Posts Tagged ‘collaborative learning’

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Marshwood Middle School

September 25, 2017

MALI Teacher leader and Teaching Artist Leader collaboration

It’s been a lot of fun planning, and an idea that began as a seed back in snowy February, but Marshwood Middle School Grade Seven and Eight Chorus is embarking on a new curriculum to compose an original work that will be premiered at their June concert with guidance and instruction from two MALI teachers.
Thanks to Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Teacher Leader, Kris Bisson and Teaching Artist Leader, Brian Evans-Jones. Below is the description of this fabulous work!  

Bridging Adolescent Learners – A River Runs Through Us: Composing our Story is a year-long chorus composition unit that will be explored by the Grade Seven and Eight Choruses throughout the 2017-2018 school year. Through weekly classwork, a field experience, and working with a guest poet-in-residence, students will create their own original lyrics, melodies, harmonies, and accompaniment for an original piece to be performed in their June concert.

An important aspect of this project will be the S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) inter-disciplinary explorations students will make throughout the project. Also critical to an authentic learning experience will be the integration of our work with poet, writer, and MALI Artist-TeacherBrian Evans-Jones, a local resident of South Berwick, who will lead the students as Artist-in-Residence in finding their writing, speaking, and singing voice.

An early piece of our project is to bring the entire chorus (seventy students) and Mr. Evans-Jones on a field trip to the bridge on Vine Street in South Berwick, the Great Works Bridge, at Leigh’s Mill Pond and the Great Works River. This trip will take place on SEPTEMBER 19 from 8:15 – 9:50 a.m. Here the students will be able to have a direct experience with the river as well as with the condemned bridge structure in order to create more meaningful and informed writing for their musical composition.

Coincidentally, the existing bridge, closed in 2007 due to deterioration beyond the state of Maine’s repair, is being removed in 2018 and a grassroots effort to construct a footbridge is already successfully raising funds to support the effort through their group, The Great Works Bridge Brigade. The Chorus students will have the opportunity to discuss their work with them and take action to make a difference financially, musically, and ethically in their local community.

Goals of this project include science, mathematic and technological integration; collaborative learning, creative thinking, listening skills, reflective writing, problem solving; exploratory composing techniques, music theory, form and analysis; various recording platforms, and online manuscript technologies.

Students will keep worksheets, reflective journal sheets and videos, and e-journals in Google Classroom to record thoughts, reflections, and developing lyric and melodic ideas.

The opportunity to have an artist-in-residence is a wonderful enhancement to the curriculum being explored. Having an expert help students with their learning is always a beneficial experience for all. Last year was the first time Choral Director and MALI Teacher Leader, Kris Bisson, and her students composed in the choral ensemble and the experience was amazing:

“Through composition in the chorus classroom, students are able to explore their own individual and collective ideas that help them express themselves personally as well as musically. Students elevated and increased their musical knowledge through the composition process and it was such an engaging and advanced learning experience for all. I am very excited to have the students reflect on their sense of place in their community, the history of our rivers and towns, the importance of keeping a bridge to connect our community, and have the opportunity first-hand to directly influence change around them.  At our Spring Concert, June 5, we will be sharing an informance, or interactive performance, where the students will have the opportunity to share their learning and conduct audience participation at our premiere performance.”

A very special recognition of appreciation is extended to the Marshwood Education Foundation for supporting this project.

Updates throughout the year can be found on our website:  https://sites.google.com/a/rsu35.org/mms-chorus-music/
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Summer Reading, Watching, Listening, and Learning

June 17, 2012

Points of interest wrapped up in one blog post

The information in this blog has come across my desk from a variety of sources and people. I have rolled it into one post to make reference easier for you… I am guessing there is at least one story here that will peak your interest.

  • A 5 minute+ film about John Baldessari created by Tom Waits. He is recognized for his height 6′ 7″ and his white beard and hair.  He is been called the Godfather of conceptual artist, surrealistic for the digital age. He has had over 200 solo shows, and 1000 group shows and has received many awards. You can learn more about him and watch the entertaining 5 minutes and 55 second video by clicking here. John has a great website as well – http://www.baldessari.org/.
  • While looking at the Baldessari film I discovered the website called Short of the Week which contains links to short videos. The topics are varied. This might come in useful as a resource for you and/or your students.
  • Thanks to MAAI teacher leader, music teacher at Aetna-Dixmont Jen Nash who sent me this info. I talked to Kern Kelley, who is the technology integrator for us. He shared this blogspot link with me and in her words: “The students picked a piece of art and had to put a video together. They had to talk about the different aspects of the piece of artwork and incorporate music. I thought that this would be neat to share.”
  • Will Richardson is one of those people who I find very interesting. He encourages me to think differently about school. This is a TEDx where he talks about young people and learning and starts out by referencing his daughter playing the piano.     
  • Eight schools across the country were selected to receive over $14.7 over a three year period to integrate dance, music, theater, and visual arts into the curricula. The President’s Committee on Arts and Humanities working with the US Department of Education hopes to prove that failing schools can be impacted by encouraging the expansion of creative expression. Public Radio has an interview that you can listen to by clicking here. And you can read more about the Turnaround Arts Initiative.
  • Not to long after I posted Eagles Have Landed about Suzanne Goulet’s art classroom at Waterville High School being the center of the viewing stage for the new born eagles someone sent me this video of young robins.
  • Mystery of a Masterpiece was aired on Public Television in January 2012 and tells the story of a painting that was sold for $20,000 in October of 2007 and now is thought to be a Leonardo da Vinci worth more than $100 million. Cutting-edge imaging analysis solves the mystery. You can watch the 52 min. program by clicking here. Thanks to Wiscasset Middle School art teacher Molly Carlson for sharing this information.
  • Playing for Change Day – changing the world through music. All over the world on September 22nd there will be people collaborating to inspire people to support music education. Portland is one of the locations, planned by the Maine Academy for Modern Music, and it will happen at 8:00-11:30 PM.
  • The photographs are amazing! Starstruck: The Fine Art of Astrophotography at the Bates College Museum of Art provides local teachers a FREE resource to explore a meeting point of art and science. 36 photographers from around the world are included in one of the very first exhibitions to examine astrophotography as a fine art genre. Starstruck opened June 8 and will be on view through December 15, offering ample opportunity for science and art teachers to plug in. Companion shows at the Bates planetarium are an option. To learn more or to schedule a tour, contact ashostak@bates.edu or cjones5@bates.edu. A full color catalogue with essays by the jurors is available.

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