Category Archives: weeklypost18

TEDU 411 – Week 14 – Blog Post

This week’s assignment was to try one of the activities from our text book related to music. We were to listen to a piece of music and then analyze it in terms of looking at it as a piece of text or literature.

A. For my song, I listened to Sing, Sing, Sing by Benny Goodman. It is a fun swing piece that incorporates a multitude of instruments found in old fashioned swing bands like trumpets, trombones, violins, bass violins, pianos, and all kinds of other instruments. It has a very upbeat, almost bouncy feel to it, and I always feel like it is supposed to evoke a feeling of being in the heat of large party. One should feel hot and sweaty, but be having fun because of all the energy and excitement around them. Through its near constant upbeat tones and roller coaster like crescendos, it keeps the listener waiting for more, excited and happy all at the same time. There are lulls in the music, and I could see how others might see a different image with those, but I feel it just adds to the over all tension, like a sort of calm before the storm. Overall, the piece is super fun to listen to and to dance to, perfect for imagining a party like environment.

B. After listening to it a second time, I also noticed at some points it seemed to almost have a menacing sound to it. It was almost like watching an old fashioned mob movie where a big fight was about to go down or something. Either way, a party or a fight, the song certainly gets one fired up and hanging on the edge of their seat to see what’s next.

TEDU 411 – Week 12 – Blog Post

When thinking about different organizations or groups that might want to collaborate with students to help broaden their perspectives with art, the first thing that comes to mind is the different colleges around the area. When I was a student, in high school, we actually helped VCU with a project to promote the importance of understanding how certain diseases affect one’s life. We made brochures for VCU which ended up being used by some of the students in one of the medical programs to promote health. I feel like something similar could be done with elementary school children as well. Students or classes or researches in any department at any school could collaborate with elementary school children and help them learn about a multitude of subjects through art based, project focused activities and learning. There is so much that can be done from working with engineering students to create something that can give back to their school or the community, to helping the theater department promote plays and literature through creating posters or flyers. So much can be done with colleges, in terms of collaboration, for any subject and any grade.

TEDU 411 – Week 11 – Blog Post

There are a multitude of different outlets in any community that can be used to engage with the arts, or anything learning related in general. A few of those resources for our community, around Richmond, include things like, the obvious, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Not only is it a completely free resource for everyone to use, it also helps to expose people and students to the arts through a historical context. Students would gain both an understanding of different arts and how they exist in our world, as well as how they relate in terms of history and what it was like during the time the various pieces were created. Along with the museum, VCU or the other colleges around could also work as a part of the community that engages students in the arts. They could do so in several ways too, either by going and actually interacting with the students, or helping to propose different projects or activities that students could take part in that relate to both the community and art. And finally, things like the culture of Richmond or Virginia and the history of the area could also work as a great topic to help bring in the arts. Students could be tasked with looking at all the murals around the city and then creating their own that relate to an SOL or something similar. There are waves upon waves of various people, places, and things in our community that can help get students actively working with the arts without them even really knowing it. By simply looking at what’s around them and really thinking about how something might be related to the ideas about art they have learned about, art would be woven into their everyday learning and lives.

TEDU 411 – Week 10 – Blog Post

This week’s assignment takes a look at assessment. And as such, we were tasked with assessing a fellow classmate/classmates’ work and consider what we would assess and why.

Below is a link to the group making activity that I have chosen for this assignment:

Making Art: Social Studies lesson

  1. How would you assess the activity if you were the teacher?

If I were the teacher for this project and product, I would most likely use it as a summative assignment that would take the place of a standard test. It not only fully covers a content area that is required for students to learn, but also incorporates aspects of creativity and critical thinking as well. I would be sure to look at the core content, social studies SOL, and whether or not that was covered. I would also consider the actual product and the process of creating the product, thinking about if it took time, thought, effort, and how it can be useful over all as a learning tool. And finally, I would consider the creativity and thoughtfulness that went into the project and whether or not it demonstrates critical thinking through an artistic medium.

2. Did the activity give enough opportunities for students to show their learning?

The activity did giver students an opportunity to show their learning. They had to think about the content in which they had learned, in this case the branches and levels of government in the United States, and apply it to a more abstract concept of matryoshka doll based, stacked boxes. It is not an activity that simply demonstrates memorization either. Students have to be able to recall information on the branches, and then expand on their thinking by considering how each interacts with one another and which boxes truly represent which levels.

How was the end product? Or was that even important to the activity?

The end product was phenomenal. It not only demonstrated creativity and an understanding of a social studies based topic, which was the focus, but also managed to incorporate math ideas into it as well with the box like shapes of the houses. And while, as I believe, the process of making the project was just as important as the actual product, the finished work can now be used as a tool for the students to recollect information and review, or even be challenged to take their thinking further and apply the boxes to other concepts within the world.

TEDU 411 – Week 9 – Blog Post

“Fish” (1964) by M.C. Escher

This week’s chapter in the book focused on integrating the arts into mathematics in the classroom, and our task was to find one piece of art, of any medium, that could be used to teach a math concept in class. I chose to use one of M.C. Escher’s paintings. This piece, a picture of fish, two different colored fish, ordered together in one large, repeating pattern, could be used to help teach several concepts in mathematics to elementary school students. For younger students in grades K-3, it could be used to help students understand the idea of patterns. With a visual like this, they could see how patterns are formed not only with colors, but with shapes as well and that some patterns may have a combination of various different aspects that all come together to make it a cohesive piece. For older students in grades 4-6, this piece could be used to talk about tessellations, which is basically using shapes repeatedly to create a pattern without any gaps. They could use this picture as a starting point to talk about tessellations and what the concept entails with a more relateable approach than simply throwing shapes mashed together at them. Everyone can see the fish and may be able to more easily recognize it is in a pattern thanks to its details than normal shapes would allow for. This Escher piece, and many of his other works, can be used in a variety of different mathematical concepts, these were just a two that really stood out to me.

TEDU 411 – Week 8 – Blog Post

This week’s chapter talked about art and science and how art can be integrated into teaching scientific topics. And while not something I remember being very prevalent in my own time as a student, I do remember a specific time in science class when art did help me to better understand the topic at hand. I had not really understood the parts and position of parts on a plant until we had the chance to sit down and draw them in my third grade class. I got to pick the plant I wanted to draw, a sunflower, but had to also be sure to label and distinguish between the different parts of the plant. For example, I had to know where the leaves were, what they looked like, and what they helped to do, which was made a lot easier after I had a chance to not only look in depth at a visual, but then turn around and draw it myself. It helped me to engage me and, therefore, helped me to better remember the parts and purpose of plants.

Art of all kinds, particularly pictures and music, have made and do make me stop and think or wonder about the world through a scientific lens. Most pictures, photographs or drawings, that depict nature and environments often leave me wondering how such places functions. I tend to think about what might live there, how it might live there, and what impact it has on the ecosystem itself. Pictures of space have a similar effect, though my thoughts tend to wonder about how we might go about building things to make space travel a feasible thing in the future. Music can also turn my mind to a scientific perspective. A lot of times when  I am listening to music, I wonder what kind of sound waves a reverberating through the room and what they would look like if I could see them. Further than that, I wonder about how they change as the song changes and whether or not there is anything within arms length that I could grasp and use to manipulate the sounds myself. These are only a few things I know I have done and do, fairly consistently, that help to rework my thinking to that of a more scientific nature.

TEDU 411 – Week 7 Blog Post

Art, of all different forms and mediums, are a language all their own because they act to convey thoughts, express feelings, explore ideas, and so much more just like spoken and written language does. Art, from drawing to dance to writing to music, aims to communicate a message or an idea to others. It is a form of expression that helps to add and build upon the concepts and things already in our world with unique, new ideas. It is presented in a form in which we may not consider to be language, there are not always written words and super easy to find purposes, but it always offers a new insight, perspective, or evidence about a person’s life and their thinking. Basically, at is like talking without words, in most cases, and allows people to show and not tell how they feel, think, and interact with the world around us.

My own preferred way to learn new language skills from an art based medium is with traditional, creative writing. I love the freedom that creative writing offers and how I can manipulate an entire world the way I want with my words. It also allows me to focus more on the new skills or ideas I need to learn about language. I can have fun with the content of the story and not worry too much about what it is, while I can then focus on the skill at hand. Say for instance the class is learning about similes and metaphors and I use my creative writing to not only practice them, but become more familiar with the overall concept of both and their differences. I have fun with what I am doing and can focus on what needs to be learned in a way that I find the most interesting. And perhaps it is just me, but I find I tend to remember and understand ideas more when I have an interest in them.

While not my personal go to, I can definitely see the concept of drama and writing dramas in a class to teach SOL based literacy skills. Not only could a teacher have students work on creating a drama, something silly or serious, about a topic in English, but then the class could present the dramas together, allowing for students to teach each other as well as incorporate movement, interest, and new perspectives of the topic into each student’s learning. For example if a second grade class is learning about ending punctuation, which can be found in English SOL 2.13 b, students could spend some time in pairs or groups creating small little scripts and dramas about the different ending punctuation arguing and deciding when each should be used. The students gain a firm grasp on the concept and can share their ideas with their peers. It really is a more fun, interactive, and engaging way to have kids learn about language arts than simply lecturing them or having them work with a worksheet.

TEDU 411 – Week 6 Blog Post

Of all the different art forms that could be used to help better understand history and historical contexts in a classroom, I believe that a combination of visual and media arts would be the most useful. With more concrete, visible arts, students would have a real insight on what a certain era in time was like. Not only could they see with photographs, paintings, murals, and etc, what places and people looked and acted like, but also what the people of that time valued as well. They could better understand the culture of the time and place by seeing the different styles and details that would be included in such visual forms of art. Students would not have to wonder what life in a specific time period looked like, and potentially be completely off, because they would have that visual to help them understand. It could even act as a basis of understanding for them to build up a background sort of knowledge which they could then make inferences and come up with ideas, using their own creativity, about what could have been happening at that time in our history. Overall, it would act as both a solid, accurate view into the time period that also could be used as a stimulant for creative ideas and thinking about that specific portion of history.

I feel as though I will most definitely rely and lean on visual arts as a way to help students better understand a subject or concept. Visuals can be two very important things in learning. They can act as extra support, reaffirming ideas that the students are learning through a different, visual based method. Or, they can act as a method of teaching to help students who are visual learners actually understand concepts that they otherwise would not. Not only that, but visual arts also helps to engage students and have them consider the subject at hand without limiting, very much at least, their ideas and own concepts about a topic. As a visual artist myself, I feel as though it plays very important role in the classroom and for learning, and so I hope to have my students experience more learning with this form of art when I am an educator.

TEDU 411 – Week 5 Blog Post

In my own opinion, I believe that creativity and intelligence go hand in hand. Both are concepts stemming from within one’s own mind, and both can be cultivated and grown. I feel as though to be intelligent, one must have creativity. They have to be able to not only know what they are working with, through basic fact and information knowledge, but how to grow their knowledge of whatever they may be tackling at the time as well. Being creative does not only apply to artists or those who partake in fine arts. It applies to everyone. One has to have creativity to be able to work around obstacles and form new, invigorating ways to gain results from their work or even come across new results entirely. To be intelligent, one must be creative, and vice versa. I feel that anyone who has the capacity to implement creativity into their thinking, is intelligent. They have the mental ability to assess a situation, any situation, and work it into something they can either succeed at or grow from.

The notions of creativity and imagination are captured in quite a few SOLs. Obviously, they are a focus in the fine arts SOLs for all grade levels, but outside of that, they are also prevalent in the core subjects as well. Both can be seen in Math and English especially. For example, in English 4.7 students actually engage with creating detailed, narrative essays. These require that students use creativity and their imagination to come up with stories, ideas, settings, and characters that may not even exist. They have to consider what to put into their text to not only create an interesting and cohesive narrative, but also one that aims to fulfill whatever goal the teacher has for them, which more often than not retains to the content they are learning in areas like social studies. In math, like with 2.6, students have to use their imagination to craft different patterns and use them to better understand how such things are formed in our world, by people or by nature. It takes creativity and one’s imagination to be able to create a pattern different to one that is presented, and even more so to then understand how it might play apart in the world around us. To be frank, I feel as though imagination and creativity are prevalent in all the SOLs, at least to some extent, and can be readily cultivated by a teacher if given the right guidance and activities.

TEDU 411 – Week 4 Blog Post

Out of the top ten terms related to educational wishes for children, including wonder, desire, passion, risk taking, confidence, complexity, engagement, practicality, ownership, and empathy, I believe that risk taking is the most important for creating productive, positive learning outcomes. Risk taking is essential to learning, as it helps to promote a student to take the initiative. They grasp a hold of their own learning and strive to further it despite the idea that they may mess up or fail. And even if they do fail, students can learn from the experience and better prepare for the future. Risk taking is a factor in education that takes a lot of courage to engage in. But that courage and insistence is what really helps to pay off as in the end, the student, even the teacher, will learn and understand more not just about content in the curriculum, but about what it means to be a hard worker and how to succeed in life. So I believe that teachers and students should take to heart the idea of risk taking and try and engage in it when they can to better their learning overall.

I would try to incorporate this list of words based on wishes for learning in a rather simple matter. I think I would gather my class around, probably on the rug, and simply start by introducing all of the terms and having a small discussion about them. I would ask students to tell me what they think about each term or phrase and how that might be something they see in their school work. Afterwards, I could wrap up the lesson by having them write a short paragraph about their favorite, most impacting phrase and have them create some sort of picture to represent their writing. These finished products could then be displayed around the room and help students to not only remember what they shared, but learn about what is important to their peers as well.