Archive for August, 2012


Assessment in the Arts Grad Courses

August 31, 2012

Starting in September – For more information please go to



Cross Discipline Literacy Network

August 30, 2012

  • Looking for low cost, high quality professional learning connected to Maine’s learning standards and your daily instructional practice?
  • Eager to engage in collaborative study with colleagues across the state to fine tune your teaching?
  • Interested in a combination of face-to-face conversation and technology-based learning experiences?

If you answered yes to these questions, the Cross Discipline Literacy Network is for you.  This professional learning network will foster literacy practices that support learning across content areas.  The goal of the literacy network is to provide K-12 educators access to professional learning communities focused on content literacy strategies that:

  • Build capacity for educators to engage in collaborative, reflective study around literacy practices that benefit content area teaching and learning;
  • Promote ongoing literacy learning and sharing among professionals across content areas from across Maine; and
  • Increase student achievement of learning standards through improved literacy instruction across content areas.

The network will operate regionally across the state, utilizing both online webinar sessions interspersed between face-to-face networking sessions.  The webinar portion of the network will require participants to select literacy strands on which to focus their study throughout the year.  The literacy strands will support the Common Core State Standards for ELA and Literacy Across the Disciplines, and will include both content area focused strands (e.g. science, social studies, math, etc.) and general literacy strands (e.g. text complexity, writing instruction, and word study). Webinars will be developed and delivered by MDOE content specialists and Maine educators with discipline specific expertise at the elementary, middle, and high school levels.  Participants will be expected to connect webinar content to their practice and to share evidence of this application during face to face meetings. Additionally, some webinars may require text reading of web-based articles or professional texts (to be purchased separately by participants). Webinar presentations will be held afterschool and archived so that participants can watch them again and/or obtain the content at a later time if they miss the live presentation.  Dates of webinar sessions will be sent to participants by October 1, 2012.

Participants will also select a local site at which they will attend face-to-face sessions three times throughout the 2012-13 school year. These sessions will provide participants with the opportunity to engage in extended conversations related to a variety of literacy practices and topics connected to the literacy strands on which they are focusing their study.  Opportunities for text discussions, sharing instructional strategies and student work, and networking with other educators will be abundant during these sessions which will run from 4:00-5:30 p.m.  Conversations and sharing at local sites will be facilitated by trained educators, and sites will be organized to support educators from the K-5, 6-12, or K-12 grade spans.

Finally, participants in the Cross Discipline Literacy Network will also have the opportunity to connect with local site colleagues and literacy strand colleagues via an online networking platform,, that will be introduced during the first face-to-face session.

To register, visit where you can view the 2012-13 Cross Discipline Literacy Network master schedule, literacy strand options, and local site options.  Once you know which site and which webinar strand(s) you want to select, click the registration button to complete the online registration.  Registration cost is $25 for the year (includes face-to-face sessions and up to 2 webinar strands).  The registration deadline is October 5, 2012.   For additional information, please contact:  Lee Anne Larsen ( or 624-6628.


International Visual Literacy Association Conference

August 29, 2012

44th Annual Conference at USM, October 13th

October 10 to 13 in Portland, USM, Mapping the Visual Beyond the Visible, annual conference of the International Visual Literacy Association,

Established in 1969, IVLA members represent a wide range of disciplines and includes researchers, educators, designers, media specialists and artists. Through its meetings, publications, and website, IVLA provides a forum for issues dealing with education, instruction, and training in modes of communication and their application. Paper proposals for conference:

The 2012 confereence is hosted by The Osher Map Library and Smith Center for Cartographic Education at the University of Southern Maine in Portland.


Wednesday, October 10, 6:30 PM

Keynote address by Ken Jennings, author of Maphead, a personal account of his lifelong fascination with maps and geography. Best known for his 2004 record-breaking appearance on Jeopardy, the TV quiz show, Ken Jennings has since published two bestsellers, Brainiac and Maphead.

Note: The lecture on the USM Portland campus in Hannaford Hall is also free and open to the public.
Due to limited seating, please RSVP by Friday, October 5 to (207) 780-4850 or

Thursday, October 11
Conference sessions at the Clarion Hotel followed by an evening reception at the Maine College of Art in Portland.

Friday, October 12

All daytime sessions held at the Glickman Family Library on the USM Portland campus. Midday tour of the Osher Map Library and its exhibition, Iconic America: The US Map Outline as National Symbol, accompanied by presentation by John Fondersmith, guest curator whose collection is on display.

Evening: Gala event with dinner and musical entertainment at Clarion Hotel.

Saturday, October 13

Keynote presentation by David Sobel, author of Mapmaking with children: sense of place education for the elementary years. Sessions at Clarion Hotel will focus on K-12 education. Day registration for area educators is encouraged.



August 28, 2012

Taking a look back, a look forward

When Rob Westerberg’s blog post popped into my inbox yesterday I took a break from working and read his post. It proved to be one of those pieces written that causes me to pause and think deeply about the work we’ve done in arts education in Maine for many years. Some of you might know Betty Atterbury, perhaps even had her as a music professor. Like Rob, I never had the opportunity to meet her. After reading about her I imagined meeting this woman who clearly had an impact on Maine arts education. I was mostly interested in the work she did and the parallels to the present work in arts education.

I hope you’ll take a minute to pause and read Rob’s post at If you knew Betty, I’d love for you to post a comment on the meartsed blog. Thanks!

We have much to be proud and I am humbled by the outstanding work that takes place each day in arts education in Maine!


Art Department Rules

August 28, 2012

10 Rules from the Immaculate Heart College


Maine Art Ed Association

August 27, 2012

Summer Retreat

Earlier in August the Maine Art Education Association had their summer retreat where they discussed the goals for the 2012-13 and beyond. The all-day meeting was attended by board members and members-at-large and held at USM. Members looked at the mission, constitution, the structure, and considered a variety of changes to strengthen the professional organization.

President Sandy Brennan said: “Lots of great ideas and suggestions were made.” In a follow-up email to the board members in preparing for their September meeting Sandy said: “We will accomplish great things!”

Constance Panetski reports out from small group work while Kal Elmore, Susan Bryand, and Iva Damon listen

Kal Elmore reports out from small group discussion while Allison Price and Sandy Brennan listen


National Arts Standards Update

August 25, 2012

Writing teams work on EUs, EQs, CAs

Earlier this summer the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS) writing teams met in the Washington D.C. area to continue their work on the writing of the the national standards. They discussed the Enduring Understandings (EU), Enduring Questions (EQ), and Cornerstone Assessments (CA).

This was their first meeting face to face since they started the work electronically. This meeting with the leadership team of the NCCAS was possible  thanks to the generosity of the states, national arts education organizations (NAfME, NAEA, NDEO, AATE, EdTA), and the  partners at the College Board.

You can view (and hear) the highlights of the work on the NCCAS wiki at:

The site has a document that is updated periodically with questions and answers. Here are a couple:

  1. Are there continued efforts to understand where the arts are already in alignment with the Common Core State Standards? I would imagine I would be interested in knowing this for the purpose of articulating the possible standards for Arts Integration techniques.  If so are there efforts to articulate how Arts Integration techniques can help meet the CC standards as well as to understand where arts and creativity processes are cognitively parallel to skills and tasks that are laid out in Common Core?                                                                  Project Director Phil Shepherd: Yes there are continual efforts to make connections to the Common Core. Not only do we have some research conducted by the College Board, but as the work continues comparisons are brought forward in each of the writing teams.
  2. How does this document address the important process of creative thinking? This is the leading characteristic CEO’s say they are looking for in a 21st employee. The learning of this process I believe could be one of those elements that could connect all the art forms. The creative thinking process can be taught, but are we teaching it in K-12 schools? Rarely have I seen it specifically addressed in my 35 years of art public school teaching. So….If not in this domain, where? Project Director Phil Shepherd: A goal established by the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards is to bring creativity to the forefront. Alignment with the 21st Century Skills framework is a part of the process. The College Board has done research to support this effort as well and our writers have reviewed that research. Additional work has been done to review creative practices and provide an overview of how those practices play out in the artistic processes.

You can keep up with developments on the new national standards by checking the NCCAS wiki site at:


Americans Who Tell the Truth

August 23, 2012

Meeting with Rob Shetterly

Last week I had the chance to meet with Connie Carter of Operation Breaking Stereotypes. Since 2002, Operation Breaking Stereotypes (OBS), a non-profit, service-based organization working with schools in Maine, Boston, and New York City to help students address ethnic, socio-economic, gender, and racial stereotypes through writing, reading, music, photography, and personal connections.

We met with Aran and Robert Shetterly to talk about their work Americans Who Tell the Truth. (AWTT) Americans Who Tell the Truth = Models of Courageous Citizenship. AWTT is dedicated to the belief that a profound sense of citizenship is the only safeguard of democracy and the best defense of our social, economic, and environmental rights. Through portraits and stories of exemplary American citizens, both historical and contemporary, AWTT teaches the courage to act for the common good. Its powerful educational programs promote our country’s ideals, illuminate the necessary work of the present, and inspire hope in the future.

You might know Rob Shetterly’s work. A handful of years ago Rob was at Haystack for the fall Maine Art Educators conference. I remember thinking “wow” what a difference this man is making in the world. He is able to select individuals (and paint them) who get to the heart of a topic in the most truthful and honest ways. His work really “speaks” and I think it would be a gift to have these paintings surround us in our living spaces every day.

Rob’s son, Aran, is working with his Dad to bring the work into schools and educational settings in a more formal way. AWTTs new website is filled with information that you may find useful, certainly interesting.

In the near future they will be offering regional professional development opportunities for educators to take a close up look at the paintings, the people in the paintings, and the teachers and perhaps students who have been fortunate to hear from Rob in classrooms across Maine. Aran, Rob, and Connie are in the process of planning these events. I am grateful to know that more students, teachers, and schools will have this opportunity in the near future.

Watch for information on meartsed blog about these professional development opportunities and if you have questions please contact Aran at


Olympic Gold Medal

August 21, 2012

Designed by British designer, David Watkins

I found it interesting to learn about the gold medal that was created for the Olympics this year. It was created by British designer 71 year old David Watkins who was born in Wolverhamption. He graduated in 1963 from the University of Reading. He has had work at the Metropolitan Museum in NYC and the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo, In 2010, a retrospective exhibition of his work was held at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, titled Artist in Jewellery, a Retrospective View (1972-2010). He was the special effects designer for the film 2001: A Space Odyssey.

On the Olympic gold medal, Watkins chose to depict the image of Nike, the Greek goddess of victory, stepping out of Greek temple, The Parthenon, to arrive in the host city. On the rear, there are symbolic elements: Olympics logo, venues, and the Thames River flowing through the emblem from left to right and diagonal lines cutting through in every direction.

The London medals (85 mm in diameter, 8-10 mm in thickness and 412 grams in weight), are the biggest and heaviest in Olympic history. A gold medal made of solid gold would be worth roughly $24,000. However, the London golds are actually 92.5% silver, 6.16% copper and just 1.34% gold and worth about $700 in the cost of materials. The medals were minted at the Royal Mint headquarters in Llantrisant, South Wales.

The information for this post is from Art of the Week which comes through my email automatically each week. You can receive the information by sending your email address to And you can visit their archives where each week an artist is featured at



August 19, 2012

Getting ready

During this time in August throughout my 30 years as a middle school art teacher I began the transition of “back to school”. Even though I spent many days and sometimes weeks during the summer involved in some type of professional development, the last two weeks of August were about the official change from summertime to school. I’d have the “school dreams” and find myself drawn to the classroom. It was exciting to open the boxes of new supplies and remember what I had ordered several months before, almost like Christmas. I had a chance to re-connect with colleagues and learn about their summer adventures when they popped in to say hello.

Inevitably there were changes that came my way during this time which often involved last minute decisions and  “new” students. The secretary or other school personnel would take a “new” student and his or her parent(s) for a tour of the building. I can still see the nervousness, fear, and anxiousness in the students eyes while trying to remain cool, calm, and collected (as a middle schooler is capable of). The change they were about to experience during the young adolescent period was enormous. Most often a week or two into the school year the student had acclimated to their new school.

We all know that change is not easy, sometimes change is out of our control, and sometimes when weighing the options a decision comes as a surprise to us. I believe that “when one door closes, another opens” as does a colleague art teacher and potter Shanna Wheelock. You can read about Shanna’s sudden changes and all the interesting goings on in her life at the Easternmost Potter in the United States blog post this week. Best Wishes to Shanna as her journey takes a turn.

There are changes in education that have and will continue to impact teachers in classrooms, how they teach, and how students learn. Two documents that will impact teaching and learning in Maine that became law during the last legislative session are included below. Only a segment of each law is provided, you can read the entire law at the links provided at the bottom.

  1. Legislative document (LD) 1422 called An Act to Prepare Maine People for the Future Economy. This law includes graduation requirements be based on a proficiency-based diploma of the standards. Beginning January 1, 2017, a diploma indicating graduation from a secondary school must be based on student demonstration of proficiency.
  2. Legislative document (LD) 1858 called An Act to Insure Effective Teaching and School Leadership. This law
    • Requires school administrative units to develop and implement a performance evaluation and professional growth systems for teachers and principals.
    • Sets forth standards that must be met by these systems, including a requirement that multiple measures of effectiveness must be used in evaluations, including student learning measures, that evaluators must be properly trained and that a system must include a process for using information from the evaluation process to inform professional development.

    To read the entire law (LD 1422) Public Law Chapter 669 please click here and scroll down to the bottom of the page for the ENACTED law dated May 16, 2012.

    To read the entire law (LD 1858) Public Law Chapter 635 please click here and scroll down to the bottom of the page for the ENACTED law dated April 5, 2012.

    During the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative summer institute the teacher leaders had the chance to discuss the laws and what is happening in reference to these laws. They discussed what they’d like to see and what impact they might have on their teaching. As you transition back to school you might want to have a similar discussion so teachers are aware of the movement in Maine. Making and taking the time to discuss changes will mostly result in a better understanding and consequently success!

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