Posts Tagged ‘resources’

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Lifelong Learning

November 13, 2019

Professional Development

Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Teacher Leaders at the music education conference in September 2019 with Denise Gagne. Front, LtoR Catherine Newell, Dorie Tripp, Back LtoR Kate Smith, Linda McVety, Pamela Kinsey, Denise, Will Stecher

Often educators get so caught up in the day to day challenges of teaching that they forget to take time to reflect on what is actually happening. Taking time for professional development, getting off your island, and seeking colleagues for collaborations is critical to feed your soul and positively impact the art of teaching!

TEACHERS NEED TEACHERS! Reaching out and connecting with someone can make all the difference for you personally and professionally. I believe if you don’t take care of yourself (personally AND professionally) it becomes more difficult to take care of your students.

Now that we’re about 6 weeks into the school year, take a minute and ponder these questions:

  1. How often have you searched for professional development opportunities that really challenged your thinking about teaching? There are opportunities if you search – some in state, some regional and national and there are opportunities on the international level.
  2. When was the last time you asked a colleague to give you feedback on a lesson or unit? It doesn’t matter if you’re new to teaching or if you’re a veteran, asking someone you trust to step into your classroom and give you feedback can provide a totally different perspective to your teaching. I know this is may be difficult for a variety of reasons but if you want to be successful and look back on many years of teaching with a smile please don’t hesitate to reach out to someone that you trust and respect. If you have no other teachers of the same discipline in your school or district, reach out to someone in a nearby district, the professional organization leadership or perhaps a college/university. (By the way, I’d be glad to help out).
  3. Have you ever seen yourself teach? Set up a video camera in your classroom so you can view it later on? Perhaps having someone visit is to much of a stretch at the moment. No problem, borrow a video camera, if you don’t have one, set it up on a tripod and take some footage of yourself that you can view later on in the comfort of your own home.
  4. What research or book on education have you read lately? Who are you following on social media? There are so many outstanding books and writers on education topics. If you need a recommendation on where to get started check out the blog post from June 2019 called Summer Reading. for suggestions. Or go to a professional organizations website and read what they’re suggesting. There are also amazing resources on the web including blogs, podcasts, and audio recordings of information that you can visit over and over. Follow someone on Twitter, Instagram or one of the other social media tools available.
  5. Do you have a curriculum that you’re actively using? Many educators are required to write a curriculum and it gets put on a shelf and not revisited until it’s time to write a new one. Is that you? I’m not suggesting for a moment that you use your curriculum for every lesson/unit but what I do suggest is asking yourself this – can you map your daily lessons to a curriculum? Is it aligned with standards? Do you have assessments in place that support what you’re teaching or your students learning? Can you answer these two questions – What am I teaching? and Why am I teaching it? If you can’t answer, I suggest that you take time and ask yourself: what do I want my students to know at the end of the school year or perhaps in 5 years or when they are adults? Good teaching and learning should drive your work!
  6. What are you doing to take care of yourself? Are you mindful of your mind, body, and spirit? This is probably the most important one and it is the one that has taken me years to integrate into my daily living practices. We are fortunate to teach the arts because many of us went into teaching for two reasons – one is we want to teach and the other is we want to be an artist. So, what is your discipline and what are you doing to focus on that personally? I have made a practice of painting every day I can for a few minutes. If there is time that few minutes turns into an hour. I get lost in my art making. When I have more time I am making mosaics. Talk about getting lost in art making. I have no idea how the day disappears. If you’re a parent I realize taking time to make art on top of being a teacher and a parent there is no time left for art making or you. Please know it took me many years of parenting and teaching to get to this point. My suggestion? Start small – 5 minutes of meditation, yoga, writing and/or reading poetry, playing an instrument, moving in a mindful way or whatever way works for you. PLEASE take care of yourself!

it’s all about being a life-long learning! What are you doing to expand and build on your thinking? And, what you doing to take care of yourself? Please share your ideas at the bottom of this blog post.

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Back to School Resources

August 30, 2018

Research, ideas, videos, suggestions from others all wrapped in one

A collection of items that will provide some food for thought for you or your students. There’s information, serious and fun, for all of the arts education disciplines. Have fun and don’t be surprised if you learn some things to use starting off the school year with students and/or staff.

  • Cambridge Public Schools in Massachusetts is working to incorporate yoga and mindfulness into classrooms to help both students and teachers manage their stress and regulate their emotions. This is happening district wide and they see that it is making a difference (June 7, 2017) Yoga and Mindfulness
  • Amazing website with a blog, podcasts, video, and a store. Subscribe and have access to many learning materials. Cult of Pedagogy
  • Start off the school year by focusing building relationships, making connections with students, and telling your story. Article in Ed Week (August 15, 2018) Build Student Trust by Sharing Stories on the First Day
  • What do Employers Want in a New Hire? Strong speaking skills, but they have a tough time finding candidates who are good at it, according to a survey released Tuesday. Good oral communication skills got the #1 slot among the 15 job skills that executives and hiring managers identified as very important in new hires. (August 28, 2018) READ EDUCATION WEEK ARTICLE.
  • Setting up your classroom for a new year can be fun or stressful. (August 27, 2018) Teachers, How Did You Set Up Your Classroom This Year?
  • Peter DeWitt keeps a blog called: Finding COMMON Ground and he had a superintendent write a post recently called “Kids Need Play and Recess. Their Mental Health May Depend on It”. He talks about the facts on the topic of anxiety, depression and suicide. (August 1, 2018) READ THE POST.
  • Flight of the Bumblebee performed A Capella style by Team Lachey on the television show Clash of the Choirs.  FLIGHT OF THE BUMBLEBEE
  • Musician and conductor André Rieu performing Amazing Grace live in the Amsterdam Arena with His Johann Strauss Orchestra and a contingent of bagpipes. AMAZING GRACE
  • The Spotlight Dance performed by Jackie and Charlie at the summer workshop of ShagAtlanta 2013. DANCING
  • Lead with an Open HeartAre you a teacher leader or taking on a leadership role in your school/district this year? The author starts with “leadership is hard work”. (August 22, 2018)
  • Do.Reflect.Do Better. That’s the motivation for the author of the blog called Project 180, Monte Syrie. He just posted his first day of school blog post BUILDING BETTER: PROJECT 180, DAY 1. Good food for thought!

 

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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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Maine Arts Assessment Initiative – NEW Website!

August 12, 2014

Created for you!

The crazy adventure/uncharted territory known as the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) is now 4 years old. During that time, over 1,000 Arts educators have participated in MAAI activities, including workshops, state Conferences, Webinars, courses, and on and on. One of the unforeseen benefits of all this professional development has been the excavation of vast amounts of materials and documents to further our understanding and our work. From rubric construction and advice on implementing standards, to blogs, publications, and web resources, it seems that there’s little out there that hasn’t been unearthed in the process of working as colleagues in this state. Along those lines, it has been a bit of a pipe dream to create a web site that actually stores all of these resources in a user friendly format; “one stop shopping” for all things Arts Assessment. Being unveiled here is the manifestation of that goal, maineartsassessment.com.

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The website is split into easily searchable topics: Assessment Documents, Helpful Videos, “tons” of Web Links and Advocacy. We also decided to make this site the home page for MAAI, so there is a link there giving the mission, history and present day activities for educators to plug themselves into. Also featured is a “Proficiency Toolkit”, providing a step-by-step process by which Arts educators can move forward in their work to meet local and state requirements, adopting standards work in their own programs/schools/classrooms in ways that make sense to them.

All of us in MAAI are extraordinarily proud of the work that’s going on across the state. But it’s all for naught unless the work continues. Here is a way to access all the amazing resources out there in the world that will help us do so. Take a peek at the website when you get a few minutes, and hop onto the areas that resonate the most with your own professional needs. We welcome feedback and suggestions as this site continues to spring to life, and hope you will utilize it as a favorite “go to” site in the months and years to come.

A GREAT big thank you to Rob Westerberg for his numerous hours of work bringing together all of the information and creating the new website!

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LD 1422 Webinar

May 12, 2014

MAAI webinar, May 7

The third of a series of four webinars for the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative was held on Wednesday, May 7, entitled “LD 1422: digging deeper into the new Proficiency expectations for Maine’s schools and Arts classrooms”. In coming up with this particular webinar, facilitators Catherine Ring and Rob Westerberg were reacting to what they both believed has been a lot of misunderstanding and a great lack of clarity around the new law which states that all High Schools will be issuing diplomas, “based on student demonstration of proficiency”. The hour with nearly 20 attendees, including the Maine Department of Education new Visual and Performing Arts Specialist, Mr. Kevin Facer, allowed the opportunity to de-mystify it, and to discuss its ramifications as it pertains to Visual and Performing Arts.

The first part gave an overview of LD 1422, with links to valuable resources at the Maine Department of Education. Catherine and Rob went through the important details pertaining to how it relates to VPA, the Maine Guiding Principles which all students will be required to meet, and a few thoughts around the concept of “multiple pathways” to demonstrate proficiency. An extended conversation was had around proficiency in the arts and what that actually can mean in practice. Information very specific about what that looks like in the classroom, and articulation of the next steps for everyone to get there, regardless of where you are presently.

Finally, there was a give and take conversation around relevant questions and observations from the MAAI Teacher leaders last Summer. Some of these included, “Once established, this will inform curricular and instructional decisions?”, “How do we establish proficiencies while leaving room for creativity?”, “You cannot define proficiency until the “vagueness” is taken out of the standards… is this a road we want to go down?” and “How do we find time to do everything and teach at the same time?” Along the way, webinar attendees asked some very pointed questions as well and shared some great insights.

In debunking myths or misinterpretations, and showing how the Arts can proactively move toward proficiency, the hope is that attendees and those utilizing the archive and meeting plans can get a leg up, perhaps even on the other content areas in our own buildings, and truly be leaders as we move toward this next chapter in Maine education. In this vein, it is strongly encouraged that arts teachers spend some time viewing the archive: the live links alone will make this worth your while, while the conversations will add clarity for what is expected of arts teachers in the months and years to come.

On Wednesday, June 4, we will be holding a related webinar, featuring the ongoing work MAAI has undertaken creating a rich Resource Bank for the Visual and Performing Arts. Please plan on joining Catherine and Rob from 3:30 to 4:30 on that first Wednesday of June. In the meantime, you can access the archive of the May 7 webinar at http://stateofmaine.adobeconnect.com/maaimay2014/. You can access the professional development meeting plans that accompany the webinar at http://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/MAAI-Webinars (available tomorrow). You may utilize with this with your building and district VPA colleagues.

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WeAreTeachersBlog

March 2, 2013

Outstanding offerings

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The website called WeAreTeachers has some interesting offerings. You might want to check it out and then consider subscribing.

Here are some of the recent ones:

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Articles, Resources, Ideas, Opportunities

December 14, 2012

Passed my way recently

Below are resources and information that you might find useful.

  • From Education Week an article called A+ Schools Arts and Other ‘Essentials’ written by Erik W. Robelen. In Oklahoma City they are solving math equations during math class. Ten years ago the idea started in a few schools and has grown to 70 today. Read about the A+ Schools network by clicking here.
  • Free professional development resources from Crayola. To learn more click here.
  • What’s Going on in this Picture? The NY Times Education section provides the chance for learning where they include photos and ask what is going on. The same question that we find in the Visual Thinking Strategy program. You can post what you think and read what others think. You can check out the article by clicking here.
  • Opportunity for students to create and for schools to benefit. Check out the vimeo with the information by clicking here.
  • This is fascinating and you will wonder “how did they do that?”. Check out Beautiful Bacteria: How to Make Art From E. Coli written by Claire O’Neill, posted October 23, 2012 by clicking here.
  • Carnegie Hall commissioned WolfBrown to conduct research to explore the potential of music and musicians in making a difference in the lives of young people in the juvenile justice system. “May the Songs I Have Written Speak for Me” is the essay that was written as a result. You can learn more by clicking here.
  • Arts integration has great potential. This blog post located on the Teaching Channel Beyond Engagement: Changing How our Students Express Learning written by Lily Jones, November 6, 2012. Lily was a K/1 teacher and committed to making learning fun for teachers and students. This post is about integration and her awareness comes through in her statement: “I started off thinking of arts integration as an engagement strategy. But I soon realized it was so much more than that. When students learn through the arts, they are able to express their content knowledge in new ways.” Click here for the article.
  • Keith Haring’s interactive coloring book.
  • Read about how the opera is providing professional development for FL teachers in this article written by Stephanie Parra posted October 2, 2012 by clicking here. Music teacher from Miami Central High School said: “I want them to learn the technique of singing without a microphone and using their voice as a complete instrument; that’s what my students need to do.”
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