Posts Tagged ‘Jen Etter’

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MALI Summer Institute: Day 2

August 4, 2017

Wowzer!

Kate Cook Whitt

Day 2 kicked off with an amazing STEAM presentation from Kate Cook-Whitt. The opening was titled This is your Brain on Art: Neuroscience and the Arts  – “Examining the World Through Different Lenses: Art and Science”. Kate is an Assistant Professor of Education at the Center for Innovation in Education (CIE) at Thomas College. Participants agreed that Kate’s presentation was outstanding!

Teacher Leaders participated in several great mini-sessions, some led by teacher leaders and teaching artists leaders themselves including:

  • Nancy Frolich, Social Justice mini-lesson

    Social Justice and the Power of the Arts with Nancy Frohlich from Leaps of Imagination

  • 7 Strategies of Assessment with Jeff Beaudry from USM and visual art teacher leaders Holly Leighton and Samantha Armstrong

  • National Board Certification with visual art teacher leader Danette Kerrigan

  • Connecting the STUDIO HABITS of MIND to the NATIONAL STANDARDS in the Visual Arts classroom with visual art teacher leader Jane Snider

  • Things Into Poetry session with Brian Evans-Jones

    Things Into Poetry with poet teaching artist leader Brian Evans-Jones

In addition Bronwyn Sale and John Morris provided a session called Teaching for Creativity. The afternoon brought all three strands together (teaching artist leaders, new PK-12 teacher leaders and returning PK-12 teacher leaders) for a session with teaching artist leader and potter Tim Christensen. We engaged with a small medallion of clay using the process Tim is so in tune with: sgraffito.

The rest of the afternoon was spent on leadership, advocacy, and putting it into action on the follow up plans for the next year. Strand 1, the Teaching Artist Leaders met with Jeff Poulin, electronically, from the Americans for the Arts.

Day turned into night and educators gathered around the Thomas College fire pit for drumming and a chance for Tim to fire the clay pieces created earlier in the day in the propane fire pit. This provided a wonderful opportunity to connect with colleagues from across the state. What a great way to end an outstanding day!

Strand 1 with Jeff Poulin, Americans for the Arts. Kate Smith, Design Team member, holds the computer during the question and answer period

Jennie Driscoll, Elise Bothel visual art teacher leaders

Jen Etter, music teacher leader

New teacher leaders David Coffey – music and Amy Donovan-Nucci – visual art

Tim Christensen firing the clay pieces

Fun around the fire pit!

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Those Amazing Presenters!

October 15, 2015

Different format provides info for all

The Biennial Statewide conference provided a unique format with 5X5 presentations – our version of Pecha Kucha. Each of the workshop session leaders presented for 5 minutes using 5-8 slides. These took place during the morning of the Measure of Success conference which gave participants a chance to hear and see and appetizer of 9 different topics.

On top of providing the workshops each of the presenters put together a plethora of resources and they are available to all of you! When you go there you will be totally blown away at the amazing resources they collected which are now living at http://www.maineartsassessment.com/#!measure-of-success-conference/chki. DON’T miss them.

During the afternoon of the conference presenters jumped into the 9 topics by providing hour and 15 minute sessions on the following:

  • Studio Habits of Mind: Using the “Hidden Curriculum” to Encourage Student Autonomy with Visual Arts Teachers Theresa Cerceo from Dr. Levesque Elementary, Wisdom Middle/High School and Janie Snider from Hancock Grammar School

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  • Making Maine and ME with Visual Arts Teacher Jennie Driscoll from Brunswick High School

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  • Evaluating Individual Proficiency within the Large Ensemble with Music Teacher Jen Etter from York Middle School
  • Dancing with the Creative Process: How to incorporate standards-based dance and movement activities in classroom learning and assessment with Dancer, Educator, and Teaching Artist John Morris

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  • In the Midst of Madness with Music Teacher Jen Nash from Sabasticook Valley Middle School, Dance Teacher MaryEllen Schaper from Bonny Eagle Middle School, and Associate Professor, Educational Leadership from USM Jeff Beaudry, Ph.D.

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  • Empathy, Kindness and Wonder, Arts Integration at Work with the Director and Founder of Sweet Tree Arts Lindsay Pinchbeck
  • Brains on Fire: How Research on the Brain Can Inform Arts Education with the Executive Director of the New England Institute for Teacher Education Catherine Ring
  • From Cool to Tool: Technology Integration with Student Learning in Mind with Music Teacher  Kate Smith from Central School in South Berwick, and Mt. Blue High School in Farmington Teacher Dan Ryder

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  • Proficiency Based Learning: An Advocacy Story Music Teacher Rob Westerberg from York High School 
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A GREAT big thank you to each of the presenters for the 9 sessions. YOU were truly amazing!

Please note: On August 3, 2015, MAAI, the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative, announced its new name, MALI, the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative. MALI is a program of the Maine Arts Commission. You can read about it at https://meartsed.wordpress.com/2015/08/09/maai-goes-to-mali/. Please email Argy Nestor if you have any questions at argy.nestor@maine.gov.

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A Word About the Conference Presentations

September 10, 2015

Biennial statewide conference – October 9 – Early-bird registration deadline is today, September 10!

GO DIRECTLY TO REGISTRATION https://www.regonline.com/Register/Checkin.aspx?EventID=1726177

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE WORKSHOPS http://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/Biennial-Statewide-Register

The photo below is from a zoom meeting where some of the workshop presenters for the October 9 statewide biennial arts education conference The Measure of Success were engaged in learning more about how to put together the best format for the morning sessions. We are calling the sessions 5 X 5.

What does that mean?

Nine workshops are being offered during the PM sessions. Each conference participant selects from two of them (they are repeated) to attend when they register. During the AM session each workshop presenter will have 5 minutes and 5-8 images to provide a glimpse of their afternoon session that is scheduled for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

What if you see/hear something in the AM that you must attend?

You can change your mind and attend a different session in the PM than you registered for before the conference.

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If they look serious it is because they were working to bring you the BEST learning opportunities possible!

THE TOPICS

  • Studio Habits of Mind: Using the “Hidden Curriculum” to Encourage Student Autonomy with Visual Arts Teachers Theresa Cerceo from Dr. Levesque Elementary, Wisdom Middle/High School and Janie Snider from Hancock Grammar School
  • Making Maine and ME with Visual Arts Teacher Jennie Driscoll from Brunswick High School
  • Evaluating Individual Proficiency within the Large Ensemble with Music Teacher Jen Etter from York Middle School
  • Dancing with the Creative Process: How to incorporate standards-based dance and movement activities in classroom learning and assessment with Dancer, Educator, and Teaching Artist John Morris
  • In the Midst of Madness with Music Teacher Jen Nash from Sabasticook Valley Middle School, Dance Teacher MaryEllen Schaper from Bonny Eagle Middle School, and Associate Professor, Educational Leadership from USM Jeff Beaudry, Ph.D.
  • Empathy, Kindness and Wonder, Arts Integration at Work with the Director and Founder of Sweet Tree Arts Lindsay Pinchbeck
  • Brains on Fire: How Research on the Brain Can Inform Arts Education with the Executive Director of the New England Institute for Teacher Education Catherine Ring
  • From Cool to Tool: Technology Integration with Student Learning in Mind with Music Teacher  Kate Smith from Central School in South Berwick, Mountain Valley High School in Rumford Teacher Jeff Bailey, and Mt. Blue High School in Farmington Teacher Dan Ryder
  • Proficiency Based Learning: An Advocacy Story Music Teacher Rob Westerberg from York High School 

    Want to learn more about the sessions? 
    If you wish to reach a description of each workshop, see photos of the presenters, WATCH A ONE MINUTE VIDEO on each session, please go to http://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/Biennial-Statewide-Workshop-Descriptions#.

    What else are these workshop presenters providing?

    An amazing collection of resources that will go live on the day of the conference, October 9. You will be blown away by what they’ve put together for conference attendees. You won’t want to miss it just for the resources alone!

    Deadline for the Early-bird registration of $90 is today, September 9!

    The conference is sponsored by the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI), a program of the Maine Arts Commission. To learn more please go to http://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/MAAI#

    Please note: On August 3, 2015, MAAI, the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative, announced its new name, MALI, the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative. You can read about it at https://meartsed.wordpress.com/2015/08/09/maai-goes-to-mali/. Please email Argy Nestor if you have any questions at argy.nestor@maine.gov.

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Roundtable Music Ed Webinar

May 28, 2014

Review of webinar

Screen Shot 2014-05-27 at 9.42.14 PMThe fourth in a series of webinars for the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative was held on Tuesday, May 20, entitled “Maine Music Educators Roundtable”. The webinar was facilitated by Rob Westerberg, choral director at York High School in direct response to concerns from music educators in the field around a broad selection of topics. The hour included participation by Maine’s Visual and Performing Arts Specialist at the Maine Department of Education, Mr. Kevin Facer.

Roundtable guests were: Drew Albert – vocal and instrumental, Maranacook Community High School, Andria Bacon – instrumental/strings & general, RSU #64; Corinth, Bill Buzza – instrumental & general, Edward Little High School, Jen Etter – vocal music, York Middle School, Jen Nash – instrumental/strings & general, Sebasticook Valley Middle School and Ashley Smith – vocal & general at Brunswick High School. After a brief introduction, the roundtable went to work fleshing out thoughts around topics which included:

  • Effect of common core on music programs
  • Proficiency & standards based assessment
  • Music teachers as leaders in your own schools
  • National Standards release and ramifications
  • Teacher evaluation implementation

Additional discussion prompts were also presented:

* “I feel our district is caught between common core, national standards, Maine Learning Results and our own ad lib set of standards created from the consortium of schools we belong to. It’s mind numbing that we have so many versions of what is ‘important’ in a curriculum versus what should be required of Maine students in order to receive a high school diploma.”

*How can we create an effective mentoring system for teachers who are in need of improving their pedagogical skills?

*As we deal with budget issues, our teachings loads are increasing as we are being asked to do more with individual assessments. We cannot administer these assessments without adequate time in our schedules.

Many viewpoints were presented on all of these topics, providing a practical platform for further discussion by music teachers within and between school districts. The archived recording of the session is located at http://stateofmaine.adobeconnect.com/p5rre115tqg/. Accordingly, a follow-up meeting plan has been developed to facilitate this discussion, applicable for school district professional days or regional meetings between music educators. The meeting plan is located at http://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/MAAI-Webinars.

On Wednesday, June 11, 3:30 to 4:30 the MAAI will be holding a webinar hosted by Catherine Ring, featuring the ongoing work of the Resource Bank team for Visual and Performing Arts. Teacher leaders on the Resource Bank team will be our guests. Please plan on joining us for an exciting conversation and a sneak peak of some of the rich resources created by the team on that second Wednesday of June. 

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Another Arts Teacher’s Story: Jen Etter

May 13, 2014

York Middle School music educator

This is the seventh blog post for 2014 and the third phase of the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative of this series sharing arts teachers’ stories. This series contains a set of questions to provide the opportunity for you to learn from and about others. I had the pleasure of visiting Jen’s classroom recently, what a treat! It was a wonderful day.

Screen shot 2014-05-10 at 7.29.37 PMJen teaches grades 5-8 music. She directs the 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th grade choruses and 7th and 8th grade general music.  She also assists with beginner band lessons. Jen has been teaching for 7 years in the York Schools.

What do you like best about being a music educator?

My favorite thing about being a music educator is watching students surprise themselves with what they are capable of after working hard to achieve a goal.  This is especially excited when it happens with a student who struggles to find success in other areas.  For me it reaffirms why music education is such an important part of a public school curriculum.

What do you believe are three keys to ANY successful visual and performing arts education?

1.) Meaningful objectives and assessments tied to those objectives

2.) A passionate teacher who always keeps what is best for students at the forefront

3.) Having the support of the school and community around you including, fellow teachers, administration and parents

How have you found assessment to be helpful to you in your classroom?

Assessment drives my classroom. So much so that I wonder how I could have possibly run my classroom without meaningful assessments as I did a few years back. Assessment is at the cornerstone of what I do as a teacher and I do it constantly. As I sit here answering this question I am smiling. I am smiling because I enjoy assessment so much that often my colleagues tease me about constantly planning my next assessment strategy. I’m sure at first this probably sounds as if I spend a whole lot of time testing my students which sounds really dull, however in my classroom, it is much more informal than that.

When I first started assessing students in my classroom, I realized very quickly that I knew my students better after assessing them. The more I assessed, the more I learned about their strengths and weaknesses and the more I knew about that, the better job I did at tailoring my instruction for all the learners in my classroom. I used to have a pretty good idea about the strengths and weaknesses of my students who loved to sing, because they would “put themselves out there” but there were many that I knew very little about.

My assessments are usually just quick check ins. They are done by asking questions on a 3 minute “exit form” that they submit to me electronically at the end of a class. Or I will randomly ask questions to students that have to do with the essential knowledge I would like them to take away for the day. This kind of questioning allows me the background knowledge I need to tailor my instruction to the needs of the students. Because of this I know constantly what my students are struggling with and what I need to do to help them- either on a large scale of individual level. I also assess students in more formal ways by having them submit recordings to me based on the objectives of our class. I feel that students don’t “slip through the cracks” in my classroom. Students are held accountable for mastery of  our music standards and when they are having trouble with that, I am in a much better position to know what I can do to help them succeed. This has also proved to be a huge factor in student motivation. My students no longer can sit in the back row and go through the motions. They know that it is their responsibility to meet the standards and they will be help accountable for them.

What are the benefits in becoming involved in the arts assessment initiative?

The conversations and the camaraderie!!! The doors that have been opened as a result of being involved in the initiative are unbelievable. I now feel that I have so many contacts and so much support from teachers around the state that I would not have had otherwise. I feel inspired and challenged by these peers every day and it pushes me to try to get better at what I do!

What are you most proud of in your career?

I think I am most proud of the changes I have made in my classroom to make it more student-centered and standards- based. I believe that no one slips through the cracks in my room and I hold every student accountable for their own work. The returns I have seen on this have been amazing. Students rise to the occasion almost every time and seeing the pride that they have in themselves for the work they have done is just amazing.

What gets in the way of being a better teacher or doing a better job as a teacher?

Honestly, lately the Common Core. We are fighting an uphill battle against the “CORE” subjects and because of it we are continually losing time and funding.

What have you accomplished through hard work and determination that might otherwise appear at first glance to be due to “luck” or circumstance?

As a district we have worked hard to create graduation requirements for both visual arts and music separately from each other. This change has driven more concrete requirements at the lower levels resulting in programs that are tied to a very academic curriculum but also have enrollment numbers that are through the roof.

Look into your crystal ball:  what advice would you give to teachers?

Approach your classroom with the whole picture in mind. What is best for all students, all staff and the whole school. If you approach situations (especially with administration and other teachers) with the whole school in mind you will be more credible. This in turn will give you more solid footing when it comes to advocating for your own program.

If you were given a $500,000.00 to do with whatever you please, what would it be?

Wow! That’s a lot of money! Steel drums for the General Music program, (working on that one even without the $500,000) SmartMusic for all the music students and also save a whole bunch for travel for the ensembles. Students gain so much from being able to travel and perform but also through listening to live performances, I wish we had both more time and more funding for that type of thing.

 

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