VATN at Oakland Tech: Curriculum Share Out

DECEMBER 9, 2015 at Oakland Tech


Participants: Teachers – James Treacy/Skyline; Eldica Miller/Oakland Tech; Ana Gallegos/Madison; Alicia Arnold/Fashion Arts & Design Academy at Oakland Tech upper campus; Deborah Green/Oakland Tech;  Carissa Moline/New Highland; Michael Raytis/ Oakland Tech; Renita Pines/Oakland Tech; Phil Rydeen, OUSD VAPA Director; Facilitators: Roxanne Padgett/MOCHA; Ann Wettrich/OUSD Visual & Performing Arts consultant

1 . Intros / Check-ins / Announcements

We did a quick round of intros and check-ins. A few highlights to note:

  • Jamie is currently working on developing and writing the curriculum for an AP art class at Skyline.
  • Alicia mentioned that a SF Art Institute representative had recently come to her class to talk to students about the school and its application process. This year, they tried a new structure that worked well and she recommends–the rep stayed and talked to each of her classes and even took the time to stay to talk with interested students and review their portfolios.
  • Ana is planning a portable mural that Monroe students will be working on for the fence of nearby Sobrante Park.
  • Debra announced an exhibition of her student’s work at Underwood Cafe on 41st

2.  Phil Rydeen / Visual & Performing Arts Office Updates and Discussion touching on many areas

  • Friday, January 29th full day OUSD PD “buy back” day. We will be at La Escuelita school in the morning and the Oakland Museum in the afternoon for all arts teachers and any other teachers from the district that are interested.  Plans are still being formulated and include:  1) Visual Artist keynote talk about their work. We’re planning planning to have a local, internationally known artist Mildred Howard discuss her work and inspirations ideally with cross-disciplinary influences in music, science, literature and/or social studies; 2) Academic Discussion speaker from OUSD—sharing  principles and strategies; 3) Exploring observation/reflection protocols and experiment  with using them to engage academic discussions; 4) Investigating and learning about how the museum can be used as a resource for teaching and learning across subject  areas. Discovering what the Oakland Museum has to offer and exploring their CA art, science and history galleries.

Phil asked for feedback and ideas from the group. All liked the idea for the artist speaker and brainstormed alternatives if Mildred isn’t available, Favianna Rodriguez, Hung Liu, Amana Harris, Squeak Carnwath. The group liked the general ideas for the day and mentioned a few things they were interested in learning more about in PD sessions, including Jig Saw protocol maker spaces, and video/animation.

  • Visual Arts Materials & Supplies.  An OUSD donor is contributing $50,000. Once the money is received Phil will reach out to visual arts teachers for advice on prioritize what is most needed and figure out how to purchase and disseminate.
  • OUSD’s Warehouse has some odds and ends materials that are up for grabs. Contact Phil for an appointment to rummage through it and take what is useful. There are some display boards and the science dept has lots of interesting things for creative reuse.
  • We discussed more expensive needs for equipment, like kilns. This led to a brainstorm on how to find out about unused equipment and/or materials. Phil will make a google doc for everyone to access and add to–tracking equipment and materials up for grabs, as well as needs.
  • Arts Incentive Grants – Phil will let everyone know when the info and technical support sessions are being held next spring for the next round of grant applications.
  • OUSD Opportunities to Highlight work
    • OUSD News Feature Stories – Send Phil inspiring student stories—a photo with a couple of paragraphs—to post in the OUSD e-newsletter.
    • OUSD Administration Hallways – great places to showcase student work. Let Phil know if you would like to do this.
    • Teaching Opportunities – To find out about openings, check the OUSD website.
  • Ideas Brewing – Phil is interested in creating virtual career pathways into visual and performing arts for high school students who might want to become teachers.

3.  Teacher Presentations


  • Perspective Drawing Project – Jaime talked about this three-week project that he did with his Art 1 students and passed out samples of their impressive work. He explained the assignment and his objectives. Students were asked to create their own city (with dream features) and show it from a bird’s eye (one point) perspective, using art strategies learned about earlier (i.e.IMG_8147 color, value, shape) to make a finished work. He was very pleased with results and increased student confidence and sense of agency. He wanted them to understand there is a system and methods for drawing—it is not a mystery. For students who were struggling to understand the technique he repeated demonstrations in small groups and encouraged revisions and corrections. He shifted his normal policy by allowing students to turn in the assignment a few days late if they wanted to spend time refining.

This led to a discussion about special ed students and how to help scaffold their learning. Jamie shared several strategies:

– providing students with cut-out shapes to get them started

– using color coding to help them make connections

– sitting and watching how they are doing something, noting what goes wrong and then          demonstrating how to do it, trying it together with them, and then asking them to try            it independently.

– Eldica added that she emphasizes repetition and cooperative learning—where                       students help to teach each other.

  • Glazed Cups Project – Renita briefly discussed this project she has been working on with students and showed a sample of student work.
  • Color Mixing – Deborah talked about her goal of getting students to slow down and experiment.

IMG_8151 She shared her rubric, resource materials and strategies that have worked for engaging and focusing the students, including DeYoung Museum workbook pullouts, and the see-think-wonder worksheets created by Eldica Miller . She also uses links to royalty free images that she found posted on Alicia’s website. The color mixing project involved using Crayola pencils and mixing IMG_8154color on the paper by adding multiple layers and experimenting rubbing in solvents (cooking oil, rubbing alcohol or Ecohouse cleaner) with q-tips or beat up bristle brushes. Students are excited to “see the magic” as their work transforms.

  1. Art Inspirations of the Month
  1. Upcoming Meetings
  • Wednesday, January 13, 2:00-3:30.  Redwood Heights School in Oakland.
  • Friday, January 29th 8:30-3:30 – La Escuelita School, 1050 Second Avenue and the Oakland Museum, 1000 Oak Street at 10
  • Future meeting proposal : February (Restorative Justice/Peace Circles) location TBD; March (Maker Spaces)

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