Archive for the ‘YAHOO’ Category

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Congratulations Dennie Palmer Wolf

June 29, 2020

YAHOOOO for Dennie!

Association of Teaching Artists congratulates Nam-Ni Chen, Kwame Scruggs, and Dennie Palmer Wolf on their recognitions!

Dennie was the consultant during the first Maine arts education census. Out of that work came a comprehensive look at arts education in Maine and the Imagination Intensive Communities project. Seven school districts including their greater communities were highlighted with the amazing arts educational opportunities they provide for learners of all ages. It was a pleasure to work with Dennie and her knowledge and experience were immeasurable. I’m thrilled to learn that a true friend of Maine is being recognized at the national level.

The Distinguished Service to the Field Award will be given to Nai-Ni Chen, the Innovation in Teaching Artistry Award will be given to Kwame Scruggs, and the Teaching Artist Ally Award will be given to Dennie Palmer Wolf. Read the full press release here.

  • The Distinguished Service to the Field Award, given to a long-tenured artist educator is awarded to Nai-Ni Chen whose 20-plus years of dance teaching artistry in the Tri-State area has impacted  more than 100 schools with both in-school residencies and assembly performances, in particular their partnership with the A. Harry Moore Laboratory School for students with disabilities.
  • The Innovation in Teaching Artistry Award given to a Teaching Artist demonstrating innovation and excellence in the field, is awarded to Kwame Scruggs founder and director of Alchemy in Akron, OH where he has developed a program to engage adolescent males through the telling, discussion, and interpretation of mythological stories and fairy tales told to the beat of an African drum.
  • The Teaching Artist Ally Award given to a professional or organization integral to the work of teaching artists, but not a teaching artist themselves is awarded to Dennie Palmer Wolf of WolfBrown whose research has been cited by arts education organizations nationally. Wolf’s recent article “Teaching Artists as Essential Workers: Respect, Collaboration and Heft” named teaching artists as the most vulnerable population in the arts education field and called for economic support during the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Awards of Recognition given to teaching artists or organizations in acknowledgment of their contributions to the field of teaching artistry is given to Tim Lord and Jason Duchan at DreamYard in the Bronx, NY, Nicole Bond of the SMART Museum in Chicago, IL, Margie Reese of Wichita Falls Alliance for Arts and Culture in Wichita, TX, and Mandi Jackson from Music Haven in New Haven, CT.

The Awards Ceremony will be streamed on Thursday, July 23rd 7:00PM – 8:00PM EDT at as part of Lincoln Center “Activate” professional development series for Teaching Artists.

Established in 2002, the ATA Awards were the first in the nation to recognize artist educators. The ATA Awards seek to raise the visibility of Teaching Artists within the arts in education and community arts fields and in the organizations and institutions for which they work as well as honor innovation in teaching artistry.

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Arts from Home

June 25, 2020

Two or three offerings

Please share this information with others! 

DANCE FROM A DISTANCE! 

Join experienced Dance Educator, Elly Lovin, for a mini-camp experience from your home or backyard this summer. Designed for children ages 4-10, but open to the whole family! Each week our dance explorations will center around a different theme, while utilizing elements of movement to give dancers an understanding of how to use space, force, flow, levels, tempos, locomotion, focus, etc. to create their own movements. Themes: 6/30 Colors; 7/7 Night At the Museum; 7/14 Enchanted Garden; 7/21 Sky & Space; 7/28 Unicorns & Dragons; 8/4 Super Powered Dance.

Classes meet on Zoom on Tuesdays, June 30-August 4 Six Weeks 12:30-1PM Eastern (11:30 Central/10:30 Mountain/9:30 Pacific)

Cost (per household): $55 (Venmo to @Elly-Lovin) Sign up with a friend and both parties receive $10 off their registration!)

Register today at www.ellylovin.com/dancing-in-place

ORDER TODAY

Dance @ Home Kits Available! $25 Shipped w/ Camp registration

A selection of my favorite props curated to provide hours of movement fun at home or on the go. Eco-friendly drawstring bag contains mini-mat spot markers, egg shaker, bean bag, dance ribbons, chiffon scarf, pom-poms, stretchy band, and a go-to list of ideas about how to move and use each prop.

If you have any questions please contact Elly Lovin at ellylovin@gmail.com.

TAKE OUT ART

Creative kits offered by Sweet Tree Arts. Online order your favorite summer activities – a variety of kits are available with freedom, choice and creative thinking in mind. As many of you know many camp programs are not running during this summer because of COVID> This is a great opportunity to encourage your students to continue making art by starting with a kit that has everything needed to create. If you have more questions please contact Lindsay Pinchbeck at lspinchbeck@sweettreearts.org

ORDER TODAY


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More Virtual Shows and Performances

June 18, 2020

Art, Music, K-Higher Education

CARRIE RICKER SCHOOL

Thanks to Art teacher Jen Williams for sharing her schools Virtual Art Show from Carrie Ricker School (RSU4) in Litchfield. It’s an 11 minute video on youtube showcasing the grades 3-5 student artwork – that is amazing. Two of the music tracks were created in music class with teacher Wade Johnston. View below.

AUBURN SCHOOLS VIRTUAL ART EXHIBITS

A great big thanks to Art teacher and Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Teacher Leader Lynda Leonas for providing links to two wonderful Virtual Student Shows from where she teaches in Auburn!

RAYMOND ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

Music teacher Patricia Gordan shared her COVID story on the blog recently. The Raymond Elementary School chorus has been working since January on five songs for the spring concert. Since being away from school she has been working on one of the songs virtually: “Send Down the Rain” by Joyce Eilers. The song has been put together beautifully! SEND DOWN THE RAIN

Davia Hersey

HAMPDEN ACADEMY VIRTUAL ART GALLERY

A section of the gallery features Paper Bag Portraits with this information: Let’s face it this quarantine has presented us with an opportunity to be creative. While looking for regular household items to use for art making, I found that a brown paper bag is a great size/ shape for a portrait study. It also has the effect of working on a piece of toned brown paper which is a nice place to start for a portrait. An exhibit with a plethora of ideas with thanks to Art teacher and Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Teacher Leader Melanie Crowe!

 

CAMDEN HILLS REGIONAL HIGH SCHOOL

Guiding Light” – Text and Music by Matt LaBerge. Camden Hills Regional High School Chamber Singers and Alumni Virtual Choir. Director Music teacher Kim Murphy.

OAK HILL MIDDLE SCHOOL ART GALLERY

7th and 8th grade student artwork from Oak Hill Middle School is part of a virtual art show located at THIS LINK. Thank you to art teacher Gail Rodrigue-duBois for providing this opportunity.

USM JURIED STUDENT EXHIBIT

This special on-line exhibition was open to all USM students submitting work in any media. The juried show introduces students to a professional exhibition where they learn to prepare art for a professional setting, obtain feedback from art professionals, and have their work exposed to a wide range of viewers. Due to Coronavirus, the focus this year was on students learning how to photograph their art at home as well as uploading files – good skills to acquire for many future art opportunIties. GORHAM AND PORTLAND EXHIBIT

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN MAINE

Thesis exhibits by Senior Seminar students Delaney Fone, Marissa Joly, Regan H. Mars, and Demel Ruff are now showcased online until August 15, 2020. The engagement of the public through the art, and the public presentation of students’ work are core components to the successful completion of the Art 401 Senior Seminar course, a senior capstone requirement course for the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art students, and a professional practice elective option for those obtaining their Bachelor of Arts studio degrees. SHOWCASE.

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Congrats Visual and Performing Arts Educators

June 12, 2020

MMEA and MAEA

The following educators were recently recognized by the professional organizations who represent music and visual arts.

CONGRATULATIONS!

 

Maine Music Education Association 

  • Spirit of Education Award -Joseph Meyers
  • Education Appreciation Award – Joe Shaw
  • Outstanding New Music Educator – Alexander Adams
  • Outstanding Administrator – Heather Blanchard, Harriet Beecher Stowe Elementary School, Brunswick
  • Dale F. Huff Outstanding Music Program – Cape Elizabeth
  • Hall of Fame – Gerry Wright and Terry White
  • Music Educator of the Year – Caitlin Ramsey and Phil Edelman

Maine Art Education Association

  • Art Educator of the Year – Jodi Thomas, Thornton Academy, Saco
  • Middle Level Art Educator of the Year – Libbie Winslow, Medomak Middle School, Waldoboro
  • Secondary Art Educator of the year – Raegan Russell, Berwick Academy, South Berwick
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Maine Public

June 8, 2020

Lessons for grades 3-5 students

In addition to ‘schooling away from school’ teachers from across Maine have created videos focused on the learning for students in grades 3-5. This was a response to families who have little or no access to the internet. 2018 Maine Teacher of the Year, Sedomocha School music educator and Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Teacher Leader Kaitlin Young has a lesson included in the series. More videos will be posted in the near future.

The Learning Space is broadcast Mondays through Fridays at Maine Public Television.

12:00 p.m. – New episodes 12:30 – Rebroadcast episodes

Maine Public, the Maine Department of Education, and Educate Maine have joined forces to create original, educational programming for students in grades 3 through 5. Dedicated teachers from across Maine have developed original video lessons, pulling content from their own lesson plans and sources to provide exceptional learning opportunities for Maine students.

This project would not be possible without the help from these valued partners:

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Sebago Arts Festival

May 26, 2020

Unstoppable

Sebago Elementary School arts staff had plans to continue a school wide arts festival this spring but due to COVID-19 plans were halted. But music teachers Jenni Null and Lindsay Waller and art teacher Brenda McGuinness weren’t going to let that stop them from providing a virtual extravaganza and that they did! You can view Sebago Virtual Arts Festival. Thank you to Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Teacher Leader and instrumental music educator Jenni Null for sharing the story below.

In 2018, the town of Sebago withdrew from the Lake Region School District. I retired as the Fine Arts Coordinator in Lake Region that same year, (where we had a longtime history of a District Arts Festival), and brought the idea with me to the newly formed Sebago School District where I continued to teach instrumental music to fourth and fifth graders. Our new Art and Music teachers were totally onboard, so last year, we had a school wide Arts Festival to celebrate both Youth Art Month and Music-in-Our-Schools Month. The event was so well-received in the community that two years later in 2020 we wanted to keep the tradition going. COVID-19 was not going to stop us!
Our Visual Art teacher, having experienced the traditional festival last year, knew what to expect this time around. She was extremely organized  and took photos of class projects during the year. When COVID struck and we transitioned to remote learning, she had most of what she needed, with the supplement of some student work that was returned to her in April. She also had an ongoing relationship with professional artists in the town, one of whom is on our School Board, Wendy Newcomb, an accomplished painter. They kindly added their amazing work to our virtual festival.
The music piece was a bit more problematic. We normally would have an entire class playing recorders, and performances of the Chorus, Grade 4, and Grade 5 Bands. Now, however, that was not possible and we music teachers had to rely on individual performances from our students. As you might imagine, some were reticent about doing this, some were very enthusiastic, and others needed prodding. What I love about our performances here, is that they represent all levels and stages of readiness. Some are so polished, some not so much, but in the end this is so representative as to what a performance program is all about. It’s the continuum of progression in regard to skills. In this case, the students took the initiative to create and submit their videos on their own.
I will always remember this with a lot of nostalgia. Toward the end of the performance section is “Misty” performed by my former students now in 8th grade, and a mom of the twin boys who is a fifth grade teacher and accomplished musician in her own right. They are well known in the town of Sebago, and I view them as an inspiration to my current students as to what practice and perseverance can achieve.
The finale is by the accomplished dancer/mime artist, Karen Montanaro who lives in nearby Casco and has provided us with her expertise as a teaching artist in past years. Her performance, What a Wonderful World, seemed like the parting message we wanted to convey to our virtual audience. I hope you enjoy our show!

SEBAGO VIRTUAL ARTS FESTIVAL

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Call for MALI Teacher Leaders

May 21, 2020

You’re invited!

Visual, Performing and Literary Arts Teacher/

Teaching Artist Leader SEARCH: MALI – Phase 20-21

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

JOIN US!  Become a Teacher Leader and Change Lives 

APPLY TODAY!

Questions on the Application:

Name/contact information

Administrator Name/contact information (if classroom teacher)

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

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

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

Maine Arts Leadership Initiative 

Background Information

MALI MISSION

MALI’s OVERALL OBJECTIVES 

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

For More Information

APPLY TODAY TO BECOME A MALI TEACHER LEADER

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CONGRATS Rob!

May 15, 2020

York County Teacher of the Year!

When a visual or performing arts teacher is nominated for Maine Teacher of the Year it is an honor that all arts educators share! The person represents our profession first and foremost as a teacher, and specifically as an arts teacher. This year one of our own was nominated and has been selected as the 2020 York County Teacher of the Year – CONGRATULATIONS Rob Westerberg! Rob has been Choral Director at York High School since 2000 and has been teaching since 1998. He has been representing all of us in our profession for many years on a variety of levels. He has taken on leadership roles at the classroom, school, district, state and beyond Maine.

Like many of you he has an impressive resume from his 32 years in the music classroom. There are to many items to include in this blog post. His wide array of experiences have led him to many opportunities to work with colleagues throughout New England, assisting them as they work to refine their craft as well. Rob believes that “every student can achieve high academic standards in choral/vocal pedagogy and technique. Consequently, engaging them in a dynamic environment of best practices that allows them to do so is a lifelong journey and joy for me.” Rob has been recognized and celebrated by his students, parents, administrators, and his colleagues. His voice is strong and his ‘forever learning’ and ‘evolving attitude’ towards education is the foundation for this recognition.

I am proud to know and work with Rob for many years, he and Catherine Ring and I traveled to Plymouth University in August 2010 where the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative idea was hatched. Now nine years old, the initiative thrives thanks to the work of Rob and the many teacher leaders in Maine arts education.

SOME OF ROB’S BELIEFS

I am an educator with a demonstrated passion for education and progressive educational issues in Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment and student achievement. For 32 years, this dedication has been applied in the public school setting as a music teacher. Yet my accumulated professional experiences have led to many opportunities to work with colleagues throughout New England, assisting them as they work to refine their craft as well. I believe that every student can achieve high academic standards in choral/vocal pedagogy and technique. Consequently, engaging them in a dynamic environment of best practices that allows them to do so is a lifelong journey and joy for me.

The Maine County Teacher of the Year announcement, 14 May 2020. Rob second from right. On left is Kate Smith.

IN THE CLASSROOM – “Working with my Freshman is to begin analyzing who they are as people and what they need in order to become the best selves they can possibly be.”

COLLEAGUES AND COMMUNITYRob has facilitated professional retreats and workshops, developing curriculum and innovative approaches to assessment practices for the Visual and Performing Arts. His work impacts educators and even administrators in how they approach what they do. He empowers them to make a difference in their own settings and bring each of them to a new place in their craft. At York High School Rob led the work implementing the first public High School graduation requirement for music in the northeast. In 2010 the school  completed a $2.3 million music instructional space added to YHS, and in 2017 the Community Auditorium was opened and it has already become the cultural and creative center of the entire community.

CURRICULUM AND ASSESSMENTOne of Rob’s many strengths is his ability to break  down instruction and assessment practices in ways which truly accommodates those of us in the arts. He has felt for many years that all around us there are well intentioned but flawed arts programs which are really co-curricular activities “cleverly disguised” as academic programs. He believes that the fault lies in pre-service teacher training, where the emphasis is to further our craft as performers and artists, rather than as educational specialists. “The missing piece has been authentic and viable approaches to instruction and assessment which connect the two together.”

Rob and Argy at Maine Music Educators Association conference, UMaine 2010

STATE CONTRIBUTIONSRob co-founded the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) in 2010 with this in mind: “to work with colleagues, allowing them to re-design their own assessment practices so that student growth is furthered, instructional practices are strengthened, and new connections of learning are created.” Bringing added integrity to arts education while “keeping it real” by designing assessment strategies which are both manageable and authentic continues to be a strength of mine.

EDUCATION – Master of Music Degree, Choral Conducting, UMaine 1996 and Bachelor of Music Degree, Music Education, Keene State College 1987

MAINE TEACHER OF THE YEAR PROGRAM

I will keep you posted on the Maine Arts Ed blog and periodically share Rob’s adventures during the next year. Rob’s recognition is a wonderful opportunity for all of us to celebrate what is ‘right’ and ‘wonderful’ for education.

Rob in his classroom, 2014

Other arts educators have been recognized by the Maine Teacher of the Year program which was established in 1954. Over the years the program has changed and the county teacher of the year program started in 2014. Below are those honored by the program. (My apology if I missed someone – please let me know)!

  • Bobbi Tardif – 2019 Piscataquis County Teacher of the Year, visual arts
  • Shawn Rice – 2019 Androscogin County Teacher of the Year, visual arts
  • Kaitlin Young – 2018 Maine State Teacher of the Year, music educator
  • Anthony Lufkin – 2018 Knox County Teacher of the Year, visual arts educator
  • David Coffey – 2018 Waldo County Teacher of the Year, music educator
  • Christine Del Rossi – 2018 Sagadahoc County Teacher of the Year, visual arts educator
  • Christi Goosman – 2017 Waldo County Teacher of the Year, theatre educator
  • Andrew Forster – 2016 Kennebec County Teacher of the Year, music educator
  • Susan Beaulier – 2015 Aroostook County Teacher of the Year, visual arts educator
  • Kate Smith – 2014 York County Teacher of the Year, music educator
  • Bill Buzza – 2011 Finalist Maine Teacher of the Year, music educator
  • Jayne Quinn Sawtelle – 2010 Semi-Finalist Maine Teacher of the Year, music educator
  • Charlie Johnson – 2008 Finalist Maine Teacher of the Year, visual arts educator
  • Marguerite Lawler-Rohner – 2004 Maine Teacher of the Year, visual arts educator
  • Doug Clapp – 1995 Finalist Maine Teacher of the Year, theatre educator
  • Argy Nestor – 1995 Maine Teacher of the Year, visual arts educator
  • Charles Seymour – 1986 Maine Teacher of the Year, music educator
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Nature of the Arts

May 12, 2020

The show must go on

Imagine working for months and finally the day arrives. Students and teachers from 2 middle schools and 5 elementary schools converge on the district high school to set up and ready for the once every four years arts extravaganza. There are stacks of artwork, rolls of paper and masking tape, music stands and instruments to put in place. Older students and teachers set up all day long and just before the doors open to the public which traditionally has about 4,000 community members attend the pandemic prevents the celebration to proceed.

Maybe you and your school district have a similar story. If so, please share! Below is MSAD#40’s story which was shared by elementary art teacher, Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Teacher Leader Anthony Lufkin and is found on the Nature of the Arts 2020 Virtual show website. 

We are very sorry that we couldn’t host everyone. There was a lot of work and effort that went into this show. The students worked hard on all of their art– drawing, painting, sculpting, singing, acting, and more– and we really wanted to showcase their hard work. The teachers also worked hard– teaching drawing, painting, sculpting, singing, acting, labeling the artwork, getting everything together and presented in the building– and we really wanted to showcase their efforts as well. We also wanted to welcome everyone to the Empty Bowl Supper, showcasing student-made bowls with proceeds going to local food pantries. (A very big thank you to everyone who donated food for the supper!)

We also know that this isn’t the ideal format for this virtual show, but we couldn’t foresee all of what was to come, and we did need to take the artwork down. Unfortunately, we do not have pictures of each individual piece of art. We also do not have recordings of all the music and drama we had planned to perform that evening. We do have a bit of the jazz band, who performed while high school students were viewing the show.

To view the artwork, see the different pages dedicated to the different areas of the show:

History

In 1984, arts educators in the RSU 40 district worked together to create a celebration of the arts that brought together all ages of students to display and recognize the developmental processes being taught through the arts and the amazing abilities of the students in our district. This comprehensive display of work has continued to happen every four years since then. Thirty-six years later, it is happening again. While there has been a slight hiatus since the last show in 2012, we are excited to bring it back to celebrate and recognize the amazing work our students continue to do. While it may have started relatively modest, now in its 9th year, it has grown and is an impressive body of work not to be missed. The RSU 40 arts teachers, students from all grade levels, and countless volunteers have been working hard to create this impressive exhibit.

Dedication

This year the program is dedicated to long time RSU 40 Arts educators, Ken Martin and Sybil Wentworth. Both have been influential educators that have played important roles in the development and advocation of the RSU 40 arts that have helped lay the groundwork for the continuation and growth of these important developmental content areas. They not only influenced the RSU 40 arts curriculum, but have also inspired students and given them the tools to find or create their own success in art and in life.

Message

For one night only, every student across the five elementary schools, middle school students, and students enrolled in high school art classes will have their work displayed at Medomak Valley High School. With representation from all 8 schools within our district, the display represents the vast array of mediums, skills, and techniques that students are developing progressively through the stages of our district’s art curriculum. In addition to this grand display of artwork, there will be performances by district music and drama students throughout the afternoon and evening. Ensembles will include K-1 and 2-3 classroom music students, elementary chorus, middle and high school chorus, elementary band, middle school band, high school band, as well as middle and high school drama performances.

This impressive display helps to highlight and represent the critical skills students are gaining through their participation in the arts. The processes that help develop innovative concepts and application, the metacognition of critique and visual thinking skills, and the development of abilities in a wide range of mediums are just part of what can be seen on display. This recognition of student work not only celebrates student achievements, but also highlights the intrinsic value of art.

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Music Teachers Going Above and Beyond in RSU#35

May 6, 2020

Putting student needs first 

The following four teachers are going above and beyond teaching and reaching their learners in the RSU#35 school district. I am grateful for the work that David, Kate, Bryan and Kris are doing in music education, ‘schooling away from school’. All very humble, missing their students, below are some of their stories including ideas and resources. Thank you all for sharing!

David Graichen

DAVID GRAICHEN teaches Instrumental Music at Marshwood High School in South Berwick

Before school went digital my band students were working on pieces in small ensembles. We were doing this as a “Music in Our Schools Month” project and we were close to completion. I decided that despite articles warning of the difficulty we would try to make separate recordings and edit them together. I want to give my students a sense of working in an ensemble even when we cannot be together. There are many youtube videos showing you how to use programs by adobe, apple, a cappella, and others to complete this task. Each student got a metronome track for their piece and recorded their part and submitted it through google classroom. Thanks to the support of our RSU#35 Superintendent Mr. Caverly and Brian Carroll (our driver) we loaded the district trailer and delivered everything from a piccolo to a 4.3 octave marimba to students at their homes so they could play again.  With the help of a parent, student, and my student teacher Christopher Ciaglo we are working to edit the recordings together and hope to able to post them at the beginning of May. Normalcy and recognizing the connection music has for my students is very important.
David created THIS VIDEO so students would be reminded of school and to communicate how much he misses them.

David and Brian moving the marimba in to the student’s home.

Kate Smith

KATE SMITH teaches at Central School in South Berwick

I teach 389 PreK through third-grade students and I miss every single one. If there is anything I’ve learned from this pandemic, it is that there is no one, easy way to stay connected with students. I needed offline, synchronous and asynchronous opportunities in order to reach as many kids as possible. In addition to sending home Bingo cards with musical activities, I also record and upload videos on my website and send singing telegrams/musical messages to the teachers to forward to their students. Sometimes these musical messages are sung, other times I  dance (like when I taped glowsticks to myself and danced in the dark to “I’ve Got to Move It”), or lip sync with puppets. During vacation, the Physical Education teacher and I hosted a virtual dance party that had 75 families and 12 staff. Starting this week, we will co-teach 30-minute zoom classes with themes like Minute to Win It, Playground Games and Handclaps, and Beat in My Feet.
Kate created THIS SINGING TELEGRAM for her five first grade classes and this very fun lip sync singing telegram below.

BRYAN KILLOUGH (aka Mr. K) teaches Pre-K through 3 at Eliot Elementary School

Bryan has a YouTube channel where he posts amazing teaching videos that he has created for his students. Videos called PATIENCE which teaches the importance of patience, The Beat Song which teaches the concept of Tempo, JS Bach since Eliot Elementary School’s musician of the month of May is JS Bach, and one of my favorites is May is the Month of Maying which is about, you guessed it May – embedded below.
KRIS BISSON teaches music at Marshwood Middle School
This has been a very unique experience for all, but learning prevails. My hope is that my students know how much I care about their learning and their well-being and that we are all in this together. Classroom walls or other walls, we are still connected and creating.

Kris Bisson

Below are some of the learning platforms that she has found successful.

  • FLIPGRID : With Chorus and Guitar/Ukulele Class being performance-based work, I have been using this with great success!
  • Students create videos of themselves (I’ve been doing both “public” and “private” for every assignment) and I can grade and comment (Typed is my preference, or you can video respond). Students can see each other and respond to videos – always positive, and a large part of our Chorus Family Support.
  • PADLET : a chance for students to share personal reflections/responses and for others to share conversation with them. Precise, helps keep thoughts focused.
  • ZOOM and MEET : of course, such a great resource!!!!!!!!!
  • HANGOUTS : for students to ask a question quickly and briefly. So handy. Sometimes starts the need to ZOOM / MEET.
  • GOOGLE CLASSROOM : My organizational tool for sharing all classroom needs, responsibilities, videos, pdfs, you name it!
  • LOOM : I can video and share my picture and voice while sharing my screen to teach the lesson. SO user-friendly, and students are accustomed to the teacher teaching the lesson before completing it for themselves. LOVE this!
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