Archive for September, 2010


Using the ipad

September 29, 2010

Barbara Greenstone

Barbara Greenstone, Technology Integrator for MLTI (Maine Learning Technology Institute) recently shared with me some work she was doing for her masters program. I am often impressed and interested in Barbara’s work because she incorporates her sons work into hers.

In Barbara’s words…

The assignment was to use our word processors to write a “fractured fairy tale” and illustrate it with clip art or word art. She said it was okay if I used Comic Life. Andrew* happened to be home that night so I handed him my iPad. I described each scene and he quickly drew it with his finger and emailed it to me from the Art Studio App. I then put the pictures into Comic Life to make the original comic for my assignment.

Then, a couple days ago I was looking at iPad apps in the app store and decided to buy Strip Designer (to make comics) and Reel Director (video editing). I wanted to see if I could create a video entirely on the iPad. I took the original pictures Andrew made in Art Studio and put them in Strip Designer to add the text. Then I put the pictures in Reel Director with a simple transition between each, added the music, and rendered it as a movie. This gives me hope that the iPad can be a creative tool as well as a tool for consuming media.

Title page created by Barb's son Andrew

*Andrew is Barbara’s son


Great resource!

September 28, 2010

Thanks Linda for the email today

Today I received an email from Linda Morkeski from River Arts located in Damarisoctta. It is a wonderful gallery that offers interesting classes for children, young adults and adults. I highly recommend it.

Linda sent me a great resource that you might be interested in receiving. It comes out regularly from the Annenburg Institute with curriculum for teachers (about quarterly) – focuses on current events and yes, you can subscribe to it. It is called Annenberg Media  Update. Videos are available to stream – for free on a lesson basis, so you can pick and choose. I have included a few of the links that you might find useful and will give you an idea of the rich resources that are available in the newsletter.

Let us know what you think by posting a comment below please!

  • Look at Art Through Time: A Global View, another multimedia course for high school teachers. This course helps you experience the art of many cultures and historical periods, and includes hundreds of images. Information and images about Islam and art are sprinkled throughout the course, but these units in particular offer very useful information. Unit 5, “Cosmology and Belief,” discusses how people use art to understand their reason for being, and uses examples from several religions, including Islam. View images of La Mezquita (Great Mosque) in Spain, and the Ka’ba in Mecca. Unit 8 “Writing,” explores how both images and words are used as symbols of actual things as well as abstract ideas. The section on illuminated manuscripts discusses the important role of calligraphy in world of Islam, and its close association with the word of God in the Qur’an. View a leaf from a Qur’an manuscript.
  • Arts and Humanities Month
    Celebrated every October, this special month is coordinated by Americans for the Arts to recognize the importance of arts and humanities in our daily lives. You can easily search the Annenberg Media Web site to find courses and professional development workshops at all levels in arts, foreign languages, history and literature. And be sure to look at the Web interactives designed for teachers and students in these same disciplines.
  • Universal Music Day, October 9                                                                                      On this fourth annual Universal Music Day, high school teachers and their students can explore musical genres from around the globe and the various musical elements with Exploring the World of Music.
  • Get the inside story on how innovative artists, like Bill Viola and the group Goat Island, include music in their unique works in A World of Art: Works in Progress.
  • For a mathematics perspective, unit 10, “Harmonius Math,” in Mathematics Illuminated looks at how Fourier analysis is used in creating electronic music. Be sure to read the related unit in the online textbook.
  • The Art of Teaching the Arts: A Workshop for High School Teachers illustrates techniques in effective music instruction. For an example, see this activity on feedback in coaching.
  • Learn about the healing power of music — how music can transcend tragedy and help individuals overcome the force of racism — with Teaching The Children of Willesden Lane, for middle and high school teachers. Click on Musical Selections to listen to the performances of classical pianist Mona Golabek, author of the book on which the series is based.
  • Connecting With the Arts: A Teaching Practices Library, 6-8 shows the role of music in arts integration at the middle school level.
  • See how two teachers approach music at the elementary level in The Arts in Every Classroom: A Video Library, K-5 The left-hand links include further information, materials, and video.
  • In Art Through Time, unit 6, “Death,” illustrates how people have expressed their attitudes toward death in art, some of which are universal, while others are cultural specific. One piece featured in this unit, “La Calavera de la Catrina,” is an icon for the Mexican Day of the Dead which, like Halloween, is related to the Catholic celebration of All Saint’s and All Soul’s Day.
  • Draw on the ideas presented in “Teaching Visual Art,” program 6 of The Arts in Every Classroom: A Video Library, K-5 to connect your Halloween mask-making activity with the deeper dimensions of emotion, culture, artistic expression — and even a little math.
  • Extreme Exposure Exhibition at The Annenberg Space for Photography
    What’s it like to dive into the icy water of the Arctic alongside polar bears? To find yourself suddenly beside a herd of elephants, 800 strong? To explore the subtropical world of the Florida Everglades? To live your life as a “volcano chaser?” The five talented photographers featured in the new Extreme Exposure exhibition at The Annenberg Space for Photography know exactly what it’s like. They all work on the edge of wildlife, climate and environment to capture arresting images from the most extreme environments in the world. Check out Extreme Exposure at the Space from October 23, 2010 through April 17, 2011.

Happy Autumn!

September 27, 2010

Changing of the seasons

Ed's view

It is that time of year once again… mornings are chilly, days are getting shorter, leaves are breath taking, and the sky has a different color. I try to focus on the changes in the environment when I drive along to and from my cubby, instead of the many tasks that need to be completed.

I got an email from Ed Boynton recently from the County (Aroostook) letting me know of the changes happening at his home. With the County Harvest underway some folks are spending more time outside. I am invited to take my camera with me to the local farm stand to take in the colors of the many squashes. I don’t remember there being such a wonderful choice when I was younger.

I still wear my shorts on my early morning walks but have started to wear a winter hat to keep my ears warm. I know it is silly but there is something about my outfit that helps me hold onto the warm weather just a little longer. Our walks at the end of the day force us to take a flashlight along.

Yes, the change of the seasons is beautiful and heightens my awareness. I really dislike waking up one morning to find I missed something. Time to get some tulip bulbs planted so I can be surprised come Spring as to wear I put them to hide under the snow.

Get outside and enjoy the fall, absorb the changes!


In Today’s News

September 27, 2010

Happening in Rockland at the Strand Theatre

A student-made music video is being prepared at the Strand Theatre in Rockland. You can read more by clicking here.


NH Statewide Arts Ed Conference

September 25, 2010

Full program planned – October 22-24th

“Growing Up Artfully” is keynote topic at NH Statewide Arts Education Conference, Oct. 22-24

Arts educators, parents, teachers, teaching artists, youth advocates and community arts leaders and advocates are invited to register for “Field of Vision”: the NH State Council on the Arts’ 2010 Statewide Arts Education Partnership Conference, taking place Oct. 22-24th.  Dr. James Catterall, internationally known educator, researcher and author, will speak on, “Growing Up Artfully: The Enduring Effects of High-Quality Arts Education”.

Other features include: the Everett Dance Theatre, conference artists in residence; hands-on arts workshops with teaching artists; the pportunity to create a community tile mural with ceramics artist and educator, Robert Rossel; plus resources, grants writing tips, networking and sharing of model artist in residence and arts education grant funded projects.

Conference site is the AMC Highland Center at Crawford Notch in Bretton Woods, NH. For a conference brochure, to register or to learn more go to: or; or contact Catherine O’Brian, 271-0795;, or Frumie Selchen, 323-7302, or ArtsAllianceNNH@cs.comcontact.

Theatre Arts, Dance & Movement Workshop Opportunities include:

  • Storytelling with a Beat
  • Acting out: Using Improv Theatre to Build Resiliency in Youth
  • The Math of Music (Percussion/Drumming)
  • Moving the Intelligent Body
  • Local Stories Project: Integrating Arts & History in Rural Schools
  • The Dance Between Image and Word: New Moves for the Picture Prompt
  • An Evening of Improv and Science with the Everett Dance Theatre (Fri night performance)
  • Science and Dance Workshop
  • The Easel as Scaffold: Integrating the Arts to Improve Literacy

Looking for a Book to Read?

September 24, 2010

What have you been reading lately?

A colleague just sent me an email including books he has been reading lately and I thought I’d pass the information on to you.

He read The Lost Painting: The Quest for a Caravaggio Masterpiece and said it was excellent.  You can access the NYT review by clicking here. He has been on this art thread recently and just started The Man Who Made Vermeers: Unvarnishing the Legend of Master Forger Han van Meegeren. It is very detailed history and quite the biography. He also read The Gardner Heist: The True Story of the World’s Largest Unsolved Art Theft.  He also read The Art Thief which is fiction.

How about you? Have you read any good books lately that you would recommend?


Fall Professional Development

September 23, 2010

Picking apples and learning

The apples you see in the picture have turned into sauce and apple butter. I love the taste of freshly made applesauce especially knowing that I put no other ingredients into it, just plain old cooked down apples. My husbands favorites are macoun which creates a white sauce and I prefer a sauce that has a pinkish color. And the butter? Well that is sooooooooo good with spices and both white and brown sugar. I make it in a crock pot so the smell goes on for hours, mmmmmm!

The fall brings professional development opportunities from both the Maine Art Education Association and Maine Music Educators Association. Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, located on the coast in Stonington, is a beautiful spot to hold the annual conference which took place last weekend. All reports were it was great. From Bucksport Middle School art teacher, Leah Olson: “It is our fellowship that makes learning meaningful and so powerful that I am reminded that this is exactly what students need in their lives as well.”

Coming up on October 8th is the music fall workshop. Hopefully you will be able to take advantage of this opportunity. We know it isn’t only about the excellent presenter, David Bretzius but also the opportunity to communicate with colleagues.

The workshop is being held at Le Club Calumet in Augusta on October 8th, 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM. David will be focusing on listening lessons, rounds, games, and lots of interactive activities for your classroom.

The cost is $40.00 for MMEA members and $65.00 for non-MMEA members. Lunch will be provide and contact hours or CEUs are available. Registration will close on September 30th. If you have questions please contact Heidi McCarthy at To register please click here


In Today’s News

September 22, 2010

Visualize whirled peace in Canaan

Thank you to Skowhegan art teacher Lisa Ingraham for sending me the link to this article on the pinwheels for peace unit she did with her students. One hundred and twenty pinwheels flying in the breeze! The article is in the Morning Sentinel and was written by Doug Harlow.

Please click here for the link to the article.


Time Stood Still

September 20, 2010

JC Stone Sculpture Symposium, Jefferson, ME

I stopped half way home tonight at JC Stone in Jefferson, right on route 17. Driven by this spot thousands of time, never realized what a treasure exists there!

I had received an email from Lisa Gilman, art teacher in Winthrop late last week, asking me if I knew that there was a sculpture symposium going on in Jefferson?! I hadn’t heard a word about it so I followed the link and found a wonderful blog filled with terrific pictures that tell the story! She followed up with a couple more emails raving about the work and her visit on Sunday.

When I drove around back of the office near the road today, I was delighted. As I got out of my car I spotted the back of a sculptor who looked like he was pondering his next move. He turned and took off his dust mask…. the dust piled up on his face with thick rings layered around his eyes. He smiled and shook my hand as I mentioned that the word on the street was that there were amazing sculptures formed and I just had to stop. I could see that information was accurate!

Sculptor Paul Kozak was working to finish his sculpture. It is an amazing piece and I am sorry I didn’t have my camera along. He answered my questions as the wind swirled,  the dust blew and the  whining of tools was not far away. I imagined the great opportunity for students to visit with their art teachers to learn, imagine and take in the entire experience. Over time, as the blocks of stone turn into sculptures, it is magical to watch.This stone came from a quarry in Jonesboro.

I mentioned I’d like to communicate about the event next year before it happens so folks are aware and can plan a visit with students. Paul told me that I should talk to Cathy of J.C. Stone to learn more about future plans and how to get student and teacher visitors to be included. I left my contact information, so as I learn more I will let you know.

Before departing I asked what the next steps for the remaining sculptures would be. Two have already been transported away, one sold. Paul was hoping to complete his work tomorrow but he didn’t know for sure. This was fairly new to him, he worked as a theater teacher in New Mexico in the past.

As I started my car to leave, I felt like time had stood still as I watched Paul put his dust mask back on and walked back to the original  spot and ponder his next move. Darn, I thought to myself, I should have asked him what he was thinking, planning, imagining at that moment!

Please take a moment and check out the JC Stone Sculpture Symposium blog and the wonderful pictures.


NEA Foundation and US Dept of Ed

September 20, 2010

Jump on this opportunity!

The National Education Foundation (NEA) has established an exciting new partnership with the US Department of Education.  This initiative, which we’re calling C2i, for Challenge to Innovate, is a call to action to all public school educators to identify and solve education’s most pressing classroom problems.

C2i is a web-based, open invitation to all public school educators that will be housed on the Department of Education’s Open Innovation Portal. The best ideas will receive cash awards from the NEA Foundation and may be selected for further development.

The NEA Foundation recognizes educators as adopters, adapters, and creators of both educational processes and products, and as agents who must organize, manage, and assume risks in solving problems.  Educators engage in―and lead―this creative process in their classrooms, schools, and communities.

Accept our challenge. Post your problem. Help us solve and share it and become eligible for additional funding and support.

I see this as an opportunity to take action on an idea that you are passionate about and who knows it might even land you a $1000.00. Let us know if you post so the Maine arts education community can go there and support your idea.

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