go Pats!  

Friday, September 23, 2016

Weekly Arts Wrap Up 9/23/16

Students in Mr. Bigelow's Audio Tech class engineering new instruments using Makey Makey boards!

In the ARTS this week:
  • Art and Music Teachers have been busy this week as they dig into those elements and principles of art and music with their scholars.  It is visible in lesson planning that you are building tasks for students that ask them to explore "Ideation."   
  • 2015/16 AP 2D Art students scored an average of 3.2- one of the HIGHEST averages of all AP courses offered at Durfee!  Kudos to Alyssa Viveiros and Mr. Carvalho for her score of 5.  Wow!
  • Yellow School Bus Grant- I have applied for this $200.00 grant for Durfee, and have shared the link with art teachers at K-5 schools so they can apply for a grant for their students.  If you are interested, click here:
  • K-5 Music Teachers- Please let me know if you did not receive the Music K-8 package.  I ordered it for those who requested it.  
  • K-5 Art and Music Teachers completed the new Report Card Comments for students last spring.  If you would like to see the grade level expectations, you can find these here: ​
Collaboration and Growth: 
  • I have shared documents for the evaluation and growth process with the teachers who I evaluate directly.  These can be found in your Gdrive in the "Shared with Me" folders.  Your self assessments and goal drafts are due on October 7th.  Here are thoughts I have around this process:
    •  I want to assure you that we will continue to work together to grow and learn from each other via the evaluation process.  
           I am your primary evaluator.  We will continue to work together in CPT and PD time to ensure that we are learning, talking, sharing best practices and strategies and always being reflective.  
           The self assessments should be where we start the thinking and reflecting- when you are working on the self assessments, you may also be talking about teaming up with colleagues to create a goal that you could share with colleagues, based on your common needs, that would be great.  If in reflecting, you feel you need an individual goal, that is great, too- it should be about what area both you and your students need growth in..  

      I will share a series of docs on the Google Drive with you, and these will be for you to use when you are ready to submit your self assessment and goals.  (the Google Drive will replace Baseline this year)  As of this morning, you still have access to your Baseline info if you need to access it- do it sooner than later if you need to review or print anything from last year!

      In terms of what you would like to focus and reflect on while self assessing and goal setting, consider reviewing your last formative/summative evaluation, and looking at the commendations and recommendations...  What are those things that you consider an area to focus on?  As I looked through the feedback and needs from last year, I am noticing a trend for a potential focus on the following areas in professional development:
      • II A. Instruction Indicator 1. Quality of Effort and Work 2. Student Engagement 3. Meeting Diverse Needs
      • III C. Communication Indicator 1. Two-Way Communication 2. Culturally Proficient Communication
      Let me know if you would like a copy of the Teacher Rubric at a Glance and I will provide you with a paper copy, or simply the link to it: 
  • I would like to quote one of our own art teachers here, because I am so inspired by reflective statements like these: Reflecting on my professional growth last year, I would like to continue to grow in the area of use of technology to engage and assess students in my classes, and while I have implemented new strategies in this area, my goal for this year will be to practice these with consistency. I would like to focus on the measurement of the goal through Google Classroom and Forms, as well as Plickers. In addition, I would like to learn new strategies for lesson planning using Google Drawings to make the Student Learning Goal visually engaging, student friendly, and include all components (question, task, goal..).
  • Kudos also go out to Kate Ventimiglia, Teresa Moniz, Andrea DeLima, and Linda Cabral for an absolutely "Symphonic" CPT at Talbot this week.. We discussed and planned ways to work together in building tasks for kids that stem from rigorous questions and brainstormed examples of how to work together between art and theater.. Our collaborative group work fueled lessons that I am eager to see in action!
  • Monday: CPT Kuss 7:30
  • Tuesday: CPT Morton 7:50
  • Wednesday: CPT Durfee 10:30
  • Thursday: CPT Talbot 1:20, Monthly Department Meeting for K-8 Fine and Performing Arts Teachers- 3:45 at Spencer Borden (K-5) and Kuss (6-8)
  • Friday: CPT Doran 8:00, CPT Band/Orch 12:30
  • Planning Ahead: Release Time Days: 10/6, 12/1, 2/9, 3/2!
Arts Around Us:
  • The Narrows:
  • New Bedford Art Museum: Take a look at the Classes for Adults!  Wow!
  • PPAC: Presents Wicked!  Get there- closes 10/8!
  • Zeiterion: Check out the Creative Classroom opportunities at the Z!
Have a wonderful and ARTSful weekend!  

Friday, September 16, 2016

Arts Wrap Up 9/16/16


This week, I wanted to share with you one of the lesson plan components shared with me by AP 2D teacher, Mark Carvalho.  In this image, he has the "ingredients for success" for students.  Everything from the objective with content specific vocabulary to artists who currently work in the industry using these Elements and Principles to communicate visually.  Kudos to Mark, who creates these "snapshots" for learning that are a tool to engage and communicate the objective in a way that is visually pleasing and clear.  He shares these with me on Google Classroom, a great tool that many of you are using!

In the news this week:

  • Durfee, Kuss, Morton, Talbot and Doran: Thank you for CPT'ing with me!  Next week, we will continue where we left off.  Meeting notes should be able to be accessed on the GDrive.  
  • K-5 Music Teachers: I have applied for grant funding from the Fall River Cultural Council for funds to cover the cost of the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra's 2017 program, entitled Gravity in Space and Sound, an interdisciplinary unit of study for 3rd graders at Greene, Spencer Borden, HLCS and Letourneau.  I have applied for these grants in the amount that will cover your 3rd grade attending the concert at the Zeiterion on March 6th, 2017, and will keep you posted.
  • You have probably reviewed the evaluation information with your building teams, and please feel free to email me with any questions you might have around this process.  We will discuss goal setting at the next monthly departmental meeting so we can collaborate on team goals for art, music and performance.

Monthly Meetings (your department meetings):

 I am planning to have the K-5 and 6-8 art, music and theater teachers work together again this year during a monthly hour long department meeting.  This would take the place of your "building based" monthly department meetings.  We will be working on curriculum mapping and planning, sharing student work and outcomes and planning for district wide arts events (K-12 Arts Expo, concerts..)
.Here are the meeting days/times:
  • K-5- Last Thursday of each month,(9/29) 3:45 at Spencer Borden (art in art room, music in music room)
  • 6-8- Last Thursday of each month,(9/29) 3:45 at Kuss Middle School (art in art room, music in music room)
  • 9-12- (per Durfee Schedule) Third Wednesday (9/21) of the month at 2:45.

Big News: 

Here is the link to purchase tickets to the Michael Troy Memorial Music Foundation Benefit Concert:

Proceeds from this AMAZING event will go to the Durfee Music Program.  Let's put this one on our calendars, and make an awesome night!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Welcome Back!

Hope the first week back was filled with great things for all of you...  In our schools this week, I saw:

  • New music teacher Steph Tierno in her new music classroom at Fonseca, working in a circle on getting to know each other!
  • Fonseca Veteran art teacher, Deb Cabral with a group of excited first graders!
  • Silvia's Steph Pereira getting her amazing art studio ready for her young artists- if you want to see an environment that engages and is artfully organized, check this one out!
  • Henry Lord's 7th graders, learning expectations through music with Mr. David Monte!
  • Kuss Artists Sondra Arnold and Karen Graca, busy at work, prepping and working with their scholars.
  • Greene artists busy making their personalized name plates with Ms. Arons
  • Letourneau's own Becky Csizmesia closing up music class with a little video-guided step by step dance tutorial to "Happy" by Pharrell!  
  • Talbot art students designing portfolios and completing an identification task of the Elements and Principles!
  • Durfee band students busy practicing, tuning and getting ready for performances!
  • Durfee arts students problem solving through art and design tasks that will no doubt hook them into the learning for the semester!
I am so happy to be back. Working with my team and seeing you work with our kids makes my heart smile.

News items I would like to share:
  • We welcome eight new members into our Fine and Performing Arts Family!  We will have them share a little about themselves at our first whole group meeting this fall!  Welcome to the best F&PA Department in the State!  :)
  • Both Heather Pereira and Gary Bigelow have been awarded a total of over $1,500.00 in projects that they requested this summer through Donors Choose.  Kudos to you both!
  • Fonseca Elementary School has a music classroom again!
  • We will be a part of a huge fund raising event this fall, held at The Narrows.  This concert will be a tribute to Fall River native Michael Troy Manuels, singer and songwriter.  Proceeds from the concert will go to the Durfee Music Program.  Stay tuned for details, and mark your calendars!  November 6th from 1-4!
Nuts, Bolts and Calendar Stuff:
  • Durfee Faculty- Don't forget to take attendance in every class!  Also, faculty meeting on the 13th, and department meeting on the 21st!
  • All F&PA Faculty- Please, when sharing/submitting lesson plans, consider sharing with me also!  This gives me a more informed look at what you are planning week to week so I can come by and visit!
  • Itinerants and Durfee Faculty- Please upload your weekly lesson plans to the new folder on the drive that is shared with you by Monday morning.  
  • Middle School Faculty- I have Kuss, Morton and Talbot's CPT times on my calendar.  I will be visiting weekly as I had in the past.  
  • Music K-5 teachers- Please discuss the opportunity that Terry Walkowicz has for us with your building leadership- I would like to let Terry know which schools will be participating with their 3rd Graders.  This year, the task is titled "Gravity in Space and Sound."  Super cool stuff.  Terry will bring the NBSO to your schools and teach your students.  The concert and busesare the only parts of this experience not covered by the Music in the Parks grant.  Deadline is next Friday- let me know!
  • Music K-5 Teachers- Also, you should have received your K-8 Music Subscriptions at your school if you put in the request with me.  Let me know if you do not have it and you requested one.
  • The Big Yellow School Bus Grant- Want one?  Application opens Wednesday the 21st!
May your weekend be filled with art, music and drama (the good kind)...