VATN at MOCHA (Museum of Children’s Art)

OCTOBER 14, 2015 at MOCHA

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Participants: Teachers – Ana Ponce/Skyline; Lauren Litwin/Skyline; James Treacy/Skyline; Nestor Gonzalez/Bunch; Michelle Lewis/Glenview; Ernest Alatorre/Greenleaf, Deborah Gordon/Castlemont, James Tucker/Fremont; Facilitators: Roxanne Padgett/MOCHA; Ann Wettrich/OUSD Visual & Performing Arts consultant

1. Presentations

  • Lauren shared a lesson plan, strategies, student work and artist statements for a lesson plan she developed on comic strip making that engaged illustration and social/emotional learning concepts exploring love, friendship and/or obsession. Her goals were to advance communication skills and tap into students prior knowledge–taking students through explorations of history and a diversity of cultural contexts to expand their understanding. She discussed useful frameworks and protocols she used—See/Think/Wonder routine and PUB How to Critique video.
  • Michelle shared several hands-on art lessons and samples of student work–engaging themes of color, observational drawing (tools) and movement, focusing attention on the elements and principles of art and design. She includes art historical examples as part of lesson—for example, the work of Jim Dine and Matisse.

 2. Informal Teacher Dialogue & Exchange. In round-robin style, teachers shared successful lessons, challenges and teaching resources. A few highlights are presented here

  • Jamie – Community Circle. He described a successful story telling class he’d just done aimed at helping him to get to know the students better and to build community among class members. The activity was inspired by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Ted Talk—The Danger of a Single Story. To get the storytelling process started, he shared his own story as an example.
  • Jim – Just started teaching this week and was coming to terms with students lack of confidence with drawing. Deborah Gordon suggested using Elmo Document Camera as a way to demonstrate drawing techniques to the entire class.
  • Ernie is challenged to present visual art lessons connected to curricular goals as his credential training is not in the arts. He described a successful experience involving map making. The group rallied to offer ideas. Roxanne will provide him with MOCHA art for educators resources.
  • Nestor told several stories about engaging teacher professional development workshops he recently lead to enliven faculty meetings at his school site where they have been discussing school year vision, culture, climate, rules and regulations. This involved rolling out large white paper onto tables and having participants create images to represent their thinking, rather than words, and then they collaborated on making up and performing short skits relevant to the topics at hand.  See photos below.

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  • Deborah discussed her new challenge related to block scheduling, where she now teaches five classes 1.5 hours each. One strategy she’s using with her students is sketchbooks.  This involves making sketchbooks by stapling paper together and putting activities on every page. For example, a student would draw or write a response to a quote, or a prompt like “If your mind was a physical place that we could visit, what would it look like?”

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