The equity piece that I became more aware of and focused on improving since mid-semester was making sure that art is accessible to everyone.  (Inspired by Letters to the Next President 2.0)  I blogged about art equity on March 14 as we “unpacked interest”, writing a letter to the school board.

The timing of this assignment coincided with my students selecting courses for the 2017-18 school year. Before students make their schedules, teachers are responsible for recommending courses.  I spend an entire class period going over the art electives that will be offered the next year which leads to the following comments; I want to take another art class, but I won’t have room in my schedule next year. Or, I am taking X amount of AP’s next year, so I need a free period to study.  

I cannot change graduation requirements, I cannot change the importance many place on AP’s, all I can do is change how I respond by making sure that the work that I do with my students is visible in the halls of the school and beyond through connections with the community. And that’s when I began to put equity into action- Art is for everyone!  The Keith Haring Project, Britto project, Earth Day wind-bells, etc.

The 10 self/world connection activity made me think about my teaching practices when it comes to CHOICE!  Choice has been something that I struggle with, so after I vlogged about it, I sought information and other points of view about a new trend in Art education called TAB- Teaching for Artistic Behaviors.  I follow a group of Art educators called, The Art of Education through social media (twitter and Facebook) I am an active participant in this group.  Since ED677, thinking about equity and connected learning, I have decided to give TAB a try next year.  I just spoke with my colleague about my plans to teach our intro class called, Art Studio 1, through centers.  This is going to require a complete restructure of my classroom (I spoke with the custodian yesterday to request peg boards and shelving, no turning back now) and a lot of prep work for me this summer as I plan to create QR codes in each center with links to resources.  I am finally ready to try this because I realize that students need more choice to make connections to things that they are passionate about. And this choice may actually help bring up enrollment numbers. I will also have my first student teacher next year, she will be instrumental to the success of TAB, I’m sure it will be important to have another teacher in the room to manage and maintain the classroom space.  I also plan to teach her all I have learned this year about equity and connected learning; she is excited to begin her career, a perfect candidate to mentor through connected learning principles.

I wish that I had written direct feedback to my peers’ blog entries directly to them in the comment section.  (I really appreciated it when I received feedback here.)  Often after reading peer entries, I was inspired by what I read to do something new.  I responded to many of them in my blog, but I am not sure if it was read by them, or if what I wrote came across the way I hoped.  I found reading everyone’s blogs to be reaffirming, reading them confirms what I know to be true; teachers are amazingly dedicated and willing to do whatever it takes to help their students be successful.  The passion everyone has for their content area was also evident.  I wish that I did not miss the last two Bluejeans meets because, although it’s an awkward thing to see yourself on screen, it was through these meets that I felt most connected to my classmates.

When I decided to re-enroll at Arcadia this spring, I did so to complete my masters to make a lane change. Knowing that we’d like to buy a new house, I need to earn my full salary potential, two classes is all that has stood between me and a raise (for 14 years!).  I thought I’d be taking an art class of some kind, but the one that I signed up for did not run due to low enrollment (ironic how that even happens at the college level).  Like so many other times in my life, the path I thought I would take, took a turn for the better.  This course was exactly what I needed, it refreshed my take on what’s happening in my district and enlightened me with ways that I can adapt to weather this storm of program cuts.  I am going to keep connecting art to EVERYTHING!  I am going to constantly check my practices to make sure that I am doing what’s best for my students.  #ArtMatters

Thanks for a great class, I’m glad that we’ve connected on Twitter, there you will find me continuing this work.  Peace out on this blogging stuff though 😉

Designing for Equity Continues…a Final Reflection

I must say day after day and week after week I am continually amazed by my peers and what they come up with! Last Thursday we had our final meet up for class and we got to share our final “makes” for the semester. While everyone had amazing ideas, I think what stuck with me the most was the fact that everyone went in so many different directions with the project. I am usually such a “rule follower” and I always want to know exactly what is expected of me. However with this final assignment, I thought it was so neat that it was open-ended because we got so many interesting ideas out of the same assignment!

I think there were so many projects that were exciting to me. I loved Samantha K’s idea of creating a “Multi-Cultural Night” at her school. We do something very similar at my own elementary school and it is amazing to see how much learning and connecting goes on at an event like that. I think it is super ambitious and impressive that Samantha wants to take this event up on her own, and I love that she is seeking out community members and students to help her with the project. I think it takes a very dedicated and innovative individual to evoke change in their school community and I think Samantha is well on her way to doing that! Awesome job!

I also loved Jamie’s weebly website about tackling food insecurities. I have often felt as a teacher, fairly helpless when it comes to helping students who are facing food insecurity. Sure I can provide them a snack in class, but what about helping the child after they leave my classroom? I think Jamie’s idea of creating a resource for teachers and community members to access for information about this topic is extremely powerful. This type of resource allows teachers to feel they have somewhere to turn for help in helping their students. I just love how creative the idea was, and how it came out of a need that Jamie saw in the community. Again, it is just so interesting and amazing how vastly different, yet how exciting still, all the projects I saw presented were. We really each followed our passions and created amazing things!

The major question that this whole project and presentation raised for me was “how do we continue this work together?” I am so fascinated and in awe of so many of my classmates and what they are doing in their communities. I know we all have a shared purpose in this course we are taking, but beyond this course, how can we stay connected to one another? I think it would be such a shame to lose touch with so many creative teachers and individuals! I wonder if we will continue to update our blogs and share with each other what we are doing in our own communities. Perhaps Arcadia can continue to create a link between us that will bond us together in such a way that we continue to make connections and utilize each other as resources in our paths moving forward.

I am very grateful for this course in that it has opened my eyes to new ways of thinking about connecting to one another and to the community and creating equity within the community.  Before taking this course I thought mostly about my classroom, about the students sitting directly in front of me and how I could best help them. I think this course has taught me to think outside of just my four walls and look beyond just the students in front of me. Whether it is a small move, or something larger, I think I have learned that I am capable of seeing the larger picture, and helping to take part in adapting that larger picture to be more equitable. Before this course, “connected learning” and “equity” seemed so far out of reach, a lofty idea that sounded good in theory, but difficult in practice. However, I think now I am at least feeling more confident in my abilities and I am more able to realize that any move, big or small, towards connecting others and building equity, is important. It is simply being willing to take that first step that is at the heart of it all.

Final Self-Assessment

Listed below are the performance expectations for ED677 as well as my reflections on the provided self-assessment questions.

Performance Expectations:

  • Exploring the key principles of Connected Learning, with specific attention to issues of equity, as demonstrated through weekly making, reflecting and sharing.
  • Contributing regularly to our class discussions.
  • Engaging with others (another community, students, colleagues, etc.) outside this course each week and sharing that work with us.
  • Documenting and reflecting on your journey in support of your own assessment and reflection.
  • Create and share something to support your own work as well as others in thinking about connecting learning in equitable ways beyond the life of this course.

Self-Assessment Q&A:

1. How well do you feel you met these expectations this semester?

  • I think that I did a nice job of meeting the expectations for this semester. First, I completed all weekly makes, finds, and reflections as evidenced through my class blog. Within my blog postings, I regularly made connections between my own experiences/finds/makes and the weekly connected learning themes.
  • I contributed to our class discussions through my participation in text and video annotations as well as through my attendance in all of our group hangouts.
  • I often made connections to my work with students and colleagues in my blog postings. In fact, I connected a lot of the key principles in this course to my specific work as a sixth grade math teacher. In addition, through my “Find Fives,” I learned about and explored a variety of new resources and online connections/communities that relate to the goals of this course.
  • Furthermore, I think that all of my blog posts (including my final make) genuinely reflect my journey of understanding connected learning as well as how it relates to equity. My blog postings frequently link back to older postings that I have made, demonstrating that my reflections have been consistently building off of each other.
  • Finally, my final make of the end of year comic book project that I intend to carry out with my students addresses my specific semester inquiry questions. This work was shared with my peers who provided valuable feedback, and we reflected together on the implications for equity regarding connected learning.

2. Where do you think you could have improved?

  • I think that I could have improved in terms of reaching out more to my classmates and speaking up more in our group hangouts. It was not until our shared Google Slides presentation and our final group hangout, where we shared our final makes, that I felt the most comfortable sharing my thoughts directly with my classmates. I think that by this point in the semester I also felt much more confident in my understanding of the connected learning principles and how they relate to each other and thus felt more comfortable speaking my mind. Also, in our last group hangout, when I saw how open, inviting, and passionate that everyone (including myself) was in talking about their own projects as well as in providing each other with feedback, it made me wish that I had shared out more in our previous gatherings!

3. How do your successes and reflections on improvement inform your connected learning moving forward?

  • My reflections on improvement are guiding me in a direction of seeking out additional networks of teachers with whom I can share and receive ideas. Our final group gathering was a small move for me towards this idea of becoming a more openly networked educator. I think that one of my biggest personal takeaways from this course is that there is so much to be gained from sharing my work with others and from reaching out to others in order to dive into their work as well.
  • My success with my blog postings and reflections has led me to being a more reflective educator overall–in fact, I now see many of my actions through the lens of “pose/wobble/flow.” I also plan to continue to utilize as well as seek out online resources and networks whose professional goals are in alignment with mine as a result of my work this semester in exploring new connections.

4. What else do you want me to consider when assessing your performance and participation over the past semester?

  • I think that I tended to make my weekly postings before the majority of my classmates, so this made it challenging to incorporate their work for the week into my written reflections outside of Find Five Fridays.
  • This course was my first time keeping a blog so consistently. I have done postings here and there for other courses, but this is by far the most in depth I have gone with one. I feel like I have created something of which I am truly proud—and through my journey in exploring connected learning, I recognize that the production-centered, interest-driven, and openly-networked aspects of creating my blog have largely contributed to the pride that I feel for it. This has all caused me to really rethink the way I engage my students in the classroom. Instead of thinking about how I need to teach them x, y, and z, I am now more interested in thinking about how they can create something that demonstrates their knowledge and understanding of x, y, and z.

-Jen H.

Final Monday! Sharing Our Makes and Self-Assessments

Hello all. Wonderful to talk to many of you about your final makes last week. The work is inspiring!  (For those who couldn’t make it, I will post the archives in our Canvas site so you can find them easily).

This is our final week and final makes and self-assessments due to me anytime this week.  Please share your make on your blog, if possible, and describe what connected learning principles inform your work as well as in what ways your make supports equity.  You can email me your assessment if you don’t want to share that publicly.

Details about both are re-posted below.

Our Final Makes

Final “makes” should be something that you design that supports you in building towards equity and connected learning beyond this course. What you make can relate to your work with learners and/or in your professional learning.

Go back to your inquiry question/s and see where that leads you. Note that do you do not have to start from scratch— you can continue, remix, remediate something you or your classmates have already started in this class (or in any other). That said, I’d like you to take whatever you do to its next level (i.e. a new audience or purpose) and consider it as something you are creating that can help make connected learning and equity a reality in the world (in big or small ways).

When you share your final make, reflect on and describe what connected learning principles inform your work as well as in what ways your make supports equity.

And as per a request, here are some examples of final makes from ED677ers in the past.

Our Self-Assessments

Note that these are the same assessment questions we stopped to work on mid-semester so please refer back to your notes then and also review your blog and all of the work you’ve done this semester to support this process.

Performance expectations for this course have included:

  • Exploring the key principles of Connected Learning, with specific attention to issues of equity, as demonstrated through weekly making, reflecting and sharing.
  • Contributing regularly to our class discussions.
  • Engaging with others (another community, students, colleagues, etc.) outside this course each week and sharing that work with us.
  • Documenting and reflecting on your journey in support of your own assessment and reflection.
  • Create and share something to support your own work as well as others in thinking about connecting learning in equitable ways beyond the life of this course.

Here are the self-assessment questions:

  • How well do you feel you met these expectations this semester?
  • Where do you think you could have improved?
  • How do your successes and reflections on improvement inform your connected learning moving forward?
  • What else do you want me to consider when assessing your performance and participation over the past semester?

Happy sharing in the week ahead!

In Connected Learning Solidarity,


The Power of Reflection

Reflection has always played an important role in my life, in regards to education and just life. This past week has allowed me to grow as a graduate student and as a teacher. I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and allowed others to read and analyze my work. I created and implemented assignments that in the past I would not have done. I read about the great things that educators are doing in their classrooms, which has been inspiring.

At the end of last week I had to the opportunity to listen to my classmates present a final “make.” Throughout the semester I have read their blog posts and have learned to understand them. And it was a new way of getting to know someone. In the past most of my interactions with classmates has been face to face. But here, through reading about their experiences and their thoughts and ideas about equity in the classroom has introduced me to a whole new way of getting to know someone. At times it was a struggle for me to just read on. There were times that I was desperate for real-life conversation. But what does real-life conversation mean anyway in 21st century-learning? I have discovered that while I sometimes need the face to face dialogue, blogging is absolutely real-life communication and it is something that I think I should evolve with.

It was exciting and nerve-racking presenting my final make and listening to other’s ideas. I wanted to say so much more. But time affected me, big time! Everyone provided us with some really fantastic ideas that will create equity in education. We all share a goal and that goal is to create what is best for our students. And we are all doing just that! I noticed passion behind their ideas. I noticed dedication. All of their small moves throughout the semester were evident in their planning. I am one that is always eager to hear feedback. This feature during our online meeting was greatly appreciated it! I learned that there are other districts currently implementing my idea of a multicultural event. It was helpful to hear about what they are doing and how I can improve my idea. It was also really important for me to hear from another teacher, Tracey, an art teacher. She expressed that she loves being asked to help with events like this. Considering I am hoping to create cohort groups, made up of students, staff, families and community members, this information is useful.

My small moves, some bigger than others, have helped me see the change I want to bring into my classroom. Seeking equity in connected learning and education has been inspiring, motivating and eye-opening. I have been pushed to try new things. I have seen some successes and some failures. The six principles of connected learning make achieving equity in the classroom manageable and authentic.  One particular principle that stays with me is peer-supported. I want my students to rely heavily on one other for support and collaboration. I want them to learn from each other, just like I have learned this semester from my classmates.

Thank you #ED677 for making this making experience enjoyable, educational and connective!

Art Matters: My Final Make

My Spark Page (final make) can be found here.

How did I get here…

I think it was when I created a video in response to our assignment 10 questions I have about designing for connected learning.  The video is too large to share on Edublogs free version, it’s too large to upload onto Vimeo… it is now on my Google drive, but I have no idea if anyone can see it…. The jist of the video is me wondering if Connected Learning is too liberal of a concept.  Will connected learning be another educational buzz word that sticks around for a few years only to be replaced by something else?  The way I see it, Connected Learning groups together the best of prior educational buzz words like differentiated instruction and project-based learning.  So with that in mind, I began to focus on how I could use ART as a vehicle of inspiration, action, change to benefit not only those participating but everyone within our school community

Truth is, I have been doing this in small ways; connecting with like minded teachers like our librarian and now my good friend Michelle.  Michelle and I began working at the high school the same year, we both came from the elementary level, so collaboration was something that we were both used to.  She and I instantly connected when she told me to feel free to use the display cases in the library foyer (it’s a great spot to feature my students’ work!)  We constantly find ways to collaborate, for example, her student book club read I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson and I taught them how to make sculptures like a character in the book.  Our first One Book One School was one big endangered species collaboration and this fall we invited elementary students to the high school; she read them “spooky” stories and art club members taught them how to create Ed Emberly’s “haunted house”.   All great work, however, those examples of collaboration only reached a small amount of students. 

Empty Bowls is all about connecting Art with a social cause, ending hunger.  This year (admittedly before ED677) making handcrafted bowls not only connected students and teachers within our school community, but for the first year ever, we went beyond.  Empty bowls became a PTO MLK Day of Service activity and reached people who have never been involved before, making our dinner a super success.  This year, besides a local bakery, the Franklin Fountain heard about our dinner and contacted us about donating ice-cream- that was HUGE! 

Then I got bigger with my ideas… The Keith Haring Project.  I involved the TV studio (more students), they recorded the process of my students making art in the hallways- 1980 Keith Haring subway drawing style.  Students in the halls saw the creation process first hand and everyone in the school watched the video on the morning announcements.  Now Art making was reaching a larger audience and making bigger connections! 

The Earth Day opportunity came from Michelle again.  Her children go to Wayne Elementary School, she’s on the PTO and they were looking for creative ideas for an Earth Day activity.  I am thrilled she came to me. Michelle knows that not only do I have ideas, I seek opportunities to make creative connections. 

I was feeling great about all of my accomplishments this year, and then we got our course enrollment numbers.  Enrollment is down, again.  Why? How can I get that to change? 

My Spark Page (final make) is my year in review of why Art Matters.  I tweeted it.  I shared it with ED677.  I shared it with my grad school volunteer.  What I really need to do is share it with my principle, my curriculum supervisor, probably even our new Superintendent, because I need to keep reminding people that Art Matters.  Art matters just as much as STEM and just as much as AP courses. 

I took ED877’s gathering advice, to connect with my colleagues.  I know that I’ve been doing so, but hearing from you- to keep reaching out, got me thinking.  What I realized is that I’ve been connecting with like minded colleagues, the ones who know me because they appreciate the art on display in the hallways.  How can I connect with EVERYONE?  How can I get everyone in the building to see the impact Art has on their students; the mathematicians, historians or philosophers?  Some students are known for their athletic accomplishments besides academic, I want them known for their artwork as well.  I’d like to work with a chemistry teacher to create a glaze that can be used in the Intro to Ceramics class- that’d be an awesome connection.  I’d like to work with a French teacher to create art like an impressionist.  I’ve got a ton of ideas and can offer many meaningful ways to connect disciplines, but how can I get those teachers on board?  My course final- students’ digital portfolio presentations!

The final in all of my courses is a digital portfolio presentation.  Students can choose an app of their choice to create a digital portfolio; however, Keynote and Spark Page are the only two that have been used so far.  The last slide of the portfolio has always been a photo of the artwork that the student was most proud of and an explanation as to why.  Seemed logical; however, after taking this course and the advice of ED677, the last slide is going to be different this year.  This year, students will be required to share their digital portfolio with a teacher that they trust.  Students will be required to photograph the teacher while they are looking at his/her digital portfolio, and teachers will be asked to write a comment to the student about the work.  The photo and comment will become the last slide and hopefully it open the door to inter-disciplinary collaborations, connecting more students to art!

It seems only fair that if I am going to require my students to share their digital portfolio, that I should share my final make.  Looks like I have some emails to send… 



Final Make That Serves as an Introduction

As my final project for my ED677 Connected Learning class I created a survey that I will ask my new students to take at the beginning of each school year.

“Teacher” is not yet my official occupation.  I will finish my Masters in Education in July of this year, but my wife and I are moving to Texas soon after. This move is an exciting change for both of us, but it will preclude me from doing the full semester of student teaching required to complete my secondary math certification.  I recently finished my stage 3 fieldwork placement, which consisted of spending 10 full days shadowing, assisting, and even teaching two lessons for a local math teacher.  These choices and experiences inspired my final make.

The survey I created is intended for high school students, as the math classes I was a part of were composed of 10th, 11th, and 12th graders.  I was thinking about shared purpose and equity, and I decided to further explore the question I highlighted during our “Practitioner Knowledge and Networked Inquiry” week:

How do I encourage students who have mastery of a topic to spend time helping out those who are struggling?

This is a question of motivation and engagement, which are two topics I believe I will spend the rest of my teaching career deciphering.  The goal of my survey is to get my students thinking about their classroom as a community.  I don’t want them to think that they cannot work independently, but I  want them to support each other in their learning inquiries.  That is shared purpose to me.  I want them to understand that it is okay to make mistakes and that we can learn something by making them.  I want them to not be ashamed to ask for help when they might need it, even if they are not asking me directly.  This is my definition of peer-supported learning.  Because of this, many of the survey questions deal with delineations between individual  and group achievement.

I do not wish to be the only source of knowledge in the classroom.  I prefer to be thought of as “the guide alongside” rather than “the sage upon the stage”. (Thank you, Ned Wolff, for those titles!)  Academically oriented learning will necessitate my learners figuring out how to arrive at solutions without my direct aid.  The survey questions that mention technology were brought up because I want my students to learn that it is okay to seek out knowledge elsewhere.  Their prime sources other than myself and their classmates will most likely be online ones.  When information can be retrieved from multiple sources it creates an openly-networked environment.

Students that ask questions are proving to me that they are listening to and thinking about what they are learning.  Questions will be encouraged and also highlighted as learning moments.  When these questions create a dialogue among learners it shows that their thoughts and learning are being interest-driven.   One of the survey topics I touch upon is that of questions as learning tools and gateways to intelligent discussion.  My ultimate goal will be to inspire my learners to want to know more.

As their teacher I will want all of my students to learn, succeed, and be able to supply creative solutions to problems.  Part of the value of math knowledge is being able to draw upon that knowledge as a tool for problem solving.  In this way the abstract methods that they learn for completing math exercises can be refocused towards production-centered learning.  This production-centered learning can take the form of robotics competitions, bridge-building contests, or even simply determining the costs associated with a project.  Real-life applications will be mentioned and reinforced, transforming the abstract into the concrete.

These are all lofty goals, so after creating my survey I had to ask myself, “Did I accomplish what I set out to do?”  I believe so.  My purpose for having my new learners complete the survey is to not only get a feel for their learning styles but also to encourage thinking about the other students in the classroom.  I want them to be aware that I want them all to succeed, not just those who are the easiest to teach.  Those students who already do well in class might consider helping others when they experience a sense of camaraderie or shared purpose in doing so.  I didn’t want anyone to feel judged by his or her result, so I did my best to label the 3 resulting groupings as merely different from each other (as opposed to one being better than another).  To this end I will also provide my learners with a link to the survey results, which can be found here.  Seeing how their answers compare to their classmates’ answers might inspire conversations or even reconsideration of personal attitudes.  Overall I am please with my creation, and I intended to use it as a open door to discussions with my students about the particulars of Connected Learning.

Thanks for reading,

Eric L

Approaching the end of the semester…

As we are winding down over here in ED677, I are having the chance to look at the beautiful work being done by my classmates.  Jamie is working on a website about food insecurity called Where’s the Food?  She has inspired me with her lovely site as it reinforces the fact that, before anything else, safety and comfort must be addressed.  If a child’s stomach aches from hunger, we cannot expect to teach him or her higher mathematics or reasoning skills.

Adding onto Jamie’s site, Alan had a great idea that I would love to use in my own classroom one day–building food into the lesson and letting the students eat their “work” afterwards.

Samantha K. is working on a Multicultural Night for her school to make students more aware of the wonderful differences amongst themselves, and what they each can add to the lives of the rest.  I love this project because, ideally, it focuses on how our differences make us all awesome!

Tracey struck a special chord with me with her presentation.  Despite working for an affluent school district, as an art teacher she is worried about her teaching longevity.  She has a gorgeous website of work she has done with students here.  As a theatre practitioner, I especially connected to Tracey.  The arts–no matter if it is sculpting or painting or dancing or acting–are amazingly powerful in a way that must be experienced to be explained.  The fact that so many art programs (and theatre, music, et cetera) are being cut is thoroughly heartbreaking.  I was inspired by the comments other teachers offered to Tracey, though.  Their opinion was that she should reach out to the STEM teachers and find ways to integrate art into their curriculum.  To make herself indispensable.  I instantly made a note of this and filed it away for myself, as there is no reason I cannot do the exact same thing with theatre.

As teachers, especially of any kind of art, we need to connect and collaborate.  If that didn’t come full circle I don’t know what did.

And finally, here is the link for our collective “what we learned” google slide presentation….


image credit:

Sharing Gathering Thoughts

Clicking on the wrong Blue Jeans link Thursday night connected Samantha, Jamie, Tosch and I for a bit until we realized that we weren’t being joined by everyone else.  As convenient as it was to take an online class verses driving to Arcadia, I realized Thursday night that I  missed the traditional classroom atmosphere and the opportunity to get to know a few of my classmates beyond the course.  In 2015, I attended Moore College of Art’s, Teacher Summer Institute.  It was an amazing week of collaboration with art teachers from all over, not just the Philly area.  We stayed on campus for the whole week, learning from one another, making and discussing art.  Through social media I still keep in touch with 3 women that I met that week; I’ve asked for advice about National Art Honor Society, I’ve cheered one of them on as she accepted a position at the same school that I student taught, and I’ve given advice to one of them as to why an entire batch of tiles had cracks.  We connected that week and continue to, often.  If any of my ED677 classmates want to make an art connection or need artistic advice, contact me!  I am always game. 


Once I joined in the correct discussion, I realized how passionate everyone is about their work.  Not that passion did not come across in weekly blogs, but the blog was an assignment.  Hearing about everyone’s final make went beyond an assignment, it’s practical- it gets the doing, not just talking about it. 

When I listened to Jamie’s make, “Where’s the food source” I totally related due to an experience I had with a student who benefitted from the backpack program.  I am going to talk with our guidance counselors, who I assume are in charge of collecting the food to  fill the backpacks, about including them in receiving some of the proceeds of our annual Empty Bowls dinner.  Typically these proceeds go to the local food bank, because of Jamie, I realize that our Empty Bowls dinner can give back to people within my school.  I never would have thought of that!

I appreciated hearing Samantha’s passion for theater, I believe that all of us in the arts feel that way, and I hope that she will find a teaching position that allows her to teach both English and theater. 

banksy I wonder how Alan finds the time to create so much artwork.  I tend to put off making art until summer vacation; I hope that life slows down soon and that I’ll be able to consistently do more.  Alan, keep drawing, your images are powerful and inspiring.  I’m sorry that I missed hearing your share directly from you, I did hear you mention memes, and would imagine that Banksy is more your style…

I have many friends in the foreign language dept. at my school.  After hearing Samantha K. speak about the multicultural night, I realize that I definitely need to make it a point to connect the Spanish teachers.  We could start with one like minded project, the Day of the Dead; I’d even like to take their trip to Spain some time! 

I’m going to try to NOT hold a grudge about STEM nights… I do wish that the A would be included, everywhere.  Art has been inclusive to science, FOREVER!  How do you think photography was invented!  As a clay artist, I know more chemistry than most people (okay, not chemists) since I had to make my own clay bodies and glazes from raw materials in college. I loved that!!!!  I tell my students all the time that, Art and Science and Art and Math are good friends. 


Final Makes & Annotations

Hello all!

Cannot believe this is my final post of the semester – or as a student!  I wanted to thank all of my classmates for being so open and receptive to my final “make” presentation.  For those of you who did not join, I spoke about a resource guide I created for educators who were looking to help battle food insecurity in their school.  Although it was not the typical way to connect what we’ve learned in connected learning, I think connected learning is the perfect platform to share resources and ideas for how to help our students.  This is a bit of a passion project of mine and I really thank my classmates for their fantastic feedback and willingness to hear me blab on about something I’m so passionate about.  In essence I truly believe we as educators cannot talk about equitable educational practices until we get our children the basic things they need.  This takes me back to one of my first blogs featuring the equal v. equitable comics.  We need to stop focusing on providing each child with the same – and start focusing on providing children with what they individually need to succeed.  For some, that’s more reading time – for others, it’s food or other human necessities.

This week I also used annotations while reading “Storytelling and Surveillance: The Precarious Public of American Muslim Youth”.  This chapter was particularly interesting for me.  I’ve done a lot of reading in regards to youth activism, but generally pertaining to Black Youth, Women’s Empowerment, or even equitable education.  I noted in my annotation that I find it particularly interesting that Black males have the same difficulties, however, suspicious parties generally keep their distance – it’s interesting that suspicious parties, even without any grounds authorize surveillance methods or stop & frisks.

In general…I actually have really come to enjoy this annotation feature!  I think I’ll keep it on my computer.  I often have trouble dissecting long articles and so often reading other peoples comments and annotations helps to offer me context clues or different ways of understanding.  I wish I knew about this as an undergrad or earlier in my master’s program.  It has truly been a pleasure reading each of my classmates blogs on Sunday’s.  It has become such a part of my week.  I have most enjoyed the opportunity to learn about you all and the opportunity to connect!

– Jamie