Friday, January 27, 2017

Weekly Arts Wrap Up 1/27/17

Durfee Artists and Writers Win Scholastics Awards!  

Congratulations to the following five Durfee students who earned recognition in the 2017 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards:  

Art:


​            Macklin Coronel '17, honorable mention in photography for 'Fall River City Highway


                                    Nichel Nhem '18, honorable mention in ​illustration for 'Sweet'

Writing:

Cade Scott '17, honorable mention for his memoir 'Cosmogony'
Florentino Correa-Garcia '18, silver key for his memoir 'The Boy'
Lisa Houston '18, gold key for her memoir 'Tinkerbell' 

This week, I am inspired by the Massachusetts Cultural Council!  Great news...  

Governor Charlie Baker today released a state budget proposal that would invest $14.3 million in the arts, humanities, and sciences through the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) in the coming fiscal year. The Governor's budget plan for Fiscal Year 2018 would represent a 2.5 percent increase above this year’s state appropriation for MCC.

The MCC seeks a $16 million state appropriation, a $2 million increase, for FY18. MCC Executive Director Anita Walker said the agency will continue to make the case for that increase in concert with MASSCreativeMass Humanities, and its network of advocates across the state. As part of that effort, MCC has released new data on the benefits of arts and cultural funding to the state’s economy, communities, and the education of our young people – and what long-term reinvestment in its work can accomplish.

“We thank Governor Baker for his support for the arts, humanities, and sciences,” said Anita Walker, MCC Executive Director. “The Governor’s budget proposal recognizes the creative sector as a vital force for economic prosperity and community vitality across Massachusetts. It represents a solid start to the budget process.”

Collaboration and Growth:

Last week, I shared with you the Professional Development plan.  Simply scroll down to last week's Blog entry to see it!  In addition, Becky Csizmesia will be leading a morning session here at Durfee to bring K-5 music faculty together to continue their work together.  Here is a list of what she will facilitate: 
I am excited to get to work!

The PM Sessions are listed in last week's Blog.

IN CPT's This Week:

It has been a pleasure meeting with teachers this week, discussing ideas at each of your schools..  This week, we discussed:
  • Kuss CPT discussed the start of a new semester, tech for music class, and theater production.
  • Morton CPT discussed the planning around the upcoming event, International Night, to be held on March 23rd!
  • HLCS CPT was spent discussing goals for the eval process.
  • Talbot CPT continued discussion into what constitutes a higher order thinking "question" and what possible outcomes of these may look like.
  • Durfee CPT continued the collective planning of a department wide norm for cell phone use in classrooms, and how to message this to students at the start of semester 2.  We reviewed the code of conduct, agreed upon responses, rules and expectations for cell phone use that will be a common practice across the department.  New year, new Us!  Check out our set up!  It fits 30 cell phones, and the first 6 students can even plug in and charge up..  

A Shout Out!

FRPS Helps "Save the Day" with the help of UMD and other schools when MMEA Southeastern Districts was canceled due to snow!  Check out this article in today's Southcosat Today!  http://www.southcoasttoday.com/news/20170126/umass-dartmouth-hits-high-note-for-high-school-musicians

Here's a snippet from the article: "Hosting a festival like this requires a great deal of planning and can be a logistical nightmare. The district has a full orchestra, a full concert band, a large full choir, a jazz band and a percussion ensemble. Because all of the groups need to rehearse at the same time, extra equipment, percussion instruments and staging materials must be brought in to supplement what is already at the university. With the help of many directors and music departments notably from UMass Dartmouth, Dartmouth Public Schools, Fall River Public Schools and Sharon Public Schools, these gifted and hardworking young musicians will be able to present their concert.
"Adjunct professors Tobias and Charlene Monte contacted Dr. Ronald Sherwin, chair of the Music Department, who contacted College of Visual and Performing Arts dean David Klamen, and the plan was approved within hours. Dartmouth High School Music teachers and parents along with UMD music students have volunteered to assist at the event."
And so, it's a Go! On Sunday!

On the Agenda:

  • Monday: PD Day..  See the agenda attached to email or in last week's Blog!  K-8 Dept Meetings after PD.
  • Tuesday: CPT Morton, HLCS, Durfee Black Day- 1st day of Semester 2, last day of January!  Also, this is the 2nd Visioning Meeting night for the new Durfee- 3 to 7PM.
  • Wednesday: Formative Evaluations
  • Thursday: CPT Durfee Arts Team 10:45, CPT Talbot 1:20, Durfee PTO Meeting 6:30 PM
  • Friday: CPT Doran, Itinerant CPT, and Term 2 grades due at 3PM for Durfee Faculty!
Can you believe we will be into February next week?  Yikes!
 Thank you for all you do, and see you Monday!
Jackie

Friday, January 20, 2017

Weekly Arts Wrap Up- 1/20/17

This week, I am inspired by our students' ability to communicate the "what they are doing and learning" in your classes.  In so many schools, our kids just love talking about what they do with you!  They are great advocates for your programs- I spoke to a student named Lauren last night at the Durfee New Building Visioning Meeting, and she was very open about her answer to my question..  I asked her "What memories will you take from this building?"  Being a true renaissance girl involved in a plethora of school activities and classes, she said, "I feel at home in the music wing.  It makes me feel comfortable- like I want to be there all the time.  I'm going to miss that."  This is a tribute to the "work" that we do, not only with Lauren, but all of the other "Laurens" we serve.  You are making memories and teaching skills that go far beyond their formative years.  
I know January can be one of the most trying months in terms of behaviors, no matter the grades you teach, so I want to say STAY THE COURSE..  Do not stray from your rituals and routines because students are testing the waters and pushing the buttons.  Don't give up, don't get rattled, take a deep breath and stay the course.  Isn't that what we would say to them when they face adversity and have to persevere?  

Here are some pics from my visits throughout the week...









And here is the Professional Development Agenda for next Monday...
Monday, January 30, 2017
Fine and Performing Arts Professional Development Agenda
Our day will be a combination of learning, sharing and planning, as we collaborate and adopt new strategies (and supplies!)  to design rigorous arts lessons.  Teachers will take part in classes held at Durfee from 12:30 to 2:30 within their content areas.  Monthly department time will also be planned from 2:30 to 3:30 for teachers who participate in our content specific monthly department meetings (K-8).  Our goal is to learn new skills and strategies within our content areas, as well as how to create grade leveled lessons that synthesize this learning with new supplies and ideas.

DPink.png

Afternoon Session: 12:30 to 2:30 PM
Group
Time
Location and Task
Itinerant
Orchestra and Band
12:30-2:30
Jay Treloar will provide professional development on Orf Instruments- Held in Orchestra Room.  In addition, teachers will continue to plan for the District Solo Fest and All City Performances throughout the day in room 77.  
Art K-8
Art 9-12






Art K-8
12:30-2:30







2:30-3:30 (dept. meet)
Carolyn Jane from Dick Blick Art Company will be here to teach art faculty how to use a few new supplies..  I have ordered sets for you to take back to school with you.  The goal will be to experiment with the media, as she will lead this, and then decide what grades this works with.  Lessons can later be planned from there and shared in the map on the Drive.  This will be held in room 84.

In addition, K-8 teachers will be getting the measurements of all art bifolds for the April 27th Expo and planning their work ahead of prepping student work on Kraft paper for the show.  Mapping for each school and bifold allotment per school should be completed by the end of the day. Held in room 84 and Auditorium Foyer.
Music K-8
12:30






1:30-3:30
Matt MacMullen will be providing a lesson on using alternative Percussion Instruments with students.  You will walk away with the lesson and the supplies to implement this in your classrooms.  Teams should discuss which grade this is most appropriate with.  Becky Chez will lead that discussion.  Held in the Band Room.

In addition, teams will check in with Link Up program- student learning goals, field trip planning and other details for the 5th grade trip on May 24th at 9:45.  Room 33.

K-5 teachers will also collaborate on the planning for the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra trip to the Z for 3rd grade on March 7th at 9:30 for select schools.  Room 33.

Itinerants will have part of the morning session at UMass Dartmouth (after superintendent’s address) with Dr. Ron Sherwin and students in the music program there.  They will be discussing assessments in instrumental programs and have time to discuss best practices for sight reading assessment.

Post PD:

Feedback for my learning: Please use the feedback sheet to give me feedback for my learning and growth.  My areas of focus for this PLC session are:

Standard I: Instructional Leadership. The education leader promotes the learning and growth of all students and the success of all staff by cultivating a shared vision that makes powerful teaching and learning the central focus of schooling.
Indicator I-A. Curriculum: Ensures that all teachers design effective and rigorous standards-based units of instruction consisting of well-structured lessons with measurable outcomes.
I A 1: Standards Based Unit Design
I A 2: Lesson Development Support

From today’s PD, I will use:
  1. ____________________________________________________________________________________
  2. ____________________________________________________________________________________
For the next PD, I would like to learn:
_________________________________________________________________________________________
Other feedback?
_________________________________________________________________________________________
PS: I would like to advocate for K-8 Art teachers to be in your buildings for the next two release time days so that you can arrange student work on kraft paper for the District Art Expo.  This way, you have time to arrange the work and prep it on pre-cut paper and bring that to Durfee for the set up in April.

News, Nuts and Bolts:

  • End of term 2: January 27th.
  • PD Day: January 30th. As you have probably heard, we are happy to invite you to begin the day at Durfee for an 8AM start with the Superintendent, Dr. Matthew Malone.  You should be back in buildings by 9:30..  I have PD starting at Durfee at 12:30.  See the plans below!
  • Formative Meetings: Teachers on one year plans and have Formative Meetings scheduled, and some are complete at this point. Please reach out to me if you need support around any of this process.  Upload or bring to the meeting any artifacts that you would like to discuss as rationale for the midway point in terms of SLG and PPG, as well as for the 4 Standards.  We will discuss, check in as to where you are in your action steps and then plan for the remainder of the cycle.  Based on this meeting's discussion, I will write the formative report and share it with you.  Included in this document will be commendations and recommendations for growth.
Durfee Stuff:
  • The Visioning Meeting with the architect team proved to be a great start to a very important proecss. Gary Bigelow, Ana Arsenio and I will be working through two additonal meetings with the team to advocate for our fine and performing arts spaces. We will keep you posted!
  • At the last full group CPT, we discussed a cell phone policy for all fine and performing arts classrooms, and I would like to continue this conversation with you on Wednesday at CPT- I want to walk away with a plan that we all believe in and will stick to.  I have copies of the code of conduct, and want to outline the cell phone policy, the "behavioral responses" we and administration need to follow, and how this will look and sound in our rooms!  
  • Semester 2 Starts- Tuesday, January 31st
  • Grading window closes on 2/6
  • PT Conferences- 2/8- 5 t0 7PM
Sharing Cool Blogs!

Our own Lara Beth Terry has a blog!  She has established a professional goal for herself of communicating with families and students via an online platform..  Check it out!  https://durfeetheatreandchorus.blogspot.com/

And check out this Orchestra Blog!  -A great resource for string teachers..  
http://orchestrateacher.blogspot.com/

On the Calendar:
Monday: Kuss CPT- 7:30, Greene visit- 8:30, Formatives
Tuesday: Morton CPT- 8AM, HLCS CPT- 8:30o, Co-teaching with Ana Arsenio- Design Class, Meet with Superintendent to discuss programs, Formatives
Wednesday: Walk through DHS with Maria Pontes- Per 5, Formatives
Thursday: Talbot CPT 1:15, Formatives
Friday: RPA Opening Celebration, Itinerant CPT 12:30, Formatives

Have a wonderful weekend!
Jackie


Friday, January 13, 2017

Weekly Arts Wrap Up- 1/13/17

Welcome to another weekend!

Let's start this weekend off with a celebration!!!  I am excited to share with you the district WINNERS of the annual BCC Martin Luther King Jr. Art Contest.  We have 9 students this year who have been chosen as winners in the 17th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Art Contest. At the BCC breakfast, they will announce which place each poster won. The keynote speaker this year is Cape Verdean American filmmaker/historian Claire Andrade-Watkins, a professor of Africana and Postcolonial Media Studies at the Institute for Liberal Arts & Interdisciplinary Studies at Emerson College as well as a 2016 Visiting Scholar, Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice, and a Fellow, Swearer Center for Public Service at Brown University. Mrs. Andrade Watkins was a 1995-1996 Fulbright Scholar in Cape Verde and a recipient of an American Philosophical Society grant in l997.  Congrats to the following Fall River Artists!

  • Morton: Eden McCausland   
  • Talbot: Alexia Springer, Nalah Jovan, and Savannah Pimental, and the 4th student remains anonymous
  • Kuss:  Julie Norverca, Alannah Young, Emily Vaillancourt, and Emily Noversa
Check out these young designers at Durfee!
This new course, entitled "Design" asks students to work through the design process via fashion design, interior design, graphic novel design..  It's an amazing group of trail blazers, led by the fabulous Ms. Ana Arsenio!

And check out the Letourneau 3rd grade with Terry Walkowicz and her New Bedford Symphony Orchestra musicians as they help students connect aspects of space and planetary movement through musical composition..  Common vocabulary was evident in this interdisciplinary learning experience for students, and it was fascinating to see and hear the connections between orchestral pieces and the way the planets move around the sun.  She continued to discuss graphing movement (as she did with us last year) in sound as it moves upward and downward, but made connections to science and the planets.




Planning Ahead:

  • MLK Day- Monday
  • End of term 2: January 27th.
  • PD Day: January 30th. Plans for the district to come together for a half-time chat are in the works! 
  • Monday, Monday...  You will have two more "missing Mondays" in the month of January- plan accordingly!
  • Formative Meetings: I have reached out to all teachers on one year plans and we have our Formative Meetings scheduled! Please reach out to me if you need support around any of this process.  Upload or bring to the meeting any artifacts that you would like to discuss as rationale for the midway point in terms of SLG and PPG, as well as for the 4 Standards.  We will discuss, check in as to where you are in your action steps and then plan for the remainder of the cycle.  Based on this meeting's discussion, I will write the formative report and share it with you.  Included in this document will be commendations and recommendations for growth.
Durfee Stuff:
  • The newly designed Durfee High School needs YOU! Next steps involve a "Visioning Meeting" with the architect team. Maria has emailed the staff with more information because WE (would love and) NEED YOU (of course it's not mandatory, but would be a great way to be a part of the plan) to be part of this process by attending two four-hour planning meetings on January 19th and 31st from 3 to 7PM.
  • Department Meeting- Wednesday, January 18th at 2:45- PD reflection
  • Semester 2 Starts- Tuesday, January 31st
  • Grading window closes on 2/6
  • PT Conferences- 2/8- 5 t 7PM
PD Day "Trailer"

Never Work Harder Than Your Students!
I had discussed this last week as a possibility, but the day will start with the superintendent message, so I will hold on this one..  Can't wait to see you all together on Monday!

Art EXPO!
We are also going to work on the plan for our annual K-12 ARTS EXPO during the PD day.  Mapping out the locations for each school, and attributing a number of bi-folds will help us to be organized and ready for our families!  Save the date- Thursday, April 27th from 5 to 7PM!

Solo Fest Planning!
Itinerant Band and Orchestra directors will continue to flesh out the plan for this huge district wide event.

Orf Methods!
Our own Jay Treloar will be working with music teachers sharing strategies for Orf instruments in the classroom.

Using Tech and Text in the Art Room!
Our own Victoria Arons (with a possible surprise co-presenter) will be walking teachers through the use of engaging text and technology in the art room.  You will also leave with a little surprise at the end of this PD!

Dick Blick comes to Fall River!
A teacher rep from Dick Blick Providence will be with us for two hours to show us some great new art supplies and ways to plan engaging lessons for your students with these.  You will leave with a work sample and supplies!

Common Mapping Time!
We will continue to work on our scope and sequencing for grades K-8.

In closing, keep sharing/sending in those lesson plans weekly with me!  I DO read them and it helps this busy lady keep a pulse on all of the great work that you plan for OUR KIDS.

Thank you and let's go, PATS!!!
Jackie

Friday, January 6, 2017

Weekly Arts Wrap Up- 1/6/17

Welcome to the end of the first week of 2017!  If you are reading this, you survived a 4 day week filled with art and music making.  

I found an article that has some interesting strategies for consideration as we swing back into the work...  Here it is!

How to Use Brain Science to Engage Students After the HolidaysJudy Willis, Neurologist

As the holidays come to an end, thoughts of students and lesson plans replace time spent indulging in puddings and turkey. But teachers know all too well that it’s challenging enough to motivate a class on a Monday morning after a weekend, never mind after a longer break. To reignite energy levels this January here are my tips as a neurologist and former teacher:

What gets the brain’s attention?

All learning starts as information perceived by the five senses: vision, hearing, touch, taste and smell. There are also millions of sensory nerve endings throughout the skin, muscles and internal organs. But the brain is only able to process about 1% of this information and it gives priority to certain things.
With the help of brain imaging, we can see that the sensory information that gets priority is that which helps mammals survive. This tends to be information that is unexpected – our attention filter first takes in sensory information about change and novelty.

On the first day back get your class to share stories

After a break, there is a higher than normal amount of new sensory information competing for access to the brain. Students have not seen each other for a while and the novelty of returning to school is enhanced by their interest in what classmates did during the holidays.
So beginning the first day back by returning immediately to routine is unlikely to get your students’ attention and can cause bad behavior and inattention. But if you know that a child’s brain is programmed to be curious about new experiences and what friends have done, you can use it to promote important qualities.
Students are likely to want to tell their class about what they got for Christmas or a trip they’ve been on. Tell them they can do this but only if they also share something that they did for others or generous acts that they saw or heard about.

Get class attention through curiosity

It’s essential that students remember the information you teach them. For this to happen, you can use strategies to make sure the sensory information you provide (through what you say, show, do or have them experience through physical movement) gets through their attention filters.
Once students have had the chance to satisfy their curiosity about classmates, you can redirect their focus to classroom instruction by starting with sensory input that is most likely to get through the attention filter. Through neuroimaging research, we know the types of novelty or change that get attention priority include movement, curious objects, pictures, videos, unexpected class visitors or speakers, changes of color and things you do that are unusual. So why not wear something unusual? Have music playing when children enter class, open with a dynamic video clip, a curious picture, or an optical illusion?
Here are some other suggestions:
What you say (or don’t say). A sudden mid-sentence silence is a curiosity the attention filter wants to know more about. A suspenseful pause in your speech before saying something important increases alertness and memory of what you will say or do next.
Change the furniture arrangement. Or put up photos of last year’s students doing an activity your students will be doing in the unit they are beginning, light a candle, put a new exciting poster relating to the new unit under the one that has been hanging and when you walk by, “inadvertently” bump into the wall so the old one falls down and the new one is suddenly revealed.
Get moving. Since movement gets high priority, you can move in an unexpected way such as doing what you usually do (handing out papers or posting information on the walls) while walking backwards. That could lead to a lesson about negative numbers, negative electric charges, going “back” in history, or the past tense of verbs.
Rotate techniques, lest the unexpected become expected. Greet students at the door with a riddle or a note card with a vocabulary word. They can seek their new seats by looking for the table with the note card that has the riddle answer or the definition of their word.
Good teachers are highly responsive to their students’ moods and needs. Knowing a bit of the neuroscience can help you prepare for times when it’s harder to get your students’ attention. I recall a poster that read: “A Mind Stretched Will Never Revert to its Original Size.” That mind stretching is what teachers do. Using strategies to first captivate their attention will hook into their brains’ intake programing, stimulate their curiosity, and sustain the attentive focus needed to turn information into knowledge.
Blog Worthy This Week:
For semester schools, the end of the term is near.  As the marking period closes, you may have students who have not yet mastered skills to your expectations.  
Consider an idea discussed this week at the Doran Arts CPT:
Look at student work (or performance notes/rubrics).  Group student work into degree of ability so that you have two groups- one who have or are on track toward mastery, and the other of students who need to revisit the skill, possibly in another way.  Here's an example- if a group of students are not able to perform on the recorder using proper fingering techniques, breathing, etc.., have this grouping prepared and allow the group who have mastered or are on their way toward mastery continue to work more independently (by also physically separating them) as they other group works with you on specific skill improvement.  In art, consider looking at the work students finished in the last class. Did they master the skill or concept?  If so, these students can be grouped to either advance the task or start a more in depth or personal rendition of the task, while the group who have not yet mastered the task can work toward the skill through scaffolding- how can they achieve the goal..  Different (and more accessible) materials?  Different approach to the element or principle?  
Planning Ahead:
  • End of term 2: January 27th.
  • PD Day: January 30th. Plans for the district to come together for a half-time chat are in the works! 
  • Monday, Monday...  You will have two more "missing Mondays" in the month of January- plan accordingly!
  • Formative Meetings: I have reached out to all teachers on one year plans and we have our Formative Meetings scheduled! Please reach out to me if you need support around any of this process.  Upload or bring to the meeting any artifacts that you would like to discuss as rationale for the midway point in terms of SLG and PPG, as well as for the 4 Standards.  We will discuss, check in as to where you are in your action steps and then plan for the remainder of the cycle.  Based on this meeting's discussion, I will write the formative report and share it with you.  Included in this document will be commendations and recommendations for growth.
Durfee Stuff:
  • GOT New Building? The newly designed (not yet!) Durfee High School needs YOU! Next steps involve a "Visioning Meeting" with the architect team. Maria will email with more information because WE (would love and) NEED YOU (of course it's not mandatory, but would be a great way to be a part of the plan) to be part of this process by attending two four-hour planning meetings on January 19th and 31st from 3 to 7PM.
  • Band Aids Meeting- Tuesday, January 10th at 6:30PM
  • Monthly Faculty Meeting- Tuesday, January 10th at 2:45
  • Department Meeting- Wednesday, January 18th at 2:45 (with guidance team)
  • Semester 2- Tuesday, January 31st
PD Day "Trailer"

Never Work Harder Than Your Students!
During our time together on the 30th, we will be having a little fun with the Chapter 1- Starting Where Your Students Are.  If you could find the time to read this chapter (p.27 to 53),  that would be great!  Hint: Consider your "Classroom Currency.."

Art EXPO!
We are also going to work on the plan for our annual K-12 ARTS EXPO during the PD day.  Mapping out the locations for each school, and attributing a number of bi-folds will help us to be organized and ready for our families!  Save the date- Thursday, April 27th from 5 to 7PM!

Solo Fest Planning!
Itinerant Band and Orchestra directors will continue to flesh out the plan for this huge district wide event.

Orf Methods!
Our own Jay Treloar will be working with music teachers sharing strategies for Orf instruments in the classroom.

Using Tech and Text in the Art Room!
Our own Victoria Arons (with a possible surprise co-presenter) will be walking teachers through the use of engaging text and technology in the art room.  You will also leave with a little surprise at the end of this PD!

Dick Blick comes to Fall River!
A teacher rep from Dick Blick Providence will be with us for two hours to show us some great new art supplies and ways to plan engaging lessons for your students with these.  You will leave with a work sample and supplies!

Common Mapping Time!
We will continue to work on our scope and sequencing for grades K-8.

In closing, keep sharing/sending in those lesson plans weekly with me!  I DO read them and it helps this busy lady keep a pulse on all of the great work that you plan for OUR KIDS.

Creatively yours,
Jackie