Archive for the ‘assessment’ Category

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MECA Courses

March 25, 2021

May Online Term

Maine College of Art’s (MECA) Office of Continuing and Professional Studies in collaboration with the college’s Master of Arts in Teaching program are pleased to offer two fully online courses for this May term. These Graduate-level courses offer 3 credits each at a discounted, non-matriculated rate. The two art education classes are certification requirements for folks seeking a Visual Art teaching endorsement. If you know any community artists or educational technicians that may be interested in becoming an art teacher, this would be a perfect opportunity for them to move closer to that endorsement. 

To learn more go to MECAs Continuing Studies webpage with the class listings.

May Term at MECA is five weeks, from May 15 to June 20. May Term 2021 offers: MAT 806: Teaching Exceptionality in the Art Classroom with Heather Nunez-Olmstead. MAT 815: Methods of Teaching Art in the K-12 Classroom with MAT Program Chair, Dr. Rachel Somerville, Ed.D.

Below is a video that provides information on the two courses being offered.

If you have questions please contact Rachel E. Somerville, Ed.D. Interim Chair & Director of Art Education Outreach at rsomerville@meca.edu. For more information about May Term classes, visit: https://cs.meca.edu/​ or call us at 207.699.5061.   

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Assessment in Maine

February 3, 2021

Maine Department of Education release

As the nation  explores the future of education and embraces opportunities for new and innovative approaches to student instruction and assessment, the Maine Department Of Education (DOE) is excited to develop a more meaningful approach to assessment.  

The federally-mandated State summative assessment is an essential component of an equitable instructional cycle. The assessment serves multiple purposes for educators, students, parents, policy makers, and community members, all with the shared goal of supporting student growth for lifelong learning. 

The COVID-19 global pandemic has afforded educators the opportunity to meaningfully reflect on instructional practice, outcomes and student learning. As educators continue to explore opportunities for authentic learning, we are observing an increase in  interdisciplinary/integrated instruction and the ability of students to apply their learning in a real-world context. With this in mind, and to ensure we are assessing student learning in a similar and authentic manner, the redesign of state assessment is underway.  

The Maine DOE is seeking individuals interested in being involved in role specific assessment redesign focus groups. These focus groups will serve as collaborative thought partners as Maine’s approach to assessment and accountability is redefined, reframed and redesigned. 

From these role alike focus groups, an ESSA Advisory/Maine TAC will be established. The ESSA Advisory/Maine TAC will represent the geographic and demographic diversity across the state and will be responsible for assisting the Department in synthesizing focus group feedback, suggestions, and best practice approaches to develop a cohesive assessment and accountability plan that addresses and supports the needs of Maine students while assisting Maine in meeting ESEA Federal assessment and accountability requirements 

In the coming months, role specific focus groups will meet for a half day on a bi-monthly basis. Additionally, those nominated from within focus groups to serve on the  ESSA Advisory/Maine TAC will meet for ninety (90) minutes once per month for an extended period of time.  If you are interested in being a part of this work, please complete the intent to participate form by February 26.  

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MALI Becomes MAEPL

December 8, 2020

Teacher Network Rebrands its Commitment to Arts Education

The Teacher Leader network known as MALI, or Maine Arts Leadership Initiative, has taken on the new mantle of MAEPL, Maine Arts Education Partners in Leadership, with the revised mission to develop and promote high quality arts education for all.” Leaders of MAEPL say the new name and mission statement better encapsulates what this community of arts educators has been and will continue to be. The process evolved as a result of bringing in new staff and expanding the organization’s leadership structure. Jake Sturtevant, music educator at Falmouth High School, longtime MALI member and Chair of the MAEPL Vision Team, said, “We are still committed to partnering with each other to be resilient, compassionate, and curious Teacher Leaders for our students and in our communities.”

2014 Summer MALI Institute

MALI, now MAEPL, a program of the Maine Arts Commission, is a unique teacher leader development program specifically for preK-12 visual and performing arts (VPA) educators from across the state, one of the very few in the country.  Led by active educators, they focus on the emerging needs of the field.  Components of the year-long program for both classroom teachers and teaching artists in all arts disciplines include community-building, an annual Individualized Professional Development Plan, structured mutual accountability, and leadership development. Over 120 Maine VPA teachers, as well as teaching artists, have participated in the last ten years.  

Even before the pandemic, teachers of the arts often felt isolated.  School district-level trainings are often geared towards general or “core” subject teachers.  “I’m only one of two in my district teaching elementary music.  We are in our little islands, far from anyone else doing what we do,” said Kate Smith, 2014 York County Teacher of the Year and MAEPL Program Team Leader.  “MALI changed all that.” 

Pamela Kinsey, Lori Spruce, Kate Smith, Pam Chernesky, Julie Richard, Winter Retreat 2020

This past year the group took a deep dive into their own organizational structure, assessing and clarifying their policies and processes. Even through the pandemic, the Leadership Teams met and solicited input from the entire membership, and determined a new name, a refined mission, and a new logo. “We chose the whirling maple seed pod as our new symbol because we felt it reflected the best of what we do – taking new ideas, learning and sharing together, then planting them throughout our school communities,” said Jennie Driscoll, visual art educator at Brunswick High School and Vision Team member. “It’s got our energy.”  

In 2020 they also delivered a virtual Summer Institute to 50 VPA educators, addressing the social and emotional resiliency needed this year. In addition, many members led efforts to support and connect with other teachers quickly adjusting to online instruction, leading virtual seminars through the Maine Department of Education and the Maine Arts Commission.

Group exercise at Winter Retreat, 2020

 “MALI grew a wealth of resources and committed members over the years,” said the current Director of Arts Education for the Maine Arts Commission, Martha Piscuskas, referring to the online Resource Bank and Arts Assessment Resources website, available free to all teachers. “We wanted to build on those strengths.” In addition to the professional development programs, next steps include creating an advisory council, streamlining their web presence, and continued advocacy for the sector. 

The group formed in 2010 to focus on student assessments, an emerging need for visual and performing arts teachers at that time. After learning from other states, a small group of educators led by Argy Nestor, the former Director of Arts Education at the Commission, Rob Westerberg, Choral Director at York High School, and Catherine Ring, former school administrator and art teacher, created the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative. They established the multi-day Summer Institute, sharing a framework and best practices for successful arts assessment in the classroom. “We quickly became the assessment experts in our schools,” said Sturtevant. 

Hope Lord and Adele Drake, MALI Summer Institute 2017

In 2015 the group added “teacher voice” and advocacy to their mission, becoming the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI), again addressing emerging needs of the sector. “I never would have thought to seek out leadership positions, continue my graduate studies, or have presented at conferences without the support and influence of MALI,” said Iva Damon, visual art teacher and Humanities Department Head at Leavitt Area High School.    

For more information about MAEPL, and to learn about how to get involved, contact Director of Arts Education for the Maine Arts Commission, Martha Piscuskas at martha.piscuskas@maine.gov. Arts education resources developed over the years are accessible through the Maine Arts Commission’s website, https://mainearts.maine.gov/pages/programs/maai.

The Maine Arts Commission is a state agency supporting artists, arts organizations, educators, policy makers, and community developers to advance the arts in Maine since 1966.  www.Mainearts.com


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Institute for Arts Integration and STEAM

October 28, 2020

13 Strategies for Making Thinking Visible in the Classroom

For many educators focusing on the process and not the product has been a gradual change. The pandemic has forced this shift rapidly and educators are gracefully embracing it in many cases. This requires a growth mindset and ideas and suggestions from supportive colleagues. Susan Riley’s Institute for Arts Integration and STEAM has put together a comprehensive list of strategies that you can apply (in person and/or remotely) in your classroom environment that will make your students thinking visible.

Why make learning more visible you may wonder? Critical and creative thinking skills are an integral part of teaching and learning, always have been part of arts education. I’m glad that other educators have gotten on board with this in this 21st century. One key for developing and assessing critical and creating thinking skills is to making thinking more visible. If we can see the process students are using to analyze problems, make predictions and draw conclusions, teaching and guiding students thinking becomes easier.

I encourage you to take a look at the ideas Susan Riley suggestions below to support your teaching and students learning.

  1. Use Artful Thinking Routines
  2. Try Close Reading of an Art Composition
  3. Connect with Cooperative Poetry
  4. Explore Ekphrasis Poetry for Vivid Language
  5. Generate One Word Focal Points
  6. Develop Collaborative Narrative
  7. Sketch to Write
  8. Create an Art Recipe
  9. Design Haibun Poems
  10. Perform a Human Slideshow
  11. Build Summarizing Skills
  12. Composing a Soundtrack
  13. Produce Curriculum-Based Reader’s Theatre
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Call for MALI Teacher Leaders

May 21, 2020

You’re invited!

Visual, Performing and Literary Arts Teacher/

Teaching Artist Leader SEARCH: MALI – Phase 20-21

APPLICATION DEADLINE: MONDAY, JUNE 1Join us for a GREAT opportunity! The Maine Arts Leadership Initiative invites YOU, with other selected Maine teachers and teaching artists, to be part of a year-long exploration in leading your school communities and the profession in effective teaching and learning in the arts.  If you are selected, you will be expected to attend the 2020 Summer Institute, taking place virtually June 15, July 24, and in-person August 5, pending state policy.   

This year’s Institute will explore Leading with Resilience; Embedding Social and Emotional Learning in our Teaching, Ourselves, and Our Communities; and Arts Advocacy.  

If you are selected, there is no cost to attend the Institute; however the expectation is that you integrate your learnings in your classroom, your school community, and share with other educators in your region of Maine and beyond.  Full participants will receive documentation of up to 35 contact hours.   

If interested, please complete the online application form, linked here and below, by June 1.

Questions? Contact Martha Piscuskas, Director of Arts Education at the Maine Arts Commission, Martha.Piscuskas@maine.gov  207-287-2750

Year-long Expectations for Teaching Artist/Teacher leaders (TA/TAL):

  • Attend New Teacher/TA introduction cohort zoom on Monday June 15
  • Complete pre-reading/viewing and participate in online discussion (on google classroom) 
  • Attend and participate in 2 virtual discussion meetings on Wednesdays – June 24 & July 15 – (w/mixed cohorts and breakout rooms)
  • Attend August 5, Wednesday in-person day in Waterville (tbd) if possible
  • Commit to two reflection sessions as a MALI TA/TAL one with cohort, one with “thought partner”
  • Develop a personalized Growth Plan for the coming year, and practice/learn ways to share it with others
  • Engage in Fall “thought partner” one-on-one check in 
  • Attend winter retreat – tentatively February 28, 2021.  Will include update on personal goal and/or action plan 
  • Author a guest blog post on the Maine Arts Ed daily blog

JOIN US!  Become a Teacher Leader and Change Lives 

APPLY TODAY!

Questions on the Application:

Name/contact information

Administrator Name/contact information (if classroom teacher)

Paragraph of Interest — Selected individuals will be expected to be active leaders in helping to develop and support excellence in teaching and learning in Maine. A full commitment to the Institute timeline is expected as seen in the online information sheet.  Please attach a brief overview of your interest and current/past experience (if any) in Leadership. Include your experience collaborating with other arts educators and experiences relevant to the initiative.  (Please no more than ~ 500 words, about 1 page.) 

Resume/CV —  If you are a Teaching Artist, please also include websites or documentation of your teaching work.  

Letter of Reference – CLASSROOM TEACHERS: This should be from your administrator.  TEACHING ARTISTS: This should be from a school or community  organization with whom you have worked.   Please attach a Letter of Recommendation in which the person includes comments and/or examples reflecting your leadership potential and your ability to work collaboratively.  Selected individuals will be responsible for sharing their newly developed expertise and related classroom experiences with other arts educators.

Maine Arts Leadership Initiative 

Background Information

MALI MISSION

MALI’s OVERALL OBJECTIVES 

  • Create and implement a statewide plan for teacher leadership in arts education. This includes professional development opportunities, locally, regionally and statewide, which will expand on the knowledge and skills of teachers to better prepare them to teach in a student-centered and proficiency-based learning environment.
  • Develop and implement standards-based high quality teaching and learning statewide for Visual and Performing Arts 
  • Continue to build on expanding the team of arts educators and teaching artists representing all regions of Maine
  • Provide workshops and other professional development opportunities for educators 
  • Founded in 2011
  • 108 teacher leaders and teaching artists leaders have attended summer institutes on assessment, leadership, technology, creativity, proficiency-based standards-based and student-centered teaching and learning
  • Teacher leaders have presented workshops at three statewide arts education conferences, with over 600 educators attending
  • Teacher leaders facilitated regional workshops across Maine and 15 mega-regional sites across Maine
  • Maine Arts Ed Blog — 78 teachers profiled in Another Arts Teacher’s Story series 
  • Arts assessment graduate courses offered by New England Institute for
    Teacher Education
  • Nine arts education assessment webinars for Maine educators facilitated by Rob Westerberg and Catherine Ring – archived
  • Video stories of seven teacher leaders that demonstrate a standards-based arts education classroom located on Maine ARTSEducation YouTube channel
  • Teacher Leader Resource Team development of items for resource bank
  • Maine Arts Assessment Resources website
  • Partners have included MDOE, USM, MAEA, MMEA, University of Maine Performing Arts, and New England Institute for Teacher Education, Bates College

For More Information

APPLY TODAY TO BECOME A MALI TEACHER LEADER

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Assessment in the COVID-19 Environment

April 24, 2020

Reflecting

I’m sure many of you are at the point of reflecting and questioning what you’re doing in the ‘schooling away from school’ environment that we’ve all been thrown into. Recently during a conversation with a colleague he shared how frustrated he was with how few students were actually engaging and fulfilling the assignments. “When we took away the grading of student work they lost their sense of purpose.” I keep reflecting on the conversation. I wonder about how many high school students do the work (when we’re in the school building) only or primarily for the grade? This wondering has lead me to many questions. For one, didn’t we go to Proficiency Based Education to ensure that students fulfill the learning requirements? So we could actually know that students had learned and more importantly so students could articulate what they were learning? This was the part that shifted education from what teachers teach being the most important part of the equation to what students learn.

I understand why many schools have gone to no grades during the pandemic – I’m not questioning or debating if that is right or wrong. Let’s face it teaching ‘online’ isn’t new and students are held responsible to document and fulfill their school work. I do think that as this continues it is important for teachers at the local level to have the conversation about how to assess student work. Let’s remember that assessment has two purposes – one to determine if students are learning AND for teachers to determine if their teaching is effective.

The critical question is how to assess in our ‘schooling away from school’? Not so the grade can raise the students GPA but to determine if students are learning and teachers are teaching.

Andrew Miller, Director of Personalized Learning at the Singapore American School has authored an article for Edutopia called Formative Assessment in Distance Learning. I’m hoping you’ll find it as informative as I have and perhaps you’ll take something from it that you can put into practice during the rest of this school year or in the future. If nothing else please share it with your colleagues so it can plants seeds for a staff conversation.

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MALI Update

February 4, 2020

Good news from the Maine Arts Commission

The Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) members and Martha Piscuskas the new director of arts education at the Maine Arts Commission have been working since last summer on the valuable work of MALI.

For those veteran readers of this blog, you are probably well aware of MALI and its importance to the field of Maine Arts Education. For any newcomers, and those needing a refresher, MALI is a program of the Maine Arts Commission. MALI is a network of Maine Arts Teacher Leaders and Teaching Artist Leaders dedicated to supporting each others’ leadership, growth as educators, and promotion of authentic arts experiences in all genres for all Maine students. It grew out of the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative, a grassroots effort by some Maine Arts Teachers to educate themselves and create some guidelines and practices for arts assessment. Almost every year since 2011,  MALI has held a summer institute for visual and performing arts teachers to deepen their mastery of teaching the arts. A yearlong cohort continues to work together, working towards specific individual goals and culminating in public presentations.

TWO IMPORTANT DATES TO REMEMBER

  • Winter Retreat – Saturday, Feb 29
  • Summer Institute NOTE NEW MONTH: — Thursday and Friday, June 25 & 26

With a leadership transition, MALI is taking this year to re-evaluate its purpose, clarify its structure and strengthen its role. Two leadership teams are tackling these tasks, and will be seeking feedback from all MALI members.

VISION TEAM

Vision Team members Dana Legawiec, Jen Driscoll, Lynda Leonas, Jake Sturtevant, and Sue Barre. Skyping in: Shawna Barnes, Jen Acosta

The Vision Team is a think-tank tasked with establishing a system and structure for MALI to grow and thrive into the future. It is comprised of 7 MALI Teacher Leaders and Teaching Artist Leaders, including Jake Sturtevant (Phase 1), Jen Acosta (Phase 1), Shawna Barnes (Phase 8), Sue Barre (Phase 3), Jennie Driscoll (Phase 1), Dana Legawiec (Phase 7), Lynda Leonas (Phase 5) and Martha Piscuskas (MAC). The team members have had a variety of powerful MALI experiences, and agree that the organization has had a lasting impact on Maine Arts Education.

The Vision Team has reviewed the MALI vision and mission statements, as well as the current structure of MALI. It is their goal to ensure that MALI will continue to foster a community of passionate Arts Educators and Teaching Artists. The community will allow for professional growth that will directly impact students. It is their intent to help maintain, and sustain, the positive aspects of MALI, while strengthening the organizational mission that MALI represents.

In order to focus discussion they have been investigating answers to these questions:

  1. What does it mean to be a MALI Teacher Leader/Teaching Artist Leader?
  2. How can MALI gain fiscal stability?
  3. How can the MALI community bring in more passionate Arts Educators and Teaching Artists?
  4. How can MALI develop an institutional governance structure that allows for flexibility and growth, and maintains a grassroots approach for developing a community of Arts Educators?

They will continue discussions, and would welcome thoughts and ideas from anyone who has been touched by the MALI community. They will develop a future MALI Vision at the Winter Retreat on Saturday, February 29, 2020.

PROGRAM TEAM

Program Team members Kate Smith, Dorie Tripp, and Kaitlin Young deep in thought. Other side of table include Melanie Crowe, Bronwyn Sale, Iva Damon, and Brigid Rankowski

The Program Team was tasked with maintaining MALI’s current offerings such as the Winter Retreat, a call for new members, the Summer Institute and Critical Friends’ Day. The Program Team members are Kate Smith (phase 4), Bronwyn Sale (higher ed rep), Iva Damon (phase 5), Melanie Crowe (Phase 3), Kaitlin Young (phase 7), Dorie Tripp (Phase 7), Emma Campbell (phase 4), Brigid Rankowski (Phase 6)  and Martha Piscuskas (MAC). The team has met several times via zoom conference and in person on January 26th. They have chosen the themes “teacher leadership” and “self-care” for the MALI Winter Retreat on February 29th and look forward to seeing all MALI members past and present.

MALI Teams thank all Maine arts educators for all you do and continue to do, and look forward to hearing from you. To share feedback or for more information, or to MALI folks for sign-up information, please connect with a Team member, or Martha Piscuskas, Director of Arts Education at the Maine Arts Commission: martha.piscuskas@maine.gov 207-287-2750.

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Art Dance

January 15, 2020

Lil Buck

This dance was created to celebrate an exhibit in Paris that included several modern artworks. I couldn’t take my eyes off of the moves this dancer, Lil Buck, made while moving through the exhibit.

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The Art of Education

December 9, 2019

Photo booth in the classroom

Informative blog post put out by The Art of Education. Seven Reasons You Need a Photo Booth in the Art Room. A Lightbox is one and a studio photo setup is another. The ARTICLE expands on these two topics providing you with useful information.

The Art of Ed University provides resources in a variety of ways. Check out the WEBSITE to learn more.

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What Does Standards Based Education Look Like?

November 11, 2019

Frequently asked question

Jen Etter

I am often asked: What does standards based education or proficiency based education look like in the visual or performing arts classroom? A handful of years ago the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) took on that question and answered it by creating a series of videos of arts teachers in their classrooms teaching. Over a two year period Debi Lynn Baker and I visited these schools to gather footage that Debi than created into short videos to provide resources

Brian McPherson

Brian McPherson

for the field.

I am grateful to the following MALI leaders who let us in to their classrooms and school world and shared the work they were doing everyday. Lisa Ingraham, Brian McPherson, Andrea Wollstadt, Jane Snider, Jen Etter, Charlie Johnson, and Rob Westerberg. I hope you’ll find them inspirational and thought provoking. All videos are located on the Maine Arts Assessment website.

Andrea Wollstadt

Even though practices change these life-long learners will provide you something to use for food for thought and perhaps inspire you to consider the teaching and learning practices in your classrooms.

Elementary School Visual Art – Lisa Ingraham, Madison Elementary School

Elementary School Visual Art – Brian McPherson, Woodside Elementary School, Topsham

Jane Snider

Jane Snider

Elementary School Music – Andrea Wollstadt, John F. Kennedy Memorial School, Biddeford

Middle School Visual Art – Jane Snider, Hancock Grammar School

Middle School Music – Jen Etter, York Middle School

Andrea Wollstadt

High School Visual Art – Charlie Johnson, Mount Desert Island High School

High School Music – Rob Westerberg, York High School

 

 

Charlie Johnson

Rob Westerberg

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