Archive for the ‘Resources’ Category

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Summer Teacher Workshop

June 16, 2019

Wabanaki in Maine

This workshop for middle and high school teachers will explore contemporary and historical issues of importance to the Wabanaki people and non-Native Mainers. The workshop includes a screening of DAWNLAND, as well as a visit to Maine Historical Society’s exhibit HOLDING UP THE SKY.

For most of the 20th century, government agents systematically forced Native American children from their homes and placed them with white families. Now, for the first time, they are telling their stories. DAWNLAND is a documentary film about cultural survival and stolen children: inside the first truth and reconciliation commission for Native Americans in U.S. history.

Participants will receive a discount on the purchase of the film, learn to use the film’s companion online learning resources, and receive orientation in primary and secondary source analysis, gaining valuable insights into interactive teaching and discussion techniques that can be applied in the classroom.

Presenters include Dr. Mishy Lesser, Upstander Project’s Learning Director and author of the Dawnland Teacher’s Guide and Adam Mazo, Director of the Upstander Project and Co-director and Producer of Dawnland. This FREE workshop will be held at Maine Historical Society on Thursday, June 27, 9am-3pm. Advanced registration is required.

Location: Maine Historical Society
Cost: FREE
REGISTRATION REQUIRED: To register or FMI call 207-774-1822 x214 or email education@mainehistory.org or contact Kathleen Neumann at kneumann@mainehistory.org

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AFTA Resources

June 14, 2019

Americans for the Arts

AFTA has tons of resources on their website. Like many outstanding sites there are too many resources to locate. Over the next few weeks I will provide resources on the blog that you can include in your summer independent learning or perhaps use when coming together with colleagues for collaborative learning. I encourage you to share them with others. And don’t hesitate to email me at meartsed@gmail.com with resources that you find useful so I can share them with others on the Maine Arts Education blog.

AFTA has a collection of videos called “Encourage Creativity: Teach the Arts”. Who to use each video ‘with’ and ‘what for’ is included with each description to help you determine if they will work for you. They provide the length of each video and they are each downloadable. The four videos range from 42 minutes to a documentary that is 7 hours and 19 minutes long. They are filled with stories, facts and figures to use for advocacy, and voices of learners of all ages.

They are creative documents that are very well put together. Please check them out at THIS LINK

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State Teachers of the Year

May 28, 2019

57 Teaches Recognized

National Teacher of the Year Rodney Robinson

On April 29th, the White House and the U.S. Department of Education welcomed the State Teachers of the Year at the annual National Teacher of the Year Ceremony. National Teacher of the Year Rodney Robinson is a social studies and history teacher at a juvenile detention center in Richmond, Virginia. Robinson was inspired to teach by his mother, who went to a segregated school and couldn’t afford to complete her education. This event, sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), celebrates 57 teachers from the continental United States as well as its territories.

The CCSSO said of Robinson in a statement:

“He creates a positive school culture by empowering his students — many of whom have experienced trauma — to become civically minded social advocates who use their skills and voices to affect physical and policy changes at their school and in their communities.”

The 2019 Maine Teacher of the Year was among those educators being honored as well. Joseph Hennessey who teaches English at Piscataquis Community High School in Guilford represents Maine this year and kindly provided the following description of his experience in D.C. In addition Joe provided the photographs that are embedded.

“From April 28th through May 3rd, I was fortunate to attend the Council of Chief State School Officers’ (CCSSO) Washington Week. During the five day program, I, along with the other 56 members of the Teacher of the Year cohort, was able to meet with Congressional representatives on Capitol Hill, participate in educational policy focus groups and professional development, attend formal receptions at the White House and Vice President’s Residence, and tour a number of the landmarks scattered throughout the city. It was a week of firsts for me as I had never been to our nation’s capital before. My initial impression, sure to be one of many as I continue to ponder, is a reflection upon the enormous ideological and political scale assigned by time and circumstance to a medium sized, coastal American city.
The governmental institutions and their physical structures were awe-inspiring, and the reality is that many of our fellow citizens and neighbors will not have an opportunity to visit them, let alone be formally received. Thus, I felt it my duty to appreciate the enormity of it all. The pillars, pedestals, pediments, and windows are intended to overwhelm the senses– as if the ideas which the buildings house transcend the individual’s intellectual repertoire, skill set, or influence. What is more, those who designed these buildings– in effect, temples to democracy, to capitalism, to individualism– did so with an eye supposedly averse to the imperial aesthetic. And yet, from the giant obelisk at the center of the political complex, to the colossi which populate the monuments, it is clear that there is great homage being paid to Greece, Rome, and monarchical/imperial Europe. I found these buildings and places to be interesting counterpoints as we educators were in town to contemplate the various pathways which we had already walked in the interest of identity, equity, and pluralism staunchly opposed to such trappings of the “Old World.” As I share my experiences with colleagues and students, I am eager to see how my perspective will evolve on this front.

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Also during our week in the center of America’s political sphere, I was by turns inspired and humbled to visit the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) and the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). In addition to viewing keystones of their art and cultural collections, I was fortunate enough to attend lectures by several prominent figures from throughout the Smithsonian Institution who gave me context for what I was able to glean. These structures and their collections were massive like the United States Supreme Court and United States Capitol Building, but their scale represented an even more crucial component of the complicated historical discourse which America continues to have with its various cultures. These

United States Supreme Court

museums are intellectual achievements which seek to further educate our population about our tremendous, invaluable diversity; as a person of comparative privilege, it was important for me to listen attentively to what was being said and to internalize what I was being shown. It also, subsequently, reaffirmed the role of the educator to me– which is to bring the interconnected world into the frame of reference of all young people, not to the exclusion,  subversion, or exception of academic skills. Education is indeed the path to self betterment and community betterment– when I use the materials and resources which the Smithsonian provides at no charge to all Americans, it will be with a new gravity which I was unfamiliar with before despite having used the resources in years past.

United States Capitol Building

In sum, my time in Washington was spent celebrating education, reflecting upon our roles as individual people and as part of interconnected cultures, and reaffirming the greater socioeconomic imperative of public education– to provide the essential public service. Each of the structures and institutions which I encountered was staffed by Americans from far and wide, including Maine, who were both adamant in their beliefs and fallible as we all are. So, while we must appreciate the scale and grandeur of what America has accomplished thus far in art, architecture, and philosophy, and politics, we must also be vigilant as public servants and individual citizens to continue to support our institutions, structures, and neighbors at the individual, interpersonal level.

What a wonderful, important week that it was…”
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Storytelling and Innovation

May 19, 2019

Southern Maine Partnership

The annual conference sponsored by USM and the the Southern Maine Partnership, Assessment for Learning & Leading was outstanding. These year’s theme was Brain-Based Strategies to Cultivate Positive Learning Environments. Conference planners Jeff Beaudry and Anita Stewart  McCafferty did an amazing job planning two days of

Jen Etter

keynotes and sessions that left participants excited and filled with information to use in their classrooms and school districts.  The featured keynote speaker was Dr. Marcia Tate whose work parallels much of the teaching and learning that takes place every day in visual and performing arts education.

Arts education played an important part of the conference as it has each of the past three years. Presenting at the conference were Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI)

Shawna Barnes

Teacher Leader York Middle School Music Educator Jen Etter and MALI Teaching Artist Leader Shawna Barnes. Their session was titled Brain-Based Strategies – Gateways to Creativity, Growth and Recovery. Jen provided information on strategies used in the music classroom that align with the brain research. Shawna offered information the role of the arts has in responding to disabilities and injuries. Each of them used examples from their work as teachers in the different settings.

I had a chance to with Lindsay Pinchbeck and offer a workshop called Storytelling and Innovation – an exploration in arts integration. If you click on the image on the right it will be larger and you can read our agenda. 

The participants were thoughtful and willing to share – opening their thinking and ideas. During part of the session participants had a chance to try Express-a-Book which is an idea created by Falmouth High School music educator Jake Sturtevant, Lindsay Pinchbeck and myself. It’s our answer to traditional book clubs. An opportunity to dive into a resource like a book, TED Talk or a pod cast and instead of only ‘talking’ about it, participants create a response using an art form and share the art with the group. We created it as part of the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) and have tried it with people around the world through our work with HundrEDExpress-a-Book is part of Jeff and Anita’s recently published book Teaching Strategies That Create Assessment-Literate Learners.

Participants used the Hundred site or a segment of The Innovators Mindset by George Couros, Mindset by Carol Dweck or If I Understood You Would I Have This Look on My Face? by Alan Alda. Afterwards they shared their take-aways from these resources so they could help build on everyone’s knowledge. I highly recommend all four resources for independent or collaborative reading with colleagues.

The most fun part of the session was at the beginning when participants used “story starters” and created a dragon together – a technique that we learned from MALI Teaching Artist Leader Nicole Cardano who is the founder of Theater Today.

We provided numerous research reports, articles and links to a variety of resources that participants could follow up with if they wish to learn more on arts integration, innovation, mindset, storytelling and many more topics that are centered on good teaching and learning.

We completed the session by participants providing a “one word poem” – growth, environment, open-minded, transformative, opportunities, engaged, non-linear, and global.

Lindsay and Argy

For those of you who don’t know Lindsay, her bio is below. If you’re interested in purchasing Jeff and Anita’s book please contact them at jeffrey.beaudry@maine.edu and anita.stewart@maine.edu

Lindsay’s Bio – Originally from Scotland Lindsay Pinchbeck came to Maine for her undergraduate degree. Lindsay has been teaching with and through the arts in a variety of settings for the past 20 years. Lindsay is the director and founder of Sweet Tree Arts and Sweetland School, a community organization in Hope, ME offering a K-6 arts Integrated, Reggio Emilia inspired school. Pinchbeck received her Masters in Education through Lesley University’s Creative Arts and Learning program. Lindsay believes the creative arts should be accessible to all. She encourages everyone to be active participants and keen observers with the hope of enriching communities through the arts. Learn more at sweettreearts.org.

 

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Arts Accessibility Webinar

May 13, 2019

Shawna Barnes

On Sunday, May 26, 7:30 – 8:30 p.m. Shawna Barnes will be hosting a webinar on Arts Accessibility. Shawna is a Teaching Artist Leader with the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative.

Shawna N.M. Barnes is a disabled artist and arts accessibility educator. One of her passions is helping educators, camp counselors, and relatives of those living with a disability, find economic solutions to arts access barriers.

In this short webinar, Shawna will introduce several inexpensive and immediate modifications to tools that can be done to help your student or loved one be able to create as independently as possible. Adaptive tools can be expensive. So a big focus for Shawna is finding those creative adaptive solutions by using products you may already have at home, in your studio, or in the classroom.

Do you have a specific tool, disability, or pain point you’d like covered? Ask your question, or describe your situation in this event, and Shawna will be picking 2-3 to use as examples during this webinar.

This introductory webinar is FREE and scheduled to last 30 minutes. If there is higher interaction and engagement, time may be extended an additional 30 minutes. Material will be presented via a live Facebook video on her sculpting page – Shawna N.M. Barnes – Beyond the Clay Art Studio.

To learn more contact Shawna at info@shawnabarnes.com.

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Teaching Artist Professional Development Workshop

April 23, 2019

Space limited

The Arts Commission is providing a one-day professional development workshop for Maine Teaching Artists.
Monday 17 June 2019
8:45 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Only 20 spots available – REGISTER TODAY
Viles Mansion/Governor Samuel Cony House, 71 Stone Street, Augusta.
$25.00. Registration is required.
Purpose
The workshop is focused on the role and benefits of a teaching artist. We will address how to structure and market a residency as well as tips for communicating and collaborating teachers,  administrators, and community arts representatives. The workshop will include resources and techniques on applying your expertise as an artist to the structure of your work as a teaching artist including communication tips, connecting standards and assessments in your lessons, promotional information, funding opportunities, messaging and much more.
Outcomes
  • Information on applying your expertise as an artist to the structuring of your lessons and residencies.
  • Hands-on experience in relating the learning standards and assessments to your work.
  • Participation in sessions that are planned to fit your specific needs as a teaching artist.
  • Promoting yourself and your work as a teaching artist
Workshop Presenters
  • Tom Luther – Teaching Artist, Musician, Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Teaching Artist Leader
  • Lindsay Pinchbeck – Arts Educator, Founder and Director Sweetland School, Hope
  • Kate Smith – Elementary music educator, Central School, South Berwick
Please note: To be eligible to apply for the Maine Arts Commission Teaching Artist Roster teaching artists must attend the one-day workshop.
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Dancing in Freeport

April 10, 2019

Learners at the center of their learning

During the 2018-19 two schools in two different districts were the recipients of the Dance Education grant awarded by the Maine Arts Commission (MAC). Freeport High School and Maranacook Middle School created amazing units that impacted hundreds of students in Grades K-12.

Collaborators – Teaching Artist Nancy Salmon and Freeport High School Theater teacher Natalie Safely

The Dance Education grant is the only MAC grant that is a grass-roots effort grant. Several dance studios and two high school dance programs have a fund raiser each November. The money raised is what funds the dance education grant at the Commission. Without the dedication and commitment of many educators, dancers, parents, and community members this grant would not be possible. Special thank you to Thornton Academy Dance Educator Emma Arenstam Campbell for her contributions to being instrumental in making the Dance Education grant possible.

This blog post describes the dance education program that took place in Freeport this year. It is truly amazing to see what occurred when a teaching artist and an arts educator collaborate!

Natalie Safley is the theater arts director at Freeport High School but I learned quickly that she is much more than that. Natalie is a connector, an integrative thinker, a big picture and detailed person AND most importantly she “gets education for high school students”! Nancy Salmon is a dance educator and teaching artist who has worked with students and teachers of all ages for many years. Natalie and Nancy put their heads together and created a dance education opportunity for Freeport High School students that would touch younger students in RSU5 and introduce them to possibilities in dance.

FOUNDATIONAL STEPS

Workshop with grade 2 students following performance

Ms. Safley reached out to all RSU 5 elementary teachers for suggestions on source material as a beginning step in this performance process. A kindergarten teacher suggested the books by Kobi Yamada. Once Safley read each of the books, she new that would be the perfect starting point. Each book has a central theme: What do you do with a problem? What do you do with an idea? What do you do chance?.  In small groups the high school students first read the books on their own and pulled out lines and visual images that they connected with in each of the stories.  Then they made physical representations of the lines they pulled out from the text.  It was important throughout the process to have the students connect the text with a physical action. From there students continued working with the texts as well as writing their own pieces related to each of the respective teams. Finally, the students individually created a slide show of images that represented one of the three themes. The images came together and students physicalized them in smaller groups. The final performance had parts from all of the activities. Since the final piece was derived from the students’ own work they were more invested and committed throughout.

CLASS WORK

  • The work took place in the Theatre I class. Days 1-3 took place earlier in the semester when Natalie focused on Movement and the Actor. Nancy provided her instruction on establishing a performance vocabulary. Natalie continued to emphasize this vocabulary throughout the semester. This allowed Nancy to come in during the final project and begin working on the final dance elements immediately; building off the foundational knowledge established early in the semester. The culmination was students conducting a hands-on workshop with the elementary students to teach them the steps needed to perform the dance movement that was performed within the context of the show. Working with the elementary students in this capacity illustrated the high school students’ proficiency with dance literacy disseminated throughout the project.
  • Dance was incorporated into the work in a variety of ways. The work began with an introduction to dance movement warm-up and the elements that are common to all dance and movement of any kind as developed and described by Rudolf Laban (Body, Energy, Space, Time or BEST). Students view a demonstration by KQED Art School on Youtube and talked about the Elements. KQED includes a 5th element – Action, which was discussed but did not include further in our work. Students and teachers discussed where dance movement could be included in the scripts or the production to best support or enhance the message. The opening entrance used strong, quick and direct movement introducing each student and getting everyone on stage. In contrast a small cadre of students were the “Chance Butterfly Brigade” in the 3rd section, using quick, light and indirect movement illustrating the notion fleeting chances that one needs to grab. Pathways were explored as well as the notion of repetitive movement in order to create a background of indecision, decision, action, disappointment, success. Viewing another video students learned a specific lift that required trust, timing, strength, and cooperation to make a person “fly”. Several students were particularly successful at embodying the intention of their character by understanding and using the dance elements.

Nancy working with students on movement

LEARNING/OUTCOMES

The students learned…

  • to work as an ensemble, yet individualize the subtext of their characters.
  • to apply and embody vocabulary for dance literacy and devised theatre.
  • a different approach to analyzing a text for performance.
  • about using their bodies to inform the text.
  • that dance is more than memorized steps.
  • to write a story for performance.
  • student voices – benefits, what are they gaining? How might they transfer their learning to real world situations?

QUOTES FROM STUDENT SURVEYS

  • Dance is more than just traditional dancing to movements. It can be more simple and unique.
  • I’m really proud that we accomplished the lift during the last section of the play because the 2nd graders said that they really enjoyed it and loved that section of the play.
  • I am most proud of accomplishing my different facial expressions. I feel that some of my lines in the play make me have to give a lot of emotion and doing that I need a lot of different facial expressions.
  • The synchronization between everyone in the class and how even when we might have made mistakes, we just rolled with it.

WHAT ADMINISTRATORS SAID

  • Thank you so much for sharing this with the second grade. We were very impressed with the way that your students interacted with the younger kids. It made my heart warm watching our students faces in awe of your kids!
  • Thank you SO much for bringing your incredible Kobe Yamada performance to Pownal! The younger kids were in awe by your moves (especially when you made each other fly!), and the older kids were so inspired by how well you depicted the three texts! At a discussion afterwards one of my students said “I want to do what they were doing one day.” Thank you for being such great role models to the kids! We hope you will reach out with any other opportunities for us to see your work again!

LINK TO ONE OF THE PERFORMANCE VIDEOS

LINK TO ONE OF THE WORKSHOPS

To learn more about the MAC Dance Education Grant program Please CLICK HERE

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