Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Weekly Arts Wrap Up- Thanksgiving Week

We made it!!!!  Happy Thanksgiving, EVERYONE!!!!!

 Above: Durfee Performing Arts Teacher Squad      Below: Viveiros: Keith Haring inspired artwork

I am inspired this week by Chelsea Bolton, FRPS Art Teacher who has created a partnership at the Stone Therapeutic Day School with a local Animal Shelter Program. They just wrapped things up this past week. The Stone School had a furry guest visitor from Forever Paws come in with a member of the shelter, and read a story about homeless animals, followed by a Q&A about the animal shelter with the students. She also brought along her two Therapy Dogs, Tigger and Pax! The students got a chance to give the dogs a treat and walk them around the room. For the following weeks, the students worked hard at learning sewing and braiding techniques to make cat and dog toys to donate to the animal shelter.  Kudos to Chelsea for putting this together!  Here are some pics from the event..

Thanksgiving Thinking (One or two to chew on):
Summing these articles up, your work takes Collaboration, Curiosity and COURAGE to get it right for All of Our Kids.  You, the Fall River Fine and Performing Arts Team, teachers of art, music and theater, model these qualities daily, and I THANK YOU FOR THIS. 

Evaluation Nuts and Bolts: 

  • Teachers, just a gentle reminder to make sure you are taking a minute to set aside student work that might serve as evidence for your Student Learning Goals if you see students scheduled on a semester basis, as before you know it, we will be in semester two, and you may be switching student groups/cohorts/classes!
  • As mentioned in last week's blog, I am making my way to you this month and next and commit to giving you feedback that is grounded in your specific content with commendations  and recommendations.  As always, feel free to email me if you would like to meet and discuss ideas!

On the Calendar...
  • Monday, 11/28: Kuss CPT, Morton visits Amazon Fulfillment Center
  • Tuesday, 11/29: Morton CPT
  • Wednesday, 11/30: School visits
  • Thursday, 12/1: Durfee CPT (content specific) and Release Time Day- Meet at Durfee in room 82 after dismissal (allow for travel time) 
  • Friday, 12/2: Itinerant CPT
  • Saturday, 12/3: FALL RIVER CHRISTMAS PARADE at Kennedy Park!
  • Polar Express night at Durfee!  Friday, December 16th!
  • Durfee Faculty Meeting- 12/13
  • Durfee Department Meeting- 12/21
  • K-8 Arts Department Meeting- 12/1 (after release time day) at Durfee
Dismissal Times for students on 12/1/16 are as follows:
  • 11:00 a.m.: Durfee
  • 11:30 a.m.: Doran, Letourneau, Silvia, Stone, Watson, Kuss, Viveiros, Morton, Talbot, RPS
  • 12:30 p.m.: Fonseca, Greene, Henry Lord, Spencer Borden, Tansey
  • I have sent the agenda to you in an email.  In addition to the posted agenda, Music Faculty- Mary Zema will be presenting "Looking through the ASD/Asperger's Lens-Strategies for the Classroom Specialist."  You will become more familiar with what ASD is, and gain a better understanding of the ASD student as well as learn strategies for addressing classroom behavior and student needs.
Thank you and have a wonderful break.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Weekly Arts Wrap Up 11/18/16

Carlton Viveiros Elementary School Artistry

In the Arts This Week...

Our artists at the elementary and high school develop characters and other aesthetic objects through ideation, writing, and creation.  Form is the key arts vocabulary word in each lesson, defined as a three-dimensional geometrical figure (i.e.: sphere, cube, cylinder, cone, etc.), as opposed to a shape, which is two-dimensional, or flat. In a broader sense, form, in art, means the whole of a piece's visible elements and the way those elements are united.
In Music and Performing Arts Classes, students are busy preparing for winter concerts, musicals and other events.  Check out our calendar below for a list!

Eval Nuts and Bolts:
  • As the next phase of the evaluation process rolls out, you will be observed by your evaluator in the form of an unannounced observation, and provided feedback.  
  • These observations should include the context for learning (what was the task observed), as well as commendations and recommendations grounded in evidence and standards from the Teacher Rubric at a Glance.  
  • I am the primary evaluator for the Durfee Fine and Performing Arts faculty as well as the Instrumental Itinerants and Special Ed Art/Music faculty.  
  • Even though I am not the primary evaluator for the teachers at the K-8 schools, I commit to visiting you, conducting an unannounced observation and providing each of you with targeted content specific feedback.  My goal is to give teachers actionable recommendations as well as commend them for effective and engaging pedagogic strategies and rigorous lessons.
Share Outs and Shout Outs:
  • Arts Teachers: Here is the link to this month's School Arts Magazine..  The pages of this magazine can be projected in your classroom if you are thinking about ways to have students read with you about art, or simply use it for inspiration and ideas as you plan..  Good stuff.
  • Music Teachers: Take a look at this inspirational article written by Kim Kashkashian..  My favorite point she brings up in the article is this: "As musicians, then, each of us must search for a way to make a positive contribution. We know the power of artistic expression, and we know that music is essential to life, growth and our well-being, but do we really know how to share this gift of music? The major concert halls provide one such model, yet developing alternate models is vital. Young artists take music to shelters and prisons, hospitals and farmer’s markets. We are working to re-integrate music into the lives of everyday people. We hear “classical music is dead” repeatedly, but if you look around you will see it is alive and well, integral to the lives of more and more people, and popping up everywhere!"  Here is the article:
  • Shout Out goes to Katie Grinnell, DHS Ceramics Long Term Substitute who is rocking the Ceramic classes!  Brenda Gaudette will be so proud to see what you have done with these students!  Thank you for holding them to high expectations!
On the Calendar:
  • Kuss Musical, sure to be AWESOME!  Go see it and support your local young talent and hard work!
  • Wednesday, November 23rd- release time day (Durfee Pep Rally)
  • Friday, November 25th- Durfee Homecoming Dance
  • Monday, November 28th- Morton music students to visit Amazon Fulfillment Center
  • Thursday, December 1st, Release Time Day and Department Meetings (2:30 to 3:30)
  • Holiday Concerts and other Events:
      • Durfee- 12/15- 7PM
      • Durfee CB Classrooms- Music/Art Show- 12/14- 6PM
      • Morton- 12/13 7PM
      • Kuss- 12/15- 7PM
      • Talbot- 12/7- 6:30PM
      • HLCS- 12/13- 7PM
      • Spencer B- 12/21- During the school day
    • The Talbot Band will be playing at St. Bernadette’s Soup Kitchen on Monday, December 12th from 5 to 6PM.
    • The Durfee Musical is held from the 9th to the 11th of December at Durfee in the Auditorium- “Side Show”.
Durfee Details:
  • Monday, November 21: Student Teacher Switch Day
  • Tuesday, November 22: Squad Day/Group Costume
  • Wednesday, November 23: Red/Black Day
  • HALL PASSES:  Please make sure to issue a Hall Pass to a student at any time they leave the classroom. You can get these from the Main Office or you can sign their Agenda Books. Students should NEVER be allowed out of your classroom without a Pass.
  • ID BADGES:Students should continue to wear their ID Badges and Lanyards throughout the day.
  • Doctor's Notes: If a student asks where they bring their Doctor’s note, the answer is the NURSE’S OFFICE.
Have a wonderful weekend, team.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Weekly Arts Wrap Up- 11/10/16

Engineering Teacher Chris Golembewski painting during the Arts Integration PD

Collaboration and Growth: As we wrap up a short week, I want to thank the teams that worked together to either learn new strategies or plan engaging lessons for our kids during the full professional development day. Here's the wrap up of what we completed:

  • Elementary Music was very busy!  They spent the morning with Becky Chez at Letourneau, taking apart the new Link Up program for students- teasing out skills students need to be successful, and identifying which songs and rubrics they will focus on and adopt as a team.  Great work!  
  • In the afternoon, K-8 Music worked with Terry Walkowicz learning how to make a musical instrument with online resources and their new Makey Makey boards.  This stuff is AMAZING!!!!  We will spend some time during the January PD day to plan an engaging lesson for the 5-8th grades using this technology.
  • Elementary Art spent the morning at their schools, and in the afternoon, discussed what they want to have as components in their maps, and discussed lessons that help students achieve the standards.  They also looked at the current Boston Public Schools Map for Art and like the idea of "end of grade standards." They will be beginning the PD day in December by bringing samples of lessons that focus on specific elements and principles and I will spend time with them to support this work as they collaborate to build a common "working" map.    
  • Band and Orchestra Directors perused music and themes for the 2017 All City Band and Orchestra Performances.  This year's music is sure to surprise you!  Save the dates- All City Band is April 4th, and All City Orchestra is April 6th!  Directors also worked on preparing NBYSO tickets for our students to be able to attend the 11/20 concert.  In the afternoon, we had a luthier (string instrument repair specialist) work with teachers to teach them how to fix minor repairs on their own instruments.  They also reviewed the Watkins Farnum Scale Method that will help them to help students achieve their SLG!
  • K-8 Art worked during the afternoon session on mapping and are making good progress as they discuss standards and the tasks they plan for each.  
  • Durfee Teachers were involved in the Durfee rotating PD courses, including ELL strategies, Instructional Technology and the New Teacher Courses.  In addition, I want to give a HUGE shout out to Barbara Mullen, Mark Carvalho and Ana Arsenio.  Many DHS staff took their "elective" course on Arts Integration, and I sat in to observe.  It was a proud moment for me!  The Blendspace prepared took teachers on a visual journey through how to use art and projcet based learning to drive home their own content.  Here is the link to the presentation!
The next professional development day will be held on Thursday, December 1st.  It is a release time day, so I will send out the plan next week with plans for each group, but I would like to have you all here!  Many of you would like to hold the monthly department meeting after this meeting, so I will send an email out to poll, and let you know what the team decides.

Share Outs n'Shout Outs:
  • Mary Zema wants to share this with music teachers!
  • Toby Monte has student musician tickets (free admission) for Fall River instrumental students to the New Bedford Symphony Youth Orchestra's fall concert on Sunday, November 20th at Kuss.  Accompanying adults can enter for a reduced rate of $5.  FYI, normal rates are $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors.  For more info about the organization, check out the website at:
  • Keith White wants to share the Doran Kindergarten music class practicing steady beat in their pumpkin parade! 
  • I want to share a lesson plan with you that not only asks students to communicate visually, but to synthesize, compare, contrast and persuade for action and reaction.  Just like persuasive writing, political art asks viewers to consider a point of view, or just to think about what is happening in the world around them, but through visuals.  Take a look at how Mark Carvalho at Durfee communicates visually:
Snapshots from around the city...
           Lara Beth Terry's Theater Make Up Artists           Stephanie Pereira's Artists do Klimt!

On the Calendar:
  • 11/10: Term 1 ends! Trimester 1 (for trimester schools) ends December 2nd!
  • Durfee Assemblies:
  • Tuesday Grade 9: 2nd  Period, Grade 11: 3rd Period, Wednesday: Grade 10:  2nd Period, Grade 12: 3rd Period
  • 11/11: Veteran’s Day- No School- Durfee Band plays at Vet's Day Parade
  • 11/12: Redefining Art Education Conference- Lesley University 8AM-6PM
  • 11/16 Durfee Monthly Department Meeting 2:45PM
  • 11/17 Durfee Parent Teacher Conferences 5-7PM
  • 11/24-25- Thanksgiving Recess! (I love recess!)
Planning Ahead...
  • The Durfee Music Department is planning a Polar Express Night for kids! Friday, December 16th from 5 to 7 PM- tickets for sale at the door! Proceeds will help send DHS Musicians
  • K-8 Arts Teachers: The 2nd Annual K-12 Arts Expo is Thursday, April 27th. We will discuss during December Department Meetings. We can look at our notes from the reflections from last year's.. :)
  • K-12 Music Teachers: Please confirm your winter concert dates with me!  If you don't see your school here and you are preparing for a concert, please let me know the date and time.  This is what I have so far:
      • Durfee- 12/15- 7PM
      • Durfee CB Classrooms- 12/14- 6PM
      • Morton- 12/13 7PM
      • Kuss- 12/15- 7PM
      • Talbot- 12/7- 6:30PM
      • HLCS- 12/13- 7PM

Thank you! Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, November 4, 2016

Weekly Arts Wrap Up- 11/4/16

Barbara Mullen's Sculpture Students design characters inspired by stop motion art form

This week, I wanted to revisit our friend, Daniel Pink for inspiration, and for the first time this year, I will ask you to post at the bottom of this blog!  Watch this 5 minute video on three key factors of motivation, and RESPOND to this question BY CLICKING ON THE PENCIL ICON AT THE END OF THIS BLOG POST!

  • Daniel Pink identifies three factors in motivation- Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose.  How do you foster these during your classroom tasks?
  • Here's the link:
  • Don't forget to blog back your response!
In the Arts this week...
Heather Pereira at Doran celebrates Artistry!

This week in the Arts:

  • In Common Planning Time, across the district middle schools:
    • We planned collaboratively and mapped out learning at Morton 
    • We discussed the use of Classroom Dojo as a behavioral support system for sub-separate classes at Kuss
    • We discussed ways to use X2 more efficiently, and began a Blendspace on ELL strategies at Talbot
  • The Band Aids Parent Group met on Tuesday night at Durfee's Tradewinds- we discussed fundraisers for the big 2017 trip.  One of these is a Polar Express Night, to be held here at Durfee on Friday, December 16th. I will attach the flyer in an email to teachers at K-5 schools soon so that K-5 music teachers can help us promote this fun evening for the community children- they can watch the movie, have a little milk and cookies, and might even have a special guest visit them!
  • The Durfee Band attended the NESBA Competition..  Their performances earned our musicians two silvers and a gold!  Here's a video of their awesome work!
  • I began unannounced observations this week focused on our work this year- planning tasks that allow students to dig deep into rigorous art and music content, creating, problem solving, performing, and communicating via their art form (I A 3- Rigorous Standards Based Unit Design).  My goal is to be in at least 4 schools a week (other than my weekly visits) for the specific task of individual teacher feedback.  I will be in for approximately 10 minutes, take notes, pictures of work, and then send you the feedback via email within 48 hours.  If you would like to talk about the feedback, feel free to shoot me a time and I will visit!  Thank you!
  • Sunday, November 6th, from 1 to 5PM...  Our Big Fundraiser for Durfee's Music Program!!  The Michael Troy Memorial Concert!

Professional Development Day:
  • On Tuesday, we will have PD happening across the district for teacher growth.  I had attached the Agenda last week.  Here it is:

AM Session:  
Location and Task
Elementary/Middle Art
Middle School Music
At your schools until PM session
  • School Based Work-
    • Bolton at HLCS
    • McGillicudy- Watson
Elementary Music
8-11:45AM at Letourneau
Please bring a recorder and your Link Up Teacher Guide.
8:00-8:30 Discuss past experiences with the Link Up program
8:30-10:00 Play through this year’s music and analyze it for the skills our students need.
10:00-10:45 Connect Link Up to Recorder Karate
10:45-11:45 Schedule and plan common assessments
11:45-12:45 Lunch
12:45-1:00 Travel to Durfee
Itinerant Music
Meet at Durfee at 8 AM

  • 8-10:30- Band and Orchestra will plan for All City Events and the NBSYO 11/19 trip for all students in room 77.
  • 10:30- 11:30- Orch:Using Google Classroom for Orchestra- student self assessment (Gary’s classroom)
  • 10:30-11:30- Band:Using Smart Music to assess playing accuracy (room 77)
  • 11:30-12:00- Wrap Up- Check in meeting (room 77)
  • 12:00-1:00- Lunch on your own
PM Session:
Location and Task
Music K-8
1:00 to 2:30
In room 82- Lesson planning with Coding, Scratch and Makey Makey with Terry Walkowicz, Educational Coordinator from the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra
Art K-8
1:00 to 2:30
IN room 85- Mapping using Google Docs
Itinerant Music
1:00 to 2:30
  • Repair Clinic with Robert’s Music
  • Watkins Farnum Performance Scale Method for Site Reading (D. Smith/T. Monte)
All K-8 Teachers
  • Groups will share mapping progress, including examples of probing questions, content and lesson specific vocabulary and tasks and assessment/rubrics (room 82).

On the Calendar:

    • 11/8: PD Day
    • 11/8: Durfee Faculty Meeting at 2:45
    • 11/10: Term 1 ends!
    • 11/11: Veteran’s Day- No School- Durfee Band plays parade
    • 11/12: Redefing Art Education Conference- Lesley University 8AM-6PM
    • 11/16 Durfee Monthly Department Meeting 2:45
    • 11/17 Durfee Parent Teacher Conferences 5-7
Planning Ahead...
  • K-8 Arts Teachers: The 2nd Annual K-12 Arts Expo is Thursday, April 27th. Can we set aside some time during the November/December Department Meetings to discuss logistics? We can look at our notes from the reflections from last year's.. :)
  • K-8 Music Teachers: During November Department Meeting, can you spend some time sharing out your repertoire and planning for your school's concerts?
Thank you! Have a wonderful weekend, and 4 day week!