The Regional Arts Education Day schedule has two concurrent session slots, one in the morning – 10:45-12:00 – and one in the afternoon – 1:45-3:00.
During registration, participants will be asked to rank their interest in available sessions during each time slot. Information for each session is below.
Theatre of the Oppressed for Educators **double session – will span both morning and afternoon time slots**
Michelle King (The Learning Instigator), Beth Sondel (University of Pittsburgh), Dr. Liz Foster-Shaner (Pittsburgh Cultural Trust)
In this workshop, participants will learn about Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed (TO) practice. We will use interactive exercises from TO to consider our own roles as educators in perpetuating or challenging systems of oppression in our classrooms, while also recognizing the ways in which these systems are also oppressive to us as educators. In addition to an increased awareness of how oppression works in education systems, participants will take away tangible techniques from TO to use with their students to encourage and develop critical thinking, creative problem-solving, and empowering learning spaces.
Morning sessions (10:45-12:00)
Synths and Winds
CJ Rhen (Peters Township High School)
Presently, music is being divided into cultures that do not promote appreciation for the whole art itself. With the music I write and my interest to work with motivated individuals, I want to invite people who play anything from sax to modular synths to write music in groups and pursue common musical endeavors through different musical backgrounds. Participants will take away an experience in teamwork and development of unique musical ideas. They will be able to look at what they created, want to create more, and be able to create with others.
Using Technology and Social Media for Professional Inspiration and Growth
Shelby James (Pittsburgh Public Schools)
I will share out the information and ideas I have learned from taking an art education workshop on a website called deepspacesparkle.com. I will also share about my experience of being a first-year/going-into-second-year teacher and how using technology and social media to find and use resources has helped me grow and survive as a new teacher. Participants will leave with new resources for inspiration and information as well as some new processes for teaching art and lesson plan ideas.
Culturally Responsive Pedagogy and Its Role in Arts Education
Aubrey Ploesch, Nina Unitas, Dr. Eva Allen (Pittsburgh Public Schools)
During this session, presenters will share definitions, principles and practice of culturally responsive pedagogy. Direct connections between culturally responsive pedagogy and arts education will be made through collaborative time with colleagues. Strategies for improving cultural relevance will be shared, and participants will be introduced to research around culturally responsive pedagogy and arts education.
Botanical Silk Scarves: Slow Fashion with Plant Dyes
Ceci Ebitz, Talon Smith (Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild)
Bundle dyeing is the process of creating botanical prints with plant material on natural fabric that has been treated with a mordant. Participants will create naturally dyed silk scarves using plants sourced from the Drew Mathieson Center, an educational greenhouse affiliate of Manchester Bidwell, Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild’s parent organization. Each participant creates a composition of plant material on a flat scarf, rolls and secures the scarf into a bundle, then steams the scarf over a pot of boiling water. The result is a colorfast, one-of-a-kind accessory. Through the intuitive process of bundle dyeing, participants engage in a textile application that is accessible to a broad spectrum of age and ability, while sparking a dialogue about sustainability and artistry in clothing production during the age of “fast fashion.” This process combines chemistry and environmentalism with textile design. In the studio at Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild, we have used natural dyeing to bridge students’ awareness of their natural environment and urban agriculture with art.
Around the World with Marian Anderson: The Power and Magic of Multicultural Storytelling
Sydelle Pearl (independent artist)
As a storyteller at two Boston schools with high African-American populations, Sydelle was profoundly affected by a first-grade teacher’s words: “these children need stories about African-Americans.” In this workshop, Sydelle will demonstrate how she incorporated the life story of Marian Anderson—famous African-American singer and worldwide traveler—into her sessions with children. Sydelle’s interdisciplinary storytelling model includes multicultural folktales, geography, history, writing, art, movement, singing, and books in other languages. Sydelle will describe how she has continued to incorporate this teaching model into her work as an author and storyteller in Pittsburgh schools.
Technology and Art in Our Swimming Programs
Mark Rauterkus (The Pittsburgh Project)
We’ve been using digital badges and blended learning at the swimming pool—flipping the learning with the kids with stroke and water safety insights delivered via Android Tablets. However, in the pool we get to work on teamwork and sportsmanship with games of SKWIM, a disk-based game that engages students and adult leaders. There is also an art component, so join us to see how all of these disciplines weave together!
Increase Reading Comprehension, Fluency, and Fun with Pop Rocks and Punctuation
Wayne Brinda (Prime Stage Theatre)
Participants will engage in a series of research-based active reading strategies that increase students’ comprehension, fluency, prosody, and fun with literature, articles, and content area texts.
Drawing to Notice: A Method for Deepening Perspective
Melissa Butler (Children’s Innovation Project)
This session will explore observational drawing as a method to support dispositions and approach for slowing down to notice, wonder and appreciate perspectives of others. Participants will engage in drawing and conversation from drawings. Learning examples from children will be shared and participants will have time to reflect on application to their own context(s). Relevant for educators of all grade levels.
Feeling Our Way Through: Welcoming and Working with Emotions in the Classroom
Hannah du Plessis (Carnegie Mellon University)
All too often, feelings and emotions are not welcome in classrooms: unexpressed, they can keep students from being present; expressed wildly, they can cause harm. How can we as teachers help students to feel and express their emotions? The world of theatre and mindfulness have taught me some things I’ve been using in my classroom. Through participating in activities and conversation, we will explore different techniques to help students be more embodied and become more able to express their feelings in a generative way.
Mary Collins (Propel Schools)
Learn how to carve stone soap stone and learn all parts of this fascinating ancient medium. You will learn the whole process of stone carving from chisels to the files and finishing process. Students are encouraged and helped to produce the type of work that interests them. Class discussion and demonstration accompany time spent working and connecting with the stone. No previous experience required; come participate in the magical medium of stone sculpture!
Afternoon sessions (1:45-3:00)
Apps for Educators: New Tools for Creativity and Reflection
Melissa Unger (South Fayette School District)
A brief overview and demonstration of 15 apps, websites, and chrome extensions that Arts educators can use with their students. All tools will relate to the themes of Creativity and Reflection. Participants will have access to slides, and will be free to try out the links and apps throughout the presentation. Participants will leave with increased knowledge of 15 new technology tools that they can use with their students and ways to quickly integrate these tools into their classrooms in the following year.
Deep Thinking and Reflecting
Aubrey Ploesch, Nina Unitas (Pittsburgh Public Schools)
Participants will be afforded the time to slow down to read and reflect, something that we rarely have time to do. Attendees will participate in meaningful discussion while facilitators model making thinking visible during structured discussion. This experience will be transferrable to classroom practice and resources will be shared for future use.
Batik: An Act of RESISTance
Lisa Leibering, Saihou Njie (Pittsburgh Cultural Trust)
This session will explore how the art of batik can be employed in a larger project based learning lesson focused on social activism. Participants will consider how through working with a “resist”, they can communicate an act of resistance. Participants will have a hands-on experience with the basics of batik and create works of art using water color paper, sharpie markers, bleeding art tissue, and resist.
Jayne Sweet (South Allegheny School District)
Use Hummingbird Robotics to bring a student’s rendition of an Artist’s masterpiece in 3D with movement. I will share information on integrating robotics with art and how students develop soft skills—communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity. I will discuss student reflection and how to have a one-day art gallery displaying the student’s work.
“What’s Hot?” and Why It Matters: An Arts Teacher’s Creative Response to the Influence of Broader Educational Trends
Dr. Marilyn J. Narey (Narey Educational Consulting, LLC)
Coding, STEM, critical literacy, maker spaces, data visualization, and drones… as our schools rush to follow “what’s hot,” how are arts teachers engaged (or not) in the process? In this interactive session, we examine the influence of broader educational trends on our work in the arts and explore how we can ensure that initiatives enacted in our schools support and expand substantive arts learning. Through small and large group activities, we will: 1) identify participants’ experiences with, and responses to, educational trends; 2) examine potential strategies for how arts teachers can creatively “revision” broader educational trends to emphasize and advance arts learning; 3) observe practical application of these strategies through viewing the presenter’s authentic examples of her award-winning and nationally recognized projects that tapped in to broader educational trends to promote arts learning in K-12 schools, university programs, and community contexts; 4) reflect upon how arts teachers can respond to educational trends in their own work (ignore, fight, accept, or creatively lead).
Midnight Radio Jr. with the Bricolage Education Program
Sam Turich (Bricolage Production Company)
The Bricolage Education Program is a robust, project-based-learning residency that leads an entire middle school grade level to performing a 1940’s-style live radio drama broadcast. A team of teaching artists leads every 6th, 7th or 8th grader through researching, writing, rewriting, rehearsing and performing original radio-style dramas for their fellow students, families and communities. At this Regional Arts Education Day breakout session, Bricolage Head of Education Sam Turich will lead the participants through an exciting workshop featuring some of our favorite hands-on, participatory exercises (just like the games we play with students), including:
- Vocal acrobatics: bring a character to life using just your voice
- Foley sound effects: get hands on to create an evocative “soundscape” using our practical sound effects tools
- Media history: immerse yourself in the dramatic history of radio drama
- Interactive research: delve into the curricular connections that make the Bricolage Education Program such an effective teaching tool
Using Architecture to Teach Design Thinking
Angela Capuzzi (Brownsville Area School District), Ashley Andrykovitch (Fallingwater)
In conjunction with Fallingwater Education and IU1’s Mobile FABLAB, presenters will share lesson plans and resources developed through the Learning Through Architecture Teacher Partnership Program. Participants will hear about how design-based technology-integrated lessons went from idea to implementation, view photos and examples of student work, and test out the hands-on activities that students will use for themselves.
Educational Merits of Gaming for Non-Gamers
Ruthie Neely (Sewickley Academy)
While badging and gamification gained popularity in education in past years, board game nights, Dungeons and Dragons sessions, and gaming, in general, have caught on as school clubs, public library sessions, and centers for community gathering more recently. When considering “demanding progress,” I realized high-level gaming is a great opportunity to connect with students, neighbors, and community members to perpetuate a culture of curiosity and creativity. As these games enter the mainstream, libraries and educators must be ready to use them to our advantage! This session will introduce attendees to the educational merits of gaming, provide an insight into the different types of gaming, offer the opportunity to participate in a short Dungeons and Dragons session, and leave participants with a list of games suited for art and educational development with ideas and examples for related programming and activities.
School and Community Partnerships
Bonnie Myers-Toward (WPCA Academy)
When you teach in the arts, your position can feel like it’s in some kind of jeopardy sometimes, and so making connections with outside partners can be really scary! What can be done to create the perfect scenario which is win/win for teachers, partners, and especially students? You’ll leave the session with a new idea to go home and try, as well as a plan for how to get there. Participants will be encouraged to seek out collaborations for their students with people near them and engage in group activities to create a plan to find a starting point for their own partnership.
Hamilton Listening Session for Music Educators
Jamie Kasper (Arts Education Collaborative)
Hamilton: An American Musical is coming to Pittsburgh in 2019! If you’ve never listened to the soundtrack or have only heard “My Shot” or “The Schuyler Sisters” because your students sing them incessantly, this is your chance to critically listen to selected tracks and unpack them for musical concepts. We’ll talk about the musical’s themes, tag musical passages for different grade levels, and help you to become a Hamilpro in time for the January 1 Pittsburgh opening of the blockbuster, Tony Award-winning show.