Archive for the ‘Curriculum and Instruction’ Category

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Middle Level Educators

July 24, 2017

Interested in presenting at the MAMLE conference?

SAVE THE DATE

29th Annual MAMLE Conference

October 19-20, 2017

Reposted from the Maine Association for Middle Level Education blog:

Many of us have just started summer vacation and are not thinking about the beginning of next year, but it will be here before we know it! As you are sitting back to reflect and relax, please consider sharing your experiences with other middle level educators across our state this fall. We all have ideas and resources to help each other grow and meet the unique needs of young adolescents.

The annual MAMLE Conference is October 19th & 20th at Point Lookout. This year’s theme is: “Middle School, Transitional, Innovative, Transformational…A Maine Event”. We would love to see you there as a participant or presenter. If you are interested in presenting, please complete the “Intent to Present Form”.

Learn more about the conference by CLICKING HERE.

Questions about presenting or nervous about sharing what you do? Feel free to reach out to Co-Conference Chairs, Erin Hoffses (hoffsese@sad1.org) or Lindsay Mahoney (lmahoney@rsu18.org)

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Teacher in a Classroom

July 21, 2017

For teachers by teachers

Recently released by the National Network of State Teachers of the Year is a research report titled Nothing Replaces a Caring Adult in the Classroom.

This research was conducted by teachers and is for the benefit of teachers. The report provides the “measures of social and emotional learning and their efficacy in educator evaluation.” The focus is on the impact a teacher has on the student learning. And addresses the importance of teaching social and emotional learning  in our classrooms. It looks at case studies and data to help educators make sense of the information.

I have a friend and colleague who has said for years “its all about the relationship” and this report supports that completely. Most teachers know and understand the importance of creating and maintaining relationships with students to have a positive impact on their learning and future.

You can read the report by CLICKING HERE.

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CIE Summer Institute

June 30, 2017

Superb learning opportunity

I just returned from Thomas College where Catherine Ring and I worked as a team to create a resource for STEAM at the Center for Innovation in Education Summer Institute. The conversation on STEAM appears to be happening across the state in a small way but after three days of talking STEAM, proficiency-based education and digital learning I am sensing that we are at the edge of a giant leap forward. The most interesting part is that the conversations were not just with visual and performing arts teachers but with teachers of all grade levels and content representing all regions of the state.

From a participant: STEAM is important because it engages the whole brain in learning.

Tim McNamara

The summer institute opening keynote was provided by Tim McNamara, director of High Tech High School in Chula Vista, California. He works in a true student-centered environment where students are not only surviving but flourishing, as they find and explore and learn through their passions. His stories were so inspiring!

The inspiration continued throughout the three days with a very moving performance by Brook Haycock. Her docudramas encourage questioning and thinking.

The final engaging activity was facilitated by Explo. Yes, they brought 35 moose into the room. Teams collaborated to create anything you can imagine for the moose to transport all kinds of goods.

In between participants chose from a variety of workshops. Some of them: Innovative Learning Experiences, Interdisciplinary Unit and Course Design, STEAM Power – Why it Works, How it Looks, Flipping’ Fake News, and A=Arts. All teAms cAn steAm with Music.

Hope Lord “playing” a note on a bottle.

In between attending workshops each team continued work on their project. Catherine and I will continue our STEAM resource work and provide it for you in the future when it is ready to be launched. It will be a living document so if you have any STEAM resources that you’d be kind enough to share please email the link or the resource at argy.nestor@maine.gov.

Providing feedback to each other on plans.

From a participant: The arts breathe life into everything that they touch – STEM is no different. The A in STEAM makes practical solutions beautiful – a chair becomes a sculpture, sound becomes music. When the arts are in the mix, it elevates the process and the product. A deeper, almost emotional connection seems to be made – kids get excited, I get excited. ~Chip Schwehm, Boothbay Region High School

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PD All Around

June 27, 2017

Look Up!

There’s all kinds of professional development happening this summer in Maine on arts education. I’ve thought a great deal of PD over the years as a teacher who attended hundreds of learning opportunities and as a provider of PD. I found THIS ARTICLE recently that talks about what teachers wish to get out of PD. I believe that most importantly educators seeking quality arts education professional development need to be reminded to look up! I’m exploring what that means for me personally and professionally.

Participants at Hannaford Hall on the USM, Portland campus listen intently.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit two wonderful learning opportunities underway. One was held at the USM, Portland campus, sponsored by the Maine Department of Education. Jeff Poulin, arts education manager from the Americans for the Arts kicked off the day with a lively presentation on the history of federal mandates including today’s work on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). With his mom and sister in the audience Jeff provided a clear picture and included his own story of how he started and continues in the arts and the value of advocacy on many levels. He included a photo of himself at a very young age as a tap dancer and he delighted those in attendance with a tap dance at the conclusion of his presentation.

Participants broke into three groups: music, visual arts, and theatre/dance to continue work around assessment. The questions discussed included: Why do you assess? What do you assess? What is powerful about those thing that you access? I suggest that you take a minute and answer these questions. They could prompt a conversation with a colleague. Participants from all over Maine will continue their work tomorrow.

Laurie Downy and Molly Brown go over the details before sending participants on their way to select an artwork to respond to at the Portland Art Museum.

I spent part of the afternoon at the Portland Museum of Art with Side X Side. They had seven workshops happening simultaneously in different locations in the city with Portland teachers.   Laurie Downy and Molly Brown were facilitating a lesson. They sent the teachers out into the museum to observe and document something that they found interesting. Asking them to journal and selecting from multiple techniques from drawing to writing to journaling to mapping. Most inspiring was this quote by Shaun McNift from Trust the Process: An Artist’s Guide to Letting Go. “People find that there most inspired creations come when they are “present” and responsive to what emerges naturally from the process. Creation requires attention and complete focus. But most of all it demands that we take the plunge into new territory without knowing what will appear.”

If you choose to engage in professional development this summer, whether independently or with a group, I do hope that you it ignites your creativity!

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Happy Summer!

June 21, 2017

First day

Today marks the “official” first day of summer. I realize that most schools are out for the summer break and that some schools are still in session. Whatever is happening in your life right now summer plans can be underway, if they aren’t already. What will you do this summer? How will you spend your time?  Thought about any books to read? Any professional development to attend? Any videos to view or courses to enroll in? Rewrite lessons, units, or course syllabi?

There are a variety of professional activities to engage your mind in many different ways. Once you take a deep breath and catch up on a little sleep, consider setting some goals for yourself. What will you do and where might it take you?

Consider the following online resources that you can take along almost wherever you go and get your summer thinking underway:

More information and suggestions for summer professional development that you can take the lead on will be posted on the blog in the near future.

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Americans for the Arts

June 20, 2017

Annual convention

Frank Stella – Hess Collection

I traveled to California last week for the Americans for the Arts (AFTA) Arts Education Advisory Council meeting and the national conference. It was an exciting first trip for me to San Francisco. I was impressed with the city for many reasons. There is so much to see and do, much of it in walking distance. I arrived a couple days early to visit with a friend, a retired art teacher, who I had met during our trip to Japan in 2000 with the Fulbright program. It was great to catch up with her while visiting shops in China Town (the largest out of Asia), breathing in the smells of Little Italy, eating fish tacos in the waterfront area, sampling chocolate at Ghirardelli’s chocolate shop, and riding on the famous San Francisco trolley. We also visited the amazing Hess Collection of art in Napa Valley.

Downtown San Francisco

During the council meeting we were briefed on the advocacy work of AFTA and provided feedback on the priority education issues for AFTA. At the top of the list is programming on equity, diversity and inclusion. When we consider these topics they are very different for our rural state of Maine as compared to other parts of the country. I’m glad to be at the table sharing Maine’s ideas. AFTA is doing an amazing job of reaching out across the nation and providing face to face information as well as online resources.

The Arts Education Council walked to a school in the original downtown filled with amazing buildings that house the opera, symphony, theater, and city hall. The school was built in the 1800’s and will be the future site of an arts focused school. It is a beautiful old facility owned by the San Francisco Public Schools. We met with an energized veteran educator who is leading the work.

Chinatown

We spent some time with the other AFTA advisory panels and networks including Local Arts, Emerging Leaders, Private Sector, Public Art, and State Arts Action networks to work on AFTAs Strategic Plan. Interesting people from many organizations, large and small – all committed to the arts.

The conference was full of opportunities to learn and network. I was seeking information on Teaching Artist and community arts education programs so anything and anyone that was speaking that language, I reached out to. I attended a session called “The History of Arts-Cased Community Development” which provided a picture through the people – all giants – and their stories. The session was led by Maryo Ewell who has written a book that tells the story as well.

Bryan Stevenson

The highlight of the conference were two plenary sessions. The opening session keynote was provided by Bryan Stevenson, the founder and executive director of Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama. Mr. Stevenson is a lawyer who is committed to fighting poverty and challenging racial discrimination in the criminal justice system. He has been presented many awards for his work. He was an incredibly engaging speaker and emotionally moved the over 1000 audience members. Bryan’s TED Talk provides a picture of the clarity this man has on the topic of injustice.

Nancy Pelosi with Bob Lynch

The second session was with House Democratic Leader, US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi. She and Bob Lynch, President and CEO of Americans for the Arts, had a conversation/question and answer period on the place for the arts in America at this time. She firmly believes that the arts provide the movement for what is right in our country. She is funny, articulate, and a very good story teller.

I returned to Maine from the long and energy filled focused arts days and nights with wonderful memories and a head full of new ideas to follow up with. When I think of San Francisco the image that I will remember clearly is a walk onto the Golden Gate Bridge with the light at the end of the day. I was fortunate to share the walk, filled with laughter and conversation, with colleagues from The Pablove Foundation in California, the Turnaround Arts program from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and from the High Museum, Atlanta, Georgia. I was humbled by these amazing people doing thoughtful arts education work, impacting thousands.

Golden Gate Bridge with colleagues from across the country.

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Phase VII MALI Leaders Announced

June 13, 2017

Congrats!

CONGRATULATIONS to the 12 PK-12 Maine visual and performing arts educators and 6 teaching artists for stepping forward and taking on the role of “leader” in Maine arts education. The Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) is launching Phase VII!

Leaders will attend a 3-day summer institute at Thomas College Center for Innovation in Education and focus on their own learning; “teacher centered”. They will explore their own learning and over the next year share their learning using multiple medium. The Phase VII MALI planners are excited about this direction as they put together an agenda focused on growth mindset and hands-on engaged learning sessions.

CONGRATULATIONS to the following new MALI Teaching Artist Leaders and PK-12 Teacher Leaders:

TEACHING ARTIST LEADERS

  • NICOLE CARDANO – Theater
  • BRIAN EVANS-JONES – Creative Writing
  • RANDY FEIN – Visual Arts
  • DANA LEGAWIEC – Creative Theater
  • TOM LUTHER – Music
  • MARIE PALLUOTTO – Visual Arts

PK-12 TEACHER LEADERS

  • KRISTINE BISSON – Music 6-8 Marshwood Middle School, Eliot
  • DAVID COFFEY – Music 6-12 Belfast High School, Troy Howard Middle School, Belfast
  • AMY DONOVAN-NUCCI – Visual Art K-3 Horace Mitchell School, Kittery
  • ADELE O’BRIEN-DRAKE – Visual Art 6-8 Leonard Middle School, Old Town
  • LAURA GIBBONS – Visual Art K-6 Montello Elementary School, Lewiston
  • JAN GILL – Music PK-2 Spruce Mountain Primary School, Livermore
  • LCINDI KUGELL – Visual Art 9-12 Oxford Hills High School, Oxford
  • LORI SPRUCE – Visual Art 9-12 Brewer High School
  • WILL STECHER – Music PK-4 Newport and Corinna Elementary Schools
  • DANIELLE SULLIVAN – Music PK-8 Etna-Dixmont School
  • DOROTHY TRIPP – Music K-5 Manchester and Readfield Elementary Schools
  • KAITLIN YOUNG – Music PK-8 SeDoMoCha Elementary/Middle Schools, Dover-Foxcroft
If you’d like to learn more about MALI please CLICK HERE. The website created by MALI called Maine Arts Assessment Resources is located at THIS LINK. And, for the Resource Bank please CLICK HERE.

Teacher Leader Jean Phillips, Theatre Wiscasset High School

If you have any questions about the role of teacher leader please contact me at argy.nestor@maine.gov.
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