Institute Blog (July)

You go July Boot-campers!  Please post responses here to our activities and homework!

21 Responses to Institute Blog (July)

  1. Mary Flood Bailey says:

    Yesterday I went to lunch with a colleague from my school. I asked her to share her “art biography”. I learned so much about her and it was all very interesting. I think this would be a great opening activity for an arts training. People get to share themselves with others and they also get to reflect on how they have personally engaged with the arts on their path.
    Some of my colleagues went to the first training and they said that it was awkward to be launched into working with the artist without having time to get to know each other first. I had forgotten my friend’s comment until I realized that the same thing happened to me yesterday.
    The activity suggested above would help create those connections with the artist and our teaching colleagues before we launch into our work. Maybe we can incorporate this into day 2.


  2. Christine says:

    Here are two websites for your viewing pleasure:

    1. Found this website after Merryl talked about the dew sculpture project.

    Curricular Unit: Surface Tension

    2. If you want to know more about the growth mindset and math, check out this MOOC.

    “The course will feature Jo and a team of undergraduates, as well as videos of math in action – in dance, juggling, snowflakes, soccer and many other applications. It is designed with a pedagogy of active engagement. The course will open in mid June and stay open indefinitely.”


  3. Leticia Petrov says:

    Mindset and Grit were the topics discussed in Day 2 of the Arts Integration Boot Camp. I read two articles. The first one was”MIndset/Grit and Children’s books on art.” This is a great resource for integrating literature and art that highlights the importance of persevering to attain your goals.
    The other article was “Buzzfeed: Teacher Shares Her Notes from Third Graders.” This was an eye opening article because it showed how we as teachers sometimes don’t know what our students are going through in their home life. These students come to us from all sorts of different situations and its important for us to be sensitive to these circumstances and to build a relationship with respect and understanding that will encourage our students to attain their goals.
    In addition to the articles, I watched two videos. The first one was “Janet Echelman talk video.” This was an inspiring video that goes through Janet’s process in persevering in her dream to create these beautiful art pieces that inspire wonder! The second video “East of Main Street” is a spoken word performance discussing diversity.
    Overall, I repeatedly see the theme of having a growth mindset. This is something that I started incorporating in my class this past year…not an easy task! Having to be consistently mindful of HOW and WHAT you praise is challenging, but definitely worth it! A growth mindset can help kids and adults overcome challenges. The openness to learning, being creative, having a positive attitude, and taking risks with guidance helps in achieving goals.


  4. Erica Lynn says:

    In the video, “The Story of Austin’s Butterfly,” I noticed the effectiveness of honest, specific feedback in motivating a student to preserver in their work, generate multiple drafts, and show tremendous progress. You could also see that this feedback is as effective (or even more effective) coming from peers, as it is coming from adults. The video highlights the power of explicitly telling students a true (as in actually happened) grit story with work samples to foster a whole-class feedback/grit discussion. This would be a great video to share with your class (or a great discussion to authentically recreate in the future, using real work sample revisions from one of your own former students). Transfer into new contexts was an important idea in this video and in the other sources I looked at. I think it would be exciting to experience how children’s peer feedback sounds and evolves over time and as they practice this growth mind-set.


  5. Marie Kerrebrock says:

    What a great way to teach kids to be open to and give constructive feedback in “The story of Austin’s butterfly.” In the article “9 ways a theater degree trumps a business degree” it shows that the teaching artist can be a valuable team player in the classroom. It makes me wonder how my classroom will change this school year.


  6. Victor Ruiz says:

    I have noticed that students give up easily when faced with challenges that seem insurmountable. This is not due because they are not able to overcome challenges, but rather it has to do with the fear of failing. We are accustomed to praise and rewards students who succeed. Success to students in most cases is not failing. Thus, students in order not to have the stigma of failure attached to them do not attempt going outside their comport zones. This is where we come in. We have to foster student growth with regards to their mindset. Allowing them to become students that don’t fear failure, and instead have them see failure as a learning experience that will allow them to polish their skills to eventually overcome their challenges. I feel that students often want to achieve the goal before developing a plan.If we make it clear to students that the road to success is long and that it requires them to constantly be ready to stumble they will be able to receive feedback that will allow them to develop their skills. Practice and effort are the key to unlocking students potential.


  7. Joe Dimapilis says:

    Day 2 Mindset and Grit: I just finished watching Carol Dweck’s “Not Yet” video.I can’t wait to meet my new class and share with them why making mistakes will actually make them smarter!


  8. Debra Volk says:

    When I was in the Multiple Subject Teaching Credential Program at Cal State San Marcos (late 1990s) I remember learning the importance of teaching the “whole” child. There was an emphasis on developing instruction to meet the needs of different types of learners – Howard Garner’s theory of Multiple Intelligences. In both pieces I read by Merryl Goldberg, “Time for Revolution: Arts Education at the Ready” and “Dreams of Education” blog, she convincingly makes a case for refocusing on the arts. I particularly connected with the following quote from “Time for Revolution: Arts Education at the Ready”: “It is time to enter a post-single-subject-disciplinary study and post-test-score era and refocus efforts on educating children to be knowledgeable human beings who love to learn”. I wholeheartedly agree that “each child should have access to an education that integrates the arts as well as a chance to learn a specific arts discipline”. After reading, I watched the DREAM video featuring students teachers and students in the DREAM program. I was moved by how the featured children were so excited to come to school and be on stage. They actually enjoyed learning, and the teachers enjoyed teaching the curriculum through the arts. I was especially touched by the children who seemed shy, but gained confidence through the experience of theater.
    The second video I watched, Ron Berger’s “Critique and Feedback – the Story of Austin’s Butterfly” relates more to what our school will be focusing on: Visual Arts. I am wondering how I can adapt this lesson to a Lucy Calkins Writing Unit we will be working on in October – 2nd grade Lab Reports and Science Books. I’m thinking of how this type of critique could make their sketches better. It was really eye-opening for the students in the video to see how constructive feedback can lead to a better end result. They saw how Austin’s classmates helped him by offering suggestions for improvement.


    • merryl says:

      thank you! As you know, it is incredibly wonderful and humbling to see kids flourish! I feel incredibly lucky to be around teachers and kids engaged in being creative!


  9. Gilbert Gonzalez says:

    Could Common Core help grow the Arts? I certainly hope so. I found this article to be very on-point when it came to the issue of learning verses learning to take a test. I left my previous school because they had to close because of low test scores. This school had NO electives of any kind. When we tried to integrate the arts into the academic classes, the answer was “They can do art at home.” The focus was on trying to raise test scores and not on teaching the whole child. The Brooklyn school which was the focus of the article has its priorities correct. If we are to truly teach the child, the arts must be included. As valuable teaching tool, it motivates students to want to learn, it helps them to understand concepts, and gives the student confidence. I once heard that it is the arts that make us human. I truly believe this. The arts and the learning, understanding and pleasures associated with them make us who we are and make us want to create a better world.
    I also read the somewhat whimsical article about how an arts degree can be valuable for business. While the points made are certainly true for business, it allows us to think of the larger picture about how the arts can be valuable for other occupations. Again we learn that the arts are more than just fun activities, but as valuable tools for making us better people all around.
    I enjoyed the videos quite a bit. The videos I viewed showed how motion, and dance can enhance, clarify and deepen the points made by the speakers. The Chinese-American poet, Enrique Iglesias, and the power-point man were all able to get their ideas, feelings and information out through the power of drama and movement. One only has to see these videos to realize how the arts, in this case theater, dance, music, movement and poetry, work together with the speaker to deepen understanding. We must not let these valuable tools go unused in our teaching.


  10. Steve Smith says:

    I enjoyed reading Merryl’s “Dreams of Education” and the 9 Ways a Theatre Degree Trumps a Business Degree list.

    Merryl’s passion is as evident in her writing as it is in her in-person delivery (which is saying something!). I wondered about what subjects her students would go on to teach after they complete the program. Combining the program statistics with quotes from and information about the students involved was very smart; by humanizing the subjects of the story, Merryl does a great job of appealing to the reader, whether they’re more concerned with these specific students or the bigger picture statistics. Nicely done!

    The list could be very successful in our list-heavy, share-if-you-agree social media world). I appreciated its succinct, clear statements on the value of practicing a live and collaborative art.


    • merryl says:

      thanks so much for the compliments! My students might very well end up being your colleagues! Most of them are getting multiple subject credentials.


  11. kerrygahan says:

    In “Could Common Core Help Grow Arts Education in Schools,” I couldn’t help but be reminded of my own students who are also made up of many under-served populations. The article shows that with an infusion of arts, students standardized test scores can surpass those of others who have not had such an infusion. “9 Ways a Theatre Degree Trumps a Business Degree” lists traits and skills that a person who has worked in theatre can develop, and that correspond to success in the workplace. The video set to “Trip the Light” depicted a man dancing traditional and non-traditional dances with people all over the world. What a joyful work! I felt uplifted just watching it. Lastly, “East of Main Street – Asians Aloud” depicted an Asian-American poet revealing her feelings on being Asian-American, and performing an original work with the same gist.
    With the exception of “9 Ways…,” these works seemed to share an element of joy. The children at the Ascend school enjoyed their education infused with arts, which allowed them to fully process materials that they would later be tested on. The dancing video showed groups of people sharing arts and culture in a kinesthetic way and truly enjoying themselves. “East of Main Street…” depicts the joy of a woman who knows herself, and is proud to be a mixture of her culture’s past and present. Though “9 Ways…” did not depict joy, it did show that an arts education can help provide skills that can bring a person success in the business world. Looked at as a whole, these texts, both written and video have helped inspire me to use the tools I have gleaned in the boot camp to infuse my teaching with arts, to bring joy and success to my students.


  12. lspikula says:

    My school (Wilson) has been addressing mindset for the last couple of years. As a school we have been exploring ways to change the mindsets of our students. Most of them have faced challenges that we, as teachers, have never experienced, so it has been a challenge to us to understand where our students are coming from. Many of them have been beaten down so much that it is easier for them to give up and not try from the beginning. Changing that mindset through small, achievable successes is so important!


  13. Evie Mantone says:

    Mindset and grit are very important factors in growth and development for education at any age! It is easy to have a fixed mindset, especially if their is a lack of push. One important thing that I have learned and that I will always remember is that everyone one can grow and develop. There are no limits to our minds and with that comes a new found confidence that can inspire so much to our students and our own personal life as well.


  14. Albert S. says:

    One of my favorite online meme quotes… “The Earth without art is eh.”
    I think there’s also a quote attributed to Winston Churchill, when approached with the possibility of cutting the arts to help fund the war, his response was something along the lines of “Then what are we fighting for?”
    Creativity is a muscle that can be trained and not exclusive to the arts, though the arts is the go-to for expressing it.
    The Latin word for Art is Ars. I love it, ’cause the letters for the word are my initials.

    I’m being random.
    Mostly, I’m just glad to hear that art education is law.


    • merryl says:

      Albert! your entry made me smile! I’ll have to look up the Winston Churchill quote. I know J. F. Kennedy also has some wonderful quotes about art…
      and, very cool about your initials!


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