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EXPLORE

October 21, 2017

Art Teacher and Teaching Artist collaborate

Acton Elementary School students in the EXPLORE: Visual Art program worked with Maine Teaching Artist Ann Thompson to create woven wheels, kinesthetic sculptures using bicycle wheels and nylon climbing rope. Ann collaborated with Art Teacher Cami Davis to create and install the pieces at Kelly Orchards in Acton during Applecycle, a bicycle tour of orchards in southern Maine on Saturday, October 14. The sculptures will take permanent residence on the school grounds along with six other pieces that will hang indoors.
Cami said: “Students loved working collaboratively on the three dimensional pieces and learning about the donated and recycled materials used to create the sculptures.”
Applecycle is a fund raiser for the Community Bicycle Center
after school youth development program.
And, Teaching Artist Ann Thompson, who is on the Maine Arts Commission Teaching Artist roster said: “The CBC is one of my favorite collaborators and a vitally important program for our community!”

 

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Multi-disciplinary Dance Performance

October 20, 2017

The Twenty

For more information please call Betsy Mclarkey Dunphy at 799.3273.

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Lego World Record

October 19, 2017

Lego Origami Crane

80,000 pieces of legos, over 200 people, breaking a world record. To celebrate International Peace Day, Brick X Brick partnered with Play Well TEKnologies to bring the people of Los Angeles a LEGO event they will never forget! In Japanese culture, origami cranes represent peace and hope. It is said that anyone who makes 1,000 cranes will be granted a wish. We wanted to bring the community together to work on this record-breaking goal, and maybe make a few new LEGO-loving friends in the process.

Check out friends at Play Well TEKnologies! WEBSITE: http://www.play-well.org/ FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/PlayWellTEK Click here to learn more about the history of origami peace cranes: https://goo.gl/8yCKEK We love to connect with YOU, no matter what language you speak. Help SoulPancake create captions in your language by clicking here: http://bit.ly/27FqhGH

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Who Are They? Portland Stage – Part 4

October 18, 2017

Student Matinees

Portland Stage, located in Portland, Maine, offers vital theater arts education to learners ages 4-18 through our In-Theater and In-School programming. All classes and workshops are taught by professionally trained Teaching Artists and focus on literacy, cultural awareness, collaborative play, and creative thinking. Our teaching philosophy highlights process over product, deepening students’ ability to analyze, synthesize, and think critically while making connections to the thoughts and ideas behind the written word. This is one of a series of 6 blog posts outlining who we are and what we do, brought to you by Hannah Cordes, Education Manager, and Julianne Shea, Education Administrator. These posts will appear September 27 through November 1, 2017, on Wednesday’s.

Portland Stage’s Student Matinee Program annually offers students the chance to see our Mainstage productions at a discounted ticket rate during the school day. Prior to the performance, students and teachers receive our educational resource guide, PlayNotes. Created by the Portland Stage Literary and Education departments, these extensive guides present a broad spectrum of information and perspectives on each play in our Mainstage season. These guides are designed to support and further audiences’ experience of each play.

On the day of the performance, students and teachers take over our mainstage theater! For many students that attend these productions, it is their first time in a professional theater. As Jenna Quimby, a fifth grade teacher at Hall Elementary School, said: “So many of our students at Hall do not have the means or opportunity to attend a play. I think that it is so culturally important for students to experience theater.” Pat Fox, the drama teacher at Fryeburg Academy, brings her students to see every show in the season every year. This means that by the end of a student’s senior year, they will have seen 28 productions at Portland Stage! It is a privilege to watch the ownership these students have of the space and listen to them compare the shows in the season.

Following the performance, students participate in a talkback discussion with the cast and crew, which helps them gain a deeper awareness of the creative process in a professional context and encourages them to think critically about the themes and messages of the play. These discussions are often insightful, funny, and delightful. One of my favorite memories from a talkback was the engaging conversation after our production of The Mountaintop by Katori Hall. This play is a theatrical re-imagining of events the night before the assassination of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Students and teachers alike were deeply moved by this story. Even after the talkback had ended, and students were leaving the theater, a group of students stayed to continue the conversation with the inspiring actors in this production. They didn’t leave the theater until they had to because the bus was about to drive away!

Another memorable student matinee moment came at the end of our production of Buyer and Cellar by Jonathan Tolins. This play is a one man show about Alex, a struggling actor, who takes the bizarre job of working in a shopping mall that Barbra Streisand has built in the basement of her Malibu home. As students were leaving, one young person stayed behind in order to talk to myself and Hannah Cordes, our education manager. He let us know that he had been skeptical about whether he would like this one person show or not. He had thought this format might be boring, but was instead inspired by the actor’s performance and in awe of his nuance, humor, bravery, and specificity. He told us that he is a basketball player, but that he was interested in delving into more acting experiences in the future. It was lovely to watch this student feel so compelled to share his reaction with us.

We also offer pre- and post-show workshops with our student matinee program. We design these workshops to further deepen the students’ experience with the play. When schools request a workshop, we tailor them to the needs of the students and the content of the play. After a workshop with Deering High School students, educator Kathleen Harris noted that “The fine work of the three Portland Stage educators made the personal, educational and societal experience of attending Disgraced a deeper and more meaningful one for many students. Portland Stage provides a tremendous arts and education…they are a valuable and important asset to our efforts to educate and inspire our youth.”

James Carlise at Waynflete School reached out to us as he was planning his dramaturgy class. Before and after students came to see a production at Portland Stage, our literary manager and the assistant director & dramaturg on the show went into his classroom and talked to students about the play. One student in his class wrote, “Meeting and hearing two actual dramaturgs explain their work and the impact it had on the other members of a production brought a sort of concreteness and tangibility to a role we have studied primarily on paper, and seeing the bar lifted to such a height by professionals has inspired me to look at theater work with a more critical and creatively educated eye, weighing all options and taking the time to look at everything from several angles.”

We are grateful to be a part of exposing young people in Maine to the arts through this program that offers students the chance to see a professional production with their peers.

Please watch the video below to learn hear more about the program!

Interested in learning more? Email education@portlandstage.org or call 207-774-1043 ext. 104

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Twitter Chat on Mindset

October 17, 2017

Join MALIs first Twitter Chat

Join your colleagues from across the state (and the nation) and participate in a Twitter Chat on Mindset. The Maine Arts Leadership Initiative’s Teacher Leader Melanie Crowe helped to create our first Twitter chat opportunity.

The chat is based on the book of the same name, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck. It is not necessary to read the book to participate but we highly recommend it. 

The Twitter chat is scheduled for Monday, October 30, 8:00 – 9:00 p.m. eastern time.

The conversation provides the opportunity to consider your own learning and how you approach it. And, will include the chance to consider your classroom environment and how you approach your teaching. The overarching discussion question: How does your mindset influence the way that you approach students?

The following questions will guide the online conversation:

  1. Consider mentors in your life who have supported you through a growth mindset approach. Reflect on your own growth and response with their guidance.
  2. In what areas can I continue to be a learner? What am I personally and professionally interested in? How can my professional learning opportunities be more relevant to my own needs as a learner?
  3. When reflecting on something that you have learned recently, what kind of impact has it had on you and by extension your students?
  4. What resources, materials and/or curriculum is available for use at your school that supports a growth mindset?
  5. In what ways can you share with students your own struggles and successes with your current and/or previous work?
  6. How can students connect the dots between what they are learning now and their own experiences? How are you helping them to see those connections?
  7. Do your students have an opportunity to help adults with genuine problem solving?

If you’ve never participated in a Twitter chat and wondering how to participate, the directions are below.

  1. If you don’t have a Twitter account, please start one at Twitter.
  2. TweetChat is a great tool to use when you participate in a tweet chat. Log in with your Twitter handle, enter the hashtag of the event (#MEArtsEd), and TweetChat will pull up all the related messages so you can follow the conversation.
  3. If you are not using the tool TweetChat, once logged into your twitter account you can search the hashtag #MEArtsEd and see the live conversation stream taking place or after the event to view the conversation.
  4. Make sure you add the tweet chat hashtag (#MEArtsEd) to your tweets (if you’re not using TweetChat) so participants can find your messages in the conversation.
  5. When you begin the chat – take a moment to introduce yourself and where you are from – remember to use #MEArtsEd
  6. The tweet chat host (@crowe_artteach) will mark questions with Q (for question) and the number of the question. When you submit your answer, mark it with A (for answer) and the number of the original question so other participants can link your response with the correct question.
  7. Sit back, relax, join in on the conversation to learn, reflect, and respond to your colleagues from the state of Maine and beyond!

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Story Slam

October 16, 2017

Hope Apple Orchards

Presented by Sweet Tree Arts Center and hosted by Hope Apple Orchards and a benefit for both non-profit organizations.

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Arts Assessment Article

October 15, 2017

Ed Week

The co-founders of a Washington-based consulting practice, Artful Education, Emily Gasoi and Sonya Robbins Hoffmann, authored this article How to Assess Arts Education – And Why You ShouldEducation Week, October 9, 2017.

As many of the Maine Arts Education blog readers are aware in 2010 when the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (now called the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative) was established, the spotlight was shed on assessment in visual and performing arts classrooms across the state. Since the first statewide conference focusing on arts assessment in 2011 Maine has transformed – assessment in the arts is more commonly part of everyday practice.

How timely that Gasoi and Hoffman make points in their article that I mentioned in a recently (blog post Our Responsibility as Educators), addressing and assessing the 21st century skills.

Taken from their article….

Teaching and assessing skills gained through the arts, as well as in creative processes across other disciplines, will become the norm. Here are some examples of the kinds of demands we are already responding to in the 21st-century that compel us to advocate more and better arts education:

1. To sift through the constant flow of information, students need to develop skills to evaluate the quality and accuracy of content and recognize false information.

2. A wide variety of technology and media platforms necessitates the ability to think critically and work with a variety of tools.

3. Employers are demanding creative problem-solving skills, as well as the ability to self-direct and collaborate.

4. In a gig economy characterized by temporary projects and frequent shifts in occupation, students will be faced with both increased control of career path and no clear road map. Being able to imagine one’s path and to pivot as external realities change is critical.

5. In our global society, curiosity, flexibility, and particularly the ability to see multiple perspectives are necessary building blocks for interacting with other cultures.

And, speaking of Assessment – The Art of Education included a recent post with 5 Simple Pre-Assessments for Short Class Periods written by Kelly Phillips. She uses a technique called “Now I Know/I Already Knew That” and claims that it is a perfect pre-assessment for showing growth for Student Learning Objectives (SLOs). In her post she explains the details.

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