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During our final CIG meeting, the inquiring hearts really cracked down to figure out how we were going to express what we were all about. We’re all passionate about conveying how the arts can give a person a sense of belongingness and showing how the arts can connect you to the world in so many ways. How do we show this in a physical sense? Each of us chose one project that we did within our classroom. A project where there were “world connectors” within them. We also decided to have a heart photo booth. Within this, we would ask those who come to see our work to answer the question how art connects them to the world? What art does for your life? I unfortunately wasn’t able to come to the final day because I ..fortunately, had my first little baby on Mother’s day. ha :) I loved seeing the video that my cig members made for my new guy Foster  and all the other babies of the world/people of the world. Just because we’re not fresh to the world doesn’t mean our minds are full. Let’s always strive to learn new things. The arts are a gate way to new adventures, new experience, happiness. 

During one of our CIG meetings, we left early as a group to go on a CIG field trip! We went to Uniontown high school because Becky invited the Invisible children roadies to give a presentation to the students. There are many different opinions on the invisible children and what they do. Bottom line for me is that they make people aware of what life could be like, and IS like for some in the world. It gets people thinking about their place in this world and what they can be doing to make it better. I’ve heard opinions say that it’s just a “trend” to post about/be a supporter of the invisible children. What is wrong with a trend where people are helping other people? Perhaps I’m ignorant to EVERYTHING that it is, behind the scenes stuff, what the culture really is like in Africa, Joseph Kony and what he does, but from what I experienced from the roadies, they’re missionaries with hearts to help.

Our skype meeting was held on Wednesday, May 16, 7PM. We discussed some final technical questions about our CIG spotlight presentation. I have completed the large visual for our group the Balancing Act. This visual states our inquiry question and will hopefully unify the entire display. We agreed to be at the IU at 7:30 because we are the first group presenting. I’m very pleased to know the Superintendent from my District; Mrs. Jackson will be in attendance on Friday. She as always been a great supporter of the Arts in my district. I will be proud to show her the growth and accomplishments I have made during my 3 years of participation in AE 2.0.

On our final work day at the IU the M and D CIG decided to put our research into a digital story. In 3 minutes or less each member of the group would tell their own part of the story. After the script was complete we each made an audio recording of our own portion. It was decided that Jen Joyce would put the story together and that we would need to send her the pictures or videos we wanted included. This past Thursday we all got together in Sherry Knight’s room at Trinity High School to see the finished project and discuss how we would conduct our presentation the following Friday. We were blown away by what Jen had put together. She really did a great job and had obviously put a lot of time into the project. It is so nice, and has been nice, to work with such creative and smart people. People who take the initiative to get something done and then come through with a product that goes beyond expectations. I feel very fortunate to have worked with the members of my CIG as well as member in years past. Looking forward to Friday!

Today I asked a student if I could record them explaining how to do stop motion photography.  I told the student that it would be for teachers who have not done stop motion before.  This student reassured me that he had learned the important steps to creating a video.  Originally, I thought I would be in control and tell him what to say- but sure enough we only did one take and I felt what he said was perfect.  I couldn’t have done it better myself, he kept it basic and right to the point.  He did it in a manner that the participants in our spotlight next week will understand what to do.

I feel my students in 4th grade had the most success with stop motion photography this year.  They had the basics taught to them last year when I used a more teacher-directly instructed approach.  This year, I encouraged student collaboration and inquiry.  The students were very successful, however I don’t feel they would have had as much success if they didn’t have the teacher-direct instruction as the ground work.

If the students only had the teacher-direct instruction I don’t feel they owned their work, nor did they enjoy it as much.  On the other hand, if the students went straight into an inquiry approach I feel they may have missed some of the basic steps of how everything is to operate correctly.

I haven’t really talked much about my musical production. But, I was making it part of my inquiry. I decided to have my students take more of a leadership role in creating their characters, working on lighting, props, the works. I have to say that in the end, I think they helped to make the production more real, they had more ownership. I also had the other teachers who work with me take more ownership in their roles. Although I found it very stressful to et go, I think we a learned a lot from this exercise! Image

I only have a tiny bit of space on my blog left, so here’s a photo or two that I can fit in.

Well, It has been a fun 9 weeks! I implemented my plan to have students collaborate and create projects about Washington DC digitally. I gave them the ist of possibilities, and they found more! Below are some photos showing different types. Enjoy!

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So I started out this year and talked to my students about them running the whole show. Everything from choosing the theme & music to publicity, programs and choreography. We jumped right in making collaborative groups. Students chose the groups they wanted to be working in. I asked them if they wanted me to set up communication, blogs, etc. They said “no,” let us figure out how we will keep records and communicate. After the Christmas show my students assessed what they like/didn’t like, what they felt went well/not so well and what plainly failed. My students and I collaborated on resources that they would need for the spring concert/show. They wanted subgroups, timecards, check lists, and scheduled meetings, essentially they asked for everything that I wanted to give them for the first show. Now the first show went well, but my students were more stressed, trying to make times for meetings and communications. It is interesting to me that once they gave me the list of things they felt they needed. They actually used these tools because they now saw the value. So I gave them the tools and meetings etc., that they requested.  The second show went really well as well.  (a roughly 2hour show with constant music and movement, no down time waiting for groups to get on the stage or off) TheImage biggest thing that I noticed was that my students who used the requested tools accomplished their task with much more ease and much less stress. I still had students who didn’t use the tools and they found that they were late on their parts of the project and they were doing double the work or repeating work that someone in their group had already done. These students were more stressed and working right up to the last moment.


I have a student who wanted to have a day of drumming and got permission, then set up the whole class.  Scheduling the guest musician and the drums for our class. Over saw the delivery and introduction of the guest musician. It was a great day and fun experience. Same student played African drum for our “Tarzan” medley number in the concert. Cool independent student.

Yesterday I met with the Assistant to the Superintendent of my district and together we applied for the Target Arts Grant. I first found about this from AE 2.0. The amount of the grant is $2000.00 dollars. If we do get the grant my plan is to continue the project we started with the STEAM grant. The original project was a collaborative effort between ceramic artists Jim and Linda Winegar, and the ART ONE students of Burgettstown, The plan is to use the grant money to have the Winegars’ return to do a 2 Day residency at Burgettstown High School with the focus on various ceramic techniques. The Art One students will be introduced to the basics of wheel throwing, hand building and press mold techniques. The students will be able to benefit from the perspectives of these artists and it will be helpful in developing their own artistic voice. Ceramics students at Burgettstown will be able to benefit from this residency by improving their centering, throwing, trimming, hand building, and glazing techniques. I also plan to take what I have learned this year about INQUIRY in AE 2.0 and apply it to this ceramic project. The possibilities of this coming to fruition are exciting. We will know if we were accepted this coming August, wish us luck!

Artist Website

Check out the 3 videos Marlynn and I filmed at their pottery

September 2020

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