Archive for the ‘Curriculum and Instruction’ Category

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Youth Art Month

February 23, 2021

Portland Museum of Art Exhibit

Sign up today. Registration closes February 24

Virtual exhibition opens March 1, 2021There are just two days left to register for Youth Art Month 2021. Youth Art Month emphasizes the value of art education and encourages support for quality school art programs through a month-long exhibition of artwork by K-12 students throughout the state. To register your students, please review all the information on our website and contact Meghan Quigley Graham, Learning and Teaching Specialist, with any additional questions. All artists and their families are invited to the Youth Art Month digital celebration on Saturday, March 13. 

REGISTER NOW

For almost 30 years, the Portland Museum of Art and the Maine Art Education Association (MAEA) have collaborated to bring National Youth Art Month to Maine. This year marks the first time that Youth Art Month at the PMA will be digital.  

This annual exhibition emphasizes the value of art education and encourages support for quality school art programs through a month-long exhibition of artwork by K-12 students throughout the state. The exhibition will begin digitally on March 1, 2021 on the PMA’s website.

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Teaching Artists Residencies During Covid

February 20, 2021

Possible and yes, happening!

In December 2020 Martha Piscuskas, director of Arts Education at the Maine Arts Commission (MAC), moderated a discussion with teaching artists and a middle schooler called School Arts Residencies During COVID? Yes We Can! Included in the discussion were teaching artists: Bridget Matros, Alicia Phelps, Tim Christensen, and Dana Lagawiec with student Theo Forcier, Mt. Ararat Middle School. They discussed keys to success for remote school artist residencies and what they’re doing during the pandemic to further connections and learning opportunities for Maine learners.

The webinar was recorded and archived on YouTube and can be viewed below. The video opens with Martha sharing a land acknowledgment. Bridget Matros (starts at 4:30) is the Kids & Family Outreach Manager at Waterfall Arts and she is in the middle of a residency in Brunswick provided by the well established Arts Are Elementary program. She shares the set up in how she is teaching multiple learners in more than one space at one time. Alicia Phelps (starts at 12:00) teaches piano and voice and is Director of Community Partnerships and Special Programs at the community music center in Yarmouth, 317 Main. She is a recipient of a MAC grant. Tim is a ceramic artist (starts at 22:00) and became a Teaching Artist Leader with MAC’s Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) in Phase 6, 2016-17. Dana (starts at 31:15) does creative theater and became a Teaching Artist Leader with MALI Phase 7, 2017-18. The session finishes with circus artist MALI Phase 6, 2016-17 MALI Teaching Artist Brigid Rankowski monitoring questions. During the summer of 2020 MALI transformed into Maine Arts Education Partners in Leadership (MAEPL). Tim, Dana, Bridget, and Brigid are on the Maine Arts Commission Teaching Artist Roster.

RESOURCES FROM THE WEBINAR

MAC has the following education specific grants available with a deadline of April 1, 2021. Learn more by clicking on the grant title. Arts LearningCreative AgingDance Education. If you have any questions please contact Martha at Martha.Piscuskas@maine.gov.

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Works in Progress

February 18, 2021

Thornton Academy Dance

Emma Campbell, dance teacher at Thornton Academy has shared the amazing virtual performances created by her students. One choreographer student said: “I wanted to create a dance that would help lift everyone’s spirits”. I’d say, her goal was achieved! Emma says: “My students are desperately craving performances.” As I viewed the video I could feel the students emotions, their commitment to dance and their skills are evident. I invite you to support these students by viewing the video that includes a variety of dances. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

My favorite dance is called Never Grow Up. From the dancers: “Our piece is about going through different stages to where we are now. To achieve this for the project, we each embodied the mindset of a different phase in our life to show the growth we have each gone through.”

It’s simple to ‘buy’ your FREE ticket – CLICK HERE – it will take you to the streaming site. You will be asked to add your email address (so you can get the streaming link) and phone number but don’t worry, NO credit card. If you’re wondering what the Thornton dance studio classroom looks like, you’ll see a peek of that also. This is only available until February 21 so don’t hesitate!

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Resources Galore

February 13, 2021

So many resources, so little time

DANCE AND MUSIC – THIS WEEK

  • Virtual dance concert from Thornton Academy. The link below will take you to the streaming site, you have to ‘buy’ a ticket but they are FREE and does not require a credit card, it will just ask for your email to send you a unique streaming link. It also gives a peek into the Thornton Academy dance class set up and combines pieces filmed in person and at home.  http://our.show/thornton-academy/59055
  • Virtual (Winter) Maine Fiddle Camp – Feb 19-20 The cast and crew at Fiddle Camp have organized another weekend of workshops, concerts, special surprise guests and more Virtual MFC replicates the offerings of “real” Maine Fiddle Camp in a pandemic-friendly virtual format. Recognize music teacher Steve Muise in the video below? 

WEBSITE RESOURCES

  • Digital Maine Library – Helpful tools for every subject
  • Massive List of Museums, Zoos, and Theme Parks offering Virtual Tours
  • Virtual story time for Kids: Authors and venues go online amid coronavirus
  • Maine Download Library
  • Storytime with Brittany! from The Strand Theater in Rockland
  • Solve a mystery with Jazzy Ash! Viva Durant and the Secret of the Silver Buttons, audible book for kids with original jazz music from the creator, Ashli St. Armant
  • Broadway Babysitters Playhouse – a variety of activities (nominal fee)
  • Okie Dokie Brothers, 3-40 minute films filled with music and adventure
  • Learn the basics of partner acrobatics with teaching artist Marisol Soledad, then throw on some costumes and put on a show with your new skills! Sponsored by Shakespeare in Clark Park.
  • PBS TeachersVirtual Professional Learning
  • Biodiversity Heritage Library – Digital archive dedicated to life on Earth. Comprised of animal sketches, historical diagrams, botanical studies, and various scientific research collected from hundreds of thousands of journals and libraries around the globe. Collection of more than 55 million pages of literature, some of which dates back to the 15th century. At least 150,000 illustrations are available for free download in high-resolution files.
  • Musictheory.net – Free online content
  • edpuzzle – Make any video your lesson
  • pedagogy://virtual – A teacher support program that connects a teacher to a virtual pedagogy mentor who helps the teacher find ways to boost student engagement in their virtual classroom.
  • The Atlantic Black Box Project – This project is about “understanding history through story and building community through conversation. Maine stories on the site.
  • From a Maine music teacher: Thankful for YouTube, Google Classroom, Smartmusic, Sight Reading Factory, Sibelius, Band in the Box, Laptops, Facebook Groups, and Zoom.

BOOKS AND ARTICLES  

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Artistic and Scientific Opportunity

February 10, 2021

Students in K-12 invited to submit artwork

A couple years back I had the opportunity to serve on the selection panel for the Maine Audubon’s Federal Junior Duck Stamp Challenge provided for students in grades K-12. It was a pleasure to help out and I was so impressed with the student artwork. This challenge is a great opportunity for interdisciplinary connections – science and art – for teachers across the state. And, the big winners are the students! Learners can understand how the Federal Duck Stamp Program is one way to conserve our country’s wildlife and wildlife habitat.

Maine Audubon is collaborating with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the 27th annual Federal Junior Duck Stamp Program, and we’re looking for Maine students to submit some creative, innovative, beautiful waterfowl art!

Maine Junior Duck Stamp Best in Show 2019-20: “Watchful Waterfowl” by Saffron Labos, 16, Freeport

The Federal Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Program is a dynamic, multidisciplinary curriculum that teaches wetland and waterfowl conservation to students in kindergarten through high school. The program encourages students to explore their natural world, invites them to investigate biology and wildlife management principles and challenges them to express and share what they have learned with others.  This program and curriculum lend themselves to learning in a variety of forms, remote, hybrid teaching and in-classroom instruction.

Click here to see the artwork selected from the 2019-2020 Maine Junior Duck Stamp Challenge!

The winning artwork from a national art contest serves as the design for the Junior Duck Stamp, which the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service produces annually. This $5 stamp has become a much sought after collector’s item. One hundred percent of the revenue from the sale of Junior Duck stamps goes to support recognition and environmental education activities for students who participate in the program.

This program has a free downloadable curricular guide to help support learning about waterfowl habitat and conservation. The guides provide fun, age-level appropriate activities that will enhance your curriculum and students’ knowledge of wildlife and habitat.

Madison Grimm, a 13-year-old from South Dakota, took top honors in the Service’s National Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest with her acrylic rendition of a wood duck. Her artwork will graces the 2020-2021 Junior Duck Stamp.

Maine Program and Submission Info

Students will be able to submit an entry of approved waterfowl art into the competition. Designs are considered in four grade categories—K-3rd grades, 4th-6th grades, 7th-9th grades, 10th-12th grades—with recognition for first, second, and third places and honorable mentions.

The Maine Best of Show entry will be considered with artwork representing each state in the country. One design will be selected at the national level to create the Federal Junior Duck Stamp. Proceeds from the sale of Junior Duck Stamps (which cost $5 each) support conservation education by providing awards and scholarships for students, teachers, and schools.

You can download the teacher guides here and view the contest rules and entry forms here.  For questions and/or curricular support, please contact Maine Audubon’s Lead Educator, Linda Woodard at lwoodard@maineaudubon.org.

Resources
Eligible Species
Videos
Waterfowl & Wetlands

The submission deadlines for the 2020-21 challenge is March 1, 2021. Send submissions to:

Maine Audubon
Attn: Junior Duck Stamp
20 Gilsland Farm Rd
Falmouth, Maine 04105

Thanks to our sponsor, L. L. Bean, for donating a deluxe backpack to the grand prize winner.

Maine Audubon works to conserve Maine’s wildlife and wildlife habitat by engaging people in education, conservation, and action.

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Black History Month

February 8, 2021

Over the past two weeks I’ve been considering what to include on the blog to recognize Black History Month. I don’t want what I offer to be just for this month but something that can be for every month. Like excellent arts education should be fostered every day in every classroom, black history should be part of our everyday education. One of the questions I’ve asked myself: how do I, a white woman living in a predominantly white state, avoid common errors that white people make when attempting to provide educational resources that support and recognize black and brown people? I’ve been reading many books and articles, checking websites and listening to podcasts to help open my mind, help me better understand, and move out of my comfort zone. I’ve stopped bashing myself over the head about ‘getting it’ and moved to realizing that I need to be patient with myself because the unlearning necessary will take time and its most likely not a place I’ll reach – my learning will be ongoing.

So, what can I offer you at this time and share with you, the Maine Arts Ed blog readers? Some of the educational resources that I access regularly and some of what I’ve read recently. Places I turn to that pushes on my thinking, sometimes making me uncomfortable. I invite you to share what you’ve been learning by commenting at the bottom of this blog post or by emailing me at meartsed@gmail.com.

Credit: Black History-Shenandoah University

PODCASTS

  • Leading Equity – Sheldon L. Eakins, Ph.D. is an accomplished K-12 educator and administrator and provides the podcast. He has taught at the elementary, middle, and high school levels during his career in the states of Florida, Louisiana and in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands.  Dr. Eakins also served several years as a school principal in the states of Louisiana and Oregon. His most recent podcast was an interview with Stephanie Gates and is called How to Combat Colorism in the Classroom with Ms. Stephanie Gates. Dr. Eakins faces challenging topics head on and helps us move to a helicopter view as well as down in the weeds.
  • The Cult of Pedagogy – Jennifer Gonzalez is the Editor in Chief and works with a group of thoughtful and knowledgeable individuals to provide the podcast. Jennifer taught middle school language arts in the D.C. area and in Kentucky. She provides the podcast to support teachers through a community approach. The Cult of Pedagogy website includes an overview of podcasts by category. I suggest that you go to the category called ‘Hot Topics’. Jennifer interviewed Dr. Sheldon Eakins for one called Why White Students Need Multicultural and Social Justice Education. You’ll see a variety of ‘hot topics’ there including one called Talking about Race in School: An Interview with Jose Vilson.

RESOURCES ONLINE

  • Americans Who Tell the TruthMaine artist, Rob Shetterly’s portraits and narratives highlight citizens who courageously address issues of social, environmental, and economic fairness. Paintings of ‘truth tellers’, their stories, and what they stood and still stand for. The paintings communicate all by themselves.
  • Natasha Mayers – Activist artist from Maine and one of Rob Shetterly’s portraits. See film trailer, an Un-Still Life created by Maine film makers Anita Clearfield and Geoffrey Leighton. Website will include many resources in the near future. (blog post later this week with film premiere info)
  • Edutopia – Teaching Black History in Culturally Responsive Ways written by Rann Miller. In this article Rann discusses how Black History is American history, and it should be taught throughout the year across the curriculum—not confined to a single month.
  • Learning for Justice recently changed their name from Teaching Tolerance. Learning for Justice seeks to uphold the mission of the Southern Poverty Law Center: to be a catalyst for racial justice in the South and beyond, working in partnership with communities to dismantle white supremacy, strengthen intersectional movements and advance the human rights of all people. Visit their site to sign up for their weekly emails and access many free resources for K-high school including downloadable posters that will inspire teachers and learners. They also publish a magazine, this springs edition White Supremacy in Education.
Learn more at https://www.learningforjustice.org/magazine/black-lives-matter-week-of-action.
  • The Art of Education PodcastsCelebrating Black History Month through Art, 17 Black Artists to Know, 5 Black Female Artists You (and Your Students!) Should Know, Where Does Black History Month Stand in the Art room?, 4 Artists that Show Black Lives Matter.
  • Anti-Racism Daily – Since June 3, the Anti-Racism Daily has been sending one email a day pairing current events with historical context and personal reflections on how racism persists in the U.S. (and around the world). You can subscribe and receive an email daily or the weekly archive. The daily information is provided at no cost and was created by Nicole Cardoza. You can subscribe on the website.
  • Teaching for Change – Their website helps connect to real world issues and encourage students and teachers to question and re-think the world inside and outside their classrooms, build a more equitable, multicultural society, and become active global citizens.
  • Inspired Teaching – They provide innovative professional learning programs and help teachers build their practice to engage their students as empathetic, critical thinkers. They have several programs and resources that you can access on their website.
  • Indigo Arts Alliance – Portland, ME and cultivating the artistic development of people of African descent. Mission: to build global connections by bringing together Black and Brown artists from diverse backgrounds to engage in their creative process with an opportunity to serve as both mentors and mentees. An integral aspect of the Indigo vision is to provide Maine based artists of African descent access to a broader range of practicing artists of color from around the world. Website.
  • Holocaust and Human Rights Center – Augusta, ME. One of the educational resources that they have available on their website is called Decision Making in Times of Injustice. A presentation filled with facts to help support educators in their teaching of the injustices in the world.
Located in Montgomery, Alabama

BOOKS

  • Black Like Me written by John Howard Griffin was written over 60 years ago. Griffin embarked on an experiment. He darkened his white skin to become black and traveled through the south, from New Orleans to Atlanta. He wrote the book to share his stories traveling as a ‘black man’ which ended up selling ten million copies and became a modern classic. I was able to purchase a used copy and I was mesmerized. “Black Like Me disabused the idea that minorities were acting out of paranoia,” says Gerald Early, a black scholar at Washington University and editor of Lure and Loathing: Essays on Race, Identity, and the Ambivalence of Assimilation. There was this idea that black people said certain things about racism, and one rather expected them to say these things. Griffin revealed that what they were saying was true. It took someone from outside coming in to do that. And what he went through gave the book a remarkable sincerity.” READ MORE about the book in a Smithsonian Magazine article from 2011.
  • Waking Up White: and Finding Myself in the Story of Race written by Debby Irving. The author tells her true story growing up in a somewhat sheltered upper middle class suburban childhood in Winchester, Massachusetts. Her career focuses on working in nearby Boston in performance art and community based non-profits where she learned that her best efforts were actually doing more harm than good. Her persistence provided lessons along the way and a racial understanding and her white privilege revealed her past.
  • Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption written by Bryan Stevenson. A true story (made into a movie) about the inequities in the justice system. Just out of law school Mr. Stevenson moved to Alabama and established the Equal Justice Initiative. He represented the poorest and most marginalized people in the country: those suffering from excessive or unfair sentences, or facing the death penalty. The stories of the people he represented provides a clear picture of the inequities. In addition to writing this book Bryan Stevenson and a small group of lawyers spent years immersing themselves in archives and county libraries to document thousands of lynchings. From their research a sculpture was created called the National Memorial for Peace and Justice and installed in Montgomery, Alabama. It is the nation’s first memorial dedicated to the legacy of enslaved Black people, people terrorized by lynching, African Americans humiliated by racial segregation and Jim Crow, and people of color burdened with contemporary presumptions of guilt and police violence.

In addition to the resources included above on June 8, 2020 I created a blog post called Social Justice Resources that includes nearly 50 links to a plethora of resources. Included are books for young children, middle school, and young adults along with many other resources.

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School Emergency Relief Fund

February 6, 2021

Applications being accepted by schools

This blog post provides information on obtaining federal funding that has come Maine’s way. These funds are earmarked as “relief funds” to help support educational programs because of the pandemic. The Maine Arts Commission encourages you to make a list of materials, supplies, instruments, tools, software and whatever else you have needed or still need during the pandemic. We all know that your programs have been impacted greatly. Please make a list and an appointment to see your administrator so your needs can go into the school/district application.

From the Maine Department of Education

We are pleased to share an exciting update with our partners in education regarding the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER II) funds. Maine has received $183,138,601 for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER II) through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act. The ESSER II application is now available in Maine’s Consolidated Federal Grant portal. Completed applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis beginning Tuesday, February 2, 2021.  

The current ESSER FAQs from the U.S. Department of Education are available here and here. As a reminder, CRRSA also provides support for non-public schools through the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER II) funds.

Earlier this week the U.S. Department of released the Emergency Assistance for Non-Public Schools (EANS) webpage available here. Maine has been allocated $12,751,099 for eligible non-public schools based on the State’s relative number of children aged 5 through 17 at or below 185 percent of poverty who are enrolled in non-public schools. More information regarding the EANS application is forthcoming. 

Please contact Karen Kusiak at Karen.Kusiak@maine.gov with any questions.  

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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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Communicating Science Through Art

February 1, 2021

Artist and Scientist Jill Pelto

On May 21, 2017 I wrote a blog post about artist and scientist Jill Pelto. Jill uses her art to communicate scientific research. As many are well aware, scientific jargon to the rest of the world can be easily misunderstood. As educators we know this happens when we communicate with non-educators using educational jargon that others don’t understand. This is an opportunity to hear from Jill herself talking about incorporating her scientific research and climate change data into watercolor paintings to share stories about what is happening in the environment.

Join Jill Pelto, climate change artist and scientist, as she talks about communicating human-environment connections on Wednesday, Feb. 3, at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom. Her talk will cover how she uses her dual background to incorporate scientific research and data into watercolor paintings, and why interdisciplinary science communication is a powerful way to share environmental stories. 

Jill Pelto holding up a watercolor of the landscape at one of the remote campsites she worked at in the Antartica while pursuing her Masters of Science.

Her diverse background has allowed her to create artwork that engages broad audiences with climate change data. Because climate change can be difficult to verbalize and visualize, Pelto hopes her work will encourage open dialogue about human impacts at different scales. She is inspired by her work in Antarctica, and on alpine glaciers in Washington, and by other scientists who are fighting to conserve fractured ecosystems. From the impossible blues of a single glacier to the concentric secrets held across nature, Pelto shares many stories of change.

Measuring Crevasse Depth

Pelto’s work has inspired online features in Smithsonian, PBS News Hour, and National Geographic. It is also being used in K-12 curriculum programs across the U.S. and Canada. Her work also was featured on the cover of the July 2020 Time Magazine. Pelto will be exhibiting at the Friends of Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge Art Gallery in Rockland this summer.

Register at http://bit.ly/2M8UNYi or on the Friends of Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge website at mainecoastislands.org. For questions, email info@mainecoastislands.org or call 594-0600, ext. 5.

This article is from the Courier-Gazette and Camden herald, and The Republican Journal, January 28, 2021.

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Rural Arts Education Strategies

January 31, 2021

Finding Your Own Yellow Brick Road in Challenging Times

Mark your calendars for February 5, 2021
12:30-2:30 p.m. EST

FREE REGISTRATION

Join a national conversation and gain greater understanding of the rural context by engaging with national experts, Dr. Lisa DonovanMassachusetts College of Liberal Arts and Clayton W. Lord, Americans for the Arts. Also presenting is Peggy BurtMindful StrategiesErica BarretoMassachusetts College of Liberal Arts; and Hector MarquezPulse Arts, Inc

Participants will

  • Gain greater understanding of the rural context by engaging in a national conversation;
  • Learn a strategic mapping process created by Americans for the Arts;
  • Engage in interactive processes and network with other leaders from across the country;
  • Consider perspectives from next generation leaders; and
  • Walk away with a map for shaping strategies.

This event is co-sponsored by the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association and the California Alliance for Arts Education.

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