Posts Tagged ‘Jenni Null’

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Mega-Regional Hebron Station School

February 7, 2017

MALI conference

The Maine Arts Commission is offering the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Mega-Regional Conference at Hebron Station School in the Oxford Hills School District on Friday, March 17. In addition to these fabulous sessions (listed below) past participants remind us how the opportunity to network with arts educators from across Maine is so valuable!

REGISTER HERE!

Mega-regional conferences take place between 8:15 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. 

SCHEDULE

  • 8:30 a.m. Registration begins
  • 9:00 a.m. Opening and Morning Sessions
  • 9:15 – 10:30 a.m. Breakout Session I
  • 10:30 – 10:40 a.m. Break
  • 10:40 – 11:55 a.m. Breakout Session II
  • 11:55 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. Lunch, participants on their own
  • 12:45 – 1:20 p.m. Artist Showcase
  • 1:25 – 2:40 p.m. Session III Maine Arts Education Census Survey
  • 2:40 – 3:00 p.m. Closing

SESSION I OFFERINGS

Stars and Stairs

screen-shot-2017-02-07-at-8-22-25-amStars and Stairs, Where am I now and Where am I going? How can the use of Stars and Stairs in your classroom help to inform you and your students of their learning progression and actively engage them in the learning process. This will be a round table discussion. Looking at your standards and your curriculum how can you use the Stars and Stairs model in your classroom. All grade levels. All content.

 

Samantha Armstrong Paris Elementary School and Hebron Elementary Schools, Grades K-6 Visual Art

 

“Making Art History Come to Life with iBooks Author”

screen-shot-2017-02-07-at-8-23-23-amDive into iBooks Author to harness the power of developing multi-modal, Multi-Touch iBooks. You’ll learn features which make iBooks come to life for learners by incorporating audio files, 3D widgets, image glossaries, study cards, jailbreaking templates, and much more. Be prepared to create an art history chapter together. You can also use this app for making comics and graphic novels or creating art portfolios. This session is great for MLTI beginners and experts. MLTI MacBooks with iBooks Author preinstalled is encouraged. Grades 7-12

Lindsey Carnes MLTI Apple Learning Specialist

Arts Residency In Action: Guidelines for a Successful Teaching Artist Collaboration in Your School

screen-shot-2017-02-07-at-8-23-32-amMany arts educators in K-12 education have never had the opportunity to work with a teaching artist. Knowing where to start and identifying the most important steps to take can feel daunting. This workshop provides a framework for creating a high-quality teaching artist residence in the schools. We will focus on the steps needed to create a powerful residency, and the nature of an effective collaboration between teaching artist and arts educator. We will provide experiential work and guidance in addressing the complexities and sometimes different languages of the teaching artist and the school-based educator. All grade levels. All content.

Carmel Collins Lake Region High School Dance and Visual Art John Morris Teaching Artist Dance

 

Improving Content Literacy Through Formative Assessmentscreen-shot-2017-02-07-at-8-23-40-am

Improve content literacy with a tool box of formative assessments and literacy strategies to gauge what your students already know, how well they are learning content, and help drive your classroom instruction.           All grade levels. All content.

Iva Damon Leavitt Area High School Visual Art

 

More Cowbell

screen-shot-2017-02-07-at-8-23-47-amPlaying and composing songs on your own is a blast for some, however there’s something special about making music in collaboration with other like-minded folks that just can’t be beat. In this hands-on, music making session, participants will use GarageBand to learn the basics of song writing and music production. Participants will have plenty of time to explore and experience the fun of collaborative music creation. Musicians of any and all skill levels are welcome. Make sure to bring your Mac and/or iOS device with GarageBand installed. All grade levels.

Tim Hart MLTI Apple Learning Specialist

Do You See What I Hear?screen-shot-2017-02-07-at-8-23-52-am

Participants will learn how to use graphic notation as a visual tool to reach all learners in the music classroom. (This is a great STEAM lesson!) Grades 4-6

Linda McVety Songo Locks Elementary School, Grades K-5 Music Jenni Null Songo Locks Elementary, Grades K-6 Music, District Fine Arts Coordinator

Arts Integration

screen-shot-2017-02-07-at-8-23-58-amWhen you are deeply engaged in Arts Integration you realize it is about learning with you mind, body and heart in the present moment.  This hands on workshop explores this idea through drama, music, movement, poetry, storytelling, and the visual arts. Come prepared to experience arts integration through your own individual lens in a safe environment. All grade levels. All content.

Lindsay Pinchbeck Director Sweet Tree Arts/Sweetland School

Visual Notetaking/Doodling in Class

screen-shot-2017-02-07-at-8-24-05-amA combination of sketching and traditional note taking results in rich educational documents to support learning. Studies show that sketching leads to better retention of information and helps clarify ideas. Sketching is one of our original forms of communication. Visualizing ideas is a great way to learn. Why not bring this creative form of learning into your classroom? Explore how visual notes support learning. Discover techniques to create, share and integrate visual notes into your instructional practice. Visual notetaking, often called sketch noting, uses two parts of your brain, which is referred to as Dual Coding Theory. This has been found to improve learning. Research has shown that people who doodle while listening retain 29% more information (Andrade, 2009). Join this hands-on session and start sketching your notes today. Please bring your updated MLTI iPad, if available, with Notability installed. Arts supplies will also be available. All grade levels. All content.

Ann Marie Quirion Hutton MLTI Apple Professional Learning Specialist, former Art Educator

 

SESSION II OFFERINGS

Supporting Literacy in the Elementary Visual Art Classroom

screen-shot-2017-02-07-at-8-24-11-amThis workshop focuses on a collection of techniques that aim to support literacy in the art classroom. From using word walls, sight words, and phonemic awareness participants will leave with a fresh perspective on incorporating literacy while still adhering to their art curriculum. K-5 Visual Arts, adaptable for middle school.

Elise Bothel Vivian E. Hussey School, Grades K-5 Visual Art

 

Including Students with Disabilities in Your Art Classroom Using iMovie OS screen-shot-2017-02-07-at-8-23-23-am

Use stations and sites fostering independence to help students collect assets for creating art infused iMovie productions. This session will showcase how a green screen and some photos can provide opportunities for all learners to showcase their creative side. MLTI MacBooks with the most current version of iMovie is encouraged. Grades 7-12. All content.

Lindsey Carnes MLTI Apple Learning Specialist

screen-shot-2017-02-07-at-8-24-18-amGuiding the Young Padawan to Become a Jedi Music Master

This workshop will demonstrate a scaffolded instruction process and assessment system created to guide middle school band students through the basic levels of performance to highly skilled musicianship. Grades 4-12

Dianne Fenlason Spruce Mountain Middle School, Grades 6-12 Music

 

screen-shot-2017-02-07-at-8-24-24-amThe Cloud Ate My Portfolio: No More Excuses…Start a Digital Portfolio Today

This is a step by step experience designed to help you to consider how to use a digital portfolio to help students self-asses and manage the evidence of their learning. Access to Google Drive, Drawing, email, built in camera and mic ideal…but not required. . All content areas. All levels.

Suzanne Goulette Waterville Senior High School Visual Art

 

Making 8-bit Art

screen-shot-2017-02-07-at-8-24-31-amBeginning with early Atari and Nintendo video games, the 8-bit aesthetic has been a part of our culture for over 30 years. No longer just nostalgia art, contemporary 8-bit artists and chiptunes musicians have elevated the form to new levels of creativity and cultural reflection. In this session, we will focus on tools that assist in creating 8-bit images, animations, and music.  Please bring your MLTI MacBook. All grade levels.

Tim Hart MLTI Apple Learning Specialist

 

screen-shot-2017-02-07-at-8-32-41-amThe Heart of Advocacy

Educators will leave with the knowledge of how to create and present a variety methods to advocate for issues pertinent to their arts educational causes and how to organize those methods to feel comfortable in beginning personal advocacy efforts. All grade levels. All content.

Lynda Leonas Farwell and Longley Elementary Schools, Grades K-6 Visual Art

 

screen-shot-2017-02-07-at-8-24-36-amTheatre as a Tool:  Using Theatre Across the Curriculum

Introduction to the process of using devised theatre as a teaching tool. I will take participants through that process and give them strategies for using devised theatre across curriculum areas and grade levels. All grades levels. All content.

Hilary Martin Vassalboro Community School, Grades K-8 Theatre

 

Illustrating to Write

screen-shot-2017-02-07-at-8-24-05-amOne creation lends a hand to the other. Illustration is a part of many great stories, extending the ability of ideas to be shared, and increasing enjoyment and comprehension on the part of the reader. Apple technology provides many possibilities for creating illustrations, making drawing and visual images a part of the overall literacy experience. Learn how to use your MacBook Air to draw and paint creative illustrations in this “hands on session”. Bring your MacBook Air with Acorn installed (included with your MLTI participation).               All grades levels.

Ann Marie Quirion Hutton MLTI Apple Professional Learning Specialist, former Art Teacher

Information on the professional development offerings this year from MALI located at http://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/MALI-Mega-Regionals.

The Maine Arts Leadership Initiative provides ongoing professional development opportunities. Resources are available by CLICKING HERE.

If you have any questions please contact Argy Nestor, director of arts education, Maine Arts Commission at argy.nestor@maine.gov.

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MALI Mega Hebron

December 20, 2016

Hebron Station School, Oxford Hills District – March 17, 2017

REGISTRATION is NOW OPEN for the MALI Mega-Regional Conference at Hebron Station School in Hebron. During this school year there are six Mega-Regional Conferences planned. All the information is located on the Maine Arts Commission website at http://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/MALI-Mega-Regionals and the information is below.

mali_v1_color_100ppiAll 2016-17 Megas Dates and Locations

Each site offers different sessions so you may wish to attend more than one Mega. Sessions will be provided by MALI Teacher Leaders, Teaching Artist Leaders, and MLTI Apple Learning Specialists. A portion of the afternoon will feature a Teaching Artist and information on the statewide arts education census that was conducted during the 2015-16 school year.

Teachers during the movement session with Teaching Artist Nancy Salmon

Teachers during the movement session at Mega Ellsworth in November with Teaching Artist Nancy Salmon

The cost to attend each Mega is $25 (unless otherwise indicated). Contact hours for full participation – 5.5 contact hours. The Megas provide opportunities for the Maine Arts education community to engage in professional development that is specific to Arts education. This is a chance to deepen your knowledge, make connections, and learn from each other!

MALI MEGA HEBRON STATION SCHOOL

SESSION I

Stars and Stairs

screen-shot-2016-12-19-at-12-50-30-pmStars and Stairs, Where am I now and Where am I going? How can the use of Stars and Stairs in your classroom help to inform you and your students of their learning progression and actively engage them in the learning process. This will be a round table discussion. Looking at your standards and your curriculum how can you use the Stars and Stairs model in your classroom. All grade levels. All content.

Samantha Armstrong Paris Elementary School and Hebron Elementary Schools, Grades K-6 Visual Art

 

“Making Art History Come to Life with iBooks Author”

screen-shot-2016-12-19-at-2-42-36-pmDive into iBooks Author to harness the power of developing multi-modal, Multi-Touch iBooks. You’ll learn features which make iBooks come to life for learners by incorporating audio files, 3D widgets, image glossaries, study cards, jailbreaking templates, and much more. Be prepared to create an art history chapter together. You can also use this app for making comics and graphic novels or creating art portfolios. This session is great for MLTI beginners and experts. MLTI MacBooks with iBooks Author preinstalled is encouraged. Grades 7-12

Lindsey Carnes MLTI Apple Learning Specialist

 

Arts Residency In Action: Guidelines for a Successful Teaching Artist Collaboration in Your School

screen-shot-2016-12-19-at-12-50-18-pmMany arts educators in K-12 education have never had the opportunity to work with a teaching artist. Knowing where to start and identifying the most important steps to take can feel daunting. This workshop provides a framework for creating a high-quality teaching artist residence in the schools. We will focus on the steps needed to create a powerful residency, and the nature of an effective collaboration between teaching artist and arts educator. We will provide experiential work and guidance in addressing the complexities and sometimes different languages of the teaching artist and the school-based educator. All grade levels. All content.

Carmel Collins Lake Region High School Dance and Visual Art John Morris Teaching Artist Dance

 

Improving Content Literacy Through Formative Assessment

screen-shot-2016-12-19-at-12-50-13-pmImprove content literacy with a tool box of formative assessments and literacy strategies to gauge what your students already know, how well they are learning content, and help drive your classroom instruction. All grade levels. All content.

Iva Damon Leavitt Area High School Visual Art

 

More Cowbell

screen-shot-2016-12-19-at-12-50-04-pmPlaying and composing songs on your own is a blast for some, however there’s something special about making music in collaboration with other like-minded folks that just can’t be beat. In this hands-on, music making session, participants will use GarageBand to learn the basics of song writing and music production. Participants will have plenty of time to explore and experience the fun of collaborative music creation. Musicians of any and all skill levels are welcome. Make sure to bring your Mac and/or iOS device with GarageBand installed. All grade levels.

Tim Hart MLTI Apple Learning Specialist

 

Do You See What I Hear?

screen-shot-2016-12-19-at-12-49-42-pmParticipants will learn how to use graphic notation as a visual tool to reach all learners in the music classroom. (This is a great STEAM lesson!) Grades 4-6

Linda McVety Songo Locks Elementary School, Grades K-5 Music   Jenni Null Songo Locks Elementary, Grades K-6 Music, District Fine Arts Coordinator

 

Arts Integration

screen-shot-2016-12-19-at-12-49-37-pmWhen you are deeply engaged in Arts Integration you realize it is about learning with you mind, body and heart in the present moment.  This hands on workshop explores this idea through drama, music, movement, poetry, storytelling, and the visual arts. Come prepared to experience arts integration through your own individual lens in a safe environment. All grade levels. All content.

Lindsay Pinchbeck Director Sweet Tree Arts/Sweetland School

 

Visual Notetaking/Doodling in Class

screen-shot-2016-12-19-at-12-48-26-pmA combination of sketching and traditional note taking results in rich educational documents to support learning. Studies show that sketching leads to better retention of information and helps clarify ideas. Sketching is one of our original forms of communication. Visualizing ideas is a great way to learn. Why not bring this creative form of learning into your classroom? Explore how visual notes support learning. Discover techniques to create, share and integrate visual notes into your instructional practice. Visual notetaking, often called sketch noting, uses two parts of your brain, which is referred to as Dual Coding Theory. This has been found to improve learning. Research has shown that people who doodle while listening retain 29% more information (Andrade, 2009). Join this hands-on session and start sketching your notes today. Please bring your updated MLTI iPad, if available, with Notability installed. Arts supplies will also be available. All grade levels. All content.

Ann Marie Quirion Hutton MLTI Apple Professional Learning Specialist, former Art Educator

SESSION II

Supporting Literacy in the Elementary Visual Art Classroom

screen-shot-2016-12-19-at-12-49-25-pmThis workshop focuses on a collection of techniques that aim to support literacy in the art classroom. From using word walls, sight words, and phonemic awareness participants will leave with a fresh perspective on incorporating literacy while still adhering to their art curriculum. K-5 Visual Arts, adaptable for middle school.

Elise Bothel Vivian E. Hussey School, Grades K-5 Visual Art

Including Students with Disabilities in Your Art Classroom Using iMovie OS

screen-shot-2016-12-19-at-12-49-19-pmUse stations and sites fostering independence to help students collect assets for creating art infused iMovie productions. This session will showcase how a green screen and some photos can provide opportunities for all learners to showcase their creative side. MLTI MacBooks with the most current version of iMovie is encouraged. Grades 7-12. All content.

Lindsey Carnes MLTI Apple Learning Specialist

 

Guiding the Young Padawan to Become a Jedi Music Master

screen-shot-2016-12-19-at-12-49-09-pmThis workshop will demonstrate a scaffolded instruction process and assessment system created to guide middle school band students through the basic levels of performance to highly skilled musicianship. Grades 4-12

Dianne Fenlason Spruce Mountain Middle School, Grades 6-12 Music

The Cloud Ate My Portfolio: No More Excuses…Start a Digital Portfolio Today

screen-shot-2016-12-19-at-12-49-02-pmThis is a step by step experience designed to help you to consider how to use a digital portfolio to help students self-asses and manage the evidence of their learning. Access to Google Drive, Drawing, email, built in camera and mic ideal…but not required. . All content areas. All levels.

Suzanne Goulette Waterville Senior High School Visual Art

 

Making 8-bit Art

screen-shot-2016-12-19-at-12-48-53-pmBeginning with early Atari and Nintendo video games, the 8-bit aesthetic has been a part of our culture for over 30 years. No longer just nostalgia art, contemporary 8-bit artists and chiptunes musicians have elevated the form to new levels of creativity and cultural reflection. In this session, we will focus on tools that assist in creating 8-bit images, animations, and music.  Please bring your MLTI MacBook. All grade levels.

Tim Hart MLTI Apple Learning Specialist

 

The Heart of Advocacy

screen-shot-2016-12-19-at-12-48-47-pmEducators will leave with the knowledge of how to create and present a variety methods to advocate for issues pertinent to their arts educational causes and how to organize those methods to feel comfortable in beginning personal advocacy efforts. All grade levels. All content.

Lynda Leonas Farwell and Longley Elementary Schools, Grades K-6 Visual Art

 

Theatre as a Tool:  Using Theatre Across the Curriculum

screen-shot-2016-12-19-at-12-48-36-pmIntroduction to the process of using devised theatre as a teaching tool. I will take participants through that process and give them strategies for using devised theatre across curriculum areas and grade levels. All grades levels. All content.

Hilary Martin Vassalboro Community School, Grades K-8 Theatre

Illustrating to Write

screen-shot-2016-12-19-at-12-48-26-pmOne creation lends a hand to the other. Illustration is a part of many great stories, extending the ability of ideas to be shared, and increasing enjoyment and comprehension on the part of the reader. Apple technology provides many possibilities for creating illustrations, making drawing and visual images a part of the overall literacy experience. Learn how to use your MacBook Air to draw and paint creative illustrations in this “hands on session”. Bring your MacBook Air with Acorn installed (included with your MLTI participation). All grades levels.

Ann Marie Quirion Hutton MLTI Apple Professional Learning Specialist, former Art Teacher

REGISTRATION

To register please CLICK HERE. The cost is $25 and 5.5 contact hours are provided for full day participation. If you have any questions please email me at argy.nestor@maine.gov.

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Arts Ed in Lake Region

April 6, 2016

What’s been happening in the Lake Region Schools

Combined BandMSAD 61 or Lake Region School District as they are commonly referred to is made up of students from Naples, Bridgton, Casco, and Sebago. They had a fabulous Youth Art Month and Music-in-Our-Schools Month!  Gallery 302 in Bridgton displayed high school art for the month, including 3-dimensional, photography, paintings, prints, and a diverse array of work.

The district held three big concerts.  The slogan for Music In Our Schools Month was, “Music Inspires.”  Fine Arts Director Jenni Null said: “I truly was inspired on many different levels”.  March 10 was the Combined Middle/High School Instrumental Concert. Zack Gray, a senior trumpet player and rated number one in the State this year, was featured in one of the piece.  Jenni started with Zack in grade 4, and she had  tears listening to him at this recent event. The last few pieces also involved the Bridgton Community Band playing along side our kids. “It was so heartwarming to see this Band ranging from ages 11 – 80 playing as one unit”, Jenni said.

On March 14, they held the Combined Middle/High School Choral Concert. There was every style of music represented: early renaissance, jazz, gospel, pop, and contemporary. A great educational experience for their students.

Dan Neault, Emily St. John, Carmel Collins, and Cody Bean

Dan Neault, Emily St. John, Carmel Collins, and Cody Bean

Three high school students traveled to Augusta with dance/visual arts teacher and Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Teacher Leader Carmel Collins to speak with their representatives as part of the Arts Education Advocacy day at the State House on March 24.

The final concert was the Combined Elementary Chorus/Band on March 29. Over 100 students from our three elementary schools combined to perform an array of music.  Highlights were the Second year instrumentalists performing the Raider’s March (Indiana Jones Theme) and the chorus rendition of the Theme from Spiderman.  It was an uplifting evening of music.

IMG_1873Two Lake Region Middle School students have had their artwork selected (among 20 state wide) for the 2016/17 MLTI screensaver challenge.

One Lake Region High School senior will have her artwork on display in a Gallery on Commercial Street in Portland as a part of the Casco Bay Artisans First Annual Regional High School (LRHS) Student Art Show. The event will take place on First Friday, May 6, 2016 from 5:00 to 8:00 pm. This show will run through Wednesday, May 11.

A Junior Dance major auditioned and was offered a place in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade!  She has been accepted into the American Academy of Ballet summer intensive program. Another Junior and serious dance student, has been offered places in the Joffrey summer dance intensive (NYC and Miami) as well as the North Carolina School of the Arts summer intensive. She also received a $300 scholarship to Dean Summer dance intensive.

Ian Smith between Bridgton Low BrassLRHS Musical, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum runs April 7-10.

Karen Montanaro will do 3 week long residencies in our elementary schools, working with fifth graders.  The first will be after April vacation.  Everyone is  looking forward to having her residencies.

Thanks to Jenni Null, Lake Region Fine Arts Director and Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Teacher Leader, for sharing the recent MSAD#61 Arts education happenings.

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Another Arts Teacher’s Story: Jenni Null

May 27, 2014

Fine Arts Coordinator, Instrumental and Choral Music Instructor, K-12, SAD #61 

This is the ninth 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. Jenni was a guest on the MAAI webinar from April on Common Core and the Arts. You can see/listen to the archive by going to http://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/MAAI-Webinars. Jenni is also working on the team of teacher leaders who are developing resources. The webinar scheduled for June will provide the opportunity for you to learn more about the arts ed resource bank.

png;base645078de7cb68c173dJenni Null is the SAD#61 K-12 Fine Arts Coordinator, Instrumental and Choral Music Instructor. She has taught for 36 years, 35 of which have been in my present district of Lake Region. Jenni teaches Grades 4 and 5 instrumental music in three different schools in three different towns (Bridgton, Sebago, and Naples), and has a very healthy chorus (60+ students) in Naples. When I am not in the classroom, I am overseeing the art, music, and dance program for the District, which includes the scheduling of our fine arts events for the year, as well as assisting colleagues in developing and reviewing the arts curriculum and assessments.

What do you like best about being an arts educator?

I love seeing the excitement in my beginning instrumental students when they are successful
on their respective instruments for the first time.  Coupled with that, is fast forwarding through the years and attending middle and high school concerts where I hear these same students performing. It’s very rewarding to think I gave them their start or awakened a talent within that they didn’t know they possessed.

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

A successful visual and performing arts education should have:

  1. Passionate arts educators – These are the think-outside-the-box people who don’t let all the obstacles of the daily minutia get them down. They are the problem solvers!
  2. Supportive administrators –  All administrators say they are supportive, but the ones who truly are, find other areas to cut at budget time. The administrators I admire recognize that the square pegs don’t fit in the round holes. They provide QUALITY time so that arts educators can access students in a meaningful way, rather than seeing how many different classes can be stuffed into the day.
  3. A partnership between arts education and the surrounding arts community, where we share our resources, including performance and art display venues. Professional artists share their expertise in the classroom and provide workshops and mentor opportunities. High School students can work in tandem with these arts professionals and hopefully glean a vision of the arts as a vital part of their lives beyond their K-12 education.

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

Assessment has helped me to stay focused on the key elements of my program. It also compels me to reevaluate and adapt in accordance with the needs of my students. A fringe Assessment has helped me to stay focused on the key elements of my program. It also compels me to reevaluate and adapt in accordance with the needs of my students. A fringe benefit of assessment is that students pay attention to the grading rubrics and what is required of them to meet standards. In this regard, I feel that today’s students take the arts classes more seriously than their predecessors.

What have been the benefits in becoming involved in the arts assessment initiative?

The Maine Arts Assessment Initiative has introduced me to some passionate arts educators statewide. Participating in this initiative has consequently energized me both in and out of the classroom. We must all be continually involved in advocacy, both individually, and collectively. MAAI has taught me that, “One of us is never as strong as all of us,” and that as a cohesive unit, we have been empowered to elevate arts education for the students of Maine!

What are you most proud of in your career?

For five consecutive years, I was able to organize a school-wide Arts Week for grades 4-6, centered around a musical production. Students learned the musical numbers in general music, and thanks to a grant, I was able to bring in professional artists to work with students in multi-age groups. Each day, the multi-age groups rotated through activities related to the play and aligned to the Maine Learning Results: making props, painting the scenery, working on lighting, (including the scientific properties of combining different colors), the cultural and historical background, and of course being entertained by the visiting professional musicians, dancers, and artists. The entire school was involved through the culminating activity, which was the musical production.  The students worked together as a community and learned so much in a meaningful way that was arts based.

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

People without vision who prevent me from pursuing mine!

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

I worked for two summers for The Edinburgh International Film Festival. I had to fly to Edinburgh for an interview and convince my perspective employers that an American could learn the city well enough to organize all levels of accommodation, from student flats to luxury hotels, as well as travel arrangements for festival attendees.

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

  • Don’t let the small stuff get you down!  The endless meetings, paperwork, and duties will not disappear, but in spite of it all; remember you get to do amazing things with students and perhaps transform their lives in a way that others do not.
  • Don’t let boredom set in.  Change it up with a new lesson, new curriculum, or new job!  If you are bored, you can be sure your students are, too.
  • A network is critical for the arts educator to survive, so build one within and outside of your school or district.
  • Advocate for the arts with everyone you meet; administrators, parents, colleagues, and your students.  People need to be reminded why arts education is important.

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

If I suddenly had a large sum of money, I would set up an endowment that would provide for students to travel to New York City to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Lincoln Center or Carnegie Hall, and attend a Broadway Show. All students deserve the opportunity to have their senses awakened by such world class artistic experiences.

Imagine you are 94 years old. You’re looking back. Do you have any regrets?

If I were to start again, I would formulate a plan for my professional life.  I never really did that, but rather just let life happen.  I think that teachers entering the profession today are more forward thinking about where they want to be 10 or 20 years from now.

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Webinar Archive CC and the Arts

April 11, 2014

April’s MAAI Webinar

This post was provided by music educator Rob Westerberg.

The second of a series of four webinars for phase 3 of the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative was held on Tuesday, April 8, entitled “Common Core and The Arts”. Catherine Ring and I facilitated what ended up being a pretty full hour with guests Marcia McCaffrey, Arts Consultant at the New Hampshire Department Of Education, and Jenni Null, Fine Arts Coordinator in S.A.D. #61. The dialogue focused around three broad topics:

  1. what is the Common Core and what are it’s origins,
  2. how does it tie in to Visual and Performing Arts, and
  3. how do we confront authentic concerns and questions we have around it all?

A focal point of the webinar was a resources page on which we provided live links (those links are still live in the archived webinar, which you can access at the end of this blog post) to abundant information on the Common Core, practical connections to the Arts and yet even more links that can assist Arts teachers, informing their work at integrating Common Core. As those links were shown, we had a rich conversation that included articulating the difference between “enrichment” and authentic integration. We also spent time addressing specific concerns from the field, stating that some have been coerced into sacrificing their own work to accommodate ELA prompts and increase math achievement scores. Others have had their face time with students slashed so those students can receive remedial help in other subjects. Rather than skirt these issues, confronting them head on brought about many insights and ideas for moving forward.

It became apparent that the issues we confront here in Maine have less to do with the Common Core than practical implementation of them in local controlled school districts. In short, it is evident that the Common Core standards hold many promises for all of us in Maine, including the potential for exciting collaborative work in the Arts. But implementation of this requires much prep work and a commitment to ideals that squarely place the focus on students, not programs. Successful implementation will require “intentionality” and school leadership where a broad understanding of how the arts appropriately contribute to the Common Core is present.  There is not only a place for the Arts at the table, but the scenario exists in which we potentially play a larger role than ever before in the development of our students in the 21st Century.

As Marcia McCaffrey pointed out, the College Board has come out with a Review of Connections Between the Common Core and National Core Arts Standards Conceptual Framework and specific ways to approach alignment.  Marcia provided an overview of this research which will be posted at http://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/MAAI-Webinars in the near future.

On Wednesday, May 7, we will be holding our third webinar in which we will be discussing how the Arts are impacted by the Maine law mandating Proficiency in all subject areas – including the Arts – and what that will look like for us as we move forward. No doubt it will tie into additional Common Core topics as well as the revision of the National Core Arts Standards that will be released in early June. Please plan on joining us from 3:30 to 4:30 on that first Wednesday of May. In the meantime, you can access the archive of the April 8 webinar at http://stateofmaine.adobeconnect.com/p7qnkdt5lp2/. In the near future along with Marcia’s presentation there will be a Meeting Plan which you can use individually or with your colleagues, along with additional information on the Maine Arts Commission website at http://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/MAAI-Webinars.

 

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