Monday, March 27, 2017

Weekly Arts Wrap Up- March 27, 2017

Above are snapshots from the SEMSBA Festival as well as art work displayed in the SEMSBA Teacher Break Room by Ana Arsenio's students.

Planning in the ARTS This Week...

  • In CPT time at the middle schools, we have discussed a variety of topics, ranging from strategies for ELLs to planning for the ARTS EXPO.  Many art teams are going to be using this time in the next couple of weeks to continue to prep art work for the Expo, and in some schools, music teachers have offered assistance!  This is such a great thing for me to see and hear!  Team work DOES make the dream work.  Thank you, teachers, for continuing to show the community the great work you do week to week with our kids...
  • At the high school CPT , we discussed the impact of a potential schedule change, and ways to be proactive about offerings and serving students in a 6 period schedule versus the current 5 periods.  We are t hinking about ways to grow our programs and what courses we would offer in addition to what we currently teach, and this could include courses like beginner band, chorus, orchestra, and other feeder courses..  Stay tuned!
  • We also worked on the GDrive shared spreadsheet for students in 8th grade to be recommended for art foundation, band, orchestra, chorus and potentially even theater (Kuss- Toby will add).  We are trying to use a process for communication between schools where scheduling can be smooth, and ensure that students who have the desire to continue their education in the arts at Durfee are placed in the right classes for the 2017/18 SY.  Middle school teachers, please make sure you are having conversations with students and then adding those to the list that wish to pursue the arts in each of these classes.  

Shout Out Lesson Plan:

Check this plan out!  Thank you, Kerin McGillicudy for sharing this!

Grade Level: 3rd and 4th Grade
Duration: 1 week, 2-3 classes, 45 minutes per class
Author: Kerin McGillicuddy
Date: March 2017
Unit: Impressionism
Lesson: Sailboat Reflection

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Specific Lesson Objectives: [the students will...]
  • Create a work of inspired by Claude Monet  
  • Utilize elements of design.
  • Claude Monet
  • Impressionism
  • Line
  • Shape
  • Printmaking
  • Monoprint
  • Reflection
  • Outline

I Can Statements:
  • Today I will learn about artist Claude Monet and the art movement impressionism. I will be able to identify some of his most famous works. 

  • Today I will learn about line and shape, so that I can use tempera to paint the outline of sailboats on the ocean. 

  • Today I will learn about printmaking, so that I can use the monoprint process to create a reflection for my Monet inspired sailboat onto the water.
     Students will learn and demonstrate how to create a Claude Monet inspired sailboat reflection.
Motivation: [our lesson initiating activity here]
  • Introduce I can statements to start a class discussion on Claude Monet
  • Show example images of Monet’s work
  • Show examples of teachers artwork
  • Show demonstration/blendspace

  • 12” x 18” Sulphite paper
  • Liquid tempera paint
  • Medium round brush
  • Small tipped brush for outlining
  • Black liquid tempera paint
  • Optional: liquid watercolor paints for sky & ocean
Procedure:[core activity here...the teacher will]
       Day 1-2
  • Fold a 12' x 18" white paper in half to create a horizon line. Open up paper. Paint bottom half an ocean color.
  • • If you use liquid watercolor paints for the sky and water, the nature of the paint will not transfer when you fold the paper later on. This is what you want as you only want the sailboat to transfer.
  • • Using a small brush dipped in light blue paint, draw an outline of one or two sailboats. Do not paint yet. Paint the sky first.
  • • After the sky is painted, fill in the details on the sailboats with liquid tempera paint. If a white sail is desired, make sure to use white paint.
Day 3-4
  • After painting the sailboat, fold paper in half again and press gently with palm of your hand.
  • This is the part that is the most fun to watch: peel apart paper and see what areas of the sailboat transfers to the water.
  • Make sure to celebrate all reflections, as some will be quite bold and others quite light. This just depends on how quickly the paint dries before the art is folded.
  • If there is absolutely no reflection, encourage the student to repaint the boat and fold again. This is a great “save” and the children will be thrilled.

*I would like to continue to share lessons with you, so please, if you do not currently send yours to me weekly, please do! 

Shout Out CENTRAL:

  • Gary and Jane Bigelow have received wonderful news from the Massachusetts Educational Theater Guild!  I will paste it here...  "It is my great honor to inform you that the Board of Trustees of the METG have selected both of you to join the next round of inductees into the METG Hall of Fame. This honor is given to you both in recognition of your distinguished service on behalf of the METG and for your inspiring commitment to the Arts in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  Congratulations on this outstanding achievement. To celebrate your achievement please join us at the First annual METG "Evening with the Stars" at Regis College.  In addition to honoring your work, we will honor the outstanding excellence of student work across the commonwealth. Dennis P Canty Chairman of the Board METG"  WOOOOO HOOOOO!!
  • Congrats also go out to the 350+ students who participated in the 2017 Senior SEMSBA Festival, hosted at and by BMC Durfee!  It was an awe inspiring event.  I would like to thank Mr. Matt MacMullen for taking the lead in planning and organization, Gary Bigelow for all of his mastery of technical, stage lighting and sound, Erin Erban (in all of her organizational and fun meme sign making) and Lara Beth Terry for her help!  Thanks also go out to the FRPS Itinerant Band and Orchestra Directors for their work as well!  It was awesome.  Our students sold concessions and tees and made over $2000 to go toward their spring trip!
  • The Fall River Herald News was present for the SEMSBA event- check it out!  SEMSBA Photo Gallery and

Planning Ahead:

  • Monday- CPT Kuss, Visioning Meeting- Durfee
  • Tuesday- CPT Morton, CPT HLCS, All City Orchestra Rehearsal 6PM
  • Wednesday- All City Orchestra Rehearsal 3:30
  • Thursday- Talbot CPT, All City Band Rehearsal 4:00
  • Friday- Doran CPT, Itinerant CPT- Band and Orchestra Directors, please plan to use this week's CPT for prep work for All City- program needs to be emailed to me for printing.  Next week, please assist in striking set up during CPT.

And Even Further Ahead...

  • All City Band Concert- Tuesday April 4th at Durfee- 6:30 PM
  • All City Orchestra Concert- Thursday, April 6th at Durfee
  • End of Term 3- Friday April 7th 
  • April Vacation- Friday April 14th to Sunday, April 23rd
  • FRPS K-12 Arts EXPO- Thursday, April 27th, 5-7PM at Durfee
  • Durfee Concert- Thursday, May 11th
  • Durfee Music Student Trip- Friday, May 12th 
  • Link Up Program Field Trip for 5th Graders- Wednesday, May 24th at the VETS in Providence!
Thank you, EVERYONE!


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

March 20th- Monday Morning Blog

Welcome SPRING!

Here's what's up and coming in the Fine and Performing Arts...


  • As we move into the last two weeks of March, we begin a new trimester for elementary schools (Trimester 3 starts 3/20), and middle and high schools end their third term on Friday, April 7th.  Whew!  Art teachers, as we transition, remember to be collecting student work for the Arts Expo, and engage your students in this process..  Part of our Visual Arts Frameworks involve students choosing and preparing work for exhibition, so engage students in that process!  
  • As I visited schools in CPT time, I picked up on a common thread in lesson planning- EYES.  I have noticed in several art rooms the task of drawing eyes..  Here's some food for thought: Daniel Pink mentioned this type of drawing as symphonic thinking in A Whole New Mind.  He said: Learn how to draw.  Pink described it as “drawing is about seeing relationships- and then integrating those relationships into a whole.”  In looking at these eyes, I notice the relationships between eye, lid, brow, but also the emotion that the artist is trying to depict, and this reminds me of our blog entry about "Purpose" in the arts.  Above are a couple of examples of student work from Doran and Kuss.

Music and Performing Arts:

  • This Friday and Saturday, the BMC Durfee High School Music Department hosts the Southeastern Massachusetts School Bandmasters Association Senior Festival!  Over 30 schools from the Southeast will arrive at Durfee's Nagle Auditorium Friday morning to practice and perform together for the culminating concert on Saturday, also held here.  Students from these schools will spend the day in the Performing Arts wing, meeting new friends from across the state, playing and performing together, accompanied by their music directors.  Hosting this event is a herculean effort, and Matt MacMullen along with the team- Erin Erban, Gary Bigelow and Lara Beth Terry have all been instrumental in pulling this off!   
  • Looking ahead, we are also very excited to host the 2017 All City Band and Orchestra Concerts!  These huge events will be held on 3/30 (All City Band) and 4/6 (All City Orchestra).  Super cool repertoire chosen, and our Directors and students have been working hard to prepare for this performance!  5th grade through 8th, with the help of their high school peers will perform their instrumental pieces for their families and the community.   

Durfee Team, Plan Ahead!

DHS ELA MCAS Pep Rally for Sophomores Period 5
DHS ELA MCAS Testing Day 1
DHS ELA MCAS Testing Day 2
DHS ELA MCAS Testing Day 3
DHS Senior Assembly (Proposed Period 3)
Term III Ends
DHS Faculty Meeting
FRPS No School - Good Friday
FRPS First Day of Spring Recess
FRPS Back to School- Begin Hanging Arts Expo Work!
Current last day of school for teachers (if we have no remaining snow days!)

Other Important Dates:

  • SEMSBA- Hosting at Durfee- 3.24-3.25
  • All City Band Concert- 4.4- 6:30 PM at Durfee
  • All City Orchestra- 4.6- 6:30PM at Durfee
  • K-12 Arts Expo- 4.27- 5-7PM at Durfee

In the Works:

  • I met with two potential arts community partners to try to bridge our system with artists in the community.  Holli Faria from Studio Life Art could prove to be a great partner to work with schools who seek a meditation/mindfulness plus art venue- her studio on Globe Street provides a place for young people to practice yoga and participate in art tasks that branch off of the thought processes involved in the meditation.  I also met with Ben Gilbarg from Visionary Communications (founded Third eYe Unlimited) who has several potential school based services, ranging from assemblies to murals to after school and in school programs.  His goal is to engage youth through communications and the arts.  My goal for this partner would be to connect him with the music/audio, FRED TV and Freedom Writers to build a potential partnership here at Durfee and possibly have him present their work at the middle schools.
Jackie 😍

Monday, March 13, 2017

March 13th..A SNOWY Wrap Up

In Professional Development...

We came together to identify and celebrate Purpose.  Purpose of the arts, the "art" of teaching the arts, and ways to spark purpose and emotion in the arts that we model and teach.  Here is the Blendspace from the Thursday get together if you would like to access it for the videos:

Here is a list of the Notes to Self that we submitted when asked... What is the purpose of your art?  How does it contribute to knowledge?  I'm going to compile them into one long narrative, as if they were from one voice!
     My art is a space/place in time of INTERIOR QUESTIONING.  It's highly psychological and NARRATIVE.  It is a collective history of past, present and future vision.  It connects the viewer to either very real or fictional histories.  The art of teaching art helps students realize the endless possibilities of what they can do.  To build a sense of self-expression, self awareness and confidence while teaching music and instrumental concepts...  Stress relief, relaxes the brain, refreshes me to create new and original ideas.  To go inside myself- think, feel, experience the sensation of the materials and possibly create something that will inspire me to create MORE.  To feel purpose, pleasure, love, excitement.  My personal art is reflective of my feelings, emotions and interests at that time.  It allows me to dig deep and pull feelings out that become a visual representation of SELF.  To recall memories and feelings of people and places..  to offer feelings and hope others understand, or feel, be curious about mine.  I contribute to knowledge by sharing an experience and my interpretation of my experience.   
     Creating shape from shapelessness; re-purposing material for a new function, emphasizing the art in the PROCESS of building, shaping and forming.  To know the realness of quietude.  A means of self expression and/or the interpretation of the work of others, a means of audible enjoyment for others, a source of SUPPORT for ceremonies/activities for which the art is secondary.  To express myself and be creative, we grow and learn through creativity.  To express emotions, a new language everyone cane learn.. Simply to make me happy!
     My art reminds me I can make my own mark on this world.  The art of teaching is TEACHING THE ART OF LEARNING- focusing on and providing strategies for each student to discover and master concepts, aesthetic communication, creativity and how to relate all of that to SELF.  I learn to work through road/mind blocks, and can talk a student through road blocks/struggles with their work..  The purpose of my art is to express myself and portray how I feel in a visual sense, therefore allowing viewers insight on me as a person as well as being able to relate, opening peoples eyes to different perspectives.  My art expresses all the words I can't say.. adding beauty to the world through music and culture.  My art INVOLVES others in what I do and who I am, exploring, sharing, expressing SELF.  My art re-ignites me when I need it.. timeless.  The same joy you feel playing at 8 is alive when you play at 50+..a constant learning process.
    My art helps me deal with my BS- I help students use THEIR struggles, making art to deal with it!  Nonetheless, we create music with or without others, contributing to other subjects, making us human, taking knowledge to the next level.  This art contributes to cognitive development, the ability to problem solve, and also allows for enjoyment, and enhancement of self-worth and self-knowledge.  Self expression, joy and connection to others and a sense of self are present in my music class.  Music is the soul of a person; it inspires.  Students learn THROUGH music- songs help learn and express feelings.
     The purpose of my art is to express MYSELF in a way that allows me to work through stresses or problems in my life.  As a teacher, I give students SPACE to do this very same thing, allowing them to learn new information and concepts in a way that they can access and appreciate.

Thank you all for sharing.  In reading these, I felt like Marina Abramovick staring into the eyes of her visitors at the MoMA where she performed her piece, The Artist is Present.  Thank you, on behalf of our 10,000 kids for being PRESENT, thoughtful, expressive and ARTFUL.

This week, we "Marched" through...

  • A Massachusetts Cultural Council/FRCC Grant Funded Field Trip for 3rd graders in 6 schools to the Zeiterion to view the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra perform compositions that school children developed while thinking about how planets move through space..  The kids (and the grown ups) had a great time.
  • A release time day professional development meeting that asked us to dig deep into the reasons why we as artists, musicians and performers "do what we do."  We returned to Pink's aptitude of Meaning.  We also had a little fun, practicing arts tasks that remind us to "keep it fresh" as we plan tasks for our kids with meaning and purpose. 
  • ARTS EXPO Prep!  Teachers are busy matting work for the April 27th Arts Expo, to be held at Durfee in the Auditorium Wing from 5 to 7PM.  
  • MMEA All State Festival!  Our own Matt MacMullen chaperoned Adam Turcotte as he participates this weekend!  So proud of our Adam as he was chosen to be a part of this prestigious event!

On the Calendar:

3/13 Progress Report Grades Due
3/14 Faculty Meeting
3/15 Distribute Progress Reports in Advisory
3/15 Department Meeting
3/20 Period 5 ELA MCAS Rally (10th grade)

In CPT in the upcoming weeks, we need to create a document on the GDrive that lists the recommended students for Band, Orchestra, Chorus and Art Foundation (art 1 for serious art students). As guidance counselors will be using this document to schedule kids for next year, it is super important that we are having conversations with our students this week to confirm that they in fact want to take these classes Freshman year. Once we complete the lists, they will be shared with Guidance here at Durfee. Note that we are not doing the recommendations on X2 this year.

Please let me know if you need any additional supplies for the ARTS EXPO prep! You should have 48" Kraft Paper, masking tape (for attaching art to kraft paper), and name tags! Hoping that your building based/departmental meeting times are allowing for some extra time to get this work done!

Stay safe in the storm!  Get the milk and the bread!!!  :)

Friday, March 3, 2017

March 3rd Wrap Up

 Happy March to You, Fine and Performing Arts Family!


This week, I visited Fonseca, Greene, HLCS, Letourneau, Silvia, Spencer Borden, Tansey, Watson and Viveiros.  I would like to share these images of student work and students working!  I am always amazed by what you do with our kids.  
One common thread I saw "woven" through the tasks was the purpose of the arts.  Students were creating art that was driven by and from a purpose- whether that be to celebrate the birth date of our own Massachusetts native, Dr. Seuss, or the creation of a remembrance poppy, used since 1921 to commemorate military personnel who have died in war.   In music, I saw and heard students celebrating patriotism through music and movement, or moving to the rhythm of a song while noticing the shifts in tempo and reacting with their bodies.  
Consider this exert from the article "Why Arts Education is Crucial and Who is Doing It Best?" (Smith, 2009)

     Involvement in the arts is associated with gains in math, reading, cognitive ability, critical thinking, and verbal skill. Arts learning can also improve motivation, concentration, confidence, and teamwork. A 2005 report by the Rand Corporation about the visual arts argues that the intrinsic pleasures and stimulation of the art experience do more than sweeten an individual's life -- according to the report, they "can connect people more deeply to the world and open them to new ways of seeing," creating the foundation to forge social bonds and community cohesion. 
     And strong arts programming in schools helps close a gap that has left many a child behind: From Mozart for babies to tutus for toddlers to family trips to the museum, the children of affluent, aspiring parents generally get exposed to the arts whether or not public schools provide them. Low-income children, often, do not. "Arts education enables those children from a financially challenged background to have a more level playing field with children who have had those enrichment experiences,'' says Eric Cooper, president and founder of the National Urban Alliance for Effective Education.

As an urban district, it is ESSENTIAL for the arts to play a major role in the cognitive, behavioral and social development of our students.  You are providing them with experiences and exposure to learning that will have an everlasting effect on who they aspire to be.

In the News this Week:

  • Thank you for your Semester 2 Supply Orders- I am processing them and Russ Lewis will be sending you your stuff!
  • I spoke to Russ about the tempera cakes in trays of 9 for the younger elementary art students, and asked if he could put these on the FRPS Supply list.  He will order them for all of you, and I will be sending these over as they arrive this year.  Just remember to remind me if you need additional cakes or sets for next year!  Have no clue what I am talking about??  :)  Here's the link:
  • We have a couple of FRPS Art Faculty attending the NAEA Art Education Conference!  Ms. Ana Arsenio, Durfee Art Faculty member is actually presenting!  You GO GIRL!  So excited to hear what they bring back to share with all of us!
K-5 Learning Walk:
I spent a few days walking through the K-5 Arts classrooms, as you can see from the pictures above!  Here are a list of tasks I learned about!
  • Greene Art- Grade 2: Peter Max inspired cray-pas hearts, value
  • Viveiros Music- Grade 2: Speed of music (tempo) moving hips to the tempo to the Freight Train song
  • Letourneau Music- Grade 4: Formative assessment from Link Up Program, while K-2 classes worked in groups based on needs or could venture into a "challenge" activity if they had already achieved the goal/standard
  • Henry Lord Music- Grade 2: Students up out of seats moving to the Lassie song as teacher played ukulele
  • Henry Lord Art- Grade 3: Designing insects using line of symmetry with markers
  • Watson Music- Grade 1: Students talked about "breaking up" notes into halves and quarters, and then sang God Bless America with movements that matched the lyrics
  • Fonseca Art- Grade 5: Creating butterflies with shape and line- repeated pattern on vertical long paper using color
  • Fonseca Music- Grade 4: Group check in assessment of ability to identify notes on staff- students drawing notes on white board while class does a thumbs up or down to agree/disagree
  • Tansey Art- Kindergarten: Students painting guided drawings of fish either red or blue for a Red Fish, Blue Fish project to be cut out and pasted onto striped background
Great stuff!  Want to know more about any of these tasks?  Email your colleagues for deets!  Next week, I will walk my way through Stone, RPA, Durfee, Morton, Talbot, Kuss and Doran- I'll share out in the Friday Blog!

On the Calendar:
  • Monday- Kuss CPT 7:30, Durfee Dean Meeting 3PM
  • Tuesday- Morton CPT 8AM, HLCS CPT 8:45, Grade 3 NBSO Field Trip (AM), Amazon Meeting 1PM
  • Wednesday- Learning and Teaching Meeting at Kuss 9AM
  • Thursday- RELEASE Time Day, No Durfee CPT, Meet at Durfee 12:45PM
  • Friday- Doran CPT 8AM, Admin meeting Durfee 9:15AM, Itinerant Meeting 12:30PM
Coming Attractions:
  • SEMSBA!  We are hosting this year's SEMSBA Senior Festival!  March 24th and 25th!  I am learning so much about this process, and have to thank Matt MacMullen for taking a huge lead in this one...  ROCK STAR!!
  • K-12 ARTS EXPO!  This huuuuuge event will be held at Durfee on Thursday April 27th from 5 to 7- please mark your calendars!  I would love to see all of you here with me!  We have double the bifolds and are going to knock it outta the park!  I will have copies of the Invite/Flyer here next Thursday for you to hand out in classes!
I'll end the Blog this week with something from the great philosopher, Dr. Seuss:

"Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope, and that enables you to laugh at life's realities."