Archive for February 1st, 2011


Winter Retreat!

February 1, 2011

Point Lookout

The OffBeats

The Winter Retreat organized by Syntiro was a wonderful opportunity for teachers to gather and expand their knowledge about the arts and technology and integration and OERs. Thank you to Therese Bernier-Burns for her work in planning the retreat!

The Open Educational Resource team members shared the work they’ve been doing during the past several months. The OER team who have been responsible for identifying resources have their work posted on the Maine Alliance for Arts Education site at The work is posted by grade level, arts discipline and Performance Indicator. This is still a work in progress so check back often to learn more.

Mary O'Brien, classroom teacher and Katharine Ayer, art teacher, integrated team from Manchester Elementary School-puppets and mural students created while reading Listen to the Wind, Greg Mortensens childrens version of Three Cups of Tea

The second arts OER team have integrated partner teams. One arts teacher paired with a teacher of another content. They shared their work that is at varying stages of implementation so is not posted anywhere at this time. Each team is involved in meaningful units with students at the elementary, middle, and high school level.

The retreat started on Friday evening with performances by George Stevens Academy Jazz Band, Camden Hills Regional High School OffBeats and representatives from two of the 2010 Imagination Intensive Communities sharing information about their work. Representing North Haven were music and drama teacher Courtney Naliboff, art teacher Alice Bissell, and North Haven Arts & Enrichment program director Rachael Garbowski. Representing Camden Rockport were project director and Horizons program director Nancy Albertson, from Youth Arts Ingrid Ellison and middle school art teacher Kristen Anderson. It was great to hear the highlights of their programs.

Catherine Ring and Therese Bernier-Burns w/mural created in session BRAINS ON FIRE:Rekindling the Imagination in the Classroom

On Saturday along with the OER workshop presentations Catherine Ring did an outstanding workshop called BRAINS ON FIRE: Rekindling Imagination in the Classroom with numerous ideas on how to integrate the arts. Participants were up on their feet moving, using their voices for chorale readings, and collaborating on a wonderful sea mural. We know the arts motivate and inspire students and so were the conference participants!

Wiscasset High School art teacher did a session called Exploring Google as a Learning Tool where participants ‘learned while doing’. Sarah shared numerous links at this site: I am sure you will find them useful! Sarah is quite the photographer herself and took several pictures throughout the weekend. You can access them at and get a visual image of the learning that took place throughout.

Catherine and I started the morning with a general session called The Power of the Arts in Education with numerous research and arts education resources that you can access at this wiki: The session started with a consensogram with this question: Does the No Child Left Behind law currently include the arts as a core subject? The majority of the 100 participants answered the consensogram NO. When in fact, YES the arts are part of the NCLB law. On the wiki you can find the Kennedy Center definition for arts integrations, the Dana Foundation research, links to arts integration resources, book lists, and many other resources.


Art teachers Charlie Johnson- Mount Desert Island High School, Leah Olson-Bucksport Middle School, Manon Lewis-Boothbay High School enjoying Sarah Sutter's Google session

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