Teachers Connect
Jul 12, 2018

Plans for the Future

Throughout the week, we’ve brainstormed ideas for adapting and applying what you have learned for use with your students. Select one idea and expand on how you would use it in your classroom. Describe what you want your students to learn and how you’ll know that they learned it!


Jul 11, 2018

ABC Peer Review

Two key aspects of the ABC Curriculum are revision and publication. The goal is to provide multiple opportunities for our students to share, receive constructive feedback, and revise their text. Put yourself in your students’ shoes!

  • Share (publish) one writing sample you’ve composed this week
  • Peer review two (2) of your colleagues’ work. Offer explicit suggestions for ways their writing might be improved (reference 6+1 Traits).
  • Reflect on your colleagues’ recommendations—what suggestions were offered that might improve your composition?

Jul 10, 2018

VTS and Teaching

Implementing Visual Thinking Strategies may challenge your long-held instructional practices. How might your teaching change if you adopt VTS? How might the VTS approach transform your students’ experiences and attitudes? Finally, how might VTS support close reading of disciplinary texts (i.e., science, social studies, mathematics, and language arts)?


Jul 9, 2018

Monday’s Reflection

Reflect on today’s experience.  Describe two connections between what you already know and what you learned today.


Jul 13, 2017

FEELING SUCCESSFUL

During this week you are constructing samples of artists’ books, working with various art  materials, creating narratives, poems and finding superb words that can be used in your educational setting. What are some of the characteristics of your process in creating these samples that helped you feel a sense of satisfaction?  Reflecting on those characteristics (including mistakes!), identify those that you might share with your students as they work on their projects.  (persistence, forgiveness of self, patience, reflection, focus, imagining)


Jul 11, 2017

EXTENDING VISUAL THINKING STRATEGIES

How might Visual Thinking Strategies support close reading of science, social studies, mathematics or language arts texts?


Jul 10, 2017

MAKING CONNECTIONS

Reflect on your experience today. What are two connections between what you already know and what you learned today? (Remember, this is a way to explore and better understand what you are learning and allows other participants to gain knowledge through your comments. During the week, your blog entries help staff know what needs clarification or further explanation.)


Jul 21, 2016

CONCEPTUALIZE

There are many concepts that could be taught through a single lesson from Art, Books, & Creativity. As you think about your final project and proposed lesson key idea or concept, what, specifically, do you want your students to learn through the lesson?


Jul 19, 2016

CHALLENGES

Challenges to beliefs, attitudes, or long held assumptions may be part of the Visual Thinking Strategies learning experience.   Will you have to make changes in your teaching style? How might the VTS approach provide experiences that may transform student attitudes toward their work in the classroom?


Jul 18, 2016

CONNECTIONS

Reflect on your experience today. What are two connections between what you already know and what you learned today? (Remember, this is a way to explore and better understand what you are learning and allows other participants to gain knowledge through your comments. During the week, your blog entries help staff know what needs clarification or further explanation.)


Jul 16, 2015

Institute 2: Evaluation as Growth

Think about how you will help students evaluate their finished work.  What are some ways you can help students see critique as a means of growth in a subject area?


Jul 16, 2015

Institute 1: Final Project & Productive Questions

Productive questions get students to look beneath the surface of ideas. It requires moving away from assumptions and familiar thoughts, and staying with the questions as one works to comprehend and then act on them. You might ask students, “what is the purpose of your writing” (beyond a required assignment). And, if this particular ideas is the purpose of my writing, then how does my “vessel” in the form of a book serve the purpose of the writing, or vice versa? What are the ways the elements of art could be varied to enhance the final project? Of course, the questions might be asked in a more simple manner, but in asking the questions, and asking students to stay with the questions, the art project then becomes a true integration of writing and art as well as of critical thinking – three goals of this curriculum.

How can you carve out time in the busy school schedule to ask similar questions and then give time for students to think about them in relationship to their projects?


Jul 15, 2015

Institute 1: Artist/Writer Challenge

Making a difference through a chosen medium – be it art making, story telling dancing, or singing, is a creator’s challenge.

As teachers we model a variety of possibilities to help students’ imaginations open to the what might be done within the assigned work. In addition to helping students imagine possibilities through multiple examples, it is also our job to help them envision the process for the work. During this week you will be collecting samples of artists’ books, materials, and tools students can use to help them with their creative challenge. What are some of the characteristics of your process in creating these samples and how will that information help your students in their creative assignments?


Jul 15, 2015

Institute 2: Risk Taking

How will you encourage students to take risks and address errors in their work?  What strategies can you help them develop so they don’t continually “start over?”


Jul 14, 2015

Institute 1: Paraphrasing

Bertram Russell said something like, “in all things it’s healthy now and then to hang a question mark on what we have long taken for granted.”

When a group of special education students were taken to the Albuquerque Museum for the final field trip during the research phase of Art, Books, and Creativity, they were escorted by a docent who told them “facts” about a particular painting.  He was sure he knew everything there was to know about the piece of art. The students sat in stony silence.  They had spent the year using the VTS questions and this was not the way they looked at art.   I intervened in the docent’s presentation, asking the students the first VTS question.   They studied the painting and then eagerly raised hands to comment. One by one they spoke, listened to their peers observations, and played off each other in a symphony of thoughts and evidence. The docent was astonished that this group of special needs children could discover elements in the painting he had never noticed in all his years of giving tours. Through VTS questioning and paraphrasing, the teacher of this class had honed these students’ observational skills, which would serve them for years to come.

Although the use of paraphrasing may present a challenge initially, what do you believe will be gained in your classroom or setting by using these questions? What do you think will be some personal challenges in using paraphrasing?