Posts Tagged ‘Oxford Hills school district’


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 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!



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


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


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


Another Arts Teacher’s Story: Samantha Armstrong

March 15, 2016

MALI Teacher Leaders series


This is the second blog post of the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Phase 5  Teacher Leader stories. This series contains a set of questions so you can learn a little bit about the work they are doing as Maine arts educators. CLICK HERE for more information on MALI. CLICK HERE for more information on the 73 of the MALI Teacher Leaders. CLICK HERE for Arts education resources. Search in the “search archives” box on the bottom right side of this post for past stories. There have been 61 posted to date.

Screen Shot 2016-03-13 at 11.02.05 AM

Samantha Armstrong teaches K-6 visual arts at Paris Elementary and the Hebron Station School. This is her ninth year teaching and second year in the Oxford Hills School District. She currently teaches a little over 500 students each week. Her students have art class once a week for 40 minutes and I teach either 5 or 6 classes a day. Samantha is a team member from the Oxford Hills School District that are creating integration ideas as part of the Maine Arts Education Resource Project – Integration formed by the Maine Department of Education under the direction of VPA Specialist Beth Lambert.

What do you like best about being an arts educator?

One of the things I like about teaching art is getting to see how unique each student is and how they all approach projects differently. I enjoy teaching students new concepts and techniques, exposing them to new artists, making connections between the arts, other subject areas and the world around them. It’s exciting when students can reflect and make connections between what they are learning in my classroom and the world around them.

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

  • Teachers that are passionate and excited about what they are teaching.
  • School districts that support the arts and arts education.
  • Community outreach, getting student performances and artwork out into the community and getting local artists into the schools.

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

I find assessment to be very helpful in my classroom. When students finish an assignment they each complete a reflection paper. This helps them bring together what they have learned in the lesson and how the concepts and techniques work in connection with each other. Assessment also helps  guide my teaching, the effectiveness of the lesson and my approach to teaching. Currently I have developed a checklist for students, a type of formative assessment, so that they can monitor their learning and progress and help them meet their goals.

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

I have met many wonderful arts educators from all over the state of Maine and many others dedicated to the ongoing success of arts education. Through collaboration I have learned a great deal of information that has helped me in the classroom. I have become more involved in advocating for arts education and am currently working as a Teacher Leader Ambassador on the census and the arts integration resource project.

What are you most proud of in your career?

I am most proud of my students and all their progress and learning that happens throughout the year. Seeing my students being successful and enjoying their learning is the best!

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

Time and not having enough of it. I am fortunate to work in two great schools with very supportive administrators and teachers. Many teachers are interested and open to collaborating but with schedules and time constraints it is often difficult to have planning time. Planning is often a quick conversation in the hall or an email, which  works, but obviously with more planning time it could be even better.

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

I feel very lucky to be an art teacher in the community in which I live. It definitely took a lot of time and patience to finally be fortunate enough to be hired as an art teacher in my community. As everyone in the field knows art teaching positions are often few and far between. I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree so I did not have an education background. I had several years of catching up on classes while working. My path was winding as I first taught Special Education, then moved to a small independent school as a classroom teacher.  At the same time I taught a metalsmithing class at Lesley University and at summer arts program for kids. My teaching experience has been all over the place but I have enjoyed all of it and have learned so much from it.

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

My advice would be to be patient. Unfortunately I see many new teachers overwhelmed by behaviors. It is something that an education in teaching really can’t prepare you for. We all come to school everyday from a different place and for some the act of simply getting to school takes a lot of effort. Acknowledging the diversity in our schools and the struggles many students face academically, socially and physically is essential to creating helpful working relationships with our students. Being aware of students needs, being patient, and working with them to meet their goals is essential in helping students be successful.

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

Add more art programs and help provide teachers with more opportunities for collaboration. I would love to see more drama and dance programs at the elementary level and more access to affordable instruments for all students. The time I have had to work with other teachers this year through MALI has been great and I have learned so much. It would be great if there was more funding for this and other programs that bring teachers together. 

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

That is hard to imagine! Hopefully I still have my wonderful, crazy family around me, that I am still making art and enjoying lots of good food and wine. I’m sure I’ll have some regrets but for the most parts I love my life and how I’ve gotten where I am now. I have a simple life but that is perfect for me. I live in a great town, I have a loving family, wonderful friends, a warm home, good food to eat and I enjoy getting up everyday and going to work doing what I love with great teachers and students.


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