Posts Tagged ‘Biddeford Intermediate School’

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Great Day for Arts Education

March 28, 2016

Arts Ed Advocacy Day a success
IMG_2009 - Version 2On Thursday, March 24 the State House in Augusta was mobbed with students articulating what the arts mean to them, individually and collectively. Their messages were clear and legislators from all regions of Maine were listening.

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Biddeford Intermediate School Select Chorus under the direction of music educator and MALI Teacher Leader, Andrea Wollstadt

Maine Alliance for Arts Education (MAAE) directed by Susan Potters accompanied by many hands to organize the day. CONGRATULATIONS Susan! About 200 students representing elementary, middle, and high school were scheduled to meet with the representatives and senators from their regions.

Following the meetings students gathered in the Hall of Flags where there were performances and many were engaged in singing, dancing, poetry reciting, and visiting county tables with arts education information.

 

In Susan’s words, from MAAE website:

IMG_2003After the legislators themselves came downstairs a formal program included remarks by Acting Commissioner of the Department of Education, William Beardsley; Maine Arts Commission Arts Education Director, Argy Nestor; Farnsworth Museum Education Director, Roger Dell; Maine Resilience Building Network Co-facilitator, Sue Mackey Andrews; and Arts Education Program Manager at Americans for the Arts, Jeff Poulin. There were also student performances by the Biddeford Intermediate School Select Chorus, conducted by Andrea Wollstadt, by a Bangor High School English class working with teaching artist Katenia Keller, that had choreographed a piece collaboratively, and an art advocacy group speaking piece performed by SLAM! from SAD 33 in Aroostook County, directed by Theresa Cerceo.

It was a full day! But this Advocacy Day’s significance as a day of firsts was in the students themselves… not only in their sheer number (a first for the State House), but also as a statewide gathering of students involved in all art forms – visual art, music, dance, theater and poetry – meeting each other and feeling empowered. So this day was a first, but it wasn’t the last!

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Makayla and Cayden, students from Marshwood High School with music educator and MALI Leadership Team member Kate Smith are all smiles at Arts Ed Advocacy Day!

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Student Leaders in the Arts Movement (SLAM) presenting during the program.

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Senator Brian Langly, co-chair of the Education and Cultural Affairs Committee speaks to students in the Hall of Flags.

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Maine Department of Education Visual and Performing Arts Specialist Beth Lambert, music educator at Central Elementary School Kate Smith, and art educator from Dr. Levesque Elem, Wisdom Middle/High School, MSAD #33, Theresa Cerceo. Both Kate and Theresa are members of the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Leadership Team.

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Standards-Based Arts Classrooms Videos

July 23, 2013

Music and Art classrooms featured

You asked for it and now you’ve got it… during this past school year the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) created 4 videos in response to “What do visual and performing arts classrooms look like in a standards-based environment?” That question came up over and over during the first phase of MAAI so we decided to incorporate the search as part of phase 2. The MAAI has continuously listened to the needs of the field and this is one of those “asks” that we responded to.

Debi Lynne Baker taught visual art for many years and most recently K-12 in Greenville. She used technology in her teaching including movie making with her students. She was the perfect person to create the first 4 videos. With hours of footage taken at each school, Debi was able to edit and come up with 4 unique videos under 20 minutes that each tell a story. What you will learn is that there is NO ONE answer to the question and you will also find that the videos provide so much more than just answers to the question!

As we consider creating more videos as part of phase 3 we’d love to hear your feedback on the videos. Please post your comment on the blog or email me at argy.nestor@maine.gov. Thanks!

See for yourself the following MAAI videos at the Maine ARTSEducation YouTube channel located at http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-lElK9bBU_o96Wrg-kNbeg

  • Part I: York High School Music Program with Rob Westerberg, students and colleagues
  • Part II: Hancock Grammar School Art Program with Jane Snider, students and colleagues
  • Part III: Mount Desert Island High School Art Program with Charlie Johnson, students and colleagues
  • Part IV: Biddeford Intermediate School Music Program with Andrea Wollstadt, students and colleagues

You will find other arts education videos on the Maine ARTSEducation channel created by MAAI participants.

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Another Arts Student’s Story: Izaiah Stackpole

May 24, 2013

Grade 5 student

IMG_1230Izaiah Stackpole is a 5th grade student at the Biddeford Intermediate School. His music teacher is Andrea Wollstadt, one of the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative teacher leaders. The following is an interview with Izaiah that happened as a follow-up to a recent visit to the Biddeford Intermediate School. Debi Lynne Baker and I were visiting to video tape Andrea in her music classroom. You will see Izaiah in the video in the near future.

What value do you see in taking a music and theatre classes?

Music expresses how I feel and I have fun doing it. Theater is important to me because it brings out my inner-self and music helps with it too.

Name three skills, ideas, or life-long tools that you have learned in your arts classes? 

  1. I have learned you don’t need to be afraid to sing or act in front of tons of people.
  2. In art I have learned to express myself.
  3. I learned how to re-write songs, and count rhythms in musical notation.

What is your favorite part of the being involved in the arts?

My favorite part of theater is when you get to be the character and you get to be in someone else’s life.

What are you most proud of?

I’m most proud of singing a solo in chorus, being able to play percussion without stumbling, being able to do lines in front of tons of people.

Did anyone encourage you to be involved in the arts?

Ms. Wollstadt encouraged me to take chorus, and my sister encouraged me to take chorus too. Who provides the greatest support for the work you now do and how do they support you? My Mom and my sister support me the most.

How does your work in the arts support and develop creativity for you?

In theater when you stumble on a line you have to use improvisation. One time I was in Beauty and the Beast – I was Gaston. I had to fight with someone and my wig fell off! The other character and I made up our lines to cover it up.

If you could change any part of your arts education, what would it be?

I would take more theater and chorus classes.

What are you plans as far as continuing your study of the arts?

When I go to middle school I’ll start chorus, band and theater. I hope to take an art class too.

Thank you Izaiah for taking the time to answer the questions for this interview.

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My Last Two Weeks

May 10, 2013

What an adventure!

Some weeks are filled with excitement and adventure and some weeks are filled with excitement and adventure – yes, I repeated that since all my weeks are pretty amazing! However, my most valuable days are when I am visiting teachers and students, learning about the work that is going on in the arts in Maine schools. I am always interested in what teachers are doing with curriculum, assessment, and arts education in general! What I hear and what I see keeps me grounded in what is “real” for Maine arts education. When I do my work at the Department it is first and foremost in the best interest of all Maine kids and their visual and performing arts education. I feel so fortunate to have this job that takes me to all corners of the state. Thank you for the invitations!

During the last two weeks I have had the chance to go to the following:

  • Ashley Smith (Maine Arts Assessment Initiative teacher leader) and Mike Scarpone, music teachers at Brunswick High School invited me to speak at their Tri-M Music Honor Society induction ceremony. I was very impressed with the music and the students. Bridget Horan, Chanel Thibeault, Ariel Bouchard, and Joe Waring played the National Anthem to start the program. Throughout the program there were student performances including: Tessa Hauptman was accompanied on the piano by Ben Flanagan. Hannah Judd played the cello. Joe Waring played the saxophone accompanied by Nathaniel Vilas on the piano. Alexis Gillis sang accompanied by Ben Flanagan on the piano. Walter Martin played the trombone accompanied by Nathaniel Vilas on the piano. Nathaniel Vilas ending the evening on the piano. It was wonderful to hear the present members (15 of them) introduce the inductees (21 of them). As these type of ceremonies go, it was very formal however, the students humor shined through which brought several chuckles to members of the audience. Afterwards, parents and students enjoyed refreshments in the cafeteria. Thank you Brunswick Tri-M students and Ashley and Mike for including me.

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  • Last week I was invited to meet with the arts staff from the Gorham schools. In the Gorham schools they rotate updating curriculum and arts educators are starting this important work. Assistant middle school principal Susie Hanley has been communicating periodically during the last year with questions and information on the work of the Gorham arts teachers. It was great to have a chance to hear discuss their work and the challenges it poses. I did get a photo at the end but it was after some of the teachers had already left the meeting. Thank you to Susie for inviting me!

The teachers include:

  • Gail Thibodeau, Music  K-5, Narragansett and Village
  • Janelle Mosey, Music and Chorus  K-5, Great Falls
  • Allie Rimkunas, Art 1-5, Great Falls
  • Paula Balcom, Art 1-5, Narragansett and Village
  • Amy Stewart, Music K-5, Narragansett
  • Vicki Bove, Art  6-8, Gorham Middle School
  • Amy Cousins, Art 6-8, Gorham Middle School
  • Tracy Wheeler, Music and Chorus 6-8, Gorham Middle School
  • Kim Mathieu, Music and Band  6-8, Gorham Middle School, 5th grade Band
  • Chris Crosby, Art 9-12, Gorham High School
  • Sarah Tucker, Art 9-12, Gorham High School
  • Matt Murray, Music and Chorus 9-12, Gorham High School
  • Tim Ebersold, Music and Band 9-12, Gorham High School

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  • Gray-New Gloucester High School art exhibit was held last week in the auxiliary gym on the same evening that the students were performing the comedy The Man Who Came to Dinner. It was great to see Maine Arts Assessment Initiative teacher leader Barb Weed (Barb’s Another Arts Teacher’s story) on my way in to the school. After I arrived Waterville High School art teacher Suzanne Goulet dropped in to see the show. The gym was completely filled with outstanding 2 and 3 dimensional art work and it was great to see art teachers Sarah Gould and Michaela DiGianvittorio. Talk about proficiency?! The evidence was clear! Thanks for inviting me to a great show!
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Sarah, Argy, Michaela

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  • This week I’ve had more opportunities to visit schools. Debi Lynne Baker and I were at Biddeford Intermediate School to videotape Maine Arts Assessment Initiative teacher leader, music teacher Andrea Wollstadt. (Andrea’s Another Arts Teacher’s story). The last of a series of 4 that Debi is creating showing standards based arts classrooms in action. We had a great day in Andrea’s 4th and 5th grade classes. Her superintendent, Jeremy Ray, popped in to give her an apple for Teacher Appreciation Week. We interviewed Andrea’s principal Debra Kenney, music colleague Jillian Cote, and two of her students. Thanks to the students and staff at Biddeford Intermediate School!
  • I visited Belfast High School and Troy Howard Middle School and the classrooms of Heidi O’Donnell and Lynnette Sproch. Heidi has a lesson where students wrote an artist statement after research and created an artwork that depicted the style of the artist. They were created in small shadow-like boxes. The pieces were fascinating to look at and really made me think. I was glad to see the “man coming out of the ceiling” in real life that Lynnette had created with her middle school students. I also stopped to see my dear friend science teacher John Thurston who is responsible for the garden program at the middle school. It is always great to see John who works with Lynnette on integrated units. You might remember the one that they did on creating posters for the Belfast coop. They were beautiful with bright red giant tomatoes and a great example of service learning. I stopped to see theatre teacher Jason Bannister who caught me up on the event they just held at the school for middle level theatre students – Maine Student Acting competition. Thanks for the visit to both schools!
  • I traveled up the coast to Hancock Grammar School and stopped to see Maine Arts Assessment art teacher leader Janie Snider (Janie’s Another Arts Teacher’s story). We critiqued the video that Debi has created of Janie in action earlier this spring.  We spent some time talking about the idea of writing “power standards” and perhaps rubrics to make available for all arts teachers. What do you think of the idea? Thanks for “great food for thought” Janie!
  • Onto Machias and the Rose Gaffney School to visit Maine Arts Assessment music teacher leader Bonnie Atkinson. (Bonnie’s Another Arts Teacher’s story). When I arrived her middle and high school band were rehearsing their pieces for the spring concert. Bonnie has many thought provoking sayings in her classrooms. I loved hearing the students practice and I also had a chance to listen to the chorus practice before I left for the Washington county superintendents meeting at University of Maine at Machias. Thanks for letting me pop in Bonnie! The artwork everywhere in the halls is stunning.

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