VAPA PD and Oakland Museum

JANUARY 29, 2016 – Visual and Performing Arts Professional Development Day at La Escuelita School and the Oakland Museum

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We had an action and learning packed day.  The morning session at La Escuelita included

  • Theatre and movement warm-up exercises led by Awele Makeba, storyteller, teaching artist.
  • Keynote talk by Berkeley based, internationally acclaimed visual artist Mildred Howard.  Mildred showed slides of her work and discussed her inspirations that ranged from music, literature and science to addressing social justice issues.
  • Introduction to Thinking Routines developed by Harvard’s Project Zero with a video, and practice sessions on the routines See/Think/Wonder and 3-2-1 Bridge with Ann Wettrich and Sarah Wilner
  • Introduction to Academic Discussion with OUSD experts Viet-Ly Nguyen and Michelle Perkins.  We practiced two routines (Stronger & Clearer Each Time and Ranking Musical Elements) in small groups, responding to Mildred’s piece  Volume I & II: The History of the United States with a Few Missing Parts; and a jazz music piece performed by four musicians–saxaphone, vocalist, keyboard, clarinet.


We spent the afternoon at the Oakland Museum, beginning with a welcome and overview of museum resources for educators by Amy Billstrom, Associate Director of the museum’s learning initiatives.   We then broke into small multi-disciplinary groups and explored the museum galleries with docents and practiced teacher-led academic discussions responding to selected works of art and exhibits.In the final half hour, we met in discipline alike groups for reflection on the day’s experience and learnings. Click here for a summary of the visual arts teacher group’s reflection.  ALSO click here for Jan 29 PD day linkable resources from the day, including the powerpoint.


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