Friday, November 17, 2017

We ARE FRPS Fine and Performing Arts, and WE ARE AMAAAZING

This week, I walked through art and music classrooms, mostly in grades K-5 and would like to share some images that truly capture the work you do.  Please take a look, and know that the work we do is so important TO and FOR our kids. 
Ceramic piece from Ms. Gaudette's class!

Ms. P at Doran leading students in a concentric circle challenge!

Mr. Newell at Doran associating words with rhythms, and incorporating writing!

Mr. MacMullen holding a $4,000 check from the Michael Troy Foundation!

Ms. Arsenio's Design student's graphic novel work!

More Design planning...

Ms. DaCosta's artists from Viveiros casting fall shadows!

More Viveiros Art!

Viveiros Art Board with grade level expectations and vocabulary!

Viveiros artists at work!

Viveiros' Mr. Hettinger getting students ready to sing!

Look at Ms. Laginess's artists at HLCS getting their shapes ready!

Working on our cutting and dexterity skills at HLCS!

Love this bird's eye view of Ms. Arons teaching her Letourneau students how to use compliments!

Station work at Letourneau in the music room is often caught in action as Ms. Jontos is a tech/station guru!

Letourneau musicians learning more about the recorder's history through a reading and annotation task!

And this was super cool!  Kids sign in and out of Ms. Jontos' room simply by scanning, typing in name, and then scanning back in!

Ms. Grinnell at Fonseca worked on city scapes using shapes with her students, and is using a resist technique!

Wait, is that Marie Cassatt with Jean Michel Basquiat? Nope, it's Heather Pereira and Barbara Mullen showing a little school spirit!

Marie also visited Janis Joplin, AKA Brenda Gaudette!

 Let's DO THAT!

And these guys- what a great job they did singing, moving and following the direction of Ms. Martin at Spencer Borden while singing Bow Wow Wow song, using Solfege notation!

Ms. Murray's Band students working hard at Spencer Borden!

Ms. Pereira's artists at Silvia working on value drawings using oil pastel and some Thiebaud inspiration!

And for this one, I'm going to let you think up your own caption...  Thanks Matt MacMullen and Don Smith for being such good sports!

What a wonderful week.  I will be writing the learning walk report this weekend, and will share it with you all on Monday.  Our work lies in continuing to develop these great engaging and challenging tasks for our kids, making sure we are scaffolding so that students can achieve that high level of work.  Super good stuff- super proud of my Fine and Performing Arts Fam.


½ Day Thanksgiving
Faculty Meeting- Durfee
Department Meetings K-8 (Silvia and Kuss at 3:45)
End of Trimester 1
Release Day - PD (Teacher)
Faculty Meeting- Durfee
Term II Progress Reports Due- Durfee
Department Meeting- Durfee
½ Day - Vacation!

Take care and have a great weekend.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Collaboration- Mapping Challenges for Our Kids

Happy Long Weekend, Arts Fam!

On Tuesday, I had the pleasure of having most of you with me in the morning as we began our professional development day.  I love getting you all together, hearing the conversations bustling at your tables- about music, art, family, friends and of course, Our Kids.  As we embrace November, we shared new ideas and strategies relating to our goals, with common foci on engagement through technology/station work and use of academic language.  Teachers broke into content and grade leveled groups and continued to flesh out the curriculum maps for K-8 Art and Music, and Durfee teachers collaborated on common course expectations within level one classes.  By the end of the morning sessions, teachers in K-5 completed the maps, and continued to work together on shared goal work.  These maps include student learning objectives, specific vocabulary for each unit/lesson, sample work, assessments and Blendspace Links.  Middle School also worked on their maps, tackling the 8th grade specifically, and shared a folder with lessons, power points and other resources for all teachers to share.  This work is crucial to ensure alignment within our district arts classes, and you were a huge part of making it happen.  The maps are standards based, specific, concise and easy to use.  Teachers using the K-5 Art Map can simply click on the links referent to lessons, and use the presentations created by our own staff to deliver engaging content.  In the words of art teacher Steph Pereira, that is "Wow" work!  Let's continue to work together and grow, using each other's strengths to build our own.  

Here are some pictures from an afternoon session:

This two-pager written by Steph Pereira at Silvia breaks down what she does with her "video tutorials" of art lessons for K-5 students.  She demonstrated for teachers how she plans a mini lesson, films it, edits the film, adding text and simple effects and uses this in conjunction with her Blendspace presentations.  Seamless instruction, and if you ever wondered if you could just "clone" yourself, this is pretty close!  While the video runs for students, Ms. Pereira is able to rotate throughout the room, or simply watch over her group as they are engaged in the lesson.  She can pause it between steps, or let it continue to run.  She can also "loop" the video to play repeatedly so students can have that scaffold there in case they need reinforcement of the procedure.  

A pic from Ms. Pereira's Kandinski Concentric Circle Lesson

In the afternoon, Band, Orchestra and Chorus teachers spent time collaborating to plan upcoming performance events for our students.  The team planned for All City Chorus, Band and Orchestra.  This year, students from all schools will be invited to participate in additional bi-weekly practice sessions with our lead teachers to improve their skill in playing or singing.  This new plan will hopefully strengthen our students' ability to perform, and I am sure it will show at the All City Concerts in the spring!  This program is so essential for Our Kids, as Fall River's families sometimes cannot afford to pay for private lessons, and these bi-weekly practices will support growth beyond the classroom weekly lessons. 

Looking Ahead:
  • Durfee- End of Term 1- Thursday, November 9th, Grades due by 11/14
  • Durfee Parent Teacher Conference- November 16th 5-7PM
  • K-12 Arts Learning Walk- Wednesday, November 15th
  • Veteran's Day Parade- Durfee Marching Band Participating- November 11th, 11AM
  • Monthly K-8 Department Meeting- Thursday, November 30th 3:45 at Silvia and Kuss
  • Durfee: November 14th Faculty Meeting is switched to Department Meeting- we will be talking about the Program of Studies for 2017 - 2018. November 29 will be used as a Faculty Meeting.
  • December 7th- Release Time Day 
As promised, here is the Blendspace link with a few Accountable Talk strategies, the video tutorial to the FlipGrid App and more.

Have a wonderful weekend,


Friday, November 3, 2017

Homecoming, Daylight Savings, and Professional Development, OH MY

Happy Friday, Arts Fam...

Here are some pics from classrooms this week.

In every one of these images, I hear content languageLine, shape, texture, overlapping, color, composition, value..  Words like these are the ones that students need to practice and master the use of so that as they grow into adults, they can express themselves using this vocabulary, whether they work in an art related field or not.  The same rings true in music and performing arts classes, as students practice playing, singing, composing, working together to build "symphonic experiences."  It is in this practice and perseverance in mastering the skill of musicianship that students will develop that "muscle" that will follow them in their work ethic and thought processes.  Thank you for fostering this type of thinking and growth in all that you plan for our students.

In the News this Week:

  • The Narrows will host the annual concert fundraiser for the Durfee Music Program- The Music of Michael Troy.  Performances by several folk artists, this concert will be happening on Sunday November 5th from 1-4 PM at the Narrows Center for the Arts.  Tickets are available online at:
  • The Durfee Marching Band is playing tonight!  Check them out at the Homecoming Game!  7PM at the Durfee Field!
  • We are planning to meet here at Durfee on Tuesday morning for 8AM as a whole team.  Love getting my teachers together!  We will be in the art rooms to start the day- Room 82, beginning with Ana Arsenio sharing out some great SEL strategies for the arts.
  • On Friday, we have no school due to Veteran's Day.
Get Out There:
  • Los Lonely Boys, Mariza, Quinn Sullivan and more- all playing at the Narrows Center for the Arts...  Check it out:
  • At the PPAC: Finding Neverland and HAMILTON!
  • At the Z: On November 26th, check this out!  Yaniv Dinur conducts The Sibelius Connection, Featuring Lauri Porra, electric bass guitar Not to be missed! Masterful bass guitarist Lauri Porra is the great-grandson of the great Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. In this concert, Porra will dazzle in the U.S. premiere of his own Concerto for Electric Bass and Orchestra, combining rock and classical music. The New Bedford Symphony will follow with the First Symphony of Jean Sibelius, written when he was just 33 years old, exploring the endless possibilities of the orchestra with fresh and youthful excitement. 

Have a wonderful weekend,