Friday, October 27, 2017

And there went OCTOBER!

Students at Letourneau doing a color wheel activator task with color in collaborative groups
Silvia Artists!

Welcome back, Bloggers!

At the close of a busy week, I want to thank you, Fine and Performing Arts Faculty, for being YOU!  I wanted to comment on the great conversations had in CPT time about planning for our kids to engage in stations, and collaborate on end of course assessments, as well as mapping the learning.  As we return to work next week, we will be heading into November, and I want to challenge my team... 

Middle School Art Teachers Collaborating on Mapping Tasks

Don't Lesson Plan...  Be a Challenge Designer.
Let's plan tasks for our students that push them, and challenge their abilities.  
Let's engage them in conversation (with you and among themselves) using specific content language, so they can "talk like an artist or musician or performer."
Let's challenge their ability to play, to paint, to draw, to portray with authenticity, grounded in content knowledge.
Let's ask them to evaluate their work, and the work of others, challenging with potential for improvement.

And let's challenge ourselves to try something new; a different medium, a different musical genre, a different experience...  This will help us to embody what our students feel when they are faced with one of our "designed challenges."

In the News This Week:
  • Please hug our Band, Orchestra and Percussion Teachers, Jodie Laprise, Nicole Laprise, Caroline Herrero, Emily Plunkett, Donna Murray, Jay Treloar, Karen Souza, Alex Ollivierre and Matt MacMullen.  We have broken the record, with over 1,000 Instrumental Students across the district.  That is one musician in every ten students.  The benefits of learning to play an instrument surpass the world of music.  Check out this article- 18 Benefits of Playing a Musical Instrument
  • Today, all Ed PLan Development Forms are due.  Please share these with evaluators by the end of the day.  Evaluators should approve these by Friday, November 3rd.  As always, please reach out to me if you need support!
  • Please consider supporting the Durfee Music Students as they are headed to an Adjudication Festival in May and need your support!  The Narrows is helping out by donating the proceeds of the Michael Troy Tribute Concert!  We would love to see you there- if you have never been to the Narrows, it's amazing and right here in Fall River!  Here is the link to the info: Michael Troy Concert Info


Professional Day
End of Term 1
No School - Veteran’s Day
Durfee Deadline for Term 1 Grades Posted
Durfee Faculty Meeting
Durfee Parent Teacher Conferences 5 p.m. - 7 p.m.
AP Science Saturday Session @ Durfee
½ Day Thanksgiving
Durfee Department Meeting
Release Day - PD/K-8 Fine and Performing Arts Department Meeting Time
Faculty Meeting
Term II Progress Reports Due
Department Meeting
½ Day - Vacation!

Have a wonderful weekend!  

Saturday, October 21, 2017

What it's ALL About..

Durfee AP Art students chatting with DHS AP Alumni about art college life..

THIS is what it's all about.  
As we wrap up another week, filled with student work, smiles and frowns, celebrations and whoops-es, fights and hugs, let's focus on the good, so it replicates.  We are at that point in the year when rituals and routines are set, and sometimes the behaviors we see are not the ones we want...  it's in those moments that we redirect and focus on the good.  We have great kids.  Nonetheless, sometimes, great kids make bad choices.  Let's remember to not lose hope, and focus on the GOOD, even when good is the smallest thing- little successes, like that note hit in band class, that texture achieved in sculpture, or that breakthrough day when you finally get that smile and high five at the door.  These are the things that should matter most.  
Related image

In the News This Week:

Art Teachers:
  • Are you a member of the National Art Education Association?  If so, consider logging onto their site and chatting with thousands of other art teachers to discuss common issues.  Here is the link to the site: NAEA Site  Talk in the art room, ASD strategies and more...
  • How's station work planning?  We will do a check in at the November PD day!  Bring ideas to the discussion, and if you have any tangibles or pics of how you have attempted to implement station work, bring that to share also!
Music Teachers:
  • Check out this Sight Reading App you can download!  Many of you have planned goals around Sight Reading ability- this sight can be downloaded onto devices and students can practice and master their sight reading skills!  Here's the link: Sight Reading App
  • Let's also check in with station rotation work when we meet as a group on November PD day!  Please be ready to discuss and share the stations you have planned and how you rolled it out.  If you have lesson plans, pics or other tangibles from these lessons, please bring them to the meeting.
Monthly Department Meetings: 
Thursday, October 26th- Both teams should bring Ed Plan Development Forms to share and make sure there is alignment if they are team goals.  In addition, plan to discuss the Arts Expo work (art), and All City Chorus (grades 4 through 8 music- Michela Gardner is leading this work).
  • Music K-8- 3:45 at Silvia
  • Art K-8- 3:45 at Silvia
Evaluation Nuts and Bolts:
  • At this point, goals are set and teachers are planning their actions and assessments for this work.  In the two Ed Plan Development Forms- one for each goal, you should be listing the essential planning action steps and and assessments, as well as the frequency/timeline for each.  In addition, you can cite resources you will use.  This document serves as a road map for your planned success!  It also helps the evaluator to understand your plan, and they can use it to guide conversations at the formative and summative meetings.
  • Observations for one year plans have begun, and will continue to happen throughout schools, as teachers should have one in before mid November.
  • As always, if you need support or have any questions, email me!
Calendar Items:

DHS MATH AP Saturday Session at Durfee
DHS Band Field Trip to Somerset
District Professional Day
Agenda will be sent in email
End of Term 1
No School - Veteran’s Day
DHS Deadline for Term 1 Grades Posted
DHS Faculty Meeting
DHS Parent Teacher Conferences 5 p.m. - 7 p.m.
DHS AP Science Saturday Session @ Durfee
½ Day Thanksgiving
DHS Department Meeting

A few pics from this week..  The first two are from Heather Pereira's class where students took toys and combined them, covered with plaster and then redesigned their outer shape to create a new character..  super cool!  The second two pics are from Alex Olivierre's percussion class, where kids were taking part in a percussion assessment.  There are a variety of abilities in this class, and they are learning so much about the art of percussive instruments.. Also super cool!

Have a great weekend,

Friday, October 13, 2017

Friday the 13th! Whatta Spook-tacular Week!

This week, I am inspired by teachers sharing their ideas during CPT and willingness to try new things.  We have been talking about blended learning and station work for a while now, and many of us use technology and station rotation already in our practices, but it's great to feel that spark of new energy as ideas are shared and adopted by colleagues.  During Kuss, Morton and Talbot CPT's this week, our discussions gave way to some great thoughts for how these strategies and tools can strengthen our work, and engage students in some really great tasks.  Thank you!

Goals and Professional Development:

  • At this point, I have given feedback to all who submitted their goals to me.  Thank you so much for the thought that goes into this process.  It's only as valuable as you make it- and I value the information relayed to me via your professional practice goals, as this is what fuels my PD planning!  I will be developing the November 7th Full Day PD Plan based on these areas you have identified:
    • Blended Learning/Tech in the Arts Classroom
    • Accountable Talk/Writing- Building Content Language "Muscle"
    • Interpretation/Evaluation of Art Form- Scaffolding the Thinking and the Writing
    • All City Performance Planning- Band, Orchestra, Chorus 
  • The next step in the goal setting/eval work is to write the Ed Plan Development Form.  This form will be shared in your folders, and is really the road map for achieving your goals.  You should have two forms- one for the SLG, and the other for the PPG.  In the columns, you should be documenting what tasks you (or students) will complete in order to achieve the goals, when you will be doing them, and what resources you will be needing to do so.  This document is super helpful for the person evaluating you, because it can guide them through the process you have planned!  Most will have a combination of the pedagogic structures and the assessments along the way to measure growth.  Please let me know if you need any support in this work!
Design Students from Ms. Arsenio's class in the IMC gettin' inspired!

School Walk Through Info:

  • As part of our District Improvement Plan, we will be engaging in learning walks at schools throughout the year.  These have begun, and are a great way for building leadership teams to gain insight into the implementation of strategies and tools.  This is a good time to let students know that "The Grown Ups Are Coming!" We love talking to students when we can, but will try to be as non-intrusive as possible.  Small groups will be in classrooms for less than 10 minutes, and will take notes.
  • Some things teams look for...  Are objectives posted?  Students engaged and on task?  Blended Learning, station work, morning meeting where applicable?  Is the classroom environment conducive to learning?  Learning Walk Teams will be celebrating and supporting what you do when they report these findings back to building teams.

Coming Up:

  • On the Calendar, we have...
    • Durfee's GOT TALENT!  Tonight!
    • Monserrat visits AP Art on 10/19
    • Monthly Fine and Performing Arts Department Meeting- Thursday 10/26, 3:45 at Silvia and Kuss
    • Durfee Department Meetings- 10/18
    • Michael Troy Tribute Concert at the Narrows (Benefit for Michael Troy Memorial Music Foundation)- 11/5, 1-4PM
    • Full Day PD- 11/7
    • End of Term 1- 11/9
    • Veteran's Day- 11/10
    • PD 1/2 Day- 12/7
    • Durfee Musical- Legally Blonde! 12/8-12/10!
    • Durfee Winter Concert 12/14

Reminders, Nuts and Bolts:

  • Lesson Plans- Thank you for sharing!  Please send to me by Monday morning, beginning week!
  • Call Outs- If you are sick, text me by 6AM!  Text back in when you return!
  • Durfee Progress Reports- will be given out Monday.  I will pick up in the main office and distribute!  Please make sure you are discussing plans for improvement with kids who are not meeting the mark!
  • Durfee Staff- As always, I will distribute the Matt and Shayna Notes Monday Morning!

Collaboration and Growth:

  • I am planning for professional development in the areas I listed above during the November, and January PD days, as well as the release time days.  Under these "umbrellas" I have special guests to help us out as we learn new strategies to implement.. 
    •  I will be tapping into UMASS and the NBSO for some support for music teachers to add to their tool boxes.
    • We will host Carolyn Jane from Dick Blick in December to work our way through stations with new art media!  Once we experiment with these, we will be able to make a more informed decision for next year's supply orders.
    • We will continue to map the learning objectives, vocabulary, blendspaces, and resources for each course and grade level as collaborative teams using the Google Drive.
    • We will continue to use Blendspace and Google Classroom during PD time.  Blendspace is a great platform for quick and effective lesson planing online, and Google Classroom makes teaching (9-12) and learning super efficient and puts the ownership in students' hands.
  • I want to share weekly ideas that support our alignment to SIP/DIP Literacy Goal, so here is this week's first installment...
    • Art Teachers, check this out..  
    • This Google Site allows you to click on the menu at the top left and choose from a number of categories.  If you click on collections, artists or mediums, you have a variety of information at your fingertips!  Click on Collections, then select one to see the quality of art images and comprehensive descriptions of each, including artist information.  This site can be super helpful when planning presentations, or who knows, maybe a research station in your art room?  Check it out!
    • Music Teachers, check this out... 
      •  Music Map
      • What an informative and easy to navigate site!  This could also be used in a station with students as they dive into genres.  Check it out!
      Have a wonderful weekend, Arts Fam!


Friday, October 6, 2017

October 6th, 2017! Going BLENDED!

Welcome to the long weekend, Fine and Performing Arts Family!

Here are some pictures and recaps from the 
Thursday Professional Development Meetings...  


At Letourneau, K-8 Music Teachers had the pleasure of being hosted by Ms. Becky Jontos, and walked away with the ability to plan a lesson using the Compose Yourself musical composition game.  These will be arriving in all schools very soon.

Tasks for K-8 Music:
  1. Watch video explaining features of Compose Yourself
  2. Each group will explore and compose using the program
    1. 1 person complete the registration
    2. Start composing as a group
  3. Composition share outs
  4. Watch video about Compose Yourself:
  5. Each group will plan a station activity based on resources available in their schools and write down the directions
  6. Each group will follow directions left behind and try the station activity.  Leave any comments, suggestions, ideas for the planners.
  7. Reflect on the program and stations
  8. Discuss goals
What tasks will we plan for our students that will engage them in station rotations?
  • Boomwhacker activity to reinforce treble clef note reading
  • Rhythm patterns
  • Review rhythmic syllables “ta, ti-ti, ta-ah”
  • Composing
  • Self expression
What key vocab terms will our students be asked to know and use?
  • Tempo
  • Beat
  • Rhythm
  • Quarter, eighth, and half notes
  • Staff
  • Measure
  • Musical alphabet
  • Marimba
  • Orchestra
  • Compose/composition
  • Notation
  • Phrase
  • loud/soft
  • Ostinato
  • Harmony
  • Melody
How could this rotation through stations with different learning tasks help to enhance these experiences?
  1. Students with challenges with long term tasks will be more successful with smaller time framed stations.
  2. Varied activities would peak interests and different levels of engagement in different students
  3. Engages students with multiple intelligences
Here are the team goals that develop students' musical literacy as well as teachers' use of technology in stations to engage all learners...
Elementary Student Team Goal:
By the end of May 2018, 80% of grade 5 students will play recorders independently with steady tempo, rhythmic accuracy, appropriate technique and correct posture, proficiently as measured by a recorder rubric that addresses each of these skills. Students will be assessed in small groups and/or individually, monthly.

Elementary Professional Practice Team Goal:

In order to uphold common grade level high expectations for all, the district music staff will increase their skills and practice in blended learning strategies by building an accessible online technology platform to collaborate and share online music units of study including vocabulary, tasks, resources, station ideas, and online lesson platforms (Blendspace) to engage all students through technology.  By the end of May 2018, we will implement this platform into the district’s music planning/teaching practices as demonstrated by the collaboration space on the GDrive that educators will use to share effective instructional strategies, exemplars, rubrics, videos/tutorials and model units of music study.  By the end of May 2018, we will implement at least one lesson per trimester using Blended Learning.

Also at Letourneau, K-8 Art Teachers met with Ms. Victoria Arons to brainstorm through ideas for station rotation in the Art Classroom. Lots of great conversation was had around norming practices for moving from station to station, clean up, set up and tasks at each station. Teachers discussed:
  • Breaking down lesson into two stations that both adhere to the same Element and/or Princple but via a different media.
  • Having a teacher led station for small groups, while remainder work independently (depending on class needs) with a Blendspace video tutorial plying at independent station.
  • Creating Blendspaces that could be at each station with a mini-lesson
  • Laminated How-to cards at each table with steps for task
Also discussed were ways teachers could implement this in their classrooms. We will be continuing on with this work during the next professional development day, as Steph Pereira from Silvia will model how to film an art lesson and upload to Blendspace! So excited!

Durfee Fine and Performing Arts Teachers visited with Mark Carvalho and Gary Bigelow to see how they have implemented regular use of Google Classroom to allow for more independent learning. They use it for uploading tutorials, assignments, communicating, collecting work, and providing students with a platform for self-guided learning. We had a special guest visit from Case High School- Greg Sampl, art teacher. He emailed me later on that evening to say what a wonderful family we are, and that we have a "Gem" in Mr. Carvalho (he was with Mark in his model classroom). Kudos to Mark and Gary for doing this for us. So helpful!

In the News This Week...

  • Terry Walkowicz and the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra visited their first two of five schools in Fall River this week- Tansey and Spencer Borden. 3rd Graders were intrigued by the connections between musical composition and our Earth's Ecosystem... So many parallels! So cool to see the musicians play for our kids!

  • The Doran School's Chorus is up and running!  So excited to revive our young choral program this year in Fall River.  Jayson Newell reported out that his ensemble met and he is excited to work with them!  Yay Jay!
  • Instrumental Lessons are also up and running and Band, Orchestra and Percussion Leaders have chosen their repertoire for the winter concert, and will begin practicing with sight reading these pieces with their students soon!  Teachers should be sharing their schedules with building offices in case there are any questions from parents or teachers.
  • Teachers have submitted their SL and PP Goals and they look great.  I am excited to roll up my sleeves and get to work with all of you!  I will be looking at all teacher PPG's so I can compile my Professional Development offerings throughout the year to support these.
  • I will review all goals and make any comments in the "comments" tab to the right on the google document.
  • The next task will be to complete the Ed Plan Development Forms.  These will be in your folders.
Have a wonderful, restful loooong weekend!