Archive for the ‘Integration’ Category

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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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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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Happpppy 2021

January 25, 2021

Over the last month during the time that I wasn’t blogging 3 deer came to my backyard almost every night munching on the acorns that have piled up under our Oak trees. The time I may have spent blogging, which I often do late or early in the morning, I spent watching the deer. While the moon was bright and we had snow on the ground they stood out quite well and I could watch from one of two windows. They didn’t notice me when I stood perfectly still.

Considering we’re barely one month into the new year we certainly have experienced many BIG events. I’ve received many resources to help us navigate this world as teachers. Instead of going back and including them ‘after the fact’ I will try my best to incorporate them into blog posts moving forward.

I have to say as an art teacher I have enjoyed the enormous amount of very clever memes of Bernie in his mittens made by an elementary school teacher from Vermont. I loved reading an interview where she mentioned how surprised she was by the attention she was receiving because of the mittens she made for Bernie and the teachers at her daughters pre-school. She had sewn them and gifted them in 2017 in her craft room on a machine that her mother gave her when she was 12 years old. She also mentioned that she had no desire to leave teaching to make mittens full time. She has received hundreds of requests for mittens. My heart warmed when I read that sweatshirts with the photo were being sold for $45 on Bernie’s website with all the proceeds going to VT Meals on Wheels. Creativity benefitting a good cause!

I was so impressed with so many of the components of Inauguration Day, especially the performers. This includes the hopeful words of Yo Yo Ma and his cello performance of “Amazing Grace” delivered to President Biden at the Lincoln Memorial. “Throughout the pandemic, Ma has been delivering cello offerings on Twitter, bringing peace through music in a time of pain for many.” (from https://www.classicfm.com/artists/yo-yo-ma/cellist-poignant-amazing-grace-biden-inauguration-concert/). Lady Gaga’s rendition of the National Anthem was stunning and her outfit spoke volumes in its representation of traditions. The gold colored dove that she wore was a dove carrying an olive branch symbolizing her wish: “May we all make peace with each other.” She went on to say “My intention is to acknowledge our past, be healing for our present, and passionate for a future where we work together lovingly. I will sing to the hearts of all people who live on this land. Respectfully and kindly, Lady Gaga”. I read comments from some of my Maine music colleagues that this was the first time I was brought to tears listening to “The Stars Spangled Banner” brought me

Outstanding performances by Garth Brooks, Demi Lovato, Jeff Bradshaw, Jennifer Lopez, New Radicals, Earth, Wind & Fire, John Legend, and Tom Hanks hosting the TV special.

By far, for me, the highlight of the day was Amanda Gorman’s performance of her poem “The Hill We Climb”. Perhaps it is because I was responsible for the Maine Poetry Out Loud program for the six years I worked at the Maine Arts Commission. I loved and admired the high schoolers who participate in the program. Amanda had all of the components of amazing poetry and by far her performance was truly remarkable. Amanda is 22 years old and the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history, suggested by Dr. Jill Biden to recite. She is an award-winning writer and cum laude graduate of Harvard University, where she studied Sociology. Amanda is the first National Youth Poet Laureate. I love hearing her goal is to become President. I’m sure whatever pathway she is on she’ll continue to inspire and make a difference in this world.

The Hill We Climb

When day comes we ask ourselves,
where can we find light in this never-ending shade?
The loss we carry,
a sea we must wade.
We’ve braved the belly of the beast,
We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace,
and the norms and notions
of what just is
isn’t always just-ice.
And yet the dawn is ours
before we knew it.
Somehow we do it.
Somehow we’ve weathered and witnessed
a nation that isn’t broken,
but simply unfinished.
We the successors of a country and a time
where a skinny Black girl
descended from slaves and raised by a single mother
can dream of becoming president
only to find herself reciting for one.
And yes we are far from polished.
Far from pristine.
But that doesn’t mean we are
striving to form a union that is perfect.
We are striving to forge a union with purpose,
to compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and
conditions of man.
And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us,
but what stands before us.
We close the divide because we know, to put our future first,
we must first put our differences aside.
We lay down our arms
so we can reach out our arms
to one another.
We seek harm to none and harmony for all.
Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true,
that even as we grieved, we grew,
that even as we hurt, we hoped,
that even as we tired, we tried,
that we’ll forever be tied together, victorious.
Not because we will never again know defeat,
but because we will never again sow division.
Scripture tells us to envision
that everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree
and no one shall make them afraid.
If we’re to live up to our own time,
then victory won’t lie in the blade.
But in all the bridges we’ve made,
that is the promise to glade,
the hill we climb.
If only we dare.
It’s because being American is more than a pride we inherit,
it’s the past we step into
and how we repair it.
We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation
rather than share it.
Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy.
And this effort very nearly succeeded.
But while democracy can be periodically delayed,
it can never be permanently defeated.
In this truth,
in this faith we trust.
For while we have our eyes on the future,
history has its eyes on us.
This is the era of just redemption
we feared at its inception.
We did not feel prepared to be the heirs
of such a terrifying hour
but within it we found the power
to author a new chapter.
To offer hope and laughter to ourselves.
So while once we asked,
how could we possibly prevail over catastrophe?
Now we assert,
How could catastrophe possibly prevail over us?
We will not march back to what was,
but move to what shall be.
A country that is bruised but whole,
benevolent but bold,
fierce and free.
We will not be turned around
or interrupted by intimidation,
because we know our inaction and inertia
will be the inheritance of the next generation.
Our blunders become their burdens.
But one thing is certain,
If we merge mercy with might,
and might with right,
then love becomes our legacy,
and change our children’s birthright.
So let us leave behind a country
better than the one we were left with.
Every breath from my bronze-pounded chest,
we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one.
We will rise from the gold-limbed hills of the west.
We will rise from the windswept northeast,
where our forefathers first realized revolution.
We will rise from the lake-rimmed cities of the midwestern states.
We will rise from the sunbaked south.
We will rebuild, reconcile and recover.
And every known nook of our nation and
every corner called our country,
our people diverse and beautiful will emerge,
battered and beautiful.
When day comes we step out of the shade,
aflame and unafraid,
the new dawn blooms as we free it.
For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it.
If only we’re brave enough to be it.

I am hopeful for 2021 and the future as the artists mentioned above and so many more are given opportunities to let their voices be heard. Another reason why excellent PreK through 12 Arts Education should be afforded to all children no matter their zip code.

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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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This We Believe

March 23, 2020

Association for Middle Level Education

Call for Student Voice and Visuals

The Association for Middle Level Education is updating our foundational position paper (previously titled This We Believe), that identifies the characteristics of successful middle schools. This critical document serves as the centerpiece of exceptional middle schools around the world that are focused on shaping the best possible educational experiences for their students ages 10 to 15. We’re interested in bringing student voice and visuals to the new edition of the book, and we need your help. We’re seeking student submissions as follows:

  1. A testimonial Students can write a statement of 1000 characters or less in response to one or two prompts:
    • How has a teacher, principal, or other adult in your school had a positive influence on or encouraged you?
    • What’s your favorite thing about middle school?
  2. Two-dimensional art
    This can be any type of artwork including, but not limited to, watercolor, pencil, oil painting, photography, and digital images. The art should express the energy and culture of your middle school and should be submitted as a high-resolution photo or .jpg image. The art should be accompanied by a statement from the student about the inspiration for the art (1-4 sentences).
  3. A reflective poem.
    We’re seeking a poem either about the student, about an adult they appreciate at the school, or about their experiences in middle school.

Each student whose quote, art, and/or poetry is featured in the new book will receive a $25 Amazon gift card and their work will be displayed on AMLE.org and at the #AMLE20 Annual Conference, November 12-14, in National Harbor, MD.

Teachers need to be prepared to submit the art as a high resolution photo in .jpg or .eps format. Poems can be submitted as .doc or .pdf files.

Submissions are due by May 15, 2020. In August 2020, we’ll notify you if your students’ entries are selected for inclusion in the new book.

CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT A STUDENT ENTRY

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The Blog is Back!

March 9, 2020

Yahooooo

I’m back at the Maine Arts Education blog for all you amazing blog readers, 1,472 of you – educators, artists, arts directors, community members and so many more people who I know read the blog every day. So much has happened during my hiatus in the world of arts education. I realize I can’t go back and provide you with ALL of the information that has come across my desk and that has been happening BUT I can share some of the highlights – starting tomorrow. In the meantime if you’ve had an event, attended one, know about an upcoming one and you’d like to send me the information and photos to include in the  blog please don’t hesitate to email me at meartsed@gmail.com. Thanks so much!

I’ve been busy and I’m sure you have as well. Some of my highlights:

  • Meeting with the following educators planning our June trip to Mpamila Village in Malawi to provide professional development workshops in arts integration for 10 days for 20 educators from several villages in the Ntchisi district:
    • Lindsay Pinchbeck, Director and Founder Sweet Tree Arts and Sweetland School
    • Ian Bannon, Teaching Artist and Director of Education, Figures of Speech Theatre and Associate Project Manager, Celebration Barn Theater
    • Amy Cousins, Visual Arts Teacher Gorham Middle School and 2019 Maine Art Education Association Teacher of the Year
    • Hannah Wells, Teacher at Sweetland School and Illustrator & Designer
    • Hope Lord, Visual Arts Teacher Maranacook Community Middle School
  • Mid-Coast School of Technology

    Sewing dresses and pants for the learners in Mpamila School. If you’re interested in supporting this work, please let me know. We have 100 dresses sewn and 70 pants (30 to go). We can use some support to purchase underwear to put in the pockets. T-shirts and beanie babies have been donated by very generous people.

  • Recently we took the Sweetland Middle School students to the Mid-Coast School of Technology for a tour. Amazing new building and the mural designed by students and a local artist at the entrance inside and out is amazing. We will be visiting a sailmakers shop next week and continue making our boat that compliments the Odyssey studies underway. Each week during photography the learners travel to Maine Coast School of Photography to use their facility. Our middle schoolers are participating in apprenticeships with a local photography, jeweler, actor, and at The Apprenticeshop in Rockland. They are having amazing learning opportunities with wonderful artists.
  • Through my HundrED work we’ve connected with an arts integration program in India and are excited about planning with them on a project for the fall.
  • Arts education events including this past weekends performances of Maine Drama Festival at Camden Hills Regional High School – wow, the students were awesome!

I look forward to hearing from you with your news to share!

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Transforming a School Through Arts Integration

December 11, 2019

Edutopia

“The arts provide an access point for everyone,” Caitlin Gordon, a Maya Lin third grade teacher, told Schwartz. “I think it allows children to learn about how the process of something is just as important, if not more important, than the product. I think it just really helps create more of that well-balanced, critical-thinking person that we want for our future.”

Educators and parents alike at the Maya Lin Elementary in Alameda, California believe wholeheartedly in their approach to education with arts integration. They were at risk of closing not long ago and it was the transformation of the school with arts integration that has made all the difference.

You can READ THE ARTICLE written by Laura Lee and published by Edutopia on November 8, 2019.

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Integrating the Arts

November 14, 2019

MindShift

Edutopia is a great resource that I’ve noted in the past on several occasions. The online resources that they make available to anyone interested are ‘spot on’ for the needs of today’s educators. They have repeatedly shared information on student-centered learning. Edutopia doesn’t disappoint.

MindShift, another outstanding resource, recently included in a communication, a video that was created by Edutopia called How the Arts Can Be Integrated into Every Subject. Even though this video is 10 years old it will provide you a window into what arts integration could look like.

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Kids in Charge

November 5, 2019

What does it mean and look like?

One of the questions that comes up over and over is what does student centered learning look like and how do I manage it? Last week flying into my email was a video created by Edutopia. For those of you blog readers who may not know about Edutopia it is the George Lucas Foundation whose mission is dedicated to transforming K-12 education so that all students can acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to thrive in their studies, careers, and adult lives. George Lucas the 1991 founder of Edutopia is an innovative and award-winning filmmaker. Edutopia is all about taking a strategic approach to improving K-12 education through two distinct areas of focus: Edutopia and Lucas Education Research.

The video included in the email is called How to Create Student-Centered Lessons and Put Students in Charge of Their Learning. Some of you may be thinking that the task is easier in the non-arts classrooms but I think this video provides enough information that you can gain insight and develop ideas.

In addition to the Edutopia video a handful of years ago the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI – then MAAI – Maine Arts Assessment Initiative) started creating videos to answer: What does this student-centered thing look like in a visual or performing arts education classroom? All of these videos are available on the Maine ARTSEducation youtube channel and I’ve embedded them below to make it easier for you to access them.

Co-founder MAAI, Music educator at York High School, Rob Westerberg, with a very different haircut.

Jane Snider, Hancock School visual art educator, MALI Teacher Leader.

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Real STEAM

November 4, 2019

OK – Go upside down and inside out

OK Go Sandbox is an online resource for educators that uses the Grammy Award-winning band OK Go’s music videos as starting points for students to explore various STEAM concepts. OK Go Sandbox will be presenting at the National Art Education conference in Minneapolis, March 26-28, 2020. Registration is available.

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