Saturday, November 28, 2009

National Reading Conference

The conference starts next week in Albuquerque NM.
Two presentations target the intersection of literacy and the Arts both with book illustrators:

The following presentation is scheduled on Saturday, 12/05/2009, from 08:30 AM - 10:00 AM in Santo Domingo.
Voice and Visions of Yuyi Morales: Award winning illustrator discusses her art
Jesse S Gainer, Texas State University - San Marcos
Mary Esther Huerta, Texas State University - San Marcos

This multimodal and interactive session will include an ethnographic interview of Yuyi Morales, an award-winning children’s literature illustrator, providing a “lived-through experience” for session attendees to explore the intersections of art, culture, history, and politics as manifested in her art. This session will feature the illustrator talking about her art while showing it. Facilitators will foreground connections relating to research methodology and data analysis in regard to scholarship pertaining to artwork in multicultural children’s literature.

The following presentation is scheduled on Wednesday, 12/02/2009, from 08:30 AM - 10:00 AM in Taos.
Exploring the intersections of culture and art in the work of one award-winning children's books illustrator

Friday, November 20, 2009

Taking the Long Way Home

Our California second grade team has hit a snag recently. The project they were doing was taking too long- disrupting the normal pace and plan of the second grade classroom. They have in consultation with us (meaning those who do not carry the burden) about choosing to finish a long meaningful project instead of doing one more arts integration cycle.
At the same time a colleague of mine came back from watching a second grade classroom. She, who usually spends time in secondary classroom, reflected that the pace moving from one activity to the next was breath taking - and that she as a student would probably fail to thrive in that room because there was no time to think and act with deliberation. Although I do quick pacing as efficient for teaching some things (phonics for example). I did agree with her that curriculum and administration are often pushing teachers to divide their days into small chunks. The small chunks are not connected and so students do not connect them either and are thus left with many fragments of knowledge and procedures that are not well organized- and thus are quickly lost.
When we integrate the arts and ask ourselves and our teacher researchers to think in longer cycles we are disrupting this cycle. We are proud to be the disruptors....

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Summer Plans

I spent the last few weeks trying to make sure we have three different workshops this summer at UNL. All three address integration in different ways.
The first is our literacy and arts integration class. It is the third time we are teaching this class and I am ecstatic that we have been able to sustain this effort and find a niche with new and experienced teachers. That mix has actually been great for everyone's professional development including mine. The experienced Monique Poldberg will be leading this class- one of the most reflective teachers I have ever had the pleasure of working with.
The second piece will be taught for the first time this summer at UNL. It is a week dedicated to Readers' Theatre. The week focuses on scripting in the curriculum and in depth understanding of how Reads' Theatre can be integrated into everyday curriculum and not just as an add on. For me drama is the easiest integration into the language arts and social studies curriculum- almost a gimme. The link is so natural that there is no wonder that despite partial evidence teachers find it useful. The class will be taught by Barbara Egbert- who is internationally trained and brings a broad understanding and classroom experience to the workshop.
Finally, a workshop about technology integration, led by Lance Poldberg closes the line. Lance approaches technology as an opportunity to engage students in making curriculum based media-integrated learning artifacts. It is an opportunity for elementary and middle school teachers to develop and experiment with technology- with an emphasis on meaning making and well fun.
As the plans take shape I will probably add detail...